7 Ways To Be Generous When You’re On A Budget
I’ve shared before that my family went through some financials struggles in the past couple of years. I honestly believe part of the reason is that I prayed that God would make me more generous.
You know how pastors sometimes say, “If you pray for patience God will give you an opportunity to be patient,” and how that really means he will send the most annoying person or frustrating circumstance into your life to test you? Well, I think the same happened when I prayed to be generous. God gave me an opportunity to feel the strain of “less” so that I could learn to be grateful for everything and give, out of empathy, to people in need.
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Now we’re no longer living paycheck to paycheck and have a little bit of wiggle room in our budget (thought we’re still working on reducing student loan debt). However, I’ve learned and seen that before God can trust us with more (of anything) He gives us opportunities to do our best with what we have. If I was praying for more opportunities to practice generosity, that didn’t mean waiting until I had money to bless people, it meant figuring out what being a blessing looked like even when I had little.
If you’re struggling to make ends meet but you still want to bless people, it is absolutely possible! I’ll be writing a separate post on the best way to manage your money when you’re broke, but today I’m sharing 7 non-monetary ways to bless people when you’re broke.
7 Ways To Be A Blessing When You’re Broke
1. Open up your home
Inviting people into your home for conversation, board games, prayer, to watch TV or just a cup of water can go a long way. Especially when you don’t have money to drive to other people’s homes or to go out to a restaurant or the movies, this can be an easy way to spend some quality time and to make people feel welcome and part of your family.
2. Serve people
Find opportunities to help people everywhere you go whether at church, at work, other people’s homes, etc. I find that there are a couple of impactful ways to serve others: do what you’re good at and/or do what no one else enjoys doing. I had the coolest opportunity to do my friend’s daughter’s hair because she has carpal tunnel syndrome and her daughter has thick, curly hair down to her back. It’s something I’m okay at (and enjoy) and it was something my friend sometimes has a hard time doing. Plus, my whole family got to hang out with her family, she made dinner, our husbands played video games together, the kids played with toys and watched videos, and we got to catch up on life. It blessed me too!
3. Give what you have in excess
Do you know what it feels like to not have the right size shoes for your kid? We do. Thankfully, in the hardest season, we always had hand-me-downs given to us at just the right time. We had never bought clothes for our daughter until this year — we always had exactly what she needed in excess (or gift cards) because people just gave to us, without us even asking! Maybe you have clothes or shoes that your kids outgrew. You could sell them on a site like ThredUp for some change, but you don’t know how much of a blessing it could be if you gave them away — a blessing that would surely come back to you.
(Side note: *ThredUp is my favorite place to shop for good quality secondhand clothes. It’s how I “upgraded” my wardrobe on a budget and it’s where I bought clothes for my daughter for the first time. *Use my link to get $10 to spend on yourself or your kids.)
Do you have gift cards and jewelry and books that you have never used? Regift them!
You could also declutter and give stuff away. A friend of mine has been decluttering her basement and she gave me some educational games that her now teenaged son used when he was in preschool.
Do you grow your own herbs or veggies? If you have excess, bless someone with it!
4. Pray for people
I honestly don’t know of an easier way to bless a person. Oswald Chambers’ who wrote *my favorite devotional said, “Prayer does not equip us for the greater works—prayer is the greater work.” What if when you said to someone, “I’ll pray for you,” you actually did. One way to remember is to pray for them right then and there — sometimes hearing someone else praying for you can be extremely encouraging. Alternatively, you can download an app like the free Echo app that let’s you add prayer requests to your list, set reminders to pray for people and situations, and even start a group prayer list to share with friends!
5. Be kind
This shouldn’t even have to be a point in this blog post, but it’s really such a major one, and it’s rare. There is so much hate in the world these days. We could really bless people by having good manners, saying hello, smiling, making eye contact, and treating them the way we would want to be treated. Which leads me to my next way…
6. Grow in relationship with Jesus
In the Bible the first person to “be” a blessing was Abraham (Genesis 12:2). He wasn’t necessarily a blessing because of things He did, but because He believed in God and through His family Jesus would be born. Jesus blesses the world because through His death and resurrection, He saves us from sin and death. The best blessing we can give the world is sharing Jesus with them through growing in our faith and sharing it with others through our actions and words.
7. Make something
Maybe you don’t have money to buy a gift or a present for someone’s birthday or housewarming. Could you make something? A meal, a dessert, a card? Are you good at knitting, crocheting, painting? Maybe you make gorgeous graphic prints and can find a picture frame in your house to put it in and give away (I’ve given several gifts like that and they’re a great hit). When you take the time to give someone something handmade or homemade it can really bless them. I’m the designated cake baker for my family gatherings and it often takes ingredients I already have at home to be a blessing.
As you discover ways to be a blessing with your resources and talents, you’ll see that sometimes the ways that don’t necessarily cost us much monetarily, bless people in a more meaningful way — and being a blessing blesses us!
Your Turn: What are some ways that you can be a blessing on a budget? ⭐️
Hey sis! I’m Imani, the Jesus-loving pastor’s wife & toddler mom who is writing here to help you “be a blessing” in your day-to-day life. Also, I’m probably dancing to Michael Jackson right now.