Times may be uncertain right now. Abundance may not be your default state. The idea of indulging in anything other than louging around in pajamas that haven't been washed in two weeks is a stretch, to be fair. So the last thing on your mind is spending money on...well, fun times. But you can indeed change your life, and the life of others, with only $25. Now is the time for making plans for your freedom. When we all get to run wild and free again. The thought alone may carry you through.
I’m a big fan of thinking small. I’ve written about making huge gains in productivity by thinking small; I’ve written about achieving your dreams in just one-hour-a-day; and I’ve written about creating life-changing habits by starting tiny.
It should come as no surprise then, that you can think small when it comes to money. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need lots of money to get ahead, do good for others, or enjoy yourself. Sometimes all you need $25 buckaroos.
1. Become a Philanthropist. You don’t need to have thousands of dollars in order to become a benevolent queen or philanthropist. Philanthropy is basically attempting to solve social problems by addressing their root cause. You can become a philanthropist by helping to eradicate poverty in developing nations with just $25. You do this by making a $25 loan to an entrepreneur through Kiva.com. I make loans to Kiva. In my book, that makes me a philanthropist. Yup, I said it. Obamas throne, here I come!
2. Become an Investor. Investing is something else you can start doing right away, even if you only have $25 to start with. Imagine the sense of pride and prestige you'll feel. The blog “Planting Money Seeds” has an interesting blog post on how to start investing with $25. After all, the best way to become an investor is to start educating yourself on the topic and then get out there and put some skin in the game.
3. Set Up An Emergency Fund. I teach the importance of different funds, (emergency, education, travel, etc) in my Money Mastery Workshop. Even if you know next to nothing about personal finances, I’m sure that you know this - you need to set up an emergency fund. An emergency fund should contain enough money to cover at least three to six months worth of living expenses. If you don’t have an emergency fund, set $25 aside right now and start one. An emergency fund with $25 in it is definitely not ideal, but it’s a start.
The purpose of your fund is to cover all of the following:
4. Start Saving Toward Your Dreams. Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the bestseller “Eat, Pray, Love”– explains that, for years, women would come up to her and tell her that they wanted to travel and find their true selves, like she did, but that they simply didn’t have the money to do so. Gilbert says that she didn’t know how to respond to these women.
Then, one day, a woman told her the story of her mother. Her father had walked out on the family when the woman was young, and her mother had been left alone with five kids to care for. Even though money was always tight, her mother would place $1 in an empty coffee can every single day.
She did this for twenty years, until the last kid was out of the house. Then she emptied out the coffee can. The woman’s mother bought herself a ticket on a freighter with her coffee can money, and she sailed around the world, just as she had always promised herself that she would.
Take $25 and place them in a jar or an empty coffee can. This is your dream seed money. Then, every day, add $1 to your dream stash. The going may be slow, but, if you keep it up, sooner or later you’ll have the money that you need to go after your dreams. In the words of Gilbert: “Take whatever time you need, but make your plan, and begin today.”
5. Invest In Your Education. A great education doesn’t have to cost thousands of dollars or even hundreds of thousands in debt, (can anyone say Ivy Leage waste.) Choose a subject that you want to know more about, such as copywriting, marketing, investing, and so on. Then, conduct a search on Amazon for the best three best books on that subject matter.
Once you’ve identified the best three books on your topic, go ahead and buy the Kindle version of each. That should set you back about $25 or much less. Now pat yourself on the back, because you’ll are making an investment in your education and in your future.
6. Take Someone You Admire Out For [Virtual] Coffee. Is there someone you would like to meet, or someone you already know whom you would like to get to know better? How about someone from the past whom you would like to reconnect with? Ask them out for coffee and a scone. All you need is $25. You’ll be growing your network and increasing your sphere of influence, which is always a good idea. We are the sum of the five people around us after all. And if you are feeling charismatic enough, make it a virtual date! Yes, you can wear a cute top and pajama bottoms. We get it, you love not having to leave the house!
7. Start a Web Site. Nowadays, starting a website is incredibly cheap. I had a website on how to become a minimalist and travel the world as a digital nomad which cost me the following:
$11.48 a year for the domain name with Ionos.com.
$9.95 a month for hosting with Bluehost.com.
With $25 you can pay for a domain name for a whole year, as well as pay for your first month of hosting. Why would you want to start a website? Here are some reasons:To create an online portfolio of your work.
Starting a website is easy and cheap, and it gives you a presence on the worldwide web.
8. Participate in a Kickstarter Campaign. Kickstarter is a crowd-sourced project funding platform. Here’s how it works: Someone has an idea–such as a product they want to create or a documentary they want to film–, but they don’t have the money to make it happen. They go on Kickstarter and ask others for the money to carry out their project. People who like the project and think that it should move forward can donate money to help make the project a reality. Visit Kickstarter.com, choose a project you like, donate $25, and transform yourself into a mini-angel investor.
9. Make a Donation to Your Favorite Blogger or Free Web Site. There are many blogs filled with valuable information which you can read for free. The only thing the blogger asks for in return for the countless hours that they spend researching and writing their blog posts are donations. You can take your $25 and donate it to your favorite blogger. In addition, you can donate $25 to Wikipedia, Firefox, the creator of a free plugin you have installed on your blog, or any other free website that you spend lots of time using.
10. Forget About It. One of the best simple pleasures in life is “finding money”. Take $25 and put the money in the pocket of a jacket or a pair of jeans that you don’t wear often. Then, forget about it. Sometime in the future when you put on the jacket or the pair of jeans, you’ll stick your hand in the pocket and find the cash. That’s a guaranteed instantaneous rush of happiness. It’s present you doing a little something extra for future you. This is one of my favorite tips for abundance.
11. Save Time. You can use $25 to save time by outsourcing five of the items on your To-Do list through Fiverr. Fiverr is a marketplace for creative and business services. You pay $5 for each gig (hence the name, Fiverr). Here are some of the things you can have others do for you for $5:
12. Make Yourself Happier. Positive psychologists have discovered that one of the best ways to make yourself happier is by doing good for others. A great way to do good for others is by practicing random acts of kindness. Take $25 and do the following:
Random act of kindness are fun, they don’t have to cost much, and they’re a proven way to give yourself a mood boost.
13. Give a Loved One a Gift. Take five $5, create a money bouquet, and give it someone as a birthday gift, or even as a “thought you deserved something nice” gift. Everyone loves to get money as a gift–or, at least, I know I do–and a money bouquet is a creative way to present your gift. There are lots of great tutorials on how to create money bouquets online. Or, use the money and buy a normal gift that you wrap beautifully then surprise someone you love.
14. Plan a Fun Date. Taking your significant other out on a fun date doesn’t have to be expensive. Take $25 and do the following:
Sharing your dreams is a bonding experience, and talking about your dreams might even encourage you to start taking steps to make those dreams come true. And, who knows . . . you might just win the lottery. 🙂
A common excuse that people use for not doing the things that they want to do is, “I don’t have the money”. Honestly, how many times do you think you can remember saying that this year alone? Too many times to count most likely. However, as you can see from the tips above, even $25 can go a long way. Put the money excuse to one side and start living your best life with whatever amount of money you have at your disposal right now, no matter how small it might be. No matter what is in the bank, you are and will always be 100% THAT BITCH!
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