charity http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/64/all en-US 7 Easy Ways to Give Back This Thanksgiving http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-give-back-this-thanksgiving <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-easy-ways-to-give-back-this-thanksgiving" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/little_girl_hugging_father_thanksgiving_celebration_concept.jpg" alt="Little Girl Hugging Father Thanksgiving Celebration Concept" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Thanksgiving is coming, and though we should keep helping others in mind all year, the holidays are a special reminder to take care of our community. Here are seven easy ways to give back this Thanksgiving. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-the-world-better-with-these-17-free-ways-to-give-back?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Make the World Better With These 17 Free Ways to Give Back</a>)</p> <h2>1. Buy a pre-packed bag at your local grocery store</h2> <p>While you're in your grocery store, you'll likely find pre-packed bags of food that the grocery store will deliver to people in need. Just say you want to add it to your grocery bill, pay for it with your groceries, and the store takes care of the rest! To find out if your grocery store offers this program, just stop by the customer service desk on your next trip.</p> <h2>2. Contact your local food bank</h2> <p>Your local food bank is one of the major sources of food for those in need throughout the year. They often have special holiday donation drives, and they are usually able to find a major donor or corporate sponsor that will match any donations during this time of year. Reach out to your local food bank and ask about any special holiday programs they are running.</p> <p>Remember, your monetary donation will go a lot further than bringing food to your local food bank because the food bank buys exactly what they need at wholesale prices that are cheaper than what we pay at the grocery store. Also, if you have a little extra time, offer to volunteer for a shift at your local food bank. They always need help during the holidays. This is a great activity to do solo, with a group of friends or coworkers, or with kids. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-charities-you-can-trust-with-your-holiday-donations?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Charities You Can Trust With Your Holiday Donations</a>)</p> <h2>3. Ask your employer about special holiday programs</h2> <p>Many employers go the extra mile during the holidays. Get in touch with your corporate philanthropy or human resources department to ask about any special holiday programs to give back to the community. Many workplaces match the donations of their employees, provide a certain amount of hours that employees can take off to volunteer throughout the year, and organize team bonding activities that involve local volunteering.</p> <h2>4. Find Amazon wish lists</h2> <p>Many nonprofits have started setting up Amazon wish lists. Last year, I bought needed items from the Amazon wishlist of a homeless shelter in my city. I paid for the items that they needed, Amazon shipped the items directly to the shelter, and then the shelter sent me an acknowledgment letter a few weeks later. It's as easy as that! Contact a nonprofit you love and find out if they have an Amazon wishlist. And if they don't, encourage them to create one! You can also search for a nonprofit's existing Amazon wishlist right on Amazon's site.</p> <h2>5. Be a layaway Santa</h2> <p>Layaway is still a service widely used by people who are on limited incomes and have thin credit files. Next time you're at a store, ask if they have a layaway service, go to the customer service desk, and anonymously put money toward someone's layaway items. Then encourage your friends and family to be layaway Santas, too.</p> <h2>6. Go the extra mile right where you are</h2> <p>Going out to eat, getting your haircut, or ordering food delivery? Add a bigger tip beyond what you normally give. People in the service industry work hard all year, especially during the holidays, and anything extra that you give for great service is always appreciated.</p> <h2>7. Be kinder</h2> <p>We can all use some extra encouragement. Anonymously leave a note with an inspirational quote or compliment on someone's windshield or doorstep in your neighborhood. You may never know how much it means to someone. And just be friendlier in everyday life. Smile, say good morning, hold doors open, or offer to carry someone's heavy bags while holiday shopping. A little kindness goes a long way and it's so easy to offer!</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-easy-ways-to-give-back-this-thanksgiving&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%2520Easy%2520Ways%2520to%2520Give%2520Back%2520This%2520Thanksgiving.jpg&amp;description=7%20Easy%20Ways%20to%20Give%20Back%20This%20Thanksgiving"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Easy%20Ways%20to%20Give%20Back%20This%20Thanksgiving.jpg" alt="7 Easy Ways to Give Back This Thanksgiving" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-give-back-this-thanksgiving">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-vegetarian-thanksgiving-dishes-that-hold-their-own-with-turkey">6 Vegetarian Thanksgiving Dishes That Hold Their Own With Turkey</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-the-world-better-with-these-17-free-ways-to-give-back">Make the World Better With These 17 Free Ways to Give Back</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-organizations-that-need-your-help-during-christmas">7 Organizations That Need Your Help During Christmas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-actually-relax-over-the-holidays">8 Ways to Actually Relax Over the Holidays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-reasons-to-skip-the-big-holiday-dinner-this-year">8 Reasons to Skip the Big Holiday Dinner This Year</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Lifestyle charity give back holiday season Holidays Thanksgiving volunteering Wed, 01 Nov 2017 08:00:09 +0000 Christa Avampato 2040126 at http://www.wisebread.com Here's How Generosity Actually Improves Your Life http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-generosity-actually-improves-your-life <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/heres-how-generosity-actually-improves-your-life" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-482063553.jpg" alt="Learning how generosity improves your life" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Generosity will not only improve your moral standing, but also your long-term finances. Giving doesn't have to cost money, either; donating your time and skills produces the same effect as giving money or material items. Here's how it could work for you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-the-world-better-with-these-17-free-ways-to-give-back?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Make the World Better With These 17 Free Ways to Give Back</a>)</p> <h2>You'll make better money decisions</h2> <p>Money can be a big source of stress. Maybe you and your partner disagree about the budget. Perhaps you're struggling to reduce debt, dealing with a loss of income, or recovering from a financial crisis. Or perhaps you're trying to determine how to be smart with your savings, become a better investor, and create a better financial future. In any of these situations, you need the ability to calmly and rationally assess your options and make decisions for your future.</p> <p>Stress has a huge, negative impact on your ability to make good decisions. In fact, stress prompts us to act quickly and instinctively, and reroutes the energy needed by the brain for wise decision-making, according to Stanford health psychologist Kelly McGonigal, PhD. &quot;Stress also encourages you to focus on immediate, short-term goals and outcomes,&quot; says McGonigal, &quot;but self-control requires keeping the big picture in mind.&quot;</p> <p>An excellent way to combat stress is to give to others. Whether it's your time, your money, or your unwanted items, giving to those less fortunate will give you a sense of purpose, it will make you feel better about yourself and the world you live in, and can reduce your anxiety. That combination equips you to better handle stress when it does occur, keeping it in perspective. And you'll be able to more calmly and rationally make financial decisions for yourself and your future.</p> <h2>You'll benefit from a stronger support network</h2> <p>Hard times happen, but consistent generosity &mdash; whether through volunteering, acts of kindness, or monetary giving &mdash; can lead to an extended network and stronger relationships. Meeting people at volunteering events can create lasting friendships. Helping out a neighbor when they need it most will solidify a true bond. And when you need those people to be there for you in return, they most likely will be.</p> <p>I've experienced the financial perks of having a strong support network many times in my life. For example, during my mother's fight against breast cancer, my friends and family brought food, baby-sat (both my sister and I had young children), ran errands, made phone calls, organized important information, and, when needed, assisted in bedside care for my mom. If I didn't have a loving support system willing to do those things, I would've had to, either do it all myself &mdash; which would've increased my stress to an unbearable degree, or I would've had to pay someone to help out &mdash; which would've sucked my bank account dry.</p> <p>A community of friends bringing you meals when you're unable to shop and cook saves you the cost of takeout. When your network pitches in to watch your kids, help you with a big project, or loan you a needed resource, you save the money you'd have otherwise spent to get those things done.</p> <h2>Your work opportunities will improve</h2> <p>LinkedIn is built on the idea that social capital leads to better work and increased work opportunities. We call it networking, mostly. And giving, it turns out, is one of the best ways to network. Even low-key acts of generosity improve work relationships, according to a study from the University of California published in the journal <em>Emotion</em>. Giving mutual support, practicing gratitude, and showing hospitality all contribute to stronger work connections and increased social capital. And with a strong professional network, more job opportunities (and all the financial perks that go along with them) will be aplenty. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-networking-tips-for-people-under-40?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 10 Best Networking Tips for People Under 40</a>)</p> <p>It's all about who you know, right?</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like This Article? Pin it!</p> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fheres-how-generosity-actually-improves-your-life&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHere%2527s%2520How%2520Generosity%2520Actually%2520Improves%2520Your%2520LIfe.jpg&amp;description=Here's%20How%20Generosity%20Actually%20Improves%20Your%20Life"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Here%27s%20How%20Generosity%20Actually%20Improves%20Your%20LIfe.jpg" alt="Here's How Generosity Actually Improves Your Life" width="250" height="374" /></p> </h2> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/annie-mueller">Annie Mueller</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-generosity-actually-improves-your-life">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-feel-better-about-your-financial-situation">6 Ways to Feel Better About Your Financial Situation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-keep-peer-pressure-from-destroying-your-finances">How to Keep Peer Pressure From Destroying Your Finances</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-cycling-can-save-you-money">11 Ways Cycling Can Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-ways-being-too-nice-is-hurting-your-wallet">18 Ways Being Too Nice Is Hurting Your Wallet</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/its-time-to-drop-these-6-rules-of-money-etiquette">It&#039;s Time to Drop These 6 Rules of Money Etiquette</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Lifestyle charity generosity generous giving Giving Back helping hands pay it forward saving money Mon, 07 Aug 2017 08:31:05 +0000 Annie Mueller 1996572 at http://www.wisebread.com Make the World Better With These 17 Free Ways to Give Back http://www.wisebread.com/make-the-world-better-with-these-17-free-ways-to-give-back <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/make-the-world-better-with-these-17-free-ways-to-give-back" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/beautiful_caucsian_female_volunteers_in_local_park.jpg" alt="Beautiful Caucasian female volunteers in local park" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Giving back feels good and offers support to those who need it, but it can sometimes feel like the only contributions that make a difference are financial. While donating money to charity or to community members in need is a wonderful way of giving back, monetary donations can be out of the reach of some budgets.