The Handbook

Give Back (Without Going Broke)

A true gentleman takes care of others. And honestly, it's as good for you as it is for them. Studies have shown that spending money on others can have a better effect on our personal happiness than spending it on ourselves. But just because your wallet is a bit bare, that doesn't mean you can't contribute in other ways. Here are five cost-effective methods to support the causes that mean the most to you.

Volunteer Your Time

Volunteering provides plenty of personal benefits, from learning new skills to expanding your social network. There are countless ways you can help out, with opportunities available to suit anyone's interests. Sites like VolunteerMatch and Catchafire match your passions with nonprofits looking for help, but we've also got a few worthy causes to get you started.


Volunteer Your Skills

If you don't have a lot of free time to give, sites like Skills for Change allow you to volunteer online in your spare time by helping worthy nonprofits achieve their goals utilizing your individual interests and skill set. For example, if you have experience with graphic design or copy writing, you could help a charity with a brochure or other important literature.


Donate Your Clothes

Take an inventory of what you have and what you wear. If you can't fit into something any longer or haven't worn it in over a year, you don't need to hang onto it. Donate to your local Goodwill and let someone else get use out of it.


Use a Credit Card

You may not have a lot of extra cash to donate, but you could use a credit card to pay for things you already buy and earn some rewards that can go directly to a charity of your choice. As with anything involving a credit card, you'll need to take a close look at the terms and rates involved. You may simply want to use a standard "cash back" card and set aside that money to give to any worthy cause you choose.


Procrastinate with Purpose

When you're bored at work or simply have a few spare minutes at your computer, check out sites like Free Rice and Games That Give, which offer quick puzzles, short games and such classics as solitaire. The time you spend playing results in a donation of money and food to worthy causes. It's free to you because it's funded by sponsors who advertise on the site.

Your Sneakers' Second Life

If your kicks are too worn out to donate, drop them off at a Nike Reuse-a-Shoe location so they can be shredded and made into public playgrounds and tennis courts.