Both my best friend and my mother-in-law have been facing extremely difficult situations in their lives lately. It has been so hard to watch them suffer and I want to do all I can to help. We all find ourselves in times where the ones we love are hurting. It might be a serious illness, death, job loss, divorce, financial struggles, or a loss of a home. Whatever the situation, there are ways that we can help. If you’re worried that you can’t afford to help, know that helping doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Here are some ways you can help, even on the tightest budget:
7 Ways to Help a Friend in Crisis (on a Tight Budget)
Listening is one of the most valuable things you can do to help a friend in crisis, and it doesn’t cost a penny. Just listen. Listen while they talk about what’s going on. Listen when they cry. Try not to offer any solutions unless they’re asking for ideas.
2. Offer Childcare
If the person in crisis is a parent of young children, then childcare is one of the best things you can offer. While their children are lovingly cared for, they can focus on the issues at hand. If you’re not able to babysit, consider at least spending some time giving the children undivided attention when you visit. Parents in crisis often feel bad that their children aren’t getting enough attention or time to play. Run around outside with the kids or play a board game with them.
3. Do Chores
Wash some dishes, do the laundry, or vacuum the carpet. If you can help take on some of the daily duties, your friend can focus on the important things.
4. Cook a Meal
It doesn’t have to cost much money to take a meal to someone in need. A simple homemade soup is deliciously comforting and inexpensive to make.
5. Run Errands
Offer to pick up groceries, pick up the drycleaning, or walk the dog. Helping them with errands is a way to give them the gift of time.
6. Open Up Your Home
Could your friend use a place to stay while they sort things out? Offer your home, if you have room. Sometimes the offer of a few nights on a futon is a huge relief to someone in crisis. It will cost you very little but could mean the world to them.
7. Be Present
The most important thing is just to let your friend know that you’re there and willing to help. They may never need anything specific from you, but it will mean so much to them to know that you’re willing to do something to help.
How have you found ways to help a friend on a tight budget? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below!