11 Tips For Making Your Charitable Donation Count On Your Taxes

(from Kelly Phillips Erb’s 12/20/2015 Forbes article.  Click here for the original post.  Kelly is a staff writer for Forbes, goes by the handle Taxgirl® and has earned her JD, LLM in Taxation and spent time working for the IRS.  Follow Kelly on Twitter @taxgirl. Americans gave $358.38 billion in 2014, a 7.1% increase from 2013, and equivalent to a whopping 2% of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP). The majority of that giving, $258.51 billion, came from individuals, representing 72% of all charitable donors. Making a charitable donation is not only… [read more]
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Don’t Have a Perfect Holiday

I am one of those people who has a difficult time letting go of ‘perfect.’ As my time to write this blog approached, I was doing research on a variety of subjects that I thought might be good candidates for topics, but none of them felt appropriate for the season.   They were either too depressing (dementia) or dull (interest rates) or predictable.  I realized my need to write something that was ‘perfect’ was getting in the way of writing ANYTHING. And that’s one of the biggest problems with ‘perfect.’  Perfection isn’t really possible, so striving… [read more]
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High Yield’s High Wire Act

There are no guarantees in life, but as of this writing it seems all but certain that Janet Yellen and the Federal Reserve Board of Governors will announce an increase in the Federal Funds rate from 0.00% to 0.25% sometime this week. If they do, the increase will be the first since being lowered to 0% back in 2008, a strategy that has had a profound impact on how we spend, save and borrow money.  On one hand, debt has been cheap.  We’ve enjoyed 0% car loans, historically low mortgage rates and the like.  On… [read more]
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Don’t Let Holiday Stress Sabotage your Finances

We only have a few weeks left of 2015 and if your calendars are anything like mine the remaining days of the year are filling up fast with parties, bashes, gatherings, celebrations and all manner of holiday events.  As much fun as this time of year can be, it can also be one of the most stressful as we add to our already busy lives tasks like preparing the house for guests, making our favorite foods and finding and wrapping the perfect gifts for each of our loved ones.  If only I would have listened… [read more]
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10 Best Gift Cards to Give for the Holidays

(from Lara Fishbane’s 11/30/2015 KiplingerKip Tips” article published 11/30/2015.  Click here for the original post.  Lara is an editorial intern at Kiplinger, the former Executive Editor of The Georgetown Voice and currently part of the Designing the Future Fellowship, which spearheads experimentation and curriculum innovation on Georgetown’s campus.  Follow Kiplinger on Twitter @Kiplinger.)  Americans are projected to spend $131 billion on gift cards this year, with almost half of these sales coming during the holiday season.  The average consumer will buy between three and four gift cards, spending roughly $50… [read more]
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