</p> <p>Even if you don't have the finances to write checks to your favorite charities, you can still give back without spending a single dime. Here are 17 entirely free methods of making the world a better place.</p> <h2>In-person volunteer opportunities</h2> <p>Giving your time to a charity or an organization you care about is one of the most selfless ways that you can give back. There are a number of ways to volunteer that will match up with both your interests and the needs of your community.</p> <h3>1. Volunteer Match</h3> <p><a href="https://www.volunteermatch.org/" target="_blank">Volunteermatch.org</a> brings together local volunteers with local nonprofit organizations that need help. You can search for a cause that means something to you, and offer your time, expertise, or services.</p> <h3>2. Idealist</h3> <p><a href="https://www.idealist.org/en/?sort=relevance&amp;type=VOLOP" target="_blank">Idealist.org</a> was created to connect idealists with opportunities for collaboration and action to bring their good ideas to life. With more than 120,000 organizations listed and 1.4 million monthly visitors to the site, you can connect with other people who share your ideals.</p> <h3>3. Elder Helpers</h3> <p>If you'd like to make a difference in the life of a local senior citizen, sign up with <a href="http://elderhelpers.org/" target="_blank">ElderHelpers.org</a> to connect with a local senior in need. You could volunteer to help with anything from running errands to gardening and housework to entertaining.</p> <h3>4. Project Sunshine</h3> <p>Volunteers with <a href="http://projectsunshine.org/" target="_blank">ProjectSunshine.org</a> bring arts, educational, and social services programming to children living with serious medical challenges and their families. Volunteers can work to create program materials and deliver these programs on-site to the children.</p> <h3>5. Girls on the run</h3> <p>If you love to run, then volunteering with <a href="https://www.girlsontherun.org/" target="_blank">Girlsontherun.org</a> could be a great fit for you. Volunteers coach a group of girls through 10-12 week running programs that include physical activity and a service project. You'll help empower young women to be healthy, confident, and more connected to their communities.</p> <h2>Online volunteering</h2> <p>Believe it or not, you can volunteer your time from the comfort of your home. The internet allows volunteers to bring their skills to organizations that need them, no matter where they are. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-amazing-ways-to-pay-it-forward-for-under-10?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Amazing Ways to Pay It Forward for Under $10</a>)</p> <h3>6. Skills for Change</h3> <p><a href="http://skillsforchange.com/" target="_blank">SkillsforChange.com</a> calls itself a microvolunteering site, similar to microlending. Volunteers share which types of causes they care about and what skills they can offer, and the site matches them with organizations that need help.</p> <h3>7. Catchafire</h3> <p><a href="https://www.catchafire.org/" target="_blank">Catchafire.org</a> wants professionals to use their skills to make a difference. You can browse opportunities based on causes, needed skill sets, and time commitment, and then apply for opportunities.</p> <h2>Donating your stuff</h2> <p>While we all know that we can drop off unused clothes and household items at Goodwill or the Salvation Army, there are many more ways that our unwanted items can help others in need.</p> <h3>8. Union &amp; Fifth</h3> <p>Fashion conscious altruists can use their fashion for good with <a href="https://www.unionandfifth.com/" target="_blank">UnionandFifth.com</a>. Simply select which charity you would like to benefit, download a free shipping label, and clean out your closet. Union &amp; Fifth will sell your clothes and send 75% of the sale price to your chosen charity.</p> <h3>9. Dress for Success</h3> <p>Gently used business attire can help disadvantaged women to succeed at work through <a href="https://www.dressforsuccess.org/" target="_blank">DressforSuccess.org</a>. Find an affiliate location near you, and drop off your unneeded office wear.</p> <h3>10. Nike Reuse-a-Shoe</h3> <p>Worn out athletic shoes can be given a new life as part of tracks, playgrounds, outdoor courts, or other places to play through the <a href="http://www.nike.com/us/en_us/c/innovation/grind" target="_blank">Nike Reuse-a-Shoe program</a>.</p> <h3>11. Soles 4 Souls</h3> <p>This nonprofit program will distribute your gently worn shoes to people in need all over the world. You can find a local drop off location on <a href="https://soles4souls.org/" target="_blank">Soles4souls.org</a>, and you can also organize a shoe drive to increase your impact.</p> <h3>12. National Coalition Against Domestic Violence</h3> <p>If you don't know what to do with your old cellphone or other digital electronics, the <a href="http://ncadv.org/give-back/donate/donateaphone" target="_blank">NCADV has partnered with Cellular Recycler</a> to collect these items, and refurbish and sell them. The money from these sales goes to support the NCADV programming that helps to stop domestic violence.</p> <h3>13. Cellphones for Soldiers</h3> <p>If you have an old cellphone that is still functioning, donating it to <a href="https://www.cellphonesforsoldiers.com/" target="_blank">Cellphones for Soldiers</a> will allow a deployed service member the ability to call home.</p> <h3>14. The Make-A-Wish Foundation</h3> <p>This heroic charity works to grant the wishes of terminally ill children. To cover the travel for many of these wishes, <a href="http://wish.org/ways-to-help/giving/airline-miles#sm.0001ozbi7g1cu0dijrr57j3ftssj4" target="_blank">Make-A-Wish accepts donations of airline travel miles</a> from certain airlines. This can be a great way to make use of the miles you collect.</p> <h2>Online giving opportunities</h2> <p>Most of us tend to spend our days in front of the computer, so why not use that time to give back?</p> <h3>15. AmazonSmile</h3> <p>This is exactly like the Amazon store you already know, but when you sign on with <a href="https://smile.amazon.com/ref=nav_logo" target="_blank">AmazonSmile</a>, you are allowed to choose any one of over a million 501(c)(3) charitable organizations to benefit from your shopping. Each time you make a purchase, AmazonSmile gives 0.5% of the purchase price to your charity.</p> <h3>16. Free Rice</h3> <p>Rather than taking another '90s-themed quiz, why not take a break with <a href="http://freerice.com" target="_blank">FreeRice.com</a>? This site asks vocabulary, grammar, math, science, foreign language, history, geography, and SAT test prep questions. For each correct answer, the site donates 10 grains of rice through the World Food Programme.</p> <h3>17. The Greater Good</h3> <p>Believe it or not, just clicking on a button can help provide mammograms for underprivileged women, food for hungry people, meals for veterans, therapy for autistic children, research for Alzheimer's and diabetes, books for underprivileged children, and protection to the rain forest. The site the <a href="https://greatergood.com/" target="_blank">GreaterGood.com</a> offers clickable buttons for each of these issues, and your click will help to provide those services. It takes approximately 45,000 clicks to provide one service, and each user is limited to one click per day, but you can click each issue's button every day. Clicking here once a day can be a completely painless good deed.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fmake-the-world-better-with-these-17-free-ways-to-give-back&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FMake%2520the%2520World%2520Better%2520With%2520These%252017%2520Free%2520Ways%2520to%2520Give%2520Back.jpg&amp;description=Make%20the%20World%20Better%20With%20These%2017%20Free%20Ways%20to%20Give%20Back"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Make%20the%20World%20Better%20With%20These%2017%20Free%20Ways%20to%20Give%20Back.jpg" alt="Make the World Better With These 17 Free Ways to Give Back" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-the-world-better-with-these-17-free-ways-to-give-back">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-give-back-this-thanksgiving">7 Easy Ways to Give Back This Thanksgiving</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-organizations-that-need-your-help-during-christmas">7 Organizations That Need Your Help During Christmas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-unexpected-benefits-of-volunteering">9 Unexpected Benefits of Volunteering</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/charitable-giving-give-in-order-to-receive">Charitable Giving: Give in Order to Receive</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-your-new-identity-after-retirement">How to Find Your New Identity After Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle Personal Development charitable giving charity community service give back helping the less fortunate volunteer volunteering Thu, 29 Jun 2017 08:30:16 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1974219 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways to Turn Credit Card Rewards Into Real Wealth http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-turn-credit-card-rewards-into-real-wealth <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-to-turn-credit-card-rewards-into-real-wealth" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-623196850.jpg" alt="Man turning credit card rewards into real wealth" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Using a rewards credit card is an easy way to pocket a few hundred dollars a year in cash back rewards, or earn free travel. And if you're willing to put in the effort, you'll find there are plenty of ways to parlay your points into something more meaningful and long-lasting.</p> <h2>1. Invest your cash back for the long haul</h2> <p>The simplest way to make <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">cash back rewards</a> even more rewarding is to put the money into a retirement account and let compound interest work its magic. For example, we've worked out how to save <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-an-extra-109486-a-year?ref=internal" target="_blank">over a thousand dollars a year</a> using credit cards.</p> <p>Let's say you banked your $1,000 in rewards and savings and invested them in a Roth IRA each year for 20 years. If you earned an average return of 6 percent, you'd have almost $40,000 after 20 years, before fees.</p> <h2>2. Invest in experiences</h2> <p>Ask any dying person what they value most, and it won't be money they speak of. Most people look back on their lives and cherish the memories they've made &mdash; the sight of beautiful places, the laughter of their children, and the life-changing moments they've spent with the people they love.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">Travel rewards cards</a> may not help anyone grow rich, but they can help them afford a wide range of experiences that may otherwise be out of reach. An Alaskan cruise may fit into even a modest budget with the smart use of credit card rewards. Meanwhile, a $1000+ economy flight to Europe can be had for as little as 45,000 American Airlines frequent flyer miles, which you can earn with an <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-american-airlines-us-airways-credit-card-should-you-get?ref=internal" target="_blank">American Airlines credit card</a>.