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How to live your dream in the year ahead
Below, I share simple, creative ideas on how to save many thousands of dollars by becoming who we really are : someone who freely gives and receives. When we do this, our lives change forever. And of course, so does our world.
READING ALL THE FOLLOWING IDEAS CAN GIVE YOU SUCH A HUGE CREATIVE BOOST YOU MAY WELL 'THINK DIFFERENT' from then on. Many of us don't read much anymore and miss wonderful free and inspiring knowledge. One book I recently read suggests that a good thought to have as we experience life is "What would God do?" And do that!
Consider your thoughts about life. The secret to finding, and then living your dream is simple: follow your excitement, your passion, your heart, what most interests you. Do what you love - what makes you happy! When? In every moment of your life. Then do the best you can, without expectation (why get in the way of miracles?). Every one of us can do this. When you do, you'll be taken on the grand adventure that is meant for your life.
If your family is under stress, debt, etc. call me. I may be able to help. When I was a child, if we couldn't afford to buy something, we didn't get it. We could put things on 'Lay-by' which meant that the item was put aside for us and we paid over time. Then we would own it. I don't have a new car (none actually), a new home etc. What I do have is NO debt. Happy as a lark! So, if debt brings stress, why not reduce it? You could lead a simple life with less material things - and be far happier. Some may say you failed the 'gathering lots of stuff' test, but in truth, you won!
If you can’t visualize your passion or can't decide what you really want to do – do this: whenever you're faced with a choice (big or small), about work, health, relationships, travel, money, study – or anything else – grab a pen and write down your choices, your options. All of them. Don't judge any as they come to mind. Just let the ideas flow, and keep writing. Once you have your list, some items will be easy to cross off. With only a few left, pick the one that most excites you NOW and do it!
One point about choices. Recently a friend asked me to help him. The thing he wanted me to do didn't especially interest me at the time and I considered saying 'No', which I'm very good at if something doesn’t feel ideal. However, I did have a strong general interest in helping him. So this time I did. I felt good that I'd helped and I learned to be more aware about what really interests me.
I do a lot of hitchhiking. Recently I travelled 150 km on a round trip, getting 13 lifts. There are lots of wonderful people willing to help. When I have a vehicle, I'm enjoy giving people a lift. How about doing so yourself? Then there can be fewer cars on the road and we'll meet more new friends.
A classic example of making a choice is about asking. ( Become the ask-king )
Many people find it hard to ask for or accept free things. It's common for people to say that they find it easy to be generous with their time or material things but they find it really hard to ask for help. It may bring up feelings of unworthiness, distrust, thoughts of not having contributed, not wanting to be in debt to others or feeling incapable of managing one's life without hand-outs. Do you have any such thoughts? Can you easily ask for what you want in life? This can be about anything at all, but let’s say asking for a date? You are frightened to ask (who wants to open themselves to rejection?) but as you’d love to have a new friend, you ask them. They say 'Yes'. You go out, get married, have children and live happily ever after. Which proves that it’s always good to ask for things
A while ago, for 3 months, I helped a wonderful community group. I got dozens of free things for them to use, including a washing machine, a dishwasher and a commercial colour laser printer with free servicing/ink for life. Many people I asked weren't able to help. I just thanked them and asked someone else. Do this and you'll get wonderful results for your family or organisation you support.
Nearly everyone asks for and accepts help from politicians/ government. Isn't it time to return to how we used to live just a few decades back? Those were the days we built real communities by relying on and trusting each other; whether friends, family, neighbours, workmates or local businesses. This costs us far less, is achieved more quickly, always comes from the heart and has no strings, conditions or contracts attached, as all government assistance does. And INSTEAD of letting our fingers do the walking (looking in the phone book), let our mouths do the talking - ask friends to help or to recommend people, products or services.
Interestingly, only when we can freely receive help will we create true communities. So let's drop any thought that we are seperate, and actively join together, not only in giving, but also in asking for help. Is it not true that giving is the fastest way to change ourselves and our world?
Is your life the same as the person you dream you could be? If you haven't had that dream, do it now. Yes, right now! Write down the values, the characteristics, the actions, the feelings of the person you would love to be. Imagine that person. Picture them. Think what they would think. Do what they would do. Feel as they feel. Dress as they would dress. Do this and you WILL become the person you dream about!
In all the world there is only one being who can make that happen – YOU! And, once you begin this journey, you will get fabulous help. Everyone and everything will seem to cooperate to help you. Perhaps in the most unlikely ways or from the most unlikely sources.
No dream is made of dozens or hundreds of choices. Choices are made one at a time. Just be aware as each choice or opportunity presents itself. Either as a thought or some so-called coincidence. Then you WILL become who you are meant to be. Who you truly wish you were. And what a remarkable life you'll have! Is this not the way to change our world? By changing ourselves?
To have money flow to you, change your thoughts about money. Do the following: Write a list of all the thoughts you have about money that are negative. Then do the same with thoughts about money that are positive. PICK THE LIST YOU MOST PREFER - LIVE THOSE THOUGHTS!
You can use this same method for your work, relationships, how you feel about government or anything else. Do this and you will discover that your old thoughts were creating your old life. When you change your thoughts, your new thoughts will create your new life.
Keys to getting free things
There are hundreds of ideas on this site you can use to change your life. You can get many free things and free help. You will be more productive and happier. This will mean you have a healthier body. NB. As you read, note down the ideas that interest you the most. Nearly all these ideas are tried and true. I use them!
If you have any thought about not wanting to use pre-loved or free things, let that funny idea go. A few years back I had two lovely rent-free homes, each for over a year. That's a $30,000 value. Many times I've received things, sometimes by finding free 'as new' things left out in the street. I'm not talking about junk, or scratching for a living. I'm talking about increasing abundance for everyone. To look at it a different way, imagine how many people you could help if you are really generous with your time, your help, your things or your funds? A week ago I was giving away warm clothes to people at a free breakfast for homeless people. A fellow came over and said, "Do you have any shoes?" I said, "I gave them all away last week," He said "Thanks". Then I remembered I did have a pair of shoes, and took them off and gave them to him. Perfect fit! For me, that's just a fun things to do. Wouldn't that change many lives? By the way, if you have or know of a house that's not being used, why not see that it's offered for free rent and put to good use? Wouldn't that be a remarkable and beautiful thing to do? Even if a family had a chance to stay in a lovely environment for a couple of weeks free of charge, that would be wonderful. Let's do things in our lives that are remarkable!
