Note: This page contains affiliate links, which means that if you buy something using one of the links below, I may earn a commission.
All I ever see in today’s news is negativity which is toxic. That inspired me to write this post about how to pay it forward. There are so many people that are going through tough times and at the very least could use a little pick me up. Some of the things on this list don’t cost any money at all so if you are tight on money, which I am right now, so you can’t use that as an excuse as to why you can’t do some of these.
1. Stick Up For Someone
Too many times we just turn the other cheek and avoid helping people. If you see someone who is being treated badly then come to their side and help them. I know that if it was a serious situation I don’t want it on my mind that I could have prevented something bad from happening but chose not to. Now if it is a serious situation in which authorities should be called then I am not saying personally get involved because I don’t want you to be hurt. Please though don’t just walk away and not call the authorities because you think someone else will. Take the time and make that call because you will thank yourself later for doing it.
2. Ask for donations instead of Birthday Gifts
Now if you are on Facebook you will notice this is now an option. I am not sure how long it has been one but I think it is amazing that it is one. My birthday hasn’t come around since I realized that they do this but when it does I am definitely going to take advantage of it and ask my friends if they will donate to the charity of my choice.
3. Learn CPR
This one is very simple and you never know when you might be able to save someone’s life. I had to learn it for my previous job because it was required and there was one time where I was just seconds away from needing to use it to. The paramedics responded quickly though and got there before I did so I didn’t have to but at least I knew how to if they didn’t respond as fast as they did.
4. Acknowledge People When They Walk In The Room
Now don’t over do this… What I mean by that is, if you work in an office and you say hello to “Joe” when he walks in that’s ok. Then Joe goes to use the restroom and comes back and you say hello again… then Joe goes to get some paperwork and you say hello again… then Joe forgot some paperwork so he left and comes back so you say hello again… starting to understand how that could be over doing it.
5. Hug a friend
There have been so many times where I was stressed and riddled with anxiety that I didn’t know what to do. (RELATED POST) Then just being with someone helps and getting a hug from that person was like magic. For me it was like washing those negative feelings away. Suggestion though: read how the other person is feeling before you try to lay a hug on them.
6. Over tip your waitress
Have you ever had that great service that you were just super thankful for? Then give them a BIG tip. I believe in karma and when I receive service that is this good I always try to tip no less then 20%. Now considering it is a financial pay it forward please stay within your means.
7. Pay a meter that’s about to expire
Considering that I don’t go to the city part of where I live very often I don’t get to take advantage of this one. To be honest I didn’t even realize that the meters take cards now and not just coins. I’m not sure if it is like this everywhere or just where I live but that is super convenient because who has coins in todays world that is going more digital. Never the less if you see a meter that is about to expire don’t let it, make that persons day and extend the time for them.
8. Pick Up Trash (in the neighborhood)
I have seen threads about this being done by people in my city and I think its awesome. Not enough people do this and as of 2016 Colorado Springs had over 460k people living there. As you can imagine that can make some areas a little less desirable than others. With so many people if we all just did our part and picked up after ourselves at least we could keep the area looking amazing for our kids.
9. Donate Unused Books/Clothes/Electronics
There are multiple ways that you can do this. I just recently went to a local store that we have here and “traded in” DVD’s and some other things from around the house that they take in exchange for money. It wasn’t much money but I assessed the situation and asked myself when was the last time I watched the movies or used those items. Then decided hey if I get something for it cool at least something is better than them collecting dust on my shelves and just taking up space in my house. I am really trying to declutter my house. For more of that check this (RELATED POST).
If there are no places that you can get money for your stuff then I am sure there are thrift shops in your area that are willing to take your things off your hands to stock their stores. The point is to donate your things and get them off your hands.
10. Tell someone you love… THAT YOU LOVE THEM!
This one seems simple enough but you would be surprised. I have a difficult time saying those 3 words and need to get better at that. Do it though you will be surprised at how appreciated those people will be that you did!
11. Greet with a SMILE
You will be amazed at how intoxicating just a smile is. Even when they are feeling down and out giving others a smile will brighten their day. I have done this so many times to people and watched how their moods have changed.
12. Adopt a pet that needs rescuing
We adopted this dog and it has been wonderful! She has been the most amazing dog ever. She is always so happy.
13. Donated 5% of what you make to charity
I strive to get to a point where I can do this because I love giving to charities. Every time we have charities going at my work I try to give a little. Unfortunately I can never give as much as I want because I am not in a place financially yet. So I just want to remind you if your finances are tight please don’t do this one. There are many others here that you can do to pay it forward that won’t make you too tight on money.
14. Do a good deed for a homeless person
I know this can be a tough one to swallow. In my opinion this can be a great way to pay it forward. When I am doing this one though I will typically only help those that have animals. It’s not that I am an evil person or anything, it is because that way I can give them food for the animal and know that the animal will get it.
15. When someone asks for help… Say YES
Great way to pay it forward because who ever asked for help is getting help!
16. Hold the Door and let other by
Too often in todays world we are in a hurry. Try to slow down and just hold the door and let others by. They will be thankful that you did.
17. Let other drivers merge in front of you
To piggy back off 16, we need to slow down and stop living such a fast pace life. Even on the road it gets bad and we have so many accidents. Try slowing down and let at least one person merge in front of you. You never know it might help the traffic problem in your area.
18. Offer to take a photo for a tourist
I liked to do this when I saw a family or a couple that couldn’t figure out how to take that photo of everyone. Do this though and they will be so happy because that is a moment that will be captured forever!
19. Do a good deed for the elderly
Now there are many things you can do for them. My height is typically taken advantage of at the grocery store and I am asked to get things from the top shelf. There are other things to do as well though, if you are on bus or train you can offer your seat so they can rest and sit. You can help them across the intersection because we have all seen those videos. You can even help them carry their grocery bags or load their car (a lot happens at the grocery store).
20. When someone wants to repay you for something (anything) refer them to this list and ask them to PAY IT FORWARD!
I hope you enjoyed my list of 20 Ways To Pay It Forward. If you can think of any other ways I would love to hear about them in the comments below!