A key strategy alluded to in my book is to take people and organizations up on all freebies. These have made all the difference in my financial journey.
- What’s available to you right now?
- What are Craigslist, your library’s bulletin board, your bank, and your rec centre promoting?
- What do their posters say?
- On any larger ad, is there fine print offering a bursary or third-party funding for your spot?
Here’s some of what’s FREE in my small community this week:
- three yoga classes
- the sport of a child’s choice
- six bank accounts
- four singalongs
- one community meal (not counting the soup kitchen, etc)
- squash (the food, not the game)
- access to all recreational stuff while accompanying a child with disabilities
- access to an art studio, supplies, and guidance
- university tuition for single parents, people with low-income, and people with disabilities
- eight spiritual-but-not-religious events
- two public book study/discussion groups
- twelve coffee gatherings
- one counselling session per person
- unlimited listening sessions per person
- outdoor movie
- two child craft sessions
- one week of daycamp
- fax and mail service to all government departments
- decluttering service
- advice on staging and selling a home
- spiritual companioning
And then there’s the sliding scale acupuncture, $5 board game night, $2 swim, free trails and lakes, matching grants of up to ten thousand dollars, libraries, public Wifi, and more.
But guess what? Most people I talk with in the course of a week don’t know about these, and thus insist they don’t exist. But not knowing about an offer and the offer not existing are two very different things. Ask your mind to start noticing. Read the posters, the flyers that come in the mail, the fine print, the online newsletter for your community, and your local paper.
What would your budget look like if you took your community up on every free offering?
How much fuller would your life be?
How much would your dependence on the food bank or credit decrease?
How much more energy, joy, or money would you have available to share with others?
Remember: These programs exist to build community, facilitate neighbour interactions, and/or help you get ahead financially. The will of a presenter to offer an event—or of a grantor to fund a program—depends entirely on the number and enthusiasm of people showing up. When you take folks up on these offers, you help build community, you increase your security, and you ensure programs like these continue to be in place for people who need them most.
What are you doing for free this week?