There is no better way to build communities than to share. And no better way to lead a happy and fulfilled life.
I have no doubt that, given a little time, I could attractively furnish a 3 bedroom home for free and include a lovely garden – and get the house for free as well! (see how to do that further down). This type of belief or confidence will certainly help you get free things. It comes from giving things a go, being creative, asking for help and freely helping others. Remember, nothing succeeds like persistance if you only have love in your heart and are not judgemental.
Each Christmas, if anyone has organised a 'Spirit of Christmas' shop in your area, you can get free presents for all the family. If there isn’t a shop in your region - or your country - why not decide to have one in your community for Christmas 2018? This site shows you how to easily do that.
Though these ideas relate to Australia, the key principles of creating true communities and living freely can be used anywhere in the world.
Isn't it true that no-one will know you need help if you don’t ask?
There will always be someone ready to help you or your family. When I ask for help, if someone isn’t able to, I thank them for their time. Some people who could help, may have a little too much fear in their lives to be able to do so just yet, so just be understanding. Be gentle with people. It's never personal. Just continue asking and you'll find someone who can help. However, there is something you can do – always be the type of person you would like to meet when you ask for things. Just say to people who ask for a helping hand, "I'd love to help if I can!" This morning I was in Coles. I had a large number of things in my arms. A man said, "Would you like me to get you a basket for those?" I said "That would be lovely." And he did. I ALWAYS accept help. I love to see people feel good about themselves!
Why not take a higher view of asking for help? By doing so, aren't you helping to create the only way that real change will ever come? Isn't it true that love is not just the fastest way to change ourselves and our world, it’s the only way?
The more you ask for, the more you'll receive. This is a simple fact about life. As so few people understand it, perhaps it's a secret. This principal is true in business, in getting help, and in every other aspect of our lives. It’s well explained by the term, ‘Outflow equals Inflow’. This means that the more people you ask for help (outflow), the more help (inflow) you will get.
Be creative in your thinking. I can think of practical solutions for just about any challenge or opportunity. So call me if you need help. However, we’re all creative. Get in the habit of thinking outside the box. Have an ideas session, perhaps with your family or friends. Just free-flow: write ideas down as they pop into your mind. Evaluate them later, not when you are thinking of them.
It's time to create true communities.
If we only ask governments for help, the obvious result will be higher taxes, more public servants, increased debt and perhaps less personal freedom to make decisions. So let's reduce taxes and debt by helping each other? When we personally help people, we don't need to follow policies, we can follow our heart. Nor do we need to be selective in who, or how, or when we help. Instead of being paid, we receive something of far greater value: the joy of helping. Is this not the best way for communities to thrive?
Start with your own community. If you've helped create a real community, many things listed on this site will easily fall into place. It’s been said, “It’s not what you know. It’s who you know.” Networking works beautifully so create your own ‘Network Notebook’. This notebook differs from a ‘contact list’ in that you list all the ways people can help you, your family or the groups you support. List people you went to school with, neighbours, friends, workmates, associates and people you meet. You can also ask friends for the names of special people they know, who might help you. Why not begin your 'Network Notebook' today? It’s never to late unless you’re well over 100.
If you need anything picked up or delivered some distance from your home or business, ask a friend, family member, workmate, taxi or courier company to collect it and deliver it for free. Or ask someone to put it on a train or bus for you that you can meet when it arrives. I've done this. Nearly all these ideas come from my experience. Years ago I did this at an airport when I wanted something urgently taken to Melbourne. As you see, I'll have a go at anything. Instead of being concerned about what a few people may think, I create my life by following my heart, my intuition [inner teaching] in each moment.
Put signs on free local notice boards. Boards are everywhere. If you can't find enough boards, get more put up. Use them to communicate any message. PRINT clearly with a LARGE heading, e.g. ‘PLEASE HELP US WITH FREE (whatever item or service you need)'. Include a phone number and first name. An address isn't needed. On the bottom of your notice put tear-off strips with your contact details and what you want. Include the phone number near the top of your sheet as well, in case all the tabs are taken. This is how I got a free fridge. Some kind shop owners will let you put your sign in their window.
Introduce yourself. It's usually best to show people a typed sheet explaining why you need a hand, perhaps with a picture of your family or the project you're working on. It’s usually quicker for someone to read a short summary than for you to explain. I always carry a simple sheet to show people 'Den's Story so far'. It's in my pocket as I type.
Some of the wonderful benefits of using these ideas are that you'll have less debt, less stress and, if it's the right time in your life to give some things away, less stuff everywhere, in the house, at friends homes, at your parents, in storage, in the car etc.
Once things have improved for you and your family, support those who helped you. And 'pay your good fortune forward'. By the way, 'Pay it Forward' is an inspiring movie.
FREE THINGS ON THE INTERNET. On the website 'freecycle' (see 'links') search for free items 'offered'. Or list what you need under 'wanted'. Do the same on Gumtree.com.au and tradingpost.com.au (see details below) All are Australia wide. There is no cost to use these sites and you can put lots of free ads on them to get, or offer, many free things.
With anything you need, ask people if they have free things they can give you, either for your own use or to sell to raise funds. If things need repair, painting, polishing or cleaning, do what you can do and get help with anything you can't do. I've often spent hours cleaning something while watching a good movie and had it look almost new. It’s great to bring things back to life. Perfect recycling!
People often put things outside their homes for anyone to take. I got a spa bath in EC for a friend and a free-standing hammock and musical instruments for the wonderful Organic Family. There are many groups and people who are doing great things to build real communities. You can help them adn they can help you. If you put items out for others to take, put a 'free' sign up and remember to put them under cover at night or if rain is expected.
Free things at Council clean ups. Once or twice a year, people can put unwanted things outside their homes for council trucks to pick up and dump. I once got a lovely, near new wooden bed and a vacuume-cleaner. I recently got a free pedestal fan. It works perfectly and is in EC. I also got an as new electric chain saw in its box. I've found many good items to pass on to people. But why wait for a council clean up? Ask people for things anytime - before they put them out. You'll help them lighten their space - and feel good.
