19 Random Acts of Kindness that Don’t Cost Money

This post may contain affiliate links. For more details, please view our full disclosure.

Random Acts of Kindness

When Evan Almighty came out, I was pretty excited. So excited I actually went to see it in theaters.

Man, was that the biggest letdown of all time. Who would have thought I was walking into a religious kids’ movie after seeing Jim Carrey play Bruce?

Pretty much, Evan wants to change the world. Morgan Freeman AKA God has him build an ark. After some initial resistance, Evan turns into a modern day Noah with the whole city laughing at him…until some damn breaks or something and there’s a flood.

Anyways, the important part is when Morgan Freeman tells Evan why he’s having him build an ark. (You know, aside from the impending flood…) Evan wants to change the world. “And how do we change the world?” God/Freeman asks. The answer is one act of random kindness at a time. And then we get an acronym:

(one)
Act of
Random
Kindness

ARK. Get it?

Yeah. It was that cheezy of a movie.

I receive a random act of kindness.

Fast forward eight years. It’s Thanksgiving night. We’re driving home, and stop to get gas. We find this on the pump:

 

Can I tell you how excited I was? Freaking excited. We treated it as the universe’s little way of inching us towards that house goal, and put it in our savings fund. (Actually, I spent the $10 in cash, but immediately transferred ten from checking to savings. If we want to get technical.) If there’s anything we’ve learned along our savings journey, it’s that small amounts really add up to big ones.

I’m supposed to pass the act of kindness along. I’m feeling a little selfish, because I don’t want to give up that $10 I lucked upon. I mean, we have scheduled giving to charities, and try to help the people in our lives as much as we’re capable…

Okay, I’m totally selfish and don’t want to give that money up. (See update below.)

But it sparked a thought process for me. In what ways could I pass it along while still keeping the increase? While it started from a place of my wants, it’s become something that I’m hoping to do bigger. Instead of passing it along just once, I’m going to try to pass it along in a myriad of ways over the next month. Chalk it up to Christmas spirit. Or miser’s guilt. Both are probably applicable.

Random Acts of Kindness that Don’t Cost Money

Here is my unfiltered brainstorm:

  1. Invite someone over to dinner.
  2. Compliment someone.
  3. Leave little “You’re beautiful!” notes on public bathroom mirrors.
  4. Go play a game with or read to some elderly people.
  5. Let someone go in front of me in line.
  6. Watch my friend’s kiddo so they can run to the store.
  7. Write a letter to someone I know. Snail mail style. Just to tell them they’re awesome.
  8. Write a letter to a stranger who really needs words of encouragement at the moment via The World Needs More Love Letters.
  9. Take my kids somewhere to do something fun with families who aren’t in a fun place right now. Ala Ronald McDonald House or Family House.
  10. .Actually give my husband a back rub when he asks for one.
  11. Redistribute that leftover Halloween candy.
  12. Shoot. Should I have put that $10 towards a Kiva loan?
  13. Let that person cut in front of me without honking or flicking them off because they don’t know how to stay in the left lane when they’re getting on the Liberty Bridge from 579. (Pittsburghers, do you hear me?)
  14. Cut out coupons I’m not going to use and then stick them on the appropriate items while I’m at the store.
  15. Play Free Rice for a hot minute. (Can’t believe this still exists. I think I probably played this right before I went to see Evan Almighty.)
  16. Take that random parking lot cart to the cart receptacle.
  17. Make some extra Christmas cookies and give them to someone.
  18. Heart attack someone.
  19. Hold open the door. Smile. Something along those lines. Those simple things that show respect for a fellow human being often go the longest to making those around us happier.

 

I don’t know if I’ll be able do all 19 this month. But I will do my best. Anyone want to join me? Or have any other ideas for my list? Leave them in the comments!!

 

Update

Thank you all for your kind silence on this part of the post, but I’ve decided I’m being a jack wagon with the $10. I’ll keep it in savings, but use $10 of our every day spending money to pass the gift on. Was thinking about Kiva, but since this was a local effort, I think I’m going to do something locally. Maybe tape ten bucks to a pack of diapers at the store. Maybe leave some quarters out at the laundry mat. I haven’t decided yet, and probably won’t be advertising when I complete my ARKs, as I feel that somewhat defeats the purpose. But I will be doing them. And I will be rescinding my pledge to do it without money.

Related Post

15 thoughts on “19 Random Acts of Kindness that Don’t Cost Money

  1. Emily @ JohnJaneDoe

    One thing I try to do during the holidays (unless it’s blatant lying) is smile at the retail clerk who’s helping me and say “You’re doing a good job. Thanks.”
    Retail work is tough during the holidays, and most retail workers feel pretty unappreciated. Taking a moment to recognize their efforts can be a good way of spreading a little love.

    Reply
    1. femmefrugality Post author

      Aw that’s awesome! Having had to hold jobs like that before, it really does help! Especially when you’re working on Thanksgiving or the like…terrible.

      Reply
  2. Tonya@Budget and the Beach

    Great list! And how cool that you found the $10!! One of my pet peeves is people not walking the shopping cart to the corral, which is sometimes only a few feet away, and it blocks a parking spot. So I would be thrilled to know someone was doing this, and will make an effort to do the same thing. I’ve always let people in front of me with less stuff at the grocery store. It feels good when someone does that for me and it’s such a little, but awesome gesture.

    Reply
  3. Hannah

    Christmas is a great time to remember extending kindness to those who are nearby and far away. I would add calling up a member of your family who you don’t speak to often enough, parking far away at the mall, and bringing a meal to a friend in need (like if they’ve had a baby, or are going through a rough patch).

    Reply
  4. giulia

    This morning a nice young woman gifted me har bus ticket (it was valid for other 80 minutes) without knowing me, this makes me smile and happy from morning

    Reply
  5. Pingback: 31 Days Of Giving? | Middle Class Revolution

  6. Jana @ Jana Says

    I love, love, LOVE these ideas. They’re so easy and simple and can make such a difference for someone. We went to lunch the other idea using a gift card and we had some money left over on it. It’s not a restaurant we would typically go to and the money left was enough to pay for a kid’s meal so we left it with the server for her to give to another family so it wouldn’t go to waste.

    I will not be doing #10. I hate doing it.

    Reply
    1. femmefrugality Post author

      That’s such a great idea, Jana! It’s amazing how little these things actually cost us, and what a big difference they can make to someone else.

      Yeah, #10 is the worst. Especially when it’s reversed, the favor usually just ends up going south.

      Reply
  7. Pingback: Weekly Recap #16 | Welcome to Two Cup House!

  8. Dianne Morgan

    I love these ideas and have done many of them myself. We like to invite people in our community from other countries for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. Many of them have no idea how we celebrate. It is fun for them and our family.

    I had someone in a fast food line pay for my food. What a nice surprise when I drove up to pay and it was already covered. I have tried to do that myself, but the person behind me was making a correction to their order. I’ll try again. A friend calls this “Splashing the Living Water.”

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *