Increase Your Happiness: 3 Ways to Be Generous to Someone Else's Home

Increase Your Happiness: 3 Ways to Be Generous to Someone Else's Home

Adrienne Breaux
Feb 9, 2014
(Image credit: Kathryn Bacalis)

We recently read an article espousing the benefits of spending money...on someone else! We naturally thought of how this idea could apply to the home. We came up with ways to spread generosity, make someone's day and home a little more full of joy, and maybe find a little happiness for yourself (and they don't all require you to spend actual cash)!

The article does allude that just giving to folks in need doesn't always make for happiness. But when you partner giving money with connecting with someone, seeing how your money's made a difference and getting to decide how much money to spend and what to spend it on, you might just get some joy from sharing with someone. Here are ways you could apply these ideas for spending money on someone else's home.

1. Buy someone a small but thoughtful gift for their home:

  • Buy a simple and sweet house plant or cheery thing to deliver next time you visit.
  • If they've recently shared DIY project difficulties or you know they're planning on DIYing something in the future, pick up a tool they may be missing or that might make their project run smoother.
  • Treat someone to a small gift certificate to a favorite home store. Doesn't even have to be for a lot, but it could put a purchase a friend has had their eye on for awhile finally within budget. Or, think about sharing any coupons you have for a home decor store with a good friend if you know they could use it.

2. Invest in a gift for someone's home that's a little more generous:

  • If they're newly married or just had a baby, see if their gift registry is still active and pick up something they could use that you know they didn't receive yet.
  • Offer to frame some of their art, especially handy if you need to frame some of yours (you might even get a deal if you bring a framer multiple pieces).
  • If you know someone's been too busy to clean or take care of their yard, consider hiring a maid or landscaper for a few hours (but really make sure they're the kind of folks who wouldn't mind a maid cleaning up after them.)

3. Time is money (so feel free to give your time to someone's home if you don't have the money!):

  • If someone's been sick or stressed, make them some freezable meals and take them over to stock their freezer and fridge for them. The Kitchn has great ideas.
  • Offer to help them complete a DIY project, even if you don't have a lot of DIY skills; it's still helpful to have a friend around!
  • Someone planning a trip soon? Offer to pet sit for them and watch their house and pick up their mail for free. Not only will it save them money, but it'll give them more peace of mind to enjoy their trip, too!

What do you think about the idea of giving money to others to make yourself happier? Have you tried it?

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