Look for free or really cheap things at weekend Garage Sales or on the sites: eBay.com.au or Gumtree.com.au or in newspaper ads. Examples are Queensland's Courier Mail and Gold Coast Bulletin (details below) which have large weekly 'For sale' sections. You can visit any website that sells things and search the word ‘free’. Do the same search in newspapers early (say, 6am) on the day they are published. The range of items that are advertised for free will surprise you.
Run a Free Footpath Giveaway in your street, block or suburb. Get a couple of organisers, pick a Saturday three or four weeks away – not too soon. Let people know by letterboxing or door knocking, which is a good job for children. Tell the media. On the big day, it’s best to put everything out on the footpath, not the front yard. Put small items on boxes or tables (use signs 'Table not to take'). Well before the big day, make sure everything is clean and repaired. On the Thursday before, put large signs up in the locality. Used 'corflute/plastic' signs from Real Estate agents are ideal. Just ask for some, free. Start at 9am (sharp). Go till noon and then hold a street party to meet your neighbours! This way, everyone can clear their space, get free things – and build real communities.
Ask at Department Stores. All shops from time to time have shop soiled, slightly damaged, returned, demonstration or old season stock they may give you. Also, some genuine ‘clearance' items are reduced by up to 90%. I got a pair of slacks for $3 at Target after asking one of the staff if they had any items at a 'giveaway' price. Try David Jones, Myers or many other stores.
Auctions: http://www.graysonline.com hold regular on-line auctions where thousands of items can be sold or bought every day. http://www.lloydsauctions.com.au and Tender Centers; https://www.tender.net.au both hold regular auctions. The items can be viewed online or at their centres. Sometimes things don't sell and the owners don't want them back. Contact the centers and ask if you can have some of these things for free. tender centres are in Northern NSW and South-east Qld.
Get free plants. This is easy, fun and rewarding. When you see plants you like, ask the householder if you can take free clippings. Carry the tools for this in your car. Who isn’t proud of their garden? Wouldn’t you be happy to give plant clippings? With just a few hours doorknocking, you could get enough plants and free local advice to establish an entire garden. Then ask friends to help you create your garden.
How I got two free fridges. Where I was staying the fridge broke down. I put eight 'Free Fridge Wanted' signs up, got three phone calls and a fridge. I also saw a side-by-side fridge in a carport beside a house. I called in and they said I could have it. It was in good condition and had cost $2,500. Discovering it was too big for the kitchen, I passed the details to a friend. At the same time, after getting free advice on the phone (just call a repair business), I fixed a simple problem with the original fridge and got it working. Now I'm giving the 'new' one away. By the way, many metal recyclers will remove cars, whitegoods etc for free.
Get free carpet. Carpet layers often replace carpet that's in excellent condition due to house renovations. Call and ask them to tell you when they have some. After you check itʼs what you want, they may be kind enough to deliver it straight to your home and even lay it for you when they have the time. Lots of good quality carpet is dumped because carpet companies do not sell used carpet. Why not give some a new home? I got a large carpet square from a business that was going to throw it away. It now prevents vehicle oil drips in two garages.
Get free household goods. As many companies deliver and install new whitegoods, baths, curtains, kitchens, floors, TVʼs and other electrical goods, they often take away the ones being replaced.
Get free movies. There are thousands of movies of all types you can legitimately watch for free on or from the internet, including hundreds of documentaries. You can choose to either watch a live stream or download. The benefit they get is they may have pop-up ads - you can simply delete. The best known is crackle.com
Get a free mobile phone. When the new Apple iPhone 6 came out, a friend was given a free iPhone 5. Looks new! I've been given a Nokia dual sim mobile by a phone repair shop. Of course, you need credit to use it. There are tens of thousands of unused phones to recycle, most in EC. You don't need to buy one. Either ask people you know, put signs up or ask a phone shop to keep one for you.
There are many cheap monthly phone plans, some about $10. One cheap way is to prepay a $20 plan for 365 days. Perfect for receiving calls and you have $20 for important calls. Your name and number shows on their phone and they call you back. The best paid monthly plan I found is ALDI XL (via Telstra) for $35. It gives 6GB data (unused carried to following month) unlimited calls and texts and 200 minutes to 50 countries.
NB. Even if you are out of credit or your normal carrier doesn't have coverage, but another carrier does, you can always make free emergency 000 calls.
Get free computers, printers and accessories. Computers, printers and projectors are constantly being upgraded, sometimes yearly. Do the same as for mobile phones. Printers will need ink but searching the net can save you up to 90% on normal ink costs. I had $99 Brother laser cartridges filled for $11. Otherwise ask for a discount or keep your eye open for free ink when someoneʼs printer dies.
Getting free food
Visit a local Farmer's Market or vegetable garden and ask for some free food. Show them the sheet on your family, group etc. Or ask a nearby restaurant or cafe if you can call in at closing time to get free food before they throw it out. Take all they offer. You can always share it with others or freeze it for later. I sometimes get free fish from a fish shop. Not being thrown out, just a generous act.
Supermarkets can help. If you need food for Christmas Dinner, or anytime, why not ask at Aldi, IGA, Woolworths, Coles or the other 20 supermarkets? Also ask at fruit and vegetable shops, butchers, delicatessen or bakers. In fact, any shop. Ask to speak to the STORE MANAGER. Or contact their head office. In a very kind gesture, most supermarkets and many other large corporations have a monthly allowance of free goods and services to help people and community groups.
Companies throw away enough food to feed everyone in Australia who needs help, as shown by people who ‘dumpster dive’: http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/radio/onairhighlights/dumpster-diving-for-edible-treasure-in-australias-trash-bins/1144618 Talk to shops and get an agreement that you can have the food before they put it in the rubbish. At the very least, ask that it be put in clean containers which you could even supply and keep clean. Perhaps labelled recycled green ‘waste’. If they are concerned about insurance or legal problems, help them work these concerns out so that everyone can benefit. Forming a group to do this can be very effective.
I give free bread away, having picked it up from bakeries at closing time. See 'Free Bread' link on this site. Do this in your local area and keep some for your own family. You could easily freeze a weeks supply. Different groups have free soup kitchens or free food shops. Ask to take some home as well. To find out where they are, just ask around or search the net. You might give them a hand or, if it excites you, start your own group! With love, we can change everything.
