Sunday, August 05, 2012

How to Save Money by Volunteering

Sixty-four million people volunteered in 2011.  Where you one of them? Volunteering gives you the chance to make a difference in someone’s life. You can use your skills to help improve a community or impoverished area.  Volunteering can help you gain skills that may be used to gain employment or get a promotion such as:  organization, communication and writing skills, time management skills, planning and budgeting skills or leadership skills. Volunteering helps students when applying for college or when applying for a job.

Volunteering gives you the opportunity to get experience in an industry that you would like to work in.  Volunteering gives you an opportunity to meet new people.  Volunteering can help you build relationships and partnerships with organizations. 

Volunteering has lots of benefits such as reducing medical costs and health issues.  Volunteering can increase your self-confidence and self-esteem.  Volunteering eliminates depression by reducing social isolation. Volunteering keeps you in regular contact with others which protects you against stress when you’re going through difficult times.  Volunteering:  reduces chronic pain through physical and mental interaction with others, lowers drinking binges in students and can reduce physical ailments for volunteering events that require physical activity.

Volunteering can also help you save money through perks.  When volunteering you may get perks but don’t let that be your only motivation.  Perks are a bonus.  Some perks you may get for volunteering are:  

  • Vouchers
  • Discounts or free admission to events
  • Free coupons
  • Free memberships 
  •  Free magazine subscriptions 
  •  Retailer discounts 
  •  Discounts on training
Volunteering with the National Park Service can reduce vacation costs.  If you decide to go to the Grand Canyon and volunteer you can save money on camping, park entry fees, and transportation costs.  If you volunteer with Global Volunteers you may get:  get your room, in-country travel, food, airport pickup for free.   Volunteering at hospitals can get you:  free parking , discounted prices on select special events , free annual flu shot, discounts at the gift shop and pharmacy, free meal , free access to hospital libraries and computer work stations, educational opportunities, and free access to fitness center and health screenings.

Serving as a chaperone you can get free paid vacations.  Serving as an usher for music events you can get:  a free view of performances, free tickets to future events, discounts on souvenirs and food, and invitations to special events.  There are several volunteer rewards programs available such as:

  • Volunteer with County Music Television One Country and you're automatically eligible to win tons of prizes that range from a free 1 year subscription to a Ladies' Home Journal  magazine or $1,000 donated to the charity of your choice.
  • The Washington Post offers readers PostPoints, its reader rewards program which gives discounts to retailers and exclusive events.
Volunteering at the Peace Corps or Ameri Corps you can get:  student loan repayment assistance, language, cross-cultural, and technical training, a monthly living and housing allowance, full medical and dental coverage and 48 paid vacation days. 

Volunteers in the U.S. can receive tax deductions from the federal government on costs associated with volunteering, such as travel expenses, parking, mileage, convention attendance fees, etc. if you are not getting reimbursed for the expenses by the organization you are assisting and you are itemizing on your tax form.   You can write off any expenses you pay to the organization as long as they're a non-profit.

No comments: