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Discover how to have your best holiday season yet — without overspending.
The holiday season – and the end of the tax year – motivates many consumers to donate money to their favorite charities. In fact, the average person makes 24 percent of their annual donations between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, according to Charity Navigator. And after a two-year drop in charitable contributions – which has been the hardest hit those organizations have taken in more than forty years – the trend is finally beginning to turn around, according to the Giving USA Foundation.
So with more than half a million federally recognized charities soliciting contributions, chances are high that you will be asked to make a donation this year. The following are some tips to ensure that you are giving wisely:
For additional help selecting a charitable organization, visit CharityNavigator.org. A little research up front will make sure that your dollars are put to good use.
It is estimated that close to 500,000 people may find temporary employment this holiday season, putting some much-needed money into the wallets of consumers who haven’t had a paycheck in months.
There will be many legitimate uses for this money, but it will only stretch so far. Therefore, MMI and the NFCC suggest prioritizing the use of this money in the following order:
Even though saving is important, in this situation it is critical to bring past due accounts current before addressing saving. That will prevent eviction, foreclosure, repossession, and protect your existing credit, while making a significant step toward financial stability. Even though it will be tempting to spend this money on holiday gifts, it is more important to think long-term. Without a steady income in sight, bringing past-due obligations current will allow you to start the New Year on more solid financial ground.
This guest post was provided by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC). Money Management International is a member of the NFCC. The NFCC is the nation’s largest and longest serving national nonprofit credit counseling organization. NFCC Members annually help over three million consumers through close to 800 community-based offices nationwide.
Holiday spending has undoubtedly been a popular topic this season, but according to a November poll hosted by the NFCC, 40 percent of respondents revealed indicated that they do not intend to spend any money on holiday purchases.
If you’re someone who looking to make cuts in your spending this holiday season, but you're not sure how, try regifting! Regifting can be a great way to ensure you have a frugal, yet festive, holiday season, but first, you should brush up on your knowledge and take a course in Regifting 101.
The path to becoming a regifting master begins by asking yourself the following questions:
If you’re looking for more ways to save during the holidays, check out our new Holiday Headquarters section for tips and resources for cutting back without taking the cheer out of the season. And if you have regifting tips of your own, we’d love for you to share them! Leave a comment on this post or head over to our Regifting forum to share your experiences and ideas with the community.
Don't let a splurge derail your financial plans.
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