The ultimate way to have an ongoing source of fresh, delicious, low cost, healthy, organic, on site vegetables, herbs and fruit is to grow them yourself. With lots of produce, you can barter for things you don't grow. There are hundreds of free videos on youtube.com and other sites that show how to grow things. Plan now! You can also collect supporters and grow community gardens anywhere you can find land to use. It's great outdoor exercise, good fun, we meet new friends and we can feed fresh, inexpensive, healthy food to everyone. Done across Australia, this would save many lives and millions of wasted dollars.
I met a visiting young American who finds ‘hidden’ forest locations to plant food gardens to grow wild and feed many people when required. If you need seeds, search 'Seed Savers' for help. Create 'Free Food Suburbs' by working with local communities to grow food on nature strips, footpaths, parks and front and back yards. And even indoors. Think of all that extra oxygen we get?
With anything you need, if you can't find anyone to help you, you just haven't asked enough people. Keep going and you will be richly rewarded – in many ways. People will feel great by helping you.
Free hairdressing and health sessions
Ask at colleges. Thousands of people are trained every year in colleges, salons or centers. They need people for their trainees or apprentices to practise their skills on. Though they usually charge a small fee, show them your info sheet and ask for the service for free. Also, when salons interview new staff, they may want to test the applicant's skills.
Use this for free massages, hairdressing, beauty treatments, gym workouts, naturopathic and other health treatments etc. If they don't have someone for you immediately, leave your details and ask them to contact you. Ask them to tell their friends. You could say that if they have a cancellation, you’ll come in at short notice if they phone you.
Many places offer free internet. Nearly all libraries have computers for members or visitors to use free for an hour. They often have unlimited use if you take your own computer. If a membership number is needed as a password and you are visiting an area, ask a friend to use theirs. Each Apple Computer store has dozens of computers for people to use and it can be for hours. Apple’s many staff will help you solve all sorts of computer problems. Apple realise that if they help people use their Macs, they will get life-long users. Many clubs, coffee lounges, Taverns and even whole shopping centers have free internet. If you aren’t sure how to use the net or computer, ask a friend, neighbour, staff member – or any 12 year old.
Why not contact an internet business and ask them for a free connection?
Free parts for repairing anything
Let’s repair things instead of dumping them. Many products are deliberately designed to have a limited life and to be difficult to repair. Isn’t it time we changed this?
Some people are repair geniuses. Ask for their advice and free help. Visit: repaircafe.org on the net. This group has centres where you can take anything that needs repairing and they will help, often by showing you what to do or doing it for you. Their help is free. If you can afford to give a donation, do so, but it is voluntary. This is a brilliant and practical idea that began in Holland. Why not start a ‘repaircafe’ in your own community?
Get free parts from metal recyclers, car wreckers, timber yards, recycle centers, op shops, second hand factories and manufacturers who will have old parts on shelves. When I dropped my 24 inch iMac computer the screen and frame smashed. I phoned a couple of Mac repair companies and have been promised a replacement for parts. I’ll ask a friend who works near there to pick it up for me and then find someone to repair it for free. My iMac is about 7 years old. One company said they had recently dumped two of them. So, like the TV show about aliens, thousands of free parts are ‘out there.’
Use the internet to get free parts as shown on this site. You could start a business repairing and recycling things. What a great job to have. You could work from home and have people drop off and pick up. Offer free quotes. by the way, if you want a hand getting a great job, call me.
Ask people for help – with anything you need
Contact organisations to get help: a local club, sporting, services, craft, Scout or other youth group, Lions, Apex, Rotary, etc. The 'Men's Shed' groups give very practical and generous help. Find many other groups in the local newspaper or under ‘Organisations’ in the Yellow Pages phone book. You can search white and yellow pages on the net.
Contact a local church, the Salvation Army or other religious group. The Salvos are wonderful and help thousands of people. Many churches have hundreds of members. You'll find someone that will help. But you do need to ask for help.
Contact anyone well known: local government members, a V.I.P. (Very Important Person, which of course we all are), business leader, sportsman or other public figure. Get ideas on who to contact from friends or local newspapers.
Ask a neighbour, friend, relative or workmate - or even a stranger (a friend you haven't met) for a hand. You can borrow a trailer, ladder, special tools or machinery and invite people to help you paint, garden or do other work. If you organise a working bee (people getting together to help) ask everyone to bring a plate of food and non-alcoholic drink. Enjoy this special time together.
Ask media to help
Contact a radio station and tell them your situation. Or phone their live talkback program and, without necessarily giving your full name on air, do the same. They'll know groups and businesses who might help. Their listeners will hear that you need a hand and can offer to help. Community radio stations are especially likely to help get your message out.
Give your story to a newspaper or television station if you don't mind publicity. If you need local help, the weekly paper is good. Because of the number of viewers and emotions felt, TV is often the fastest way to get fabulous help. People in the media do wonderful things. Give them a chance to help you.
If you know a group that helps people, support them by telling media of their good work.
Get involved in helping yourself
Nature offers us superb free entertainment. Why not spend more time outdoors, climbing a hill, at the beach or river, sculpting sand castles or animals (as big as you like), having a picnic, watching a sunrise, sunset or full moon, sitting around a bonfire (I celebrated one New Year's Eve with a beach bonfire), flying a kite or sailing a model boat, borrowing a canoe, surfboard or boat, swimming, playing badminton, cricket or other ball game, riding a bike, skating, hiking, sliding on cardboard down a sand dune or grassy hill, bird watching, having a group sing or reading under the trees, by a lake or walking in the rain? The fresh air, sunlight, exercise and natural environment are key ways to get healthy.
Free outdoor Yoga classes. I've attended superb classes in Burleigh on the Gold Coast, and also watched free drumming, rope walking and fire twirling in the same area. Get used to asking people "What's on?"
Speaker's Corner. As a young man, I often visited 'Speaker's Corner' on Sunday in Sydney's Domain. I was a little overawed by the courage of speakers who stood on a soap box or small ladder and were heckled. Decades later, friends and I started one in Canberra on Sundays. It was great fun speaking and handling audience comments.
You could also find a public place and play music, read poetry, juggle, sing, dance, act parts or do magic tricks. As you improve, put your hat out for contributions. Who knows when you will be good enough to be paid as a professional? Just keep going.
Keep in mind, often the best way for your family to enjoy life – and get a real boost – is to help others. Imagine the joy you could bring by visiting a hospital for a couple of hours and listening to people’s stories or reading for them? And think of the valuable education your children will get when you do this.
