On Tuesday, 1 December, fresh from the furore of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the UK will celebrate #GivingTuesday. A day to give and be generous. Wonderful stuff.
But when this month’s paycheck has already been mentally spent on presents, turkey and tinsel, how can you convince your wallet that taking part in a day devoted to giving is a good idea?
Here are five slightly-different-to-the-usual ideas about how to give on a budget…
A couple of months ago I bought myself flowers. I love flowers. I felt God tugging at my heart telling me to give them away because I had bought flowers for myself the day before. They were on sale; I couldn’t help myself! As I walked home from the train station and was getting closer to my flat, I seemed to be running out of opportunities. I got to my front door; the road was empty so I asked God to send one more opportunity. A lady walked by and I gave her the flowers. She hesitated. I told her: “I promise I’m not a weirdo. I just wanted to do something nice for someone today and you’re it.”
If you spot a BOGOF deal in your local supermarket, snap it up and send it on. Buy one, give one free!
Beth G. Harper, founder and editor-in-chief at The Village Style
- Take an #unselfie
Unlike its famous friend, the idea of an #UNselfie is to post a photo that’s not about you, but instead is dedicated to a charitable cause that you have given to, and in doing so encouraging others to do the same.
The #unselfie takes vanity and flips it on its head. It gives us a glimpse at someone wanting to serve others ahead of themselves. The first shall be last and all that.
So choose a charity you’d like to support and take your own #unselfie for Giving Tuesday this year. Upload with the tags #unselfie, #givingtuesday and #40acts and Stewardship will share as many as possible on 1 December.
Daniel Jones, Stewardship
- Live on a fiver
Asylum seekers are often blamed for many things when in fact the vast majority are simply fleeing war or persecution. They need people who will treat them the way we would like to be treated in that situation.
£5.28 is the amount that asylum seekers in the UK must live on per day, so take up the challenge to ‘live like an asylum seeker’. Load up your wallet with a crisp five pound note and make that your total spend – including all food, coffee trips and travel expenses – for the day. Then donate the rest of what you would have usually spent to a charity of your choice.
Dave Smith, director of The Boaz Trust
- Create a giving jar
A friend of mine, who doesn’t earn a lot of money, pools all her spare change into one little purse and each week gives everything collected in there to a homeless person. I find it a really inspirational way to give in situations when money is tight.
Why don’t you have a go at something similar, or alternatively, create a giving jar to sit on your kitchen counter during December? Each day commit to putting some money into the jar to use as an act of generosity at Christmas. If you have some loose change in your pocket or choose to skip the afternoon cappuccino, put that money into the jar.
Christine Gilland, co-ordinator and writer at threads
- Be thankful
For two years I tweeted everyday #thankyoutoday for something that day. I started doing it because life had become a bit tough and I was finding it harder to keep a generous spirit. What I found was a habit of thankfulness that led to thinking of others more, being generous with my words and encouragement of others’ creativity to see glimpses of hope every day.
The more we practise an attitude of gratitude, the more I think God inspires us to be generous and live for hope, choosing to defy the odds and believe that a better tomorrow is possible.
Write an update on your social media saying #thankyoutoday for something. If you’re not on social media, why not write it on a post-it and stick it to your bathroom mirror?
Dot Tyler, Tearfund
On Tuesday, 1 December 2015 individuals, churches, charities, business and communities around the world will come together to celebrate generosity and to give. Take part by taking your own #unselfie and upload on #GivingTuesday. Find out more at stewardship.org.uk/givingtuesday.
Generosity and giving to charity is a key value for many millennials, according to recent research. Read the latest research from the One People Commission here.