You can change your life, and the life of others, with just $25.
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.
Below you’ll discover 14 awesome things you can do with $25.
1. Become a Philanthropist. You don’t need to have thousands of dollars in order to become a 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.
2. Become an Investor. Investing is something else you can start doing right away, even if you just have $25 to start with. 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. 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 months worth of living expenses. The purpose of your fund is to cover all of the following:
- Unforeseen repairs — your washing machine stops working, your car breaks down, your refrigerator goes on the fritz, and so on.
- An unexpected job loss.
- Anything else that might come at you from left field.
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.
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. 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. However, you’ll be making an investment in your education and in your future.
6. Take Someone You Admire Out For 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.
7. Start a Web Site. Nowadays, starting a web site is incredibly cheap. I had a web site on how to stop procrastinating which cost me the following:
- $11.48 a year for the domain name with Namecheap.com.
- $9.95 a month for hosting with HostGator.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 web site? Here are some reasons:
- To create an online portfolio of your work.
- To share your knowledge with the rest of the world.
- To practice your writing skills.
- To share your life story with others.
- To make money.
Starting a web site 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.
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:
- Have someone edit and proofread your blog post.
- Have someone design a logo for you.
- Have someone create an infographic for you.
If you want some guidance on how to choose the best vendors on Fiverr, here’s a guide you can buy for 99 cents on Amazon: Fiverr: The Essential Buying Guide: Where Smart Buyers Find Top Talent, Write Winning Proposal and Save Tons of Time & Money.
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:
- Leave spare chain in a vending machine.
- Leave quarters in the slot of a public phone.
- Buy some donuts and drop them off at the police station or the fire department.
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.
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:
- Buy a $24 bottle of wine and a $1 lottery ticket.
- Sit out in the yard, go up to your building’s rooftop, or sit out in the balcony.
- Put on some background music and drink the wine while you discuss all of the great things you would do if you won the lottery with that ticket you’re holding in your hand.
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”. 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.
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