You can arrange special free outings, say, at a fun park, sports or music event, cinema, theatre, festival, roller or ice skating rink, car race or just for a game of golf, tennis etc. These are often listed in newspapers. Contact the venue or organisers a few days or a week beforehand. Tell the manager your story. Ask if your family can attend for free. I do this myself for a movie now and then as I don't charge anyone for things and need to be creative in asking for help. If someone can't help you, don't be disheartened (always be 'heartened' in life), just ask someone else. People will help if they can. And there are hundreds of free events every year; from Carols at Christmas, to ethnic festivals and music. Even in hotels and I'm sure that they won't mind if you don't buy drinks. Perhaps get their OK first.
With things you own, find, exchange, buy or are given, bring them back to life. For example, clean and polish your car instead of buying a newer one. Seat covers can look great. Keep the car and your home well maintained. Any accommodation can be made comfortable and attractive with paint, curtains, cleaning or other creative ideas like putting some prints up on the walls or doing the garden. I've had two free homes for a year each. I take very good care of them. Every home I've stayed in always looks better when I was leaving than when I arrived. This is also true when I was leasing. Don't only clean or repair things when you want to sell them. Do it now! Get the full benefit. Then you may choose not to sell.
How to get things nearly free
You certainly don't need a million dollars to have a clean car, nice home with a lovely garden, good possessions and to dress attractively.
Weekend car boot sales are ideal places to get what you need cheaply or sell some things to make extra money. Op shops are helpful. I bought myself a great shirt for $2.00. They have also given me books to give away, either for free or discounted. The best Gold Coast Boot Sales I know are both held on the second Sunday morning of each month near Harbourtown and at Burleigh Stocklands shopping centre carpark. Search the net for you local weekly market locations near you.
Contact businesses or shops that make, repair, distribute or sell new or second hand goods. Whatever it is that you need. Ask if they would be kind enough to help you. Most businesses have ‘seconds’, outdated, slightly damaged or demonstration stock they may either give you or sell cheaply. You can also offer to do something for them in exchange: perhaps cleaning, painting, gardening, organising, filing, answering the phone, running errands or letter boxing their leaflets. They might even offer you a local part-time job doing these things.
Lost property sales. Most airports and large bus, ferry and rail businesses receive thousands of lost items. They give some to charity, throw some away but many hold huge yearly auctions. Sydney transport and Sydney Airport are just two transport groups where you or your group may get free items.
Community recycle centers have many thousands of very cheap things. They might give you free things if you ask and show them your information sheet.
Get somewhere to stay rent free
There are tens of thousands of empty homes in Australia. Find one for your family by asking real estate agents, or look for unmaintained houses (long grass, uncollected mail etc.) or just by asking around. I've twice done this successfully and stayed in houses for over a year each. This will be even more effective in rural communities. Many people have left the land or country towns looking for work in cities. There are lots of empty houses. Many farms have spare buildings which once housed farm workers or family members. Stall holders at local farmers or organic markets are great places to meet farmers or people who know them. A fellow just sent me an email saying he did this and got some work. Leave them your printed details. You could offer to grow organic food and supply their family’s needs – as well as your own. This is an easy way to exchange without money. You could well end up with a lovely home, jobs for all your family and a new life – and the joy of helping others.
You can offer to help renovate buildings in exchange for free accommodation, meals and power.
Dennis, "The homes I've stayed in always look like the owner lives there, because I treat them as mine and take good care of them – which is a joy to do anyway."
Do the same with a caravan park. They usually have empty vans or cabins, especially in winter when you really need to be indoors. They might welcome extra help in exchange for giving you free accommodation and power. There are tens of thousands of caravans and motor homes in Australia that are unused for most of the year – or even all of it! If you own or get the free use of one, find a homeowner who will let you park free in their backyard, vacant block next door or rural property. They may give you free or low cost internet and power. All you need is a very long, heavy duty electric lead. while we can always offer to help people in exchange, when we have communities, don't we want to pitch in anyway? Just for the joy of it? A peaceful location in the country? Sounds like a dream. All because you had the courage to ask!
Live on the water. In Australia there are 850,000 registered boats: yachts, houseboats, etc., in rivers, lakes or ocean harbours. Many are rarely used. There are about 400 Marinas. To get free accommodation in one, do the same as you would for a caravan. How? As always - ASK!
You can similarly find free places to camp in a large, comfortable tent. Perhaps near the ocean, river or in a rainforest. Great natural living! There are also public parks and recreational areas all over Australia where free camping sites are provided, often with extra amenities, all for free. Email 'Caravan and Motorhomes' magazine at email@example.com and ask them for a free list of places in the region you want.
Offer your services as a 'House Sitter'. The key to success here, as for all things, is to get your message out! A friend just left a lovely house she was housesitting to move interstate. Just ask and you'll get what you need. Even if it's making them feel good because they are helping you. You can also be paid for this. Whenever you can, help other people in return or just because you love helping.
Door knock homes and shops in the area where you'd like to live (or work) and offer an exchange. You could cook, clean, shop, babysit, teach any one of hundreds of subjects, help someone exercise or with the elderly, do their bookkeeping or set up a simple system for them to follow, help with their home or business, walk or care for pets, garden, etc. There are dozens of possibilities. I can list many more ideas but so can you. Just put on your creative hat, OK? And always give people a little sheet showing what you want/need which includes all your contact details. This way they can recommend you or get back to you.
Free Holidays - the world over. You can get free accomodation and help the world over via: https://www.couchsurfing.com or http://www.hospitalityclub.org This is a fabulous idea and a wonderful way to travel, meet people, get help and experience new cultures. Another great way to have a free holiday is to stay with family, friends or workmates or people they know - worldwide. You can also exchange your home with someone who has a home in a region you would like to stay in for a week or two or longer. Other ways are to adapt ideas on this site. Say, contact an accommodation venue and help them with some work in exchange for free accommodation. Another is to take all the family for a farm stay. It won't be work for the kids to help on the farm. It will be fun - and very educational.
Make money taking in paid guests - Airbnb.com.au has private accommodation listings in 34,000 cities worldwide. You can offer a room or your entire home for 1 night or a month or more. Most listings are for a few nights. Popular in Australia, for instance Bondi Beach in Sydney has 1,000 properties listed where you can stay, this is a great way to meet people and increase your income - from home. Airbnb are very efficient and professionally run.
