There are many places to do community service, yet so few of us actually take the time to give back. In the spirit of the holidays, this series will be taking a turn in a different direction. Today we will be talking about giving back. Yes, giving back.
I wanted to share a few ways you can give back to the community as your financial situation improves in your 20s:
Give money as charity.
If your finances are on track and you’ve mastered the art of conscious spending, you could potentially donate a little bit of money to those in need. Below are two common options for donating money:
Donate to charity, if possible.
I must admit that my donations have been very random. I also don’t care for any hard fast rules about giving a certain percentage of your paycheck to charity. We all have different financial situations. If you want to donate $200 then that’s cool. If you feel like giving $20, then that’s also cool.
What kind of charities are worth donating to? I really can’t answer this question for you. I can say that all charities have different goals and some might resonate with you. From building schools in destroyed nations to providing drinking water to third world countries, every charity has a unique goal. You might want to help a homeless kid play basketball or send a poor child away for summer camp. It really depends on where you want to help.
Now I realize that most of us can be pretty skeptical about donating money to major charities (I certainly am) where the CEO makes a fortune. This is why you can check out Charity Navigator, self-proclaimed guide to intelligent giving. They rank charities from around the world through a variety of different ways. From the top ten most requested charities to the most religious charities. You can also read feedback to see how reputable certain charity groups are.
This is the simplest ways to give money. Giving a little bit of pocket change can put a smile on a homeless person that hasn’t had something to eat or a nice warm drink in a while. Giving a few quarters won’t hurt you, and it can improve someone’s day. Of course, you’ll get burned the odd time where you find that some person with a bottle of liquor 30 minutes later.
Give your time.
With student debt loan payments and the other expenses that go along with being a 20-something (going out), it can be nearly impossible to find any “extra” money to give away. This is totally understandable. Not all of us have the money to give away nor do all of us feel comfortable with handing over the little money that we do have. This is why you can give back to your community by giving your time in the following ways:
Offer free tutoring. Tutoring sessions can be very expensive. I once went looking for help with a Corporate Finance course and found out that private tutoring sessions went for $70/ hour. Then I found out that my school on the other hand offered free tutoring in the same course. Students that had excelled in the course previously offered a few hours of their time each week. What courses did you excel at? Is there anything that you could tutor others on?
(Free tutoring can also be an excuse to meet new people, hint hint.)
Volunteer. Volunteering is easily the most effective way for giving your time. You can help run a youth group on a Friday evening or give out food at a homeless shelter. The options are virtually endless when it comes to volunteering your time.
Just help out. You don’t have to help in any extraordinary away. Something as simple as teaching a beginner at the gym how to work out properly or buying a coffee for a friend that looks sleep deprived. Helping out can be extremely powerful. Plus you never know when and how someone will help you out.
Please remember that being a financial stud isn’t all about owning the nicest stuff that money can buy. It’s also about giving back.
I know that I definitely missed a few ways to give back. Could you guys think of any? Are there any volunteer opportunities that worth looking into?
How-to Become a Financial Stud Series:
Part 1: Get your financial stuff together.
Part 2: Take care of your academics.
Part 3: Don’t let social media screw you financially.
Part 4: Everything you need to know about how to build amazing credit.
Part 5: Get the most out of college.