</p> <p>Used wisely, travel rewards can help families make memories they'll cherish for a lifetime. At the very least, they make it possible to travel farther, participate in more activities, and stay longer once you're there. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-steps-to-getting-a-free-or-close-to-free-vacation-in-9-months-or-less-with-credit-cards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Earn a Free Vacation in 9 Months With Credit Card Rewards</a>)</p> <h2>3. Donate rewards to a worthy cause</h2> <p>Even if you aren't remotely interested in spending rewards, you can make a difference. Some <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-that-give-back-to-charity?ref=internal" target="_blank">credit cards give rewards directly to charities</a>. Other credit card programs let you donate your points to charity, letting you turn your regular spending into a boon for someone else.</p> <p>While each credit card rewards program works differently, most make it possible to donate your rewards to causes you believe in. And if you don't want to donate through your issuer's official program, you can always simply give the cash back you earn to your favorite charity.</p> <h2>4. Use rewards to pay down debt and save money on interest</h2> <p>If you have credit card debt, you shouldn't be chasing credit card rewards. But if you have other debt that you'd like to pay off sooner, like a car loan, you can rack up cash rewards and make an extra payment each year. This will help you reduce interest on that debt as well as pay it off sooner.</p> <h2>5. Avoid a high-interest loan</h2> <p>If you have a huge expense coming up and need to take out a loan, you can avoid interest payments and earn rewards in one fell swoop. With a credit card that offers <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-0-apr-for-purchases?ref=internal" target="_blank">0% APR on new purchases</a> you essentially get an interest-free loan for a limited time.</p> <p>For example, let's say you plan to finance a roomful of furniture to the tune of $5,000. You want to pay it off over a year or so, and hope to avoid huge interest payments. You can get a card that offers 0% APR for the first 15 months, allowing you to pay off that $5,000 interest free. Remember though that you have to stay committed to your plan to pay off that amount during that period. Rewards cards typically charge higher interest rates. If you don't think you'll be able to pay off your balance, you'll want instead to look into <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-low-interest-rate-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">low interest credit cards</a> to keep a handle on your debt. Before you pursue rewards, make sure you're prepared to use credit responsibly.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-turn-credit-card-rewards-into-real-wealth">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-cash-back-is-better-than-travel-rewards">6 Reasons Cash Back Is Better Than Travel Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-you-should-never-do-with-your-travel-rewards-credit-cards">7 Things You Should Never Do With Your Travel Rewards Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-use-travel-rewards-cards-to-get-free-trips">How to Use Travel Rewards Cards to Get Free Trips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-frequent-flyer-miles-that-are-about-to-expire">How to Save Frequent Flyer Miles That Are About to Expire</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-use-miles-and-points-for-holiday-gifts">9 Ways to Use Miles and Points for Holiday Gifts</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards cash back charity experiences interest loans miles rewards travel wealth building Mon, 22 May 2017 08:30:16 +0000 Holly Johnson 1946267 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Save Frequent Flyer Miles That Are About to Expire http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-frequent-flyer-miles-that-are-about-to-expire <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-save-frequent-flyer-miles-that-are-about-to-expire" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-578090012.jpg" alt="Couple saving frequent flyer miles that are about to expire" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For many of us, earning enough airline miles for that free trip can take a while. Sometimes using a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">co-branded airline credit card</a> can help speed things up. But while we're waiting to collect enough, we might risk losing what we've already earned. While each frequent flyer program has its own set of rules, most will erase your miles if you don't use them or earn new miles for a period of 12&ndash;24 months.</p> <p>Check your airline's loyalty program to see how long you have before your miles disappear. And if your expiration date is looming, consider one of these strategies.</p> <h2>Join an airline dining program</h2> <p>Since you can &quot;reset the clock&quot; on your frequent flyer miles with even a small purchase, airline dining programs offer an easy way keep your miles alive. While each airline's program includes different restaurants, and the number of miles you'll earn will vary, they all work similarly: You sign up for the program, dine at a qualifying restaurant, then earn bonus miles for each dollar you spend. (See related: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-dining-out" target="_blank">Best Credit Cards for Dining Out</a>)</p> <h2>Shop through an airline shopping portal</h2> <p>If you don't want to deal with a complicated dining program or dine at specific restaurants, using a rewards shopping portal is another easy way to save your miles. Nearly all major airlines offer an online mall or portal that lets you earn extra bonus miles for each dollar you spend with e-tailers you access through the site. You simply go to the portal, search for the store you want to shop with, and then &quot;click through&quot; the airline portal to the retailer's site to make your purchase. And remember,&nbsp;any&nbsp;purchase will reset the clock on your airline account. You don't need to spend hundreds of dollars. A simple $5 online purchase (or less!) will do the trick.</p> <h2>Cash in miles for a gift card</h2> <p>While earning more miles can keep your stash of airline currency alive, so can redeeming miles. If you don't have any travel planned or are saving up for a big trip, consider cashing in a small number of airline miles for a gift card. Only certain programs offer this option, and you may also need the program's co-branded credit card to be eligible.</p> <p>While you usually won't get as much bang for your miles by buying a gift card as you would redeeming them for flights, this can still be an effective strategy for keeping your account active.</p> <h2>Donate miles to charity</h2> <p>Various programs let you donate miles to causes you believe in. Check with your frequent flyer program to see if donating your points is an option and which charities are available. If you aren't going to be able to use your miles, anyway, this is a good way to use them rather than letting them expire.</p> <h2>Buy miles</h2> <p>If none of the other options seem appealing for your situation, there's a final solution to consider: buying miles. By buying miles, you can keep your current stash of airline miles alive.</p> <p>Unfortunately, it is seldom cost efficient to fork over real cash for airline miles. Then again, it could be well worth spending a small amount to keep a large stash of miles alive if you have no other option.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-save-frequent-flyer-miles-that-are-about-to-expire&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Save%2520Frequent%2520Flyer%2520Miles%2520That%2520Are%2520About%2520to%2520Expire.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Save%20Frequent%20Flyer%20Miles%20That%20Are%20About%20to%20Expire"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Save%20Frequent%20Flyer%20Miles%20That%20Are%20About%20to%20Expire.jpg" alt="How to Save Frequent Flyer Miles That Are About to Expire" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-frequent-flyer-miles-that-are-about-to-expire">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-families-can-earn-and-use-travel-rewards">How Families Can Earn and Use Travel Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-airline-rewards-programs-for-trips-to-europe">The Best Airline Rewards Programs for Trips to Europe</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-steps-to-picking-the-best-airline-credit-card-for-the-most-rewards-value">5 Steps to Picking the Best Airline Credit Card for the Most Rewards Value</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-use-travel-rewards-cards-to-get-free-trips">How to Use Travel Rewards Cards to Get Free Trips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-sell-or-donate-your-airline-miles">6 Ways to Sell or Donate Your Airline Miles</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Travel airlines charity dining programs expired gift cards miles online portals rewards shopping Fri, 19 May 2017 08:30:09 +0000 Holly Johnson 1949203 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Ways Your Money Can Support Your Values http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-your-money-can-support-your-values <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-ways-your-money-can-support-your-values" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-511213377.jpg" alt="Woman learning how money can support her values" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Giving to charity is an important line item in my family budget &mdash; but it's only one line. There are far more charitable organizations that I want to support than I can possibly give money to.</p> <p>But what if there were a way to support your values without having to free up more money to give to charity? In fact, there is a way. You can do the same things you always do with your money &mdash; bank it, invest it, spend it on utilities, and shop &mdash; all while providing important financial benefits to the causes you care about.</p> <h2>Socially responsible robo-investing</h2> <p>I'll never forget the stricken look on my financial adviser's face when I told him I was uncomfortable with big oil, tobacco, or firearms as investments in my retirement portfolio. He took a deep breath and told me that I would probably have to be a little flexible about that if I wanted to maintain my passive investment strategy. The only other option would be to individually choose the investments I wanted so that my money was aligned with my values. Not only would that be expensive and time consuming (someone would have to do the stock picking), but it would not necessarily grow my money.</p> <p>Passive investors like me now have the option of investing in funds that only go to companies we approve of. The new robo adviser <a href="https://www.openinvest.co/" target="_blank">OpenInvest</a> offers investors the ability to personalize the specific issues they care most about. You simply create an &quot;issue profile&quot; that narrows down the types of companies you would either like to invest in or steer clear of. The robo adviser's algorithm then creates a basket of about 60 stocks that match your values and <em>should </em>match the returns of the broader market.</p> <p>Your money grows just like it would with any investment, but you are supporting companies that reflect your values. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-stocks-to-buy-if-you-love-the-earth?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Stocks to Buy If You Love the Earth</a>)</p> <h2>Cellphone activism</h2> <p>It's hard to imagine life without your cellphone &mdash; which makes it an excellent tool to help support your values. Simply changing your cellphone provider can make paying your bill part of your activism.