As always, if you need more ideas, want to have a chat or tell me of your successes, contact me.
Get a free house
Many people will give you an existing house when they want to build. There are usually 7 or 8 free houses listed on tradingpost.com.au and more on gumtree.com.au Search, you guessed it: 'free house'. You will need to get the house moved to a new location as they are probably going to build a new home on the land. Be creative in getting the house moved for free. However, even if you need to pay $30,000 it's a lot less than say, $200,000. The house may need some work, but you can get help from friends or do it yourself in your own good time.
When I was a youngster, friends would get a large area of land and then, one by one, build each other's houses on it. Someone would be a builder, plumber, electrician, plasterer etc. Or they would in turn call on help from other friends. Why not do this? Then work on getting the materials you need for free, or at least at trade price. One of the brightest ideas for getting your own home is to build or obtain a small one that you can enlarge later, if you decide to.
I will be expanding this section and including 'free land' later on. However, use the ideas on this site, especially under 'free accomodation' above. Or think of your own creative ideas.
Arrange a community barter system in your locality. Any family can gain a minimum $10,000 benefit every year by using barter. And this is without any membership or other cost.
Talk to people you know to SWAP things with each other at a 'swap-meet' at someone's home or community space. You can get toys for children, clothes for the family and many other things. Someone gave me an old pushbike. I asked a fellow who sells bikes from home if he’d fix it up for me for free and he did. He has sent hundreds of free bikes to Asia to help people.
How to look your best. I was a partner in an image consultancy business. We helped people discover their best colours, styles and accessories to wear. We held swap days so everyone could exchange things that didn't suit them for things that looked great. You can arrange swap days for toys, kid's clothes, kitchen goods, furniture (have photographs of large items if you can't bring them with you), garden tools, electrical goods, plants, books or presents you've been given that are unloved. Anything can be swapped. Even services. Just go for it. Whenever we do these things, we're building true communities.
Just ask more people if you can’t find anyone to help out. Persistence is magical!
You can always start a help group in your local area! No permission is needed. Just do it. Isn’t this the best way to help each other – freely and with unconditional love?
How to get paid work
If you want work, do this: 1. decide what you most like to do. 2. Find a local business or group you would love to work with, doing what you really enjoy. They do not need to be offering a job. 3. Contact them and tell them you want to work specifically with them. Tell them why. I told a friend, Laurie, to do this and he got a great job doing what he loved. His job hadn't been advertised.
With any business owner, you can offer to work for $1 a week for a week or two so they can see how you will benefit their business. Always remember, it’s easier to get work when you're actually working, even if it's for free, than if you are just worrying about it.
If you want a different job, why not create your own? There are hundreds of services you can offer, many in people's homes. Some are common like lawn moving, concrete cleaning (high pressure water), babysitting or housesitting (you can be paid to do this), dog walking, gardening, painting, cleaning, massage, hairdressing, odd jobs etc. Many are more unusual like coaching, cooking, driving, reading stories, shopping, tutoring, image consulting, make-up, decorating, as a companion, handling clutter in someone’s home or business etc. It’s easy. Think of something you enjoy doing. Use the ideas on this website to get the things and equipment you need to start. Let your friends know what you are doing. They'll help. Door knock. letterbox your leaflets or put notices up in the locality you would like to work in. You could start by offering a special introductory price. There are many people who would love some help and could afford $10 to $20 an hour. If you only did 20 hours in a week, that's $200 to $400! Think about it. This will work for you - if you do it!
Offer a Money Back Guarantee. This puts client's minds at ease and will get you more work. It keeps you on your toes, delivering your best work. People hardly ever want their money back. Especially as you do an honest job.
If you enjoy walking, get a job letterboxing leaflets or making appointments for other representatives. With either, pick an ethical company with products you use or love. Making appointments can be very rewarding financially, in increasing your confidence and in job satisfaction. It’s a good way to be paid getting fit.
If you make appointments or supply things to people, here’s another secret of production; the speed with which you move things along will determine how much success you have. Imagine you take an order at 11am for something. If you organise things so the item can be in the mail the same day, that is very powerful. Often when I was selling ceiling insulation (it was a superb product from a great company with a lifelong guarantee) if I took orders in the evening and I was anywhere near head office, I’d drive to deliver the order that night. Keep in mind, this was before the computer age. It has happened that the company did the work the next day. Now that’s what you call service!
It’s perfectly OK to give any job a go if it interests you. If later, even a couple of weeks later, you realise it's not for you and you don’t enjoy it, you can leave having gained more experience and being closer to doing something you love.
Sell products or services door to door. This was common many years ago. Why not do this now? You could sell your own products or some of the thousands of goods and services made by commercial or home businesses. It doesn’t matter if things aren’t usually sold door to door. If no one else is doing it, that’s great. No competition.
I worked on a fruit and veg truck we drove around local areas. This would be a great business for someone to run now. Imagine getting fresh food delivered to your front door, with no delivery costs or spending time, petrol costs or hassle? This would be even better if the produce was organic and free from sugar, fluoride and gluten. With any similar work, just find out what goods and services people need and want. Look at what you would like to supply. Then do so.
You can get a job! I have no doubt that anyone who really wants a job, can get one by learning how. That's a strong statement so if you need a hand, contact me. Or get a group of people together and I'll run a free workshop for you. But first, re-read everything under ‘Free Things’ and be your creative self. Keep in mind, if you’re trying to get jobs that you don’t really enjoy, you may not succeed - for the reason that you don't really want that job. This happened to me when I left school though I didn’t know it at the time. I tried to get work for nearly a year. I dressed and spoke well and was punctual, but no job. Finally, I applied for one that excited me and got it. I was there for 3.5 years until I got excited about another job and was there for 8 years.
You can always sell some things to get money to buy things you need. If you don't have things to sell, get some for free.
Place free ‘For Sale’ ads in newspapers. For example, Saturday's ʻWeekend Shopperʼ in Queensland's Courier Mail newspaper offers 5 free ads. Their sister paper, the Gold Coast Bulletinʼs ʻMarketplaceʼ each Friday gives 3 free ads. No cost ever. Just register on either website to place ads on both. Ads are free every week for individual items up to $500 each (a total of $4,000 worth of free things to advertise each week). Write good descriptions. Use all the lines you get. Place ads by Tuesday. Keep a copy in case something doesn't sell the first week.
