The members of the Money Blog Network are posting their various suggestions on what money-related steps should be taken before the end of the year. Here's mine:
Make your charitable deductions before December 31.
I don't know if it's the holiday season, the looming tax man next year, or a combination of the two, but for some reason, December is a huge month for charitable contributions:
Nationwide, charities draw half their donations during the holiday period, according to Charity Navigator, an online service that evaluates nonprofits.
The piece above seems to indicate that taxes drive a lot of the giving. For instance:
"Typically, I will get a call from a client when they realize they have a big tax liability, and they want to know what they can do," Wolfe said. "There's not a lot you can do in the last few months."
Personally, I have my giving budgeted at the beginning of the year and I'm usually a bit ahead, so I just "top off" in December. But this year I'm way ahead and was done in November (FYI, here are some charities I support and I also like this idea). Why? Because I've been giving in chunks to avoid capital gains taxes and change around my portfolio -- something you can do as well (by giving appreciated stocks.)
But if you still have some to give this year and want to either avoid taxes or simply help out those who are less fortunate, be sure to get those donations in by December 31 so you can claim them on your 2007 tax returns.
Here are some more end-of-year thoughts from the other Money Blog Network members:
For more thoughts on giving from me, see these links: