We are frugal for a reason. We are trying to maximize our money to buy a quality of life, and that quality looks different for everyone. For some, it means being able to travel the world; for others, they'd like to stay home with their kids. Many would like to know the feeling of owning something outright.
We've shared experiences for almost half the year on earning, saving, investing and trading and negotiating. We're hoping that you've been able to take away some helpful advice from your fellow readers. Every day, we're taking steps (some days, those steps are bigger than others) to make our financial dreams a reality.
And hey, you know what can help you get richer? Feeling richer. And you know what can help you feel richer? Giving back. So this month, we're asking you to give back. Why? Because it a pretty great thing to do — for all involved.
Of course, giving back doesn't mean you give money you can't afford to give. Donna Freedman wrote an excellent piece suggesting various frugal ways to give. (Number 24 is one of my favorites.)
And remember, giving back to others can be mutually beneficial. Trying to build a professional portfolio in a new field? Try volunteering your services in that field to a charity. Not only will you be helping out an organization if it can't afford a salaried position, but you'll get hands-on experience in a new area that you can use on your résumé.
I'm in the midst of de-cluttering my house. I had several dozen books about folklore from my college days and from collecting over the years. These are big, heavy books! They wouldn't really be suitable for my public library because they're so specialized, so I reached out to the American Folklore Society. The executive director was interested in them. I packed them up and sent them to him last week. It was a win all around: The AFS got some great books, I got more space in my overflowing bookshelves, and I get a tax deduction.
If you're donating money or goods, don't forget to claim your charitable deductions.
There are dozens of easy ways to give back. The Red Cross always needs blood, and donating blood takes less than an hour (and you get juice!). Do you have long hair and want a short summer ‘do? Locks of Love is a great charity, and you don't have to find an event to donate; you can mail your cut hair. Have a neighbor who's recently been ill? Offer to do her grocery shopping or bring over a meal.
So, we're curious to hear from our GRS community, what will you do to give back to others this month?
Author: Ellen Cannon
Ellen Cannon was the editorial director of the financial services sites at QuinStreet from 2010-2015. She has covered personal finance for magazines and websites for more than 20 years, including five years as managing editor of Bankrate.com. She lives in South Florida with her kitty and sunshine.