When you can't afford to give

I stopped watching the news years ago. It seemed that everyday there was something terrible on the news and I would fret on things that were not in my control. I don't like hearing about people being murdred, children being abused or about Terrorists who have blown up innocent people because they think it is the only way for their voice to be heard.

I get my news online, I know that if the title of a piece looks like it is going to make me upset that I don't read it. Of course that doesn't stop me hearing about big disasters. I first hear about the Haiti earthquake on Twitter. I knew from the trending topics that it was something that I was going to fret on.

I knew that I would want to give to the people of Haiti who will of lost family and friends and homes and the ability to carry on with a normal existance.

And Bloggers responded loudly with donations at a specially set up Just Giving page. Currently the donations will allow four (nearly five) Shelter boxes to be given to the people in Haiti.

But what about when you can't afford to give?

Without going into personal details we can't afford to give money to charity. We like many others are in a position where our budget is balanced with our outgoings and incomings matching exactly.

So what can I do? Or what can you do if you are in a similar position?

1) Give your time. You might not be cash rich, but you might be time rich. A local organisation might need help for an hour a week or a month. They might need more, but will accept what you can offer them.

2) Give your expertise. Have you got a skill that could help? Look at what you could do that might help someone, even if it is something you feel is silly such as being able to organise a committee!

3) Give what you can. I give all our old clothes, toys, bed linens, books and countless other things to local Charity shops. Just because I can't give money doesn't mean I can't give things.

4) Use Charity gift services. I love Oxfam Unwrapped. For the people on my Christmas list that I want to buy something for, but don't know what to get them or have been told not to get them anything I buy something from there. It makes me feel good and the person I have brought the gift in the name of. You can even use your Tesco clubcard points to buy Charity gifts.

5) Use a Charity credit card or better still as Martin Lewis on MSE says use a Cashback Credit card. Charity credit cards mean that for any money spent on your credit card that the named charity gets a percentage of what you spend. However a Cashback credit card will give you a better return percentage and will give the cash back to you. Which you can then donate to a charity. You could also do this with cashback from other purchases from cashback websites.

6) Buy things that you do buy through a charity portal. There are so many online stores that give commission to web sites that drive traffic to them and if you are making a planned purchase why not see if you can help a charity at the same time?

7) Spread the word, just like I have done in this post. Let other people know about a charity that they might be able to support if they have the funds. Highlight a cause and you will be giving.

I am sure there are other ways that you can give and I hope that you will tell me in the comments of things I may of forgotten or not know about and if you can afford to give please, please, please, please do.