Simplifying through #ActsofKindness

The holiday season is filled with a plethora of excuses to spend money and lose focus of your values. Just a few years ago, Mr. Kiwi and I were part of the herd filing into stores as they opened in the early hours of Black Friday morning. And, while I love thoughtful gift exchanges, my priorities have broken sharply from consumption.

This holiday season (or winter, if you aren’t celebrating in any holidays) I’d love for all of you dear readers to join me (and a bunch of other personal finance bloggers) in participating in #ActsOfKindness.

We plan to give of our time, money, and possessions to improve and simplify our lives. So many people on the path to financial independence slow their giving and focus on the working grind. We have worked to build volunteering into our regular schedule, but could definitely stand to donate more money to causes we support.

I have also wanted to purge many of our possessions and simplify our home. While we will never be minimalists, I would love to greatly reduce my wardrobe, decor items, and get rid of some of the college hold outs in our kitchen. I have been dragging my feet, and I see this challenge as a great excuse to clean up our home and donate the items to a local charity.

The Frugal Pack #ActsOfKindess

This December we will be focused on carving out time to complete a few acts of kindness. Here’s our list so far:

  1. Participate in our workplace “Adopt-A-Family” program and buy at least one gift to contribute.
  2. Walk the river trail with our dogs and clean up garbage at least two times this month and make a monetary donation to support the trail.
  3. Donate spare change in our cars to the Salvation Army bell ringers outside the grocery stores.
  4. Attend the library practice your English training sessions to help others improve their language skills (and meet new people).
  5. Purge our wardrobe and donate all items that are still in good condition.
  6. Donate books that we have throughout our home to the library.
  7. Add a gift card to our next shopping trip to be donated to the local food bank. And make a cash donation to the local food bank.
  8. Donate our extra gloves, mittens, jackets, scarves, and hats to the church winter clothing drive.
  9. Shovel our elderly neighbor’s driveway as needed.
  10. Drop off cookies and a card for our neighbors (and finally welcome the new people to our block).
  11. Donate to a friend who is suffering from cancer and bring a meal for him and his family.
  12. Donate personal care items to a local women’s shelter or the local empathy and equity box.
  13. Donate to our local public radio station.

We will add to the list throughout this season as we come up with more ideas to give back and perform acts of kindness. Most of the list above will not take much time, and certainly will not impact our financial stability. But the actions have the possibility of improving our community and helping people in need.

Gift Giving

Finally, last year my family started the tradition of not exchanging gifts and instead donating to a friend in need (or charity). At Thanksgiving we plan to decide where the donation is going. It helps make Christmas day more meaningful for my family since we only have small stockings of consumables to open (soap, gum, coffee, home brew). We spend the day cooking up a feast, playing games, and making memories!

Join Us and Participate in #ActsOfKindness

Thanks to Chief Mom Officer for the inspiration and the other personal finance bloggers participating in sharing their #ActsOfKindness

What #ActsOfKindness do you Plan to Implement this Holiday Season?

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