lending insights

8 Gifts That Do Not Cost a Cent

Gift giving can be overwhelming, anxiety-provoking, and expensive. But the old adage "the best gift is the one that doesn't cost a thing" is perhaps true!

Here are 8 gifts that don't cost anything–and are worth more than money can buy!

1. The gift of listening. But you must REALLY listen. No interrupting, no daydreaming, no planning your response. Just listening.

2. The gift of affection. Be generous with appropriate hugs, kisses, pats on the back, and handholds. Let these small actions demonstrate the love you have for family and friends.

3. The gift of laughter. Clip cartoons. Share articles and funny stories. Your gift will say, "I love to laugh with you."

4. The gift of a written note. It can be a simple, "Thanks for the help" note or a full sonnet. A brief, handwritten note may be remembered for a lifetime, and may even change a life.

5. The gift of a compliment. A simple and sincere, "You look great in red," or "You did a super job," or "That was a wonderful meal" can make someone's day.

6. The gift of a favor. Every day go out of your way to do something kind.

7. The gift of solitude. There are times when we want nothing better than to be left alone. Be sensitive to those times and give the gift of solitude to others.

8. The gift of a cheerful disposition. The easiest way to feel good is to extend a kind word to someone. Really, it's not that hard to say, "Hello" or "Thank You."

So before you head out to shop for the perfect gift, remember the most meaningful–and often most momentous gifts–are those that come from within.

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6 Booking Secrets for Travelers

You can start saving money before you go anywhere with these six quick travel booking tips:

Don't immediately book airfare online—call the airlines directly and compare from there. Phone agents often get access to deals not posted on the web—and even if there is a service fee, it may still save you in the long run.