</p> <p>Whether your politics align left or right, you can switch to an activist cellphone carrier that will use a portion of their profits to fund important causes. <a href="http://www.credomobile.com/" target="_blank">Credo Mobile</a> is a mobile and long distance provider that has donated $83 million to various progressive nonprofit groups since its inception in 1985. On the right, <a href="https://www.patriotmobile.com/" target="_blank">Patriot Mobile</a> offers conservatives the opportunity to choose the organization that a portion of their monthly phone bill will be donated to.</p> <p>In both cases, the mobile carrier allows you to keep your phone and phone number when you make the switch. You are already paying for your cellphone usage; why not have the money fund causes you care about?</p> <h2>Shop your values</h2> <p>Amazon has become the most convenient way to handle shopping in the modern age, but did you know it can also be the most convenient way for you to donate to charities you love?</p> <p><a href="https://smile.amazon.com/ref=nav_logo" target="_blank">AmazonSmile</a> is exactly like the Amazon store you already know, with the exact same prices and fees, and the exact same login you already use. But when you sign on with AmazonSmile, you are allowed to choose any one of over a million 501(c)(3) charitable organizations to benefit from your shopping. Each time you make a purchase, AmazonSmile gives 0.5 percent of the purchase price to your charity.</p> <p>While not all purchases are eligible for AmazonSmile, the vast majority are. In addition, there are occasionally limited-time special promotions that increase the donation percentage.</p> <p>Once you have signed up with AmazonSmile, just make sure you start any Amazon shopping from that page to keep your donations going to your favorite charity whenever you shop.</p> <h2>#BankBlack revitalizes communities</h2> <p>You might remember seeing the rapper Killer Mike on MTV in 2016 asking 1 million people to open a savings account with a black-owned banking institution. That helped start the #BankBlack movement, which is credited with bringing $50 million in new deposits to black-owned banks over a six-month span in 2016, according to the Huffington Post.</p> <p>But banking with a black-owned financial institution is more than just a hashtag. These institutions were once the only places where African Americans could expect fair treatment when discrimination was rampant in the banking industry. Nowadays, black-owned banks offer access to necessary banking services in distressed neighborhoods, while also providing economic revitalization.</p> <p>Since black-owned banks specifically market to the African American communities that are disproportionately unbanked or underbanked &mdash; meaning they rely on check cashing services and pawnshops for their banking needs &mdash; opening an account with a black-owned bank is an excellent way to put your money to work for social justice.</p> <p>The Blackout Coalition offers a <a href="http://blackoutcoalition.org/black-u-s-banks/" target="_blank">map of black-owned banks and credit unions</a> across the United States, so you can find one near you. Alternatively, if you are not in an area with a local black-owned bank, <a href="https://www.oneunited.com/" target="_blank">OneUnited</a> is an online bank that is also the nation's largest black-owned bank.</p> <h2>Put your money where your values are</h2> <p>Not everyone has money in the budget to support the social programs they are most passionate about. But making a few tweaks to how you bank, invest, call, and shop will allow you to make the world a better place without spending any more money. You'll feel good about how your money represents your values, and your favorite causes will benefit from your choices. It's a win-win.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-your-money-can-support-your-values">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ten-great-charities-that-deserve-your-dollars-this-year">Ten Great Charities that Deserve Your Dollars This Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-foolproof-ways-to-protect-your-money-from-inflation">4 Foolproof Ways to Protect Your Money From Inflation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/manage-your-charitable-giving">Manage your charitable giving</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/private-foundations-for-ordinary-folks">Private foundations for ordinary folks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-post-really-suk-kuks-examining-islamic-finance">This Post Really Suk-kuks: Examining Islamic Finance</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Banking Investment activism amazon smile banking black owned businesses cellphones charity donations giving politics social causes values Tue, 25 Apr 2017 08:30:08 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1931274 at http://www.wisebread.com Can I Write It Off as Charity? http://www.wisebread.com/can-i-write-it-off-as-charity <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/can-i-write-it-off-as-charity" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-482607478.jpg" alt="Woman learning if she can write it off as charity" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A family member of mine has won some pretty sweet prizes through charity raffles. They have won tablets, and even a huge flat screen TV. When I asked them their secret, they said that they buy a lot of tickets, since raffle tickets are tax-deductible.</p> <p>But wait. Is buying raffle tickets through a charity event really something you can write off on your taxes, especially when you get to take home a prize worth more than $500?</p> <p>In short, no. More on that in a minute.</p> <p>Just because you give money to what you consider to be a good cause, doesn't mean the IRS considers it tax deductible.</p> <p>Here is a quick guide to what you can and cannot write off as charitable deductions.</p> <h2>1. Charity Balls and Fundraiser Buys</h2> <p>Many charities and churches sell fundraiser items, such as gift certificates, cookbooks, or other merchandise. You might think buying such products is considered a charitable contribution. But it's not in the eyes of the tax man. The IRS says that you cannot claim a tax deduction if you <a href="https://www.irs.gov/uac/eight-tips-for-deducting-charitable-contributions" target="_blank">exchanged money for goods</a>. &quot;If you receive a benefit because of your contribution such as merchandise, tickets to a ballgame, or other goods and services, then you can deduct only the amount that exceeds the fair market value of the benefit received,&quot; according to the webpage.</p> <p>This means that if you paid $120 for a $100 massage gift certificate in the name of charity, then you can only write off $20 as a donation. For charity balls, many times the organization will tell you if you can write off a portion of your ticket. However, you must deduct the fair-market cost of your meal, venue, and entertainment from the ticket cost &mdash; even though the charity may have paid little or nothing for those expenses. In many cases, once you subtract those costs from your ticket price, there is nothing left for you to write off.</p> <p>So, if you really don't want that cookbook or a night at a charity event, but you want to donate and get a tax exemption, then donate money instead. If you donate cash or a check, make sure you get a receipt. You can also donate online to many organizations with a credit card, which will give you the proper documentation for tax purposes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-that-give-back-to-charity?ref=internal" target="_blank">Best Credit Cards That Give Back to Charity</a>)</p> <h2>2. Raffle Tickets<strong> </strong></h2> <p>Do not make the same mistake my relative made. The IRS guide to charitable contributions specifically states that you <a href="https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p526.pdf" target="_blank">cannot write off</a> any raffle tickets, lottery tickets, or bingo games purchased for charity. This is true whether you win something or not.</p> <p>In fact, these raffle tickets are considered a bet, and you can write it off as a <em>gambling loss</em> deduction. However, you can only write off a gambling loss if you also report gambling winnings that same year. Gambling losses are only deductible up to the amount of gambling winnings, and must be reported on an IRS Form 1040.</p> <h2>3. Race or Walk Donations<strong> </strong></h2> <p>Participants in a charity walk or race cannot write-off the entry fee. This is because you are paying to participate in the run or event. If you were to do a non-charity walk or racing event, you would still pay an entry fee.</p> <p>If you donate money to an event like a cancer walk, not counting the entry fee, you can write it off because this is considered a straight donation. However, it is important to have proper documentation of your donation. Online donations are the easiest way to track your contributions and ensure your money goes directly to the organization.</p> <h2>4. Promised Donations or Pledges</h2> <p>Many charities hold pledge drives or allow individuals to sign up to give a certain amount of money each month. You cannot write off promised donations or pledges that you have not yet fulfilled. For example, if I signed up with Charity A to give $50 a month for a year in November 2016, I cannot claim that I donated $600 to the charity. Instead, I will only be able to write off $100 worth, for November and December. Only the actual money that's left your hands is deductible.</p> <h2>5. Political Donations<strong> </strong></h2> <p>No matter who you voted for in the 2016 history-making election, you cannot write off any contributions you made to that party. This applies to all elections, not just the presidential vote. If you gave money to political organizations, you cannot write it off. Period. This rule applies to groups that lobby for law changes, as well.</p> <h2>6. Donated Time or Blood<strong> </strong></h2> <p>No, you cannot write off donated time or blood, but thank you for doing so. Your generosity here won't lower your tax bill, but it will make a difference.</p> <h2>7. Donated Frequent Flyer Miles</h2> <p>Donating miles is a great way to make sure they get used for a good cause. However, you cannot write off your donation of miles. The IRS views your miles as a coupon or bonus discount. In the same tune, if you paid for a business trip or a trip for medical reasons with frequent flyer miles, you would not be able to write off the trip as a business or medical expense. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-sell-or-donate-your-airline-miles?ref=internal" target="_blank">6 Ways to Sell or Donate Your Airline Miles</a>)</p> <h2>8. Donated Clothing or Household Items</h2> <p>Donating unused items to Goodwill and other charities is a great way to clean out your closet or garage, and get a small tax kickback to boot. However, you are only allowed to deduct the fair market value of the item. For example, if you donated a designer purse that you paid $1,000 for, you cannot write off $1,000. Instead, you would need to claim the resale or eBay value of the item, which might only be $400.</p> <p>There are a few apps that make tracking donations easier. <a href="https://turbotax.intuit.com/personal-taxes/itsdeductible/" target="_blank">Turbotax's ItsDeductible </a>app allows you to track donations and will help you figure out the value of the item that you can write off. <a href="https://www.taxact.com/support/766/2016/donation-assistant" target="_blank">Donation Assistant Through TaxAct</a> allows you to take photos of items you donate and receipts to stay on track all year long.</p> <h2>Make Sure Your Charities Are Truly Charities</h2> <p>It is important to make sure that you donate to charities that are eligible for tax write-offs. The charity must fall under section 501(c) (3) of the tax code. Don't assume that all nonprofits fit under the charity guidelines. When in doubt, ask the charity for their tax ID number for deduction purposes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-spot-a-charity-scam-from-a-mile-away?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Spot a Charity Scam From a Mile Away</a>)</p> <p>Generally, donations to organizations that are considered public charities are tax-deductible. The IRS classifies most churches, hospitals, qualified medical research organizations affiliated with hospitals, schools, colleges, and universities as public charities. The IRS also allows you to <a href="https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/search-for-charities" target="_blank">search organizations</a> that qualify to receive a tax-deductible contribution on its site.