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Let's Be Kind: 5 Simple Ways To Spend Less While Giving More

In light of World Kindness Day today (November 13), as well as Deepavali tomorrow, this is a season for spending time with loved ones and for spreading love and hope. But that doesn’t mean you need to burn a hole in your pocket to celebrate – after all, the best things in life are free.

At any rate,  festivals shouldn’t be a materialistic event and an excuse to show off how much money you have. Instead, they are an opportunity to bring the family together, be grateful for what you have, give back to the more needy in the community and to make everyone feel more inclusive, regardless of their budgets and what they can afford.

This weekend, try these 5 simple lifestyle changes to bring joy and hope to others:

1. Decorate naturally

Deepavali, the festival of lights, is all about bright colours. In addition to candles, use natural greenery, fresh fruits and flowers to give your home a cosier look. Why not make your colourful rangoli decorations using spices this year? Learn from Rangoli artist Priya at the National Museum of Singapore as she combines traditional colourful powder with colourful spices. For more information, visit here

2. Gift something homemade

Homemade always brings a smile over store-bought, and it’s also a great way to spend quality time with your family too. A small homemade sweet treat always goes a long way, as does something crafty. Handmade craft gifts don’t need to be elaborate either, and often, we already have most of the things at home that we need to create something small, so you don’t need to spend a fortune on the shopping.

3. Gift gratitude

If 2020 has taught us anything, it is to be grateful for what we have and to take nothing for granted. With the focus (now and even on the upcoming Christmas) on giving rather than receiving, make an ‘Attitude of Gratitude’ your family mantra this year, and spread that to friends and family.

4. Give your time and volunteer

It’s ironic but true - the more you give, the more you get. There are many ways to help others instead of just donating money, especially if you are already feeling the financial burdens from the pandemic. Volunteer your time and energy into a worthwhile cause, be it baking cupcakes for migrant workers who can’t go home this year; cooking and packing food in soup kitchens for the elderly; or participating in upcoming house to house food distribution event. There is always a way to help. Involving kids in volunteering from a young, impressionable age is also important, as it helps them better understand that giving is more important than receiving sometimes.

5. Buy local and handmade

Even if you do minimise your purchases, there will always be something you want to buy or gift. As afar as possible, try opting for something made locally, that reduce shipping and support makers, artisans and small merchants. Equally helpful is buying online from trusted sources where developing communities are trying to build their communities through their online businesses.

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