blog Personal Finance | 3min Read

Move to Earn

Published on June 30, 2022

blog Personal Finance

Move to Earn

Move to Earn – The Latest Crypto Craze!

You have definitely heard about the proverb – “Health is Wealth” but guess what? In the past few months, Move-to-Earn applications have built an environment where users can earn money by engaging in different kinds of physical activities. 

New startups that are built on the move-to-earn model are creating a new category of organizations called “FitnessFi”, where the “Fi” stands for finance. Until now, fitness applications would reward users with in-app memorabilia (badges, trophies, etc) and reward points that they could use to get discounts at a variety of stores but Web3/Blockchain Based M2E (Move-to-Earn) startups are rewarding users with digital assets that you can trade for good ol’ cash!

Studies have shown that an application that rewards users for physical activity will greatly increase physical activity levels among people, which is a priority in the digital age that we live in. While the advent of smart wearables contributed to this, these new M2E applications have absolutely blown up and have grabbed the attention of everybody!

StepN – A Pioneer in the M2E Space! 

Yawn Rong, Co-Founder of StepN and a serial entrepreneur, says that his main goal with StepN was to incentivize people to change their behavior so that they participate in exercise and bring Web3 products to fitness enthusiasts, thus promoting blockchain and its use cases to more and more people.  

Launched in December 2021, StepN is a Web3 M2E startup built on the blockchain where users earn money by engaging in three basic physical activities – walking, jogging and running! Users are paid out in the native token/cryptocurrency of StepN which is GST (which you can trade for INR/USD). The current trading price of GST is $0.5 a token. 

The Web3 startup is already valued at a figure upwards of 1 billion dollars and is backed by well-known venture capital companies such as Sequoia Capital, Folius Ventures, and the mammoth cryptocurrency exchange – Binance. Within 10 months since its inception, StepN has gained massive amounts of traction and already boasts a 300000+ daily active user count! The crazy part is that it has still not reached its full potential yet as traditional fitness reward businesses have 100 million+ users on their platform!

How Does It Work?

Since the app is in an invite-only phase, users can ask for codes from existing users to sign up and get started. To start earning some crypto, users must purchase a Sneaker – NFT from the app’s built-in marketplace. Users start out with 2 energy (1 energy = 5 minutes of non-stop physical activity). Then they must walk, jog or run for a certain amount of time while staying within the speed limits of their particular sneakers to get rewarded! The reward given out to the user depends on a number of variables – sneaker rarity, the average speed during physical activity, internet connectivity, and GPS signal strength.

The virtual sneakers are non-fungible tokens that can be bought and sold among the users inside the StepN app itself. There are four types of sneakers one can buy (depending on the effort the user wishes to put into their exercise)  and the rewards earned through it increase as we go down the list:

  • Walker – 1 to 6 km/hr
  • Jogger – 4 to 10 km/hr
  • Runner – 8 to 20 km/hr
  • Trainer – 1 to 20 km/hr

The Conclusion

The innovation that the team at StepN has brought coupled with the support from traditional sportswear industry giants could bring a huge impact centered around health and well-being. The company from Adelaide is looking to expand its team from 70 members that are spread across Australia, the U.S, U.K, as it strives to move on to the next phase of building the company. The blockchain – application is built on the Solana (SOL) network which is seen as an environmentally – friendly blockchain network when compared to other renowned networks like Bitcoin and Ethereum.

In today’s market where the bears are in control and fear is at its peak, StepN continues to be one of the few projects that have been continuously onboarding thousands of users every day because of the wonderful mission and the team behind it!

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blog Personal Finance | 2min Read

Financial Planning – How to Save Money As A Student

Published on April 13, 2022

blog Personal Finance

Financial Planning – How to Save Money As A Student

Financial Planning helps you fulfill all your dreams and goals in a systematic and planned manner. Managing your money need not be boring. It’s not rocket science and you need not be an adult with a financial background. You only need to show a bit of commitment!

Q. I’m still a student, am I not too young?

A. You need to start practicing now so that you can manage it better when you grow up.

Q. I have no income!

A. Pocket Money, money gifted to you, borrowed from parents, internship stipends, earning from house chores – these are all sources of income.