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-i-write-it-off-as-charity">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cleaning-out-for-a-cause-make-a-noncash-tax-deductible-donation">Cleaning Out for a Cause: Make a Noncash Tax-Deductible Donation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/charitable-giving-get-a-receipt">Charitable giving - get a receipt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-should-make-these-11-easy-donations-before-time-runs-out">You Should Make These 11 Easy Donations Before Time Runs Out</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-last-minute-ways-to-cut-your-2016-tax-bill">7 Last-Minute Ways to Cut Your 2016 Tax Bill</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-charities-you-can-trust-with-your-holiday-donations">8 Charities You Can Trust With Your Holiday Donations</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Taxes 501(c) (3) charitable donations charity donating giving tax deductions write offs Fri, 10 Feb 2017 10:30:37 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1889190 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Last-Minute Ways to Cut Your 2016 Tax Bill http://www.wisebread.com/7-last-minute-ways-to-cut-your-2016-tax-bill <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-last-minute-ways-to-cut-your-2016-tax-bill" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/tax_time_clock_170171888.jpg" alt="Finding last-minute ways to cut your tax bill" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Before you know it another tax season will be upon us. Do your wallet a favor and score all the deductions you can with these last-minute ways to reduce your bill in 2016.</p> <h2>1. Investment Account Balancing</h2> <p>Year-end investment account balancing is a no-brainer. If you have a taxable investment account, you should review your transactions for the year to see if you're in a net capital gain situation. If you are &mdash; says Jacob Dayan, co-founder of tax-relief service Community Tax &mdash; find some losing positions that will offset the gains and liquidate them by the last business day of December.</p> <p>&quot;If you wish to remain invested in these assets long-term, you can buy them back after 30 days,&quot; he adds. &quot;Note that this strategy also works in reverse, with one difference. If you sell a net-gain position, you don't have to wait 30 days to buy it back. In either case, if you have positions involving multiple purchases over time, identify the specific assets you want to liquidate by purchase transaction to give you the greatest tax benefit.&quot;</p> <h2>2. Charitable Donations</h2> <p>'Tis the season to give unto others &mdash; if only for the tax breaks. You have until the end of the year to make charitable donations that will count toward your 2016 contributions for tax purposes.</p> <p>&quot;All charitable donations made to qualifying organizations before December 31 will count toward your 2016 deduction, as long as you itemize your deductions,&quot; says Pennsylvania-based certified public accountant William Ray. &quot;Deductions are generally limited to 50% of your adjusted gross income, although additional restrictions may apply for those in higher income brackets. You may also deduct the current fair market value &mdash; not your original cost &mdash; of noncash contributions made to qualifying organizations. Certain noncash contributions may require additional support or an appraisal, so you should review <a href="https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p526.pdf">IRS Publication 526</a> before claiming noncash contributions.&quot;</p> <p>It's also important to track your volunteer time.</p> <p>Ray adds, &quot;Although you cannot make a deduction for your time, you may claim a deduction for any mileage driven using your personal vehicle ($0.14 per mile) and any out of pocket expenses that are not reimbursed. As is the case with any deduction, documentation and support should always be maintained for all contributions.&quot;</p> <p>Financial planner Andy Yadro details another option for end-of-year giving.</p> <p>&quot;Consider contributing to a donor-advised fund,&quot; he suggests. &quot;You get an immediate tax benefit and your money can be invested with potential to grow. This is a great last minute option for someone who wants to make a donation, but hasn't decided which charity it should go to.&quot;</p> <h2>3. Max Out Retirement Contributions</h2> <p>Were you fortunate enough to get a holiday bonus? Use it to top of your tax-deferred retirement accounts such as an IRA. Even better, kick in a few extra dollars from your regular paycheck. You'll boost your savings while reducing your taxable income. However, be aware of the contribution limits for both types of retirement account.</p> <p>&quot;If you or your spouse are not covered by a retirement plan through your employer, you're both eligible to contribute up to $5,500 each to an IRA ($6,500 if you are over age 50),&quot; Ray says. &quot;You may be eligible to make a contribution, even if you are covered by a retirement plan through your employer, depending on your income.&quot;</p> <p>You also have until April 15, 2017, to make this contribution and still have it count toward your 2016 taxes. However, it's highly recommended that you do not file your tax return until you make the contribution. If you claim the deduction but cannot pay, you'll need to file an amended tax return by April 15, 2017, or pay penalties and interest.</p> <h2>4. Pay Your State or Local Income Tax Bill Early</h2> <p>If you itemize deductions, you can claim a deduction for state income taxes paid during the calendar year. This includes any amounts paid for your 2015 tax liability that were paid in calendar year 2016.</p> <p>&quot;If you consistently owe taxes on your state or local tax returns, paying them early can result in immediate federal tax savings,&quot; Ray explains. &quot;States and localities allow you to make estimated tax payments or prepayments at any time during the year. If you make a payment before December 31, 2016, that payment can be deducted on your 2016 federal tax return. But be careful of overpaying. If you overpay and receive a state or local income tax refund, you will need to claim that as income on your 2017 federal tax return.&quot;</p> <h2>5. Make January's Mortgage Payment in December</h2> <p>One of the joys of homeownership is taking advantage of the various tax breaks the government provides. The biggest of these is the mortgage interest deduction. If you can spare the extra cash, consider making your January 2017 mortgage payment before the end of the year. You'll be able to deduct the mortgage interest on your 2016 tax form. Don't get greedy here, though. Tax law generally prohibits taking annual deductions on &quot;prepaid interest,&quot; so you won't be able to pay February's mortgage bill and claim that for 2016, too. For more on the tax advantages of homeownership, see the <a href="http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/briefing-book/what-are-tax-benefits-homeownership">Tax Policy Center's analysis</a>. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-tax-deductions-new-homeowners-shouldnt-skip?ref=seealso">4 Tax Deductions New Home Owners Shouldn't Skip</a>)</p> <h2>6. Review Your Health Coverage</h2> <p>If you're covered by a high-deductible health plan, you may qualify for a Health Savings Account (HSA) and contribute $3,350 ($6,750 for a family) to the plan &mdash; all of it tax-deductible.</p> <p>&quot;Many employers now offer high-deductible health plans, meaning employees often have to pay thousands toward a deductible before their health coverage kicks in,&quot; Ray says.</p> <p>To offset this cost, you may qualify for an HSA.</p> <p>&quot;An HSA is basically a 'retirement account for health care' and is becoming more common each year,&quot; Ray continues. &quot;The HSA allows you to contribute to an investment account that can grow tax free over time, while receiving a deduction on your tax return. You even receive a deduction if you don't itemize. The account can then be used to cover qualifying medical costs. Unlike a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), an HSA is 'your money' and can grow over time, rather than being forfeited at the end of the year.&quot;</p> <p>Check with your employer to see if your plan qualifies for an HSA. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-surprising-things-your-hsa-will-cover?ref=seealso">11 Surprising Things Your HSA Will Cover</a>)</p> <h2>7. Prepay Real Estate Tax</h2> <p>If you foresee a changing income situation, supplement next year's loss with a right-now gain. Yadro suggests prepaying your real estate taxes and taking the deduction now.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-last-minute-ways-to-cut-your-2016-tax-bill">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-i-write-it-off-as-charity">Can I Write It Off as Charity?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cleaning-out-for-a-cause-make-a-noncash-tax-deductible-donation">Cleaning Out for a Cause: Make a Noncash Tax-Deductible Donation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/charitable-giving-get-a-receipt">Charitable giving - get a receipt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-should-make-these-11-easy-donations-before-time-runs-out">You Should Make These 11 Easy Donations Before Time Runs Out</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/35-bizarre-things-you-can-be-taxed-on">35 Bizarre Things You Can Be Taxed On</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Taxes charitable deductions charity HSA income tax investments last minute deductions mortgages real estate retirement contributions tax bill tax deductions Mon, 26 Dec 2016 10:30:23 +0000 Mikey Rox 1860478 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Charities You Can Trust With Your Holiday Donations http://www.wisebread.com/8-charities-you-can-trust-with-your-holiday-donations <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-charities-you-can-trust-with-your-holiday-donations" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/girl_cuddling_dog_485251750.jpg" alt="Girl finding charities she can trust with holiday donations" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>'Tis the season for giving, and giving to charity is the perfect way to help those in need while also helping yourself to a tax break. But how do you know which charities are the best? There are thousands of great charities out there doing amazing things with donated money, but there are also shady charities that are just out to get your money.</p> <p>Here we have collected some of the highest rated charities according to Consumer Reports and Charity Navigator. Whether you are an animal lover or want to help countries in need, there is a charity supporting that cause. Don't see a charity for you on the list? Check out Consumer Reports' full list of the <a href="http://www.consumerreports.org/charitable-donations/best-and-worst-charities-for-your-donations/">highest and lowest rated charities</a> in each category. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-that-give-back-to-charity?ref=seealso">Best Credit Cards That Give Back to Charity</a>)</p> <h2>For Animal Lovers</h2> <p>Our furry friends need our help!</p> <h2>1. World Wildlife Fund</h2> <p>The <a href="http://gifts.worldwildlife.org/gift-center/gifts/Species-Adoptions.aspx">World Wildlife Fund</a> (WWF) allows animal lovers to donate money to help species of wild animals. A $55 donation allows you to help wildlife while also earning you a small animal plush of your choice, photo, adoption of certification, species card, and gift bag. This charity is a fun one if you are looking to give a donation in lieu of a gift, since the WWF donation comes with a little gift.</p> <h3>2. Petsmart Charities</h3> <p><a href="https://www.petsmartcharities.org/">Petsmart Charities</a> is very upfront with how they use donations to make an impact in pets' lives. The site says they save 400,000 pets each year. In 2015, more than $29 million went to animal welfare groups and 214,000 spay/neuter surgeries were performed. They also used 90 cents of every dollar donated to help pets directly. Individuals can donate money or volunteer with Petsmart Charities.