Want to do good but not sure you can afford to? We’ve discovered a handful of ways of giving back that can actually help you make savings or even earn rewards.
As we approach Christmas, it’s always a good thing to think about people that are less fortunate. Christmas does tend to encourage us to be more charitable, but giving money isn’t always affordable at a point where we naturally spend more than normal.
The good news is that you can still help charities and make the world a better place without resulting in any financial outlay. In some cases you can actually get something back in return, be it reward card points or travel opportunities. Here are some tricks we’ve discovered to make being a good Samaritan more affordable at this time of the year.
If you own a Nectar Card, you can sign up to Oxfam’s Tag a Bag scheme and earn points every time you donate unwanted items to the charity. Registering for the scheme adds 100 points to your account, and then you’ll receive 2 points for every £1 your donations raise when they are sold in Oxfam stores.
If you can spare some of your free time for a good cause, volunteering doesn't have to cost you any money. Depending on what it is, your expenses could be covered, which can mean free meals and travel costs. These incentives are usually offered to encourage people to donate their time (which would normally be paid for), so don’t feel guilty about taking them.
There are a lot of other benefits to volunteering too, from improving your employability to boosting your confidence and helping society.
Become more sustainable
One of the best ways to do a good deed is to help reduce your carbon footprint, with climate change now classed as an emergency in the UK. Luckily, saving the planet can also help you save some pennies.
You can get a reduction on the price of your coffee by bringing your own cup to a huge range of coffee shops, including Costa, Pret a Manger and Starbucks. And it’s even cheaper if you use the same cup to transport coffee you’ve made yourself at home. You can also save money on the purchase of plastic bags if you take your own bags when going shopping.
Cutting down your energy costs is a solid way of saving money and the planet, as is walking or cycling as opposed to using a car. If you can restrict your spending, where possible, to only essential purchases (clothing, takeaway food etc), this will usually have a positive impact on the environment as a consequence.
Raise Money for a charity through a holiday exercise
With more and more charitable causes popping up, and more and more charities to serve them, fundraisers have had to get creative about ways to get much-needed funds. One such method has been to organise once-in-a-lifetime fundraising challenges in return for sponsorship.
Alder Hey hospital in Liverpool recently delivered a trip to the Inca Trail in Machu Picchu, with the trip heavily subsidised as long as each participant met a fundraising target (in excess of the cost of the trip). They will be planning on a trip to Nepal in 2020 which only costs £299 - as long as you meet the minimum sponsorship fee raised of £3750. That sees you visit Nepal for significantly less than the ususal cost and the charity raise significantly more than the cost; a win-win situation.
Adventure Aid is another charity which specialises in similar experiences, and you can climb Africa’s tallest mountain Killimnajro to help defeat cancer. If you’ve got a bucket list destination why not try googling it with for charity at the end - you might be able to have that experience at a fraction of the cost and do good at the same time.
Remember though, these aren't holidays - the challenges are often gruelling, that's why you're being sponsored to complete it!
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