Q. How will this help me?

A. Don’t you want to earn more? Retire rich & early? Live comfortably? Make your dreams come true? If yes, then Financial planning is the way.

Now that you know the WHY, Let’s move on to the HOW!

1. Planning the MANTRA to success!

All of us have dreams. But how many achieve theirs?

First step in realizing any dream, financial or otherwise is to put it in writing—i.e., to set a goal. Dreams should be translated into SMART goals if they are to be realized. SMART goal is

Tip From Mentor: Spend on – Needs first! Wants later! Waste Never!

2. Planning the MANTRA to success!

A well-crafted budget can help you identify areas where you are spending unnecessarily. You can thus further reduce your expenses, improve savings, build assets and thus meet your goals/dreams faster.

  • Track/ record your money on apps like Spending tracker, Goodbudget App, or Excel sheet
  • Trim all the extra/unnecessary expenses

Envelope Budgeting – A certain amount of money is set aside (allocated) for a specific purpose or category, in an envelope marked for that purpose.

3. The Savings Mantra Start NOW! Save First! Save Regularly!

Time is Money’ and certainly so. The surest way to save is to make ‘saving’ your first and most important expense. There is no better time to start saving than NOW.

If you do not have a savings account, open one NOW! Keep your savings in a saving account instead of storing at home in a piggy bank. It’s not only safe but also gives an annual interest. Thus, making your money grow.

4. The Savings Mantra Start NOW! Save First! Save Regularly!

The investment allows you to build wealth by making your money earn steady returns and grow over a period of time. You don’t need a significant amount, you can start with an amount as low as Rs 50. per month. Start with low-risk channels like Bank Deposits, Post office deposits, Bonds & Debt Funds. If you start investing today, you cannot imagine the amount of wealth you would build by investing for 40 years. Time will be on your side.

Proper Financial Planning will help you achieve financial freedom, where you would no longer need to work for money, instead, your money would work for you.

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blog Personal Finance | 7min Read

The 52-Week Money Challenge for Students

Published on April 6, 2022

blog Personal Finance

The 52-Week Money Challenge for Students

“Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving.”- Warren Buffet

When you have money in hand, you’ll find a hundred ways to spend it. But in how many ways can you save it? The abundance of savings you have goes hand-in-hand with your financial independence. There are a lot of categories of saving plans to improve your financial stability. Still, often, it’s difficult to find an efficient money-saving plan for students that is easy to follow and can help you save money consistently. 

Folks, it’s time to forget the complicated saving plans because we have a challenge for you!

Did you know you can save Rs.1,37,800 by starting to save just Rs.100 a week in one year? And you can buy one brand new MacBook Pro or two latest iPhones with this money! Sounds a bit confusing and tough to believe, right? But that’s the magic behind this 52-week challenge! So, hop on to discover more about this challenge.

What is the 52-Week Money Challenge?

Money challenges can make the whole concept of a money-saving plan for students more fun and give them the much-needed motivation to save even more. The 52-week challenge is a strategic approach to save a certain amount every week over a period of 52 weeks, i.e. one year. If you keep up and follow it throughout the year you’ll end up saving a good amount of money in the end.

For the 52-week money challenge, you can start by saving money in multiples of Rs. 50 every week. You save and keep aside Rs.50 in your first week, Rs.100 in your second week, Rs.150 in the third week, and you’ll end this year by saving Rs. 2,600 in the final week. If we add up these total savings, it would be Rs. 68,900. 

Check the sheet below to understand the amounts of money you will be saving every week, throughout the year.

You can use this planner as a checklist to keep a track of the amount of money you are saving each week.

How to Get Started and Stay on Track?

So, the very first thing to start with is deciding where to store your savings. It’s advisable to keep the money in your bank account. You may consider opening a high-yield savings account and transferring the money every week from your main account. You can automate the process by getting in touch with the bank officials, making it easier for you.

To stay on track you have to consider a couple of points:

  1. Set reminders on the calendar and get weekly notifications so that you don’t forget about the challenge. Money management apps can come in handy in this case. 
  2. To get some extra motivation, set certain benchmarks for yourself like rewarding yourself at the end of every 5 or 10 weeks.    
  3. Ask your family members and friends to take up the challenge. Keep checking on each other on a monthly basis to ensure you’re keeping up with the challenge. 

How to Make it Work?

