Money might be getting tighter, but a recent survey by Clinton Cards has shown that it’s the little things we do – most of them for free – that make people happy. Here are our top ways to make your friends and family happy (and up your popularity!) without spending all your hard-earned cash.
Are you thinking of the season of goodwill? Really, every season should be one of goodwill. But sometimes we forget to spread some happiness because we get so caught up in our own lives or we think we can only do it by spending money.
Happily, the good news is that the things that really make people happy more than anything are the things that are free or low-cost. Who would have guessed?!
Of course, we know you already have your own great ways of spreading some happiness in your own special way, but here are our tips for building up brownie points for nothing (or next to nothing):
- Smile at everyone you meet today. (Not only will it make your day-to-day acquaintances happy, it will confuse the heck out of strangers.)
- Don’t keep compliments to yourself. If you think someone looks nice, tell them (particularly women because it means a LOT to us). If someone has done a good job tell them. If someone has been a good friend, tell them. None of this costs money but it can mean the world.
- Tell your friends about our FREE Christmas ebook.
- Send a ‘thank you’ card, a ‘just a note’ card or a ‘missing you’ card for no apparent reason. We get too few cards and letters in this online age. Getting a real card through the post can be a great gesture and it costs peanuts.
- Give someone a hug. Preferably someone you know… (unless you have a burning desire to see just how effective those self-defence classes you took last summer really are).
- Say thank you to everyone you interact with. Thank your mum for what’s she’s done (she’ll be so surprised she won’t know what to do with herself); thank the office cleaner; thank the people you work with that day. Get into a habit of saying thank you for every little thing. It’s amazing what it does.
- Take someone out for dinner to cheer them up. Try a 50% off deal through OpenTable. You will look fantastically generous (there’s no need to tell them you only paid half-price…)
- If someone looks lost, take the time to stop and give them directions.
- Let someone into a queue of traffic. Think of it as good karma.
- Help someone carry their shopping. (Be sure to ask before striding off with their bags, or you may be mistaken for a mugger.)
If you do just two or three of the above you will be doing better than most people in this country… sadly. According to research by Clinton Cards, whilst a massive 97% of people consider themselves to be a kind person, more than a quarter wouldn’t give up their seat for someone on public transport, or help a mum get a pushchair up and down some stairs! One third of us rarely smile at a stranger on the street, and a staggering 83% admit they should make more of an effort to be a kinder person. Shame on us!
- Give to charity without noticing by using a charity cashback site. Give or Take is one of a number of websites that allow you to earn cash from purchases made online – and then tease you with the choice of keeping all your loot or giving it to charity. The idea is simple: the more you shop, the more you earn!
- Give by surfing the net. Everyclick is another useful website which tallies up money while you search the web and works with up to 200,000 UK charities. You can also create your own sponsorship page (and get friends and supporters to join you on your fundraising quest), browse and shop online (half of the revenue Everyclick earns goes to charity) and even donate directly to an organisation.
- Head to The Gift Experience store with our latest voucher code ‘magpie15’ and save 15% on your basket until the end of December. This can be used as many times as you like until 30th December. Great for personalised presents for weddings, christenings or a new baby.
- Give the gift of sight for nothing by donating your old glasses to third world projects. The Second Sight Project run by Vision Aid Overseas is the main charity that takes them but smaller local charities near you may also collect. To find your local collection point, use their location finder here.
Also, look at Clinton’s Facebook campaign where you can find out who’s the kindest/least kind celebrities, which is the kindest city in the UK etc. Plus, you can tell them about your acts of kindness so do join in the conversation as it could help to inspire others.
“Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate.” Dr Albert Schweizer