How To Pay It Forward This Holiday Season For Free
It’s a pleasant surprise if you’ve ever experienced it. Maybe you’re waiting in Timmy’s drive-thru for a hot double double. You pull up to the pay window and hold out your debit card, only to have the attendant tell you that the car in front of you had paid for your order already. “All they asked was that you pay it forward,” they explain. You can’t help but smile, and there’s definitely an extra bounce in your step for the rest of the day. It’s just a single coffee but having a total stranger shell out the tune for it is an act of hope. When the news is filled with nothing but misery, this act can remind you that your faith in people is not for nothing; that we are still inherently good. What better time to pay it forward than during the holidays? Here on the Refresh Financial blog, though, we are big proponents of saving money. So, how can we pay it forward for free? Here are some simple ideas that will bring some holiday cheer to anyone’s day:
Wait a Little Longer
Let someone go in front of you in a long line-up. Whether you’re in line at the bank, grocery store, or Best Buy, queues tend to be long this time of year. The simple act of telling someone they can go ahead of you will brighten their day.
Shovel your neighbor’s driveway. This can be especially helpful if your neighbors are elderly and have trouble doing it themselves. Get up early, go shovel their driveway, and head home before they spot you!
Make a Home Cooked Meal
Bake a casserole dinner and leave it on a random doorstep in a poorer neighborhood. See if you can find a single mom, doing a great job raising her babies to leave it for. While this does technically cost money, if you use ingredients you already have in the house, the cost to you is hardly noticeable.
Give Away What You Don’t Need
Go through your winter clothes and find clothes you don’t wear anymore. Take them to a homeless shelter and hand them out.
Help Your Local Food Bank
Volunteer at your local food bank. Food banks often struggle to get enough food donated for everyone who needs it, but they also struggle to find people help then sort and hand out the food to those in need. This is a fulfilling; free act and you’ll go home feeling great about yourself.
Donate blood. With the winter weather and loads of celebrations happening everywhere, there tends to be a lot more accidents during the holiday season. Blood banks are always grateful to new donors and you could save a life.
Sprinkle Kindness Everywhere
Leave positive comments online. It could be a business on yelp, your friend’s Facebook page, or your favorite blogger (ahem). The internet can be full of negativity, so leaving a positive comment will brighten the receiver’s day for sure.
Do the Heavy Lifting
Help someone carry their shopping out to the car – especially if you come across an elderly woman or if you see someone struggling with their packages. It only takes you a few minutes but stays with them all day.
Offer someone space under your umbrella. If it’s a particularly grey, rainy day and you see someone miserable and wet, why not help them get where they’re going without getting any more soaked?
Whatever you do, if someone wants to pay you back for anything you’ve done for them, tell them there is no need. Instead, just ask that they pay it forward and have a happy holiday season.
View the December 2018 Newsletter as a PDF