If you take a look at the challenge sheet, you’ll see that you start by saving Rs. 50, Rs. 100 and so on per week. But by the end of the year, you need to be saving Rs. 2600 in a week. How to save this amount of money?

  1. 52-weeks is a long time, and you need to take small steps to reach the end. You can start by limiting those frequent visits to cafes, fast food restaurants, and eating inside. This will help you to save some of your pocket money for the challenge. 
  2. While ordering pizza next time, maybe cancel on that extra cheese burst and toppings that would fulfill the initial weeks of the challenge. 
  3. A huge amount of money is to be saved in the last quarter of this challenge. For the last 3 months, you can start cutting down on some unnecessary subscriptions or outings. Utilize that time to learn and grasp financial literacy crafts that would help you to make some extra money.
  4. Inform your parents that you’re taking this challenge up and ask for their assistance in the last 3 months if you’re falling short of the challenge money. 
  5. Make use of those hefty student discounts and save money on academic courses, software, travel, food, retail, etc. 
  6. Prepare your monthly budget accordingly by keeping the challenge in mind, and the money you would dedicate every month towards it.
  7. Is saving regularly enough? It can be. But what’s better is that you can make this money grow. Start studying about investment options available for you as a student, set a target to invest a specific amount after every 4 weeks, and watch it grow as you progress further.

Even after this, if you feel that starting with Rs. 50 is not feasible for you, don’t worry! You can start saving only as much as 10 bucks a week as well. Just building the habit of saving is important. 

Have a look at the image below to understand how much money you would save in 52 weeks if you start with Rs. 10, Rs. 20, Rs. 30, etc.

The ball is in your court now, on what amount to start with, when to begin and how you would bring the best out of this challenge for yourself.

Benefits of the 52-Week Money Challenge

Alright, we hear you! Savings are important and you are well aware of that. But why should you follow the 52-week challenge? Let’s have a quick look at the top 3 advantages of the 52-week challenge:

  1. By taking up this challenge, you are taking small steps towards your savings plan and financial goals for the future. A huge sum doesn’t just appear in your account one day out of nowhere. It has to be built consistently. The challenge helps you to save a larger amount by starting small
  2. Though you’re starting small, you can gain momentum slowly and notice results as each week passes by. This would motivate you to save more and encourage you to develop a long-term financial habit. 
  3. Taking small actions is always more convenient. Rather than saving large amounts like Rs.2,000 or Rs.5,000 at the end of the month, you can focus on saving small amounts like Rs.30 or Rs.300 every week, without taking any extra load. 
  4. The challenge is surely going to check your perseverance. So, instead of spending on things that give you immediate gratification, you can delay your spending and end up buying something substantial for yourself.  

Tips for Completing 52-Week Money Challenge

Now that you know what is the 52-Week Money Challenge and the benefits it offers, here are some exclusive and fantastic tips from The Big Red Group that will help you to complete this challenge:

Tip Number 1: Pre-plan the amount to save along with your budget

While creating your monthly budget, calculate the amount that will go towards this challenge that month. Once you have it pre-planned, you can manage your other expenses accordingly and won’t face any issues by month-end.

Tip Number 2: Reduce your expenses wherever possible.

You won’t just end up with a large amount without cutting down your expenses. So, keep an eye on your daily expenses and avoid things that urge you to spend money. Start small by avoiding that extra cheese slice on your burger or taking an extra cup of cold drinks while you eat outside, and gradually you’ll save up money for the challenge. You can also gain some extra money by selling things that you don’t need.

Tip Number 3: Stay motivated and stick till the end.

The challenge is not meant to be easy for sure, so even if you have a few misses in between, that’s completely okay. Remember that you have already accomplished the most difficult part – getting started. Pat your back for that, and save whatever amount possible every week. You can save even in multiples of your favorite number and make things interesting.   

When to Start This Challenge and What to do With the Savings?

The most ideal time to start this challenge is at the start of the year along with your New Year Financial Resolutions. This helps you to keep track of both things simultaneously. However, this is not a rule, and you can literally begin with your challenge whenever you feel like taking one! The key is TO START, and you already have passed it!  

The amount that you save through this challenge can be used as an emergency fund, sinking fund, or even investment. You can also do something fun for yourself like buying things that are on your wishlist for a long time or planning a vacation for your family.