If your local paper doesn't have free ads, contact them and suggest they do. It will increase their readers. The ʻWanted' or 'Garage Sale' ads usually have a cost so donʼt use those if you can't afford it. If pictures are free, include them with your ads when selling anything. Ads and pictures on Gumtree, Australia-wide, are free, with no limit on the selling price or the number of ads you place. Someone just told me half his business income comes via free ads on Gumtree.
Search around. You'll find other free places to sell your things, sometimes even on radio. Put notices up listing all the items you want to sell. This can even become a job.
Hold a Garage Sale. Be sure to clean everything well before the Saturday or Sunday (I once held a garage sale on a Friday evening near a shopping centre). First, thoroughly clean things, THEN price them. Open from 7am (sharp) till at least Noon or up to 5pm. The key to success is to clean and price things well before your sale and put up lots and lots of EASY TO READ signs, up to a kilometre away. Put signs on busy street intersections or near shopping centers. Make sure you make a note of where you put signs and remove them straight after your sale. Ask friends and neighbours to donate free things that you can sell.
Any committed volunteer group can, by using these ideas, make tens of thousands of dollars each year. If you need more details, contact Dennis.
If you need new skills or retraining to get a job you love, see below.
Get a free education
Some people believe they aren’t qualified enough to do the work they would really enjoy. It may be just a matter of changing your mind. Of being more condident. However, if you do need upgraded skills, this is easily handled. Find someone or a company who is excellent at doing what you want to do. Tell them your story. Ask them to train you for free - full or part time. They’ll get the joy of helping you and the benefit of your free help/ production while you learn and improve. There are hundreds of businesses and individuals who could train you. Such training can cover computers, security, cooking, services, sales, receptionist work, cleaning, gardening, sewing, vehicle maintenance, painting, carpet laying, fashion design, decorating, handyman, coffee maker, carpentry, etc. There are hundreds of things you can be trained in. Just make sure it's something you enjoy.
Many businesses offer free training, on their computers. Apple is the clear leader. Every Apple shop and many of their agencies have free, regular hands-on workshops. Many other companies offer free training. Just ask. There are thousands of free computer tutorials on the internet. Some libraries offer free computer/ internet courses.
The range of free help you can personally get - one on one - covers health, education, finance, business, relationships, personal development, vehicle repair and maintenance, cooking, computing, growing produce, getting work, all aspects of building, raising animals, being happy, sewing, decorating, craft and dozens of other skills. The list is almost endless. Just borrow a phone with free calls and a good ‘loudspeak’ function and have fun. Why not have a few friends with you so you can all learn together? Ask if it’s OK to do that and to record their help.
Why am I confident you can get work? Experience! My own and by training people. Once I was involved in training Beauty Therapists. Every girl I ever trained to get a job, though there weren't many, all got full time professional work. This was in an industry where only 5% of trained therapists ever get such a job. I taught students to look at it from the viewpoint of what the salon owner wanted. I said, "At work, start first, leave last, look neat, focus on the task you're doing, respect the client and other staff, be reliable and make people feel good." If you do that, they'll never want you to leave. They may ask you to manage their salon or, with those values, you could easily start your own salon.
Free software, eBooks, test exams, etc. Text and other instructional books used to cost a small fortune. No longer. Visit http://www.techsupportalert.com This site is extremely comprehensive: a world of free knowledge. You can get hundreds of thousands of free eBooks, audio books and videos. They link to free software covering Mac, Linux, Windows and other operating systems. Another excellent site is: freebookcentre.net which contains links to thousands of free online technical books. Using the free training courses and textbooks on both these sites could see you with a new career. At no financial cost. Every subject you could ever be interested in is covered free on the net.
Let's say it takes 300 hours for you to learn a new subject. How many hours do you drive each week or do tasks when you could listen as well? If it's just 10 hours, in 30 weeks of listening to audio tapes you could learn a new skill, or certainly the theory of it. You could become well acquainted with a new language, understand law, ecology and so on. If you doubled the time and included some practical work, you could be skilled in less than 3 months.
Free advice can really help you. There are thousands of highly capable people with a wealth of abilities and practical experience in all areas. Many will be happy to share their knowledge or skills to help you, your group or business.
You can write essays and even books and have them edited or marked for free. Universities or tech colleges are good places to start. Just ask around for someone who understands grammar etc. I've had free editing done this way.
This is also how you can share your own talents.
If you need a free computer, iPod, printer etc. see 'Get free computers, printers and accessories' below. 'Free internet' may also help you.
If you play music, sing, dance or have some other talent, call in some of the larger local restaurants and say you will play for nothing but would love free meals. You can also offer to let them put your paintings to decorate their walls. Put your name and a price on the paintings and give say, 20%, to the owner.
So, go for the work you really enjoy. Years back I used to help people get ‘a’ job. Now I only help people get ‘the’ job. The one they really want. This makes it so much easier. When you love what you do, you will be good at it, you’ll always eager to improve and, because people will see your excitement and effectiveness, they’ll hire you. And give you a very good exchange!
The secret is to let people know. Whether you want work, free items, to exchange things or a hand with something, just increase your outflow. The more people you ask or notify, the more help, work, sales – or even friends to go out with – you’ll get. You can prove it by keeping statistics (counting) how much outflow you get out. Stats are valuable. Create a point system. You could, for example, give 1 point for each leaflet you letterbox, 50 for each notice you put up, and 10,000 points for each minute you get on television. You will see on the graph that what you get out parallels what you get in. It works like magic.
Many of these jobs have very low overheads working in or from your own home. Working in client's homes or business, you can use their electricity, water and possibly their equipment.
How to get free transport
Get a free bicycle and a carrier or backpack to use on it, by following the above ideas. Not only will you get around for free, you'll be so healthy you'll live forever. If you need to travel longer distances, get an electric bike. They can do about 20kph for 25kms. These bikes, up to a certain motor limit, need no registration, insurance or rider's licence. Very helpful if a Driver licence is suspended. A small motor bike or scooter will also get you around very cheaply.