</p> <h2>For Environment Protectors</h2> <p>Because the Earth needs us to protect it.</p> <h3>3. Amazon Conservation Association</h3> <p>The <a href="http://www.amazonconservation.org/index.html">Amazon Conservation Association</a> received a perfect score through Charity Navigator, a website devoted to helping individuals find legitimate charities and avoid inefficient charities. The charity has been around for over 15 years and conserves the Amazon. The site says a $50 donation can plant about 50 trees in a highland Andean community.</p> <h2>For Helping People in Need</h2> <p>Not everyone has a roof over their head or enough food to eat.&nbsp;</p> <h3>4. Direct Relief</h3> <p><a href="https://www.directrelief.org/">Direct Relief</a> is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that seeks to help and improve the lives of those affected by poverty and emergency situations. It has been one of the top charities to help with Hurricane Matthew and Syrian refugees. It has been voted as a top charity by Forbes, Fast Company, and BBB. Direct Relief also has an option to donate in tribute to someone else, which is practical for holiday gift giving.</p> <h3>5. Compassion International</h3> <p>One of my favorite organizations to donate to is <a href="http://www.compassion.com/sponsor_a_child/default.htm?gclid=Cj0KEQiAm-CyBRDx65nBhcmVtbIBEiQA7zm8lRk2gj1H17ly97aBsssWbO5UF3DRbLoyRtZ4RqApvx8aAnvM8P8HAQ">Compassion International</a> because you are able to sponsor a child. Not only do you get to choose the child you sponsor and send money to, but you also can send letters, pictures, and small gifts to them. In return, you will be given a picture of the child, as well as updates, and sometimes thank you letters. Many donors have even had the opportunity to go and meet their sponsored child. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-give-to-charity-that-fit-a-holiday-budget?ref=seealso">15 Ways to Give to Charity That Fit a Holiday Budget</a>)</p> <h2>For Health Advancement</h2> <p>A cure is out there. We just need to give scientists the chance to find it.</p> <h3>6. Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research</h3> <p>The <a href="https://www.michaeljfox.org/">Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research</a> goal is to eliminate Parkinson's disease. Over $87 million went straight to research programs in 2015. Overall the foundation has funded more than $650 million to find a cure.</p> <h2>For Veteran Support</h2> <p>After protecting our freedom, our veterans should have everything they need.</p> <h3>7. Homes for Our Troops</h3> <p><a href="https://www.hfotusa.org/">Homes For Our Troops</a> (HFOT) is a privately funded 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that builds mortgage-free homes for severely injured veterans. Since 2004, HFOT has spent 90 cents for every dollar donated on veterans. The organization has already built 226 homes and has another 80 projects underway nationwide.</p> <h3>8. Operation Homefront</h3> <p><a href="http://www.operationhomefront.net/">Operation Homefront</a> matches specific veterans needs with donors. Donors can donate money or in-kind gifts, such as services or items. Operation Homefront accepts donated in-kind services to include, but not limited to, legal support, automotive repair, heating and air conditioning services, roofing, and accounting services. Donated goods may be items such as gift cards, household items, children's books, furniture, computers, or any other non-monetary items that are new or like new.</p> <h2>How to Avoid a Charity Scam</h2> <p>There are several more amazing charities out there, so don't think that this list is the end all, be all. However, it is important that you know <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-spot-a-charity-scam-from-a-mile-away?ref=internal">how to spot a charity scam</a>. Here are some quick tips to keep in mind:</p> <ul> <li>Charities should be upfront with what they are using the funds for.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Charities should have a federal tax ID number so you can write off your donations.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>It's a huge red flag if they are pushing you for donations or ask you to wire the money.</li> </ul> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-charities-you-can-trust-with-your-holiday-donations">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-spot-a-charity-scam-from-a-mile-away">How to Spot a Charity Scam From a Mile Away</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-give-back-on-givingtuesday-without-breaking-the-bank">10 Ways to Give Back on #GivingTuesday Without Breaking the Bank</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-give-to-charity-that-fit-a-holiday-budget">15 Ways to Give to Charity That Fit a Holiday Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-smart-reasons-to-last-minute-holiday-shop">9 Smart Reasons to Last-Minute Holiday Shop</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-give-back-this-thanksgiving">7 Easy Ways to Give Back This Thanksgiving</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living animals charity donating environment Giving Back Holidays nonprofits veterans Fri, 09 Dec 2016 11:00:15 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1849996 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Spot a Charity Scam From a Mile Away http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-spot-a-charity-scam-from-a-mile-away <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-spot-a-charity-scam-from-a-mile-away" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_phone_park_621595942.jpg" alt="Man learning how to spot a charity scam from a mile away" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When it comes to donating to charity, people have good intentions. They want to give to a worthy cause, but unfortunately, so many individuals do very little research before opening up their checkbooks.</p> <p>While many charities are legitimate, there are several that should be avoided. They are the ones that rate low, with the majority of their funds being funneled into the pockets of CEOs or marketing efforts. For example, the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights is one charity that is low-rated by <a href="http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=topten.detail&amp;listid=8">Charity Navigator</a>, yet has one of the highest paid CEOs. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/surprisingly-easy-ways-you-can-support-charity?Ref=seealso">Surprisingly Easy Ways You Can Support Charity</a>)</p> <p>Here's how to make sure your donation is winding up in the right hands.</p> <h2>Make Sure the Name Is Right</h2> <p>Some notable low-rated charities have made it a point to choose names similar to popular nonprofit organizations. For example, Cancer Research Institute is a highly rated charity, but Cancer Survivors' Fund and American Association for Cancer Support are both low-rated charities, according to <a href="http://www.consumerreports.org/charitable-donations/best-and-worst-charities-for-your-donations/">Consumer Reports</a>. Both of the low-rated charities have important sounding names, and it can be easy to confuse them when there are so many to keep track of.</p> <h2>Avoid Callers</h2> <p>Don't give in to pesky callers asking for donations. Often telemarketers are hired by select charities to help raise funds. However, the charity does not get all of those funds. Instead, a lot of your donation will end up going to the marketers rather than your cause. Definitely do not give any personal information, such as your credit card or Social Security number to any charity. Most importantly, if anybody pressures you to give money, then it is best to walk away.</p> <h2>Know Where the Money Goes</h2> <p>The highest rated charities are very transparent about where their money goes. You should be able to see the organization's annual expense reports or the charity's Form 990. Churches and other big religious groups are not required to file 990s, so be sure to check them out at <a href="http://www.ministrywatch.com/">Ministry Watch</a>, a website that helps alert donors to fraudulent religious charities. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-giving-to-charity-is-good-for-you?ref=seealso">5 Ways Giving to Charity Is Good for You</a>)</p> <h2>Don't Donate Cash or Give Through Wire Transfers</h2> <p>Never give any charity cash or send money through wire transfers. If the charity insists on cash or a wire transfer, it should make you suspicious of the organization. But what about religious tithing? While dropping cash in your local place of worship's donation bucket doesn't mean you are donating to a scam charity, it is still wiser to write a check or donate online. This will allow you to keep track of your charitable giving for tax purposes. If you do give cash, try your best to get a receipt.</p> <h2>Be on Alert</h2> <p>During the holidays, more for-profit charities are likely to increase their marketing. Expect more calls and emails that will appeal to your emotions. Of course you want to help wounded veterans, homeless children, and abused pets but if you have never heard of the charity, then don't rush into donating. Charity scams also are more likely to pop up after a natural disaster, such as a hurricane.</p> <p>Ask a charity if they are registered, and if they claim they are, then get the registration number. Also know that most respectable charities do not ask for donations via email, unless an individual has already signed up for the mailing list.</p> <h2>Do Some Research</h2> <p>Before you donate a large sum of money to any charity, spend a few minutes researching the organization. You should be able to find the rating of charities on the <a href="https://www.bbb.org/">Better Business Bureau</a>, <a href="http://www.charitynavigator.org/">Charity Navigator</a>, <a href="https://www.charitywatch.org/">Charity Watch</a>, <a href="http://www.give.org/">BBB Wise Giving Alliance</a>, and <a href="http://www.consumerreports.org/">Consumer Reports</a>.</p> <p>It is best to decide at the beginning of the year what your annual charitable giving will be and which charities you want to donate to. This then puts you and your budget in the right place for donating money and helping those in need.</p> <p>Charity scammers take advantage of people's goodwill and desire to help. However, these scammers can steal more than just your money. They can steal your identity if you give out too much information. Give to causes you care about while also protecting your bank account and personal information.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-spot-a-charity-scam-from-a-mile-away">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-charities-you-can-trust-with-your-holiday-donations">8 Charities You Can Trust With Your Holiday Donations</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-protect-your-retirement-account-from-a-hack">How to Protect Your Retirement Account From a Hack</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-when-you-suspect-a-scam">What to Do When You Suspect a Scam</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-safe-is-craigslist">How Safe Is Craigslist?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-protect-elderly-loved-ones-from-financial-scams">How to Protect Elderly Loved Ones From Financial Scams</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Consumer Affairs charity donating fraud Giving Back scams theft things to watch out for wire transfers Thu, 08 Dec 2016 12:30:07 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1849882 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Ways to Give Back on #GivingTuesday Without Breaking the Bank http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-give-back-on-givingtuesday-without-breaking-the-bank <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-ways-to-give-back-on-givingtuesday-without-breaking-the-bank" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-597674192.jpg" alt="give back on giving tuesday without breaking the bank" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Get out your wallet and warm up your charitable spirit because #GivingTuesday is right around the corner. This worldwide day of philanthropy takes place on November 29th, (the Tuesday after Thanksgiving) and marks the start of the charitable giving season. In 2015, over 700,000 people in 70 countries participated in <a href="https://www.givingtuesday.org">#GivingTuesday</a>, giving $116 million in online donations. However, in a time when money is tight due to holiday expenses, finding the funds to make donations can be challenging. The good news? You can still participate and get in the charitable spirit.