By taking this challenge, you are starting to build a strong financial base for yourself that will act propel you toward your dreams. Continuing to invest this money for the next few years can help you build a good sum and contribute to your university expenses or entrepreneurial endeavors.

Try out the 52-Week Money Challenge Now!

Needless to say, this 52-week challenge is just the first step toward a giant leap in your personal financial journey. It is an excellent opportunity to improve financial management skills, build money management skills for the future, and get used to financial goals. If you complete this challenge, do celebrate. But remember to save further and use this experience as a springboard for achieving your other financial goals.  

Looking for more such challenges and interesting things to learn about the financial world? Connect with The Big Red Group now and take a step towards your financial journey. 

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blog Personal Finance | 7min Read

The Ultimate Guide to Budgeting and Savings for Students

Published on March 31, 2022

blog Personal Finance

The Ultimate Guide to Budgeting and Savings for Students

Let’s start with a simple activity. Define the picture you see when you hear the word ‘budgeting’. 

Do you see a person sitting on a table with tons of bills like grocery, household, electricity, wifi & mobile plans, etc., taking a note of the money spent and making a list of it on the paper? Probably then, categorizing it further according to the different expenses categories and calculating the funds available in hand? Is this what you imagined? 

Well, it’s not you, it’s everyone! 

This same picture flashes in front of everyone on hearing ‘budget’, and that’s the very reason why people refrain from making one for themselves. But, is budgeting that boring? Does it give a hard time to everyone? Let’s dig in and find out. 

Do I ‘Really’ Need to Budget

Budgeting does sound like the cornerstone of your personal financial literacy, but the real question is “Do I need to budget?” Before jumping on to what is budgeting and how to create one for yourself, you have to understand your personal finances and see if a budget helps you in the process. 

You need to create a budget right away in the following scenarios:

  1. You are overspending every month on things like food, online shopping, electronic accessories, OTT platform subscriptions, etc., and need extra money other than your monthly allowances.
  2. You have set financial goals to achieve, but are having a hard time keeping up with them. You are finding it difficult to achieve them and skip them midway.
  3. You want to save more money every month and keep aside a certain portion for yourself, but are clueless on how to assign money for the expenses. 
  4. You are looking to have true financial freedom and gain complete control over your personal finances to be prepared for the future.   

If you find yourself in any of these scenarios, then it’s high time that you understand budgeting is an excellent tool for your financial future and would make your financial journey much easier.  

How to Create a Budget and Why is it so Important?

A classic financial budget helps you to spot where your money is going, and where you are spending more than you would have realized. So, it’s advisable to brainstorm for some time, understand your finances well before you pen it down. There’s a four-step approach you need to follow :

Step-1: Gather your allowances/income, and expenses in one place 

When you’re starting to create a plan, you first need to get a hold of all your money. This might be the first time you have set out to plan your money. For starters, you can record all the financial activities, expenses for a month or two. Eventually, you can make a note of the major expenditures that are expected in the upcoming months. 

Step-2: Create a budget worksheet/plan

Before Step 1, you had negligible visibility on the inflow and outflow of your money. By now, you know a bit about it.

Now, it’s time to get even more precise. 

Noting down your expenses and mentioning your plan on a budget worksheet is a good practice. You can simply check every month where you’re spending and how much are you left with at the end of the month. You can also make use of budgeting apps to view everything right on your smartphone.  

You can make use of some of the following budget templates when you sit down to create one: 

Microsoft My College Budget Worksheet: A budgeting template that is flexible even for high school students to track their expenses and manage personal finances. 

Microsoft Savings Estimator: A savings template that helps you set financial goals and visualizes savings plan details for effortless goal tracking.   

Microsoft College Expense Estimator: An easy-to-use expense estimator template that calculates the cost of living and other activities while in school. 

P.S. Although these templates are more oriented towards college students, you can get hands-on experience on them while in school, and utilize them in the best possible way while in college.

Step-3: Calculate each set of figures

Next, let’s get a holistic idea of your income, expenditure, and savings to be able to decide the future plan. Add your total income/monthly allowance, subtract your monthly expenses from it, and you get a picture of your financial health. Pat your back, if this amount is a good number, as you can use that money for savings or invest it in the right place. And if your expense tab is larger than your income, then don’t press the panic button just yet, but do make some changes in your spending plan.