Hitch-hiking is free and can be a joy meeting people. The best way to hitch is to look neat and hold up a sign, clearly showing where you're going, e.g. 'TOWARDS SYDNEY PLEASE'. A humorous slogan like ‘BYRON OR BUST’ can help. Always be intuitive with whom you accept a lift from. You might get a lift more quickly near a Petrol Station or highway entrance. Drivers then have more time to decide to give you a lift. Yesterday I did a 120 km return journey by hitching. I had a clear sign and got each of the four lifts quickly. I was able to give one fellow, Ry, some ideas on traveling the world cheaply and how to handle a couple of financial matters. A girl gave me a lift because she remembered she had gotten a free book from my market stand. We had a great chat. Another good idea is, when you know where you want to go, tell your friends. Ask them to let you know when they or their friends are going that way.
So many benefits come from hitching. We save petrol. We save money. We meet some fabulous people. We build community. So whether we are picking someone up or doing the hitching, lets make it something we all do often. We could easily have 10% of less vehicles on the road and that would speed up traffic. There are hitchhiking clubs the world over. The largest seems to be: http://hitchwiki.org/en/Hitchhiking_clubs though they don't list local clubs in Australia. With our friendly nature and vast country, that's surprising.
Get the free use of a car from someone who has had their Driver Licence suspended. Someone let me use their car for a couple of months because of this.
Get free vehicle registration. Seniors in NSW get free car registration. You still need to pay the insurance.
Visit local backpacking accommodation. There are probably thousands around Australia. Read signs on their Notice Boards or put your own up saying where you want to go. You could say you will share the driving or contribute to fuel costs. backpack hostels are a great way to find a cheap vehicle to buy, especially to live or camp in. Many travellers have to sell quickly when they are leaving Australia. Instead of just using notices on their boards, you can also ask people for what you want.
Get free fuel with used cooking oil. Ask at fish and chip shops, clubs, restaurants etc. for their used oil. Coconut is another oil to use. Oil is a little time consuming to process but is fine as fuel.
Some of the private, long distance bus companies might give you a free seat if you ask. You could offer to travel at a time when they aren't full. You could exchange walking around with their poster for a free trip.
Walking is a fabulous exercise. One of the very best. So if you do lots of walking to get where you want to go, you'll get fit and be healthier. You’ll also have time to enjoy the views, talk to people and smell the roses.
Let's create a society where it's natural and very common to ask for help and to give people a hand. When someone helps you, write and thank them. A hand-written letter is best, even if only a line or two. Don't wait until you need help again. Do it straight away.
Helping others – for free
Make gifts for people if you can’t afford to buy them things, whether for Christmas, birthdays, Easter or to thank them for helping you – which is a great idea. Any of us can give a gift of doing something for someone. Just write a nice card (making it yourself will be more appreciated) and give your offer: massage, lawn mowing, gardening, car or house cleaning, painting, sewing, tuition, cooking (what about a delicious cake?), baby sitting, shopping, organising in the house or garage, even little repair jobs. If you can't draw pictures for a card, cut them from a magazine or get free images on the internet.
If you have things to give away, list them on Freecycle.org (see ‘Links’). Instead of giving things to an op shop to be sold, I take the extra time to find people who need the items and I give to them. You'd like someone to do that for you, wouldn't you! Or offer things to neighbours. Before giving things away, I clean them and make sure they work well.
Give special gifts. Some people believe that if they give you something for free, it doesn't really have to work, look good or be of any quality. Some think that the receiver should be happy to get it just because it's free. Some even give things in poor condition just to get rid of it. To dump it. I have an entirely different view, which is why I only give new gifts in the Spirit of Christmas shops and why I take the time to clean and polish the books I give away, with eucalyptus oil. i've also had the edges of hundreds of softcover books trimmed so they look new. The things I give away are usually in top condition, even new. Can I suggest that it's a joy to serve others, so give the best things you can. That is what you yourself would appreciate, isn't it?
When your own needs are met, why not 'Pay it Forward'? That's the title of an inspiring movie which I recommend. Find someone locally who doesn’t have much and help them have a great Christmas, or a better life. How? Just love them by showing you care. Invite them for a meal or at least a cuppa, do their lawn, help clean their house, do the washing or washing up, repair their clothes or car, take them to the shops or an outing or take them some food. Find paid work for them, no matter how little, or help them volunteer. Give them some free fresh flowers. Just find someone who has lovely garden flowers and ask for a free bunch. that's how I just got a superb bunch for my sister's birthday.
Give things away. Set up a table at the local shops or market and give things away. Imagine the fun you can have. A friend of mine is about to start a free Friday Fair near his work and give some free food and other things away. why not offer people a free back rub, free hugs or even a free drink. I often give free 5 minute back massages at the markets. One market day we had seven people in a ‘Congo line’ giving back massages. Just be creative. Have fun. Share your love!
Many people just need someone to talk to. When I close the ‘Spirit of Christmas’ shop on Christmas Eve, I take new presents to a few hospitals. I ask nurses on the different words to point out patients who are doing it tough. I find that it's not the gifts that patients most appreciate, it's just talking with someone who cares and will listen. Other times I read stories to patients. I love doing the different voices.
Money is only one of many ways to get things. Expand your thoughts to include barter, finding or winning something or being given what you need perhaps as a surprise gift. You may be amazed when, by asking for something, you are given it. And if you only need to use something for a short time, why not borrow what you need? You could even make what it is that you want. For example, if you wanted toys for children, even if you don’t have any tools, you could go to a timber yard and get some free timber and borrow tools to make something. If you have any qualifications in such a field, this would be very easy. And remember, if you've been very good, Santa will bring you presents!
The most beautiful gift you can give anyone is love. No material object can match it. A delightful way to make people feel good is to simply thank them for something. I often tell people that I love their garden, shop window, clothes, car, dog etc. When I see a cleaner working in a shopping mall, I say, "So you're the reason the place looks so clean?" It brings a smile to both our faces
Recall the best times in your life. Don't most of them involve love, giving or helping, not material things? Let's stop waiting for others to turn things around for us and our communities. Let's make it happen ourselves!
Some people tell me they would love to do what I do. I say, "If that's what you truly want, then do it." However, you don't have to give everything away and never charge people for things. Just follow your excitement and give a hand whenever it feels right. It's wonderful when we do this without any expectation. This will change your life and your world.
Our lives are not about where we live, our jobs, how much we have or how we look. It's about who we are and what we do.
It's not about money or material things. It's about love and caring.
Love is truly the greatest gift.