</p> <p>Here are 10 ways you can give on #GivingTuesday without breaking your budget.</p> <h2>1. Use Philanthropic Apps</h2> <p>Put your smartphone to good use and download apps that can help you give back without spending a dime! If you are active, download <a href="http://www.charitymiles.org">Charity Miles</a>, <a href="http://resqwalk.com/">ResQWalk</a>, or <a href="http://www.wooftrax.com/">WoofTrax</a> to have the miles you walk or run earn money for charity. Or if you love taking photos, use the <a href="http://donateaphoto.com/en_US">Donate a Photo</a> app to share your photos and have $1 per photo be donated to charity.</p> <h2>2. Donate Your Rewards</h2> <p>If you earn rewards through loyalty programs or credit cards, why not use your points for good? Donate your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-sell-or-donate-your-airline-miles">frequent flyer miles</a> that are about to expire to charity, or if you have a rewards credit card, you may be able to use your points to donate to charity. Some <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-that-give-back-to-charity?ref=internal">credit cards even give to charity</a> when you sign up, or use your card.</p> <h2>3. Shop Socially Conscious Companies</h2> <p>Do some research before you start your holiday spending and give your business to companies that give back. For example, when buying a new pair of shoes for your kids, buy from <a href="http://www.toms.com">TOMS</a> to ensure that for every shoe you buy, one is given to someone in need. Or, if you have holiday travel plans and need a pet sitter, booking one through <a href="http://www.sittingforacause.com">Sitting for a Cause</a> (which, full disclosure, I own and operate) ensures a portion of the money you spend on your pet's care helps homeless animals.</p> <h2>4. Ask Your Employer About Charitable Benefits</h2> <p>Find out if your employer offers donation matching, and if they do, have them match any charitable contributions you make. Or see if your employer offers paid volunteer hours so you can give your time to a worthy cause. If your employer doesn't offer these programs, bring them up at your next review and see if you can get either option added to your benefits package.</p> <h2>5. Give Through Decluttering</h2> <p>Take a few hours to do declutter your home and get rid of items you no longer use. Have old blankets or towels? Donate them to your local animal shelter. Have tons of books collecting dust? Donate them to the library. Are extra clothes taking up space in your closet? Donate them to Goodwill.</p> <h2>6. Purchase Through AmazonSmile</h2> <p>Almost everyone uses Amazon to shop these days, but the next time you decide to make a purchase through Amazon, use&nbsp;<a href="https://smile.amazon.com/">AmazonSmile</a> instead. You can select a charity you'd like to benefit from your purchases and each time you make an eligible purchase, .5% of your payment will be sent to your designated charity.</p> <h2>7. Give Your Expertise</h2> <p>Are you a superstar at social media, a pro at photography, or a whiz at writing? Use your expertise to help one of your local nonprofits. It's not uncommon for a charity's resources to be limited, so helping with their social media, contributing to their blog, or offering to take photos at their events (or for animal shelters, taking photos of their adoptable pets) can have a positive impact on their success.</p> <h2>8. Become a Foster Parent</h2> <p>If you have the emotional stamina, open up your home to a child or animal in need. Foster homes are always needed for children or pets who are waiting to find permanent homes. Especially when it comes to animals, having a foster home alleviates the stress of being in a shelter and opens up space for another pet to wait for their home, so you've helped save two lives instead of just one!</p> <h2>9. Give Parts of Yourself</h2> <p>Do you have long hair? Are needles not at all scary to you? Then give to help others! Charities like&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wigsforkids.org/donate-hair">Wigs for Kids</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.locksoflove.org/">Locks of Love</a>, and&nbsp;<a href="http://pantene.com/en-us/brandexperience/prepare-your-hair">Pantene Beautiful Lengths</a> are always looking for hair donations to make wigs for those in need. Alternately, you can head to your local hospital or participate in a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.redcrossblood.org/">Red Cross blood drive</a> to donate blood or platelets.</p> <h2>10. Volunteer</h2> <p>When money is tight, the simplest way to give back is by donating your time to a worthy cause. Volunteers are often the backbone that keep nonprofits running, so by taking the time to volunteer, you are enabling the cause you work with to keep making a difference.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-give-back-on-givingtuesday-without-breaking-the-bank">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-spot-a-charity-scam-from-a-mile-away">How to Spot a Charity Scam From a Mile Away</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-places-where-you-can-always-shop-for-a-worthy-cause">20 Places Where You Can Always Shop for a Worthy Cause</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/charitable-giving-give-in-order-to-receive">Charitable Giving: Give in Order to Receive</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-local-charities-that-could-use-your-stuff">10 Local Charities That Could Use Your Stuff</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-should-make-these-11-easy-donations-before-time-runs-out">You Should Make These 11 Easy Donations Before Time Runs Out</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Shopping charitable giving charity donations fostering Giving Back giving Tuesday Fri, 25 Nov 2016 11:00:08 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1839209 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Money Moves You Can Make While Stuck in an Endless TSA Line http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-moves-you-can-make-while-stuck-in-an-endless-tsa-line <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-money-moves-you-can-make-while-stuck-in-an-endless-tsa-line" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_tsa_line_20741660.jpg" alt="Man making money moves in endless TSA line" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>At the airport closest to me, the TSA lines are legendary, especially during the holiday season. Last year, they were telling people to give themselves <em>an extra hour</em> before their flight, just to make sure they got through security on time. That's an extra hour on top of the usual hour or two recommended!</p> <p>I don't know about you, but I dread long lines. I spend the entire time thinking about what else I could be doing. Over the years, though, I've come up with ways to use my &quot;line time&quot; well. Here are a few things you can do to improve your financial life while waiting for TSA to get on the ball.</p> <h2>1. Start Using Mint</h2> <p><a href="http://mint.com">Mint</a> is a great way to track your finances. You sign up for an account, connect all of your bank, investment, and debt accounts, and it quietly tracks your overall financial situation. It allows you to look at spending, debt, and net worth automatically and with ease.</p> <p>This is a great thing to do if you're not really tracking your finances right now, or if you don't have a handle on your overall financial situation. Starting with the big picture is almost always a good idea, so that you know what is good and what is bad, right from the start.</p> <h2>2. Sign Up for Digit</h2> <p><a href="http://digit.co">Digit</a> is an online service that saves money for you. You connect the app to a bank account, and they track your spending. Based on what they find, they schedule automatic withdrawals to another account. They don't say much about their analysis algorithm, but people (myself included) claim that they don't notice or need the money that Digit removes from their accounts.</p> <p>If you're already saving, you probably don't need this tool. But if you forget to pay yourself first, this can be a great way to save without really thinking about it. And it's fun to watch your savings build up over time!</p> <h2>3. Check Your Credit</h2> <p>If you haven't looked at your free credit report in the last 12 months, you should. <a href="http://annualcreditreport.com">AnnualCreditReport.com</a> is the place to start. From there, you can enter identification information and view a report from each of the three credit reporting agencies: TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. Check for incorrect information or credit cards/lines of credit that may have been opened fraudulently.</p> <p>Do make sure that you have a secure Internet connection before you start sharing sensitive personal information. If you aren't sure, add this to your To Do list and work on something else while you're in line.</p> <h2>4. Set a Financial Goal</h2> <p>What would you like your money to do for you? Do you want to travel? Maybe you need to buy a new car. Think about your wants and needs, and choose one or two financial goals for the next few months. Having a goal will help you focus, and it will make you more likely to do things like curb spending or follow through on a savings plan.</p> <p>Don't set too many goals, though. Picking one or two things to save for &mdash; maybe one practical thing and one that's fun &mdash; will give you plenty of motivation without the stress of feeling like your money has to go in too many different directions.</p> <h2>5. Choose a Charity</h2> <p>If you're like me, giving often falls by the wayside. It's not that I don't want to do it, but that I want to be responsible with it. If you want to make sure that any charity that gets your money is actually using it for their stated purposes, do your research while you stand in line.</p> <p>Start by going to your intended charity's website. Most of them will offer some sort of fiscal documentation. If you want to give to a smaller charity, you may need to give them a call and ask for it, instead.</p> <p>If you don't even know where to start giving, start with a simple Google search. Pick an issue that is important to you, and look for charities that target it. You can even limit your search to charities in your local area, if you're interested in volunteering or getting more involved.</p> <h2>6. Check Your Bills</h2> <p>Not sure how long you'll be in line? Pull up your latest credit card bills and glance through them. Make sure that you recognize all the charges and that, to the best of your knowledge, they are for the right amount. Many people find mistakes on their credit card bills, and you can always contact the company to have them fixed. That usually means more money in your pocket.</p> <p>If you don't recognize a charge but you aren't sure, flag it for later, when you can go through your receipts and figure out if it's correct. If you find something very concerning, call your credit company from the line. The sooner you can get in touch with them, the sooner you'll have your money back where it belongs.