Step-4: Analyze your expenses

Drill down on your expenses and categorize them into fixed expenses like school supplies, transport, phone/internet bills and variable expenses like fast food, trips with friends, clothing, etc. Look at the opportunities where you can end up saving money for yourself.

How do I Stick to a Budget?

The plan’s ready, now let’s have a look at the implementation part and how to stick to your budget till the end. Keeping a budget is not easy. You can have a bad month, feel discouraged and just give up on it. This is undoubtedly the hardest part of the process, and if you ask the adults in your house about it – you’ll end up getting the same answer. While you can get some useful advice from them too, we would like to add a few more points to that – 

  1. Don’t set an unrealistic budget or a process that you can’t handle currently and is way out of your scope. Take all financial and external factors into consideration before you begin. Because once you go even a little out of the line, you would eventually feel like giving up the entire plan.  
  2. Think twice before making any purchases, ask yourself if it is the need of the hour, and do I need to buy it right away? This would help you to steer clear of large amounts that negatively affect your budget.
  3. Apprehend the concept of ‘budgeting to zero’, i.e. while creating a budget, your income (allowance) minus expenses should be zero. So, when you budget to zero, all the buffer or extra money altogether contributes to your savings and allows you to take complete control over personal finances. You can make use of investment plans for students to put this extra money to the right use. 

The BRG Exclusive Budgeting and Saving Tips

Tip #1: Avoid Unnecessary Purchases

Think twice before you buy things like electronic gadgets, OTT platform subscriptions, expensive food, etc. Ask yourself if the purchase is necessary and would it benefit you? Most times, such big purchases mess up your budget making it difficult to get back on track again. Make use of student discounts wherever and whenever possible to save up some money. 

Tip #2: Don’t spend more than what you have in hand

Overspending is certainly not a good habit, and you would end up in debt soon if you continue doing so. If you can’t afford something or don’t have enough money, put it off for next time. 

Tip #3: Try a No-Spend Challenge

You can take up this challenge and go on a spending freeze or spend fast for a week, fortnight, or even more. The idea is not to spend money on any unnecessary things and limit yourself to spending very little. To make it more fun you can challenge your friends, and family and see who saved the most in the end. 

Tip #4: Connect your spending with your Income/Allowance

You get your monthly/weekly allowances from parents, and similarly, you can also make use of financial crafts to make some money of your own. An important aspect of budgeting is to reframe the way you look at money. So, before spending on anything, take a moment to reflect upon the efforts that you or your parents have undergone to earn that amount of money. 

Tip #5: Treat yourself to achieving your goals

Remember, budgeting or personal finances isn’t just about discipline, but it’s an approach to set and reach your financial goals. So, carry along with the fun, reward yourself when you stick to your budget every month, and don’t look at it as a chore, but a fun activity.  

Wrapping Up

With this, now you should have a good idea of how to create a budget for yourself, stick to it, and improve your financial literacy. Budgeting is all about making a plan to bring your financial life on track and putting in efforts to stay committed to it. So, no more worrying about where your money went at the end of the month because now you have your plan to gain financial freedom right in school.

That’s all folks! But if you have any more doubts related to budgeting, savings, or want to explore more about finance, The Big Red Group is right here to lend you a helping hand. Connect with us now. 

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blog Money Personal Finance | 5min Read

5 Financial New Year Resolutions for Students in 2022

Published on February 12, 2022

blog Money Personal Finance

5 Financial New Year Resolutions for Students in 2022

Wishing you all a very happy new year! Like every other new year, you probably are coming across tons of posts on social media, advertisements, TVs and even your family members would have asked you at once – “What’s your New Year Resolution?”

Still in dilemma, are you?

Setting resolutions and following them seems like a difficult task, right? Let’s try setting goals that you want to achieve this year! Then, the things you need to do to achieve these goals, become your resolutions for the year. Simple?

Think about your top 3 goals this year. 

Now, write them down on a piece of paper.

Ask yourself – Do any of these goals involve developing money management skills?

If yes, you’re in the right place! If not, maybe you need to understand this! Think about it – this is probably the first time you are being told to plan about money while setting your new year’s resolutions, isn’t it?

