Paying It Forward on a Budget
by Valerie Cabadonga
Paying it forward is when someone does something for you, but instead of paying the person back directly, you pass it on to another person.
Last Friday at Victoria University of Wellington’s Welcome Festival, we asked first year students to write words of encouragements on posts it, and pin it on our “Encouragement Board.” It didn’t take long for students to line up at our writing area, waiting for their turn to spread some love. The energy in the crowd was proof enough that whether you are young or old, everyone is all about paying it forward.
Paying it forward is when someone does something for you, but instead of paying the person back directly, you pass it on to another person. This act of kindness was best known for a viral video about a pay-it-forward chain at a Starbucks drive thru.
And that got us thinking: Does paying it forward really have to involve money?
In Wellington alone, the house prices are rising which is affecting everybody, especially for university students who needs to balance full-time study with full-time work to stay afloat. Bottom line is: people have expenses and sometimes a little money to spare is too much to spend.
But here’s the best news for all of us living on a budget: paying it forward doesn’t always have to involve money. Whoop!
A scripture from the bible in Romans 12:11-13 (Message version) says “be inventive in hospitality,” and with all the technological advancements allowing us to connect with people anywhere in the world, we can be even more creative and inventive in how we can pay kindness forward with little to no cost.
Here are some of the creative ways you can pay kindness forward:
Leave encouraging notes and/or drawings at the library, public toilets, or community noticeboards.
Send an appreciation text message or letter to your friend.
Buy someone a small snack and/or chocolate.
Give someone a massage.
Donate some toiletries/clothes/books to individuals in need or your local charities.
Listen to someone. Just listen and don’t try to solve their problems. Sometimes all they want is a listening ear, not a yappy mouth.
Donate blood at a blood service organisation near you.
Tell someone a joke and make them laugh.
Bring food to someone who is sick/or grieving.
Share an umbrella/taxi cab/uber with a stranger on rainy days.
Compliment a stranger.
Give someone a hug.
If you paid more hours on you parking, give it someone who just parked near you.
Volunteer in social enterprises/non-profit organisations/charities/hospital/nursing homes in your city.
Run a good cause or organise a fundraiser for a charity/non-profit organisations.
Smile as someone you come across with.
If you are an expert at something, offer your services for free.
Leave an encouraging comment to someone’s social media post.
Share a motivational blog/photos to a friend.
Pick up a litter on the street instead of just walking past it.
Give up your seat at the public transport.
Leave post it notes with words of encouragements.
Help someone to pursue their dream.
Carry someone’s heavy bags.
Tell someone you love them.
By paying kindness forward, not only do you help others, you actually help yourself too. It gives you the opportunity to discover how much love is within you and able to give, and by being an example, you empower others to do the same.
Here at Her Progress, we believe in the power of paying it forward. To us, it’s not about what we get in return, but how we are able to serve and impact those around us. One of the ways we live this by is through our new pay-it-forward campaign called Celebration Chain, where we spread words of encouragement to people in our community through maximising the use of Instagram stories.
With social media getting a bad rep about only having content that is detrimental to the health of this generation, through the Celebration Chain, we hope and pray that this act of kindness will bring more positive and uplifting content even with a simple step. We know for a fact that the simplest “you can do this!” can go a long way.
With the amount of hatred, depression, anxiety, and violence that’s going around the world, I am 110% sure that the world needs some more positivity by paying kindness and love forward in whatever shape or form it might be.
Whether you are a uni student, high schooler, working young adult, or a loving parent, there is nothing short of the ways to spread some love into this world.
So, how are you going to pay it forward today? Leave your experiences in the comments below :)