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-money-moves-you-can-make-while-stuck-in-an-endless-tsa-line&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%20Money%20Moves%20You%20Can%20Make%20While%20Stuck%20in%20an%20Endless%20TSA%20Line.jpg&amp;description=6%20Money%20Moves%20You%20Can%20Make%20While%20Stuck%20in%20an%20Endless%20TSA%20Line" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Money%20Moves%20You%20Can%20Make%20While%20Stuck%20in%20an%20Endless%20TSA%20Line.jpg" alt="6 Money Moves You Can Make While Stuck in an Endless TSA Line" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-moves-you-can-make-while-stuck-in-an-endless-tsa-line">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-sign-up-for-global-entry">How to Sign Up for Global Entry</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-apps-that-monitor-your-credit-for-you">7 Apps That Monitor Your Credit for You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-moves-every-new-college-student-should-make">7 Money Moves Every New College Student Should Make</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-online-forums-thatll-help-you-reach-your-financial-goals">9 Online Forums That&#039;ll Help You Reach Your Financial Goals</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-why-you-shouldnt-freak-out-if-you-miss-a-payment-due-date">Here&#039;s Why You Shouldn&#039;t Freak Out If You Miss a Payment Due Date</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Travel airports apps bills budgeting charity credit report digit free time mint money moves security tsa waiting in line Thu, 10 Nov 2016 10:30:29 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1830272 at http://www.wisebread.com 13 Financial Gifts to Give Yourself This Holiday Season http://www.wisebread.com/13-financial-gifts-to-give-yourself-this-holiday-season <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/13-financial-gifts-to-give-yourself-this-holiday-season" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_wrapped_gift_77878153.jpg" alt="Woman giving financial gifts to herself this holiday season" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The holiday shopping season is around the corner. And while the average holiday shopper will dole out more than $800 for gifts, about half will also spend an average of $132 on non-gift items for themselves. Hey &mdash; there's nothing wrong with treating yourself, especially when discounts are steep and shopping centers are extra cheery.</p> <p>But, you might want to consider putting that buck thirty toward something more substantial, such as your fiscal health. Read on for our guide to the top financial gifts you should consider giving yourself this holiday season. We promise, there will be no buyers remorse involved.</p> <h2>1. Boost Your Retirement Fund Contribution</h2> <p>The best time to start investing is now. Case in point: If you start maxing out your IRA contributions at age 25, you will have saved $1.6 million by the time you're 70. But if you were to start at 35, you'd save about half that sum. So whatever the form of your retirement savings, be it IRA, 401K, or 403(b), consider boosting your contribution this holiday season. Even a 1% increase can go a long way to making your golden years more comfortable.</p> <h2>2. Pay Down Your Debt</h2> <p>When it comes to personal debt, even $100 can make a sizable dent. Without a doubt, every little bit counts. Use a <a href="https://www.calcxml.com/calculators/how-long-will-it-take-to-pay-off-my-credit-card">minimum payment calculator</a> to determine just how long it will take your to pay down your credit card debt &mdash; and precisely how much mileage that $100 can get you.</p> <h2>3. Reassess Your Investments</h2> <p>How are your investments faring? Are you on track to meet your earnings expectations? Or do you have too much riskily tied up in a single company's stock? Gift yourself an hour spent reassessing your investments. Rid yourself of risk you can't shoulder and sour gambles.</p> <h2>4. Invest in Professional Advice</h2> <p>In the Internet age, getting good investment advice is easy and affordable. <a href="https://www.wealthfront.com">Wealthfront</a>, which boasts a stable of world-class financial experts that excels in making small money grow, offers free accounts totaling $10,000 or less. And you can open an account with <a href="https://www.betterment.com/">Betterment</a> even if you have no money.</p> <h2>5. Deposit an Extra $100 Into Your Savings Account</h2> <p>It's simple enough: Rather than buy yourself a couple of new sweaters, take that holiday cash and stow it away as savings. And if you think $100 won't make much difference, think again: If you were to sack away an extra $100 quarterly for the next 10 years, you've have an extra $4,000 in your savings account. That's more than the average down payment for a new car.</p> <h2>6. Boost Your Emergency Fund</h2> <p>It's smart to have funds stowed away for the kinds of emergencies life sometimes throws at us. Natural disaster. Illness. Job loss. If you've got an emergency fund, consider funneling some more funds into it. And if you don't, consider setting one up, even if you inaugurate it with a modest $100 investment. It's far better to be prepared than dumbstruck by a bad set of circumstances.</p> <h2>7. Draft a Financial Plan</h2> <p>A third of Americans have taken no steps <a href="https://www.northwesternmutual.com/about-us/studies/planning-and-progress-2015-study">toward financial planning</a>. If you don't have a plan, invest a day to join yourself among the ranks of the minority of Americans who do. It can be as simple as stating your financial priorities and then mapping out what you need to do to achieve them. Yes, it's drudge work. But you stand to benefit greatly by slogging through.</p> <h2>8. Purchase a Book on Finance</h2> <p>Whether it's the stock market or saving for retirement or paying down debt, most of us have a weak spot in our financial literacy. Why not help yourself close that gap by purchasing a book on your weakest link? For inspiration, check out our list of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-classic-personal-finance-books-you-must-read">classic personal finance books</a>.</p> <h2>9. Write a Will</h2> <p>The hardest part about will-writing is getting yourself to actually sit down and write it. No one wants to rationalize their own death by taking time out of their life to plan for it. Nonetheless, it's an important tool that can help to ensure that your property and wishes are carried out according to your liking when you're no longer around to dictate. If your finances are uncomplicated, consider creating an online will, which is perhaps the quickest and easiest way to complete the process.</p> <h2>10. Review Your Credit Score</h2> <p>It costs nothing to check your credit score, but the price of ignoring it can be huge. Your credit score determines critical stuff such as your insurance premium rate and your ability to get a loan. If you're unfamiliar with your credit score, it's probably a good idea to take a pause and get acquainted with it &mdash; and then commit to reviewing it annually. (Be on the lookout for any errors, which could be preventing you from getting lower rates).</p> <h2>11. Donate to Charity</h2> <p>It pays to help others in need. Not only can making a charitable donation give you the feel-good fuzzies, it can also <a href="https://www.irs.gov/uac/eight-tips-for-deducting-charitable-contributions">lower your tax bill</a>. Just remember to keep good records.</p> <h2>12. Cash in on Your Credit Card Rewards</h2> <p>Airline miles, hotel rewards, and cash are just a few of the amazing incentives available to those who swipe responsibly. But if you don't use 'em, you lose 'em, so take a moment to assess what rewards you've got, when they expire, and whether now's a good time to cash in. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cash-back-vs-travel-rewards-pick-the-right-credit-card-for-you?ref=internal">Cash Back vs Travel Rewards: Pick the Right Credit Card for You</a>)</p> <h2>13. Review Your Account Statements</h2> <p>Remember all those account statements you've been filing away? Now's the time to actually read and analyze the charges. A bogus charge is a tried and true sign of identity theft, so it'll serve you well to review all your statements thoroughly. Painstaking though it may be, giving your financial records a good read affords you the opportunity to correct any improper service fees that may have been mistakenly docked from your account. If you find a faulty charge, you can get reimbursed from your bank or credit card company. If you don't, then you can rest assured that all is in order. Think of it as a game with no chance to lose.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-financial-gifts-to-give-yourself-this-holiday-season">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-goals-you-should-set-for-the-holidays">10 Money Goals You Should Set for the Holidays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-excuses-we-need-to-stop-making-about-overspending">5 Excuses We Need to Stop Making About Overspending</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-build-an-emergency-fund-from-0">7 Easy Ways to Build an Emergency Fund From $0</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moments-that-should-be-on-everyones-bucket-list">8 Money Moments That Should Be On Everyone&#039;s Bucket List</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/teach-your-kids-about-money-with-their-holiday-gift-lists">Teach Your Kids About Money With Their Holiday Gift Lists</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance bills charity Christmas emergency funds estate planning gifts Holidays investments paying debt saving money Mon, 07 Nov 2016 09:00:08 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1827215 at http://www.wisebread.com My 16 Favorite Ways to Get Rid of Clutter http://www.wisebread.com/my-16-favorite-ways-to-get-rid-of-clutter <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/my-16-favorite-ways-to-get-rid-of-clutter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_clothes_clutter_39948832.jpg" alt="Woman finding ways to get rid of clutter" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Ugh. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-clutter-keeps-you-poor">I hate clutter</a>. It actually hurts my brain. However, even if I were Mari Kondo fancy, and could afford to throw away everything in my house that I don't love, my inner-tree-hugger would feel guilty about putting perfectly usable items into the landfill. So, what's an environmentally responsible person to do with their clutter?</p> <p>Here are my top 16 clutter-busters that keep my house from looking like a warehouse:</p> <h2>1. Stop Bringing New Clutter Into Your House</h2> <p>If you have a cluttered house, chances are you already <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/one-simple-thing-you-can-do-today-to-start-living-frugally">have everything you need</a> to survive. If you are like me and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/from-dumpster-diving-to-garage-sales-turning-trash-into-cash">love to trash pick</a> like it's a competitive sport, this means sidelining your treasure-hunting hobby until you have a grip on what you own.</p> <p>But, don't despair my freegan brethren. You can still get the thrill of the hunt; you just have to do it inside your house.</p> <h2>2. Use It Up, Wear It Out, Make It Do, or Do Without</h2> <p>I like to turn this Depression Era proverb into a game. How long can I go without buying groceries? How long will it take for me to eat through my pantry? If you have a hard time staying on the no new clutter wagon, challenge a like-minded friend to a competition to keep yourself accountable. Can you go one year without bringing stuff into your home?</p> <p>By the way, stepping away from the consumer treadmill even for 90 days (or 30, or even 10!) is a great way to save money.</p> <h2>3. Sell Your Stuff Online</h2> <p>Duh. This seems obvious. Typically I make a few thousand dollars every year by selling my old things on eBay, Etsy, and Craigslist.</p> <p>There are different price thresholds for different selling platforms. I can generally get more money by selling vintage items and clothes on Etsy and eBay than I can by selling them on Craigslist. For things like home electronics, buyers in my area will pay more on Craigslist than they will at a garage sale for the exact same item. To maximize your cash do a little research on who is paying a premium for your things.</p> <p>Depending on what you own, you might be able to flip your old things for cash by using specialty sites that focus on one type of merchandise such as <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-sell-your-kids-stuff-at-a-consignment-sale">baby clothes</a>, <a href="https://www.discogs.com/sell/list">vinyl records</a>, and <a href="https://www.