While students plan to create general resolutions related to their school, grades, extra-curricular activities, learning a new sport or hobby, staying fit, etc. they often forget about one of the important aspects, i.e. finance and money.

It’s high time you embrace money management skills and the best way to do so is by incorporating them into your new year’s resolutions! So, let’s have a look at these unique financial resolutions and how they are going to change the course of your financial journey this year.

Why Should You Set Financial New Year Resolutions?

Buying a new gadget, starting a new project, eating healthy and staying fit, going on a thrilling adventure, etc. have been some of the most common new year resolutions you’d come across. But this year, you can literally live by the popular “New Year, New Me.” saying, and set an example for your friends! Finance plays a pivotal role in everyone’s life and you can be the pioneer who sets financial resolutions this year! These resolutions will not only help you this year but will also prepare you for years to come.

5 Financial New Year Resolutions For Students

1. Save More. Worry Less.

Undoubtedly, the top financial resolution is saving more money. The first step starts with tracking your expenses, pocket money, and how much money you can save every month. Later, you can cut down your spendings on food, books, subscriptions, and other basic amenities. You can look for student discounts while spending on daily needs. Remember to “Pay yourself first.” i.e. “paying” your future self. Because if you pay yourself last, chances are, you won’t pay yourself at all. So, the next time you receive your pocket money, make sure you save wisely.

2. Budget, Budget, Budget.

Set a monthly budget for better money management and keeping good track of each and every expense. Develop your own financial plan by doing an analysis of your income/pocket money, expenses, and investments. Or if you have trouble sticking to a budget, you can make a spending plan instead, that will offer you more freedom and peace of mind. You can opt for the old-fashioned way with a pen and paper, or choose a money management and budgeting app that will serve your purpose. Having a foolproof and good budget will determine your financial success for the year, so pay special attention while making one!

3. Start Investing Right Away

Initially, many students are afraid of investing as they lack the proper knowledge on where, when, and how to invest their money. But once you explore and find out about the investment plans for students, you can gain confidence and start investing in the right way. Mutual funds, stocks, cryptocurrencies, etc. are some of the best investment options available. Set a monthly target of investing Rs. X, regardless of what’s going on in the markets. Therefore, a regular and systematic investing approach will help to achieve your financial goals and set a strong foundation for the long run.

4. Start An Emergency Fund

Apart from savings, investing, and managing your money, an emergency fund is one of the most important financial aspects that will help you with unexpected expenses. This fund should be designed specifically such that it would help you to withdraw the money whenever you need it without any delays. It cannot be built overnight, but gradually by setting aside some amount every month in a different bank account. Also, it’s fine to cut down on investments while building this. Experts often recommend having three to six months of living expenses as an emergency fund, and investing it in liquid funds as it provides better liquidity and higher returns compared to bank savings accounts.

5. Learn And Grow

As they say, “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing”. Make sure that you don’t just learn from a few resources and call yourself a financial expert. It’s a long journey, thereby understanding and having knowledge on all finance-related things is extremely critical to building wealth. You can learn and do your research through plenty of sources like finance newsletters, personal finance books, best finance podcasts for beginners, online classes, financial literacy courses, and more. Explore these resources in-depth as you can to clear your basics on personal finance, budgeting, investments, etc. Taking one step at a time will help you with your financial plan and these resolutions can act as a checklist to make brilliant progress in your financial journey this year.

Final Thoughts

Be it these financial resolutions or any other resolutions that you have planned for 2022, you are bound to have some obstacles coming your way. There will be times when you just feel like giving up and changing your path, but believe us that’s just a phase and it will pass. Don’t try to follow 50, 100, or 200 resolutions, stick to just one or two, and try to achieve them. So, say au revoir to 2021 and embrace 2022 by sticking to these financial resolutions and fulfilling them this year! Will you? Come, join hands with The Big Red Group and complete your new year financial resolutions together.

P.S. Good financial resolutions aren’t always related to saving money and investments. Resolving to donate to a worthy cause in 2022 is a magnificent way to spread positivity and make a difference. Take some time to research some of the notable charities in your locality and try helping out the ones in need. Your small actions can go a long way!

Ready with your resolutions now? Don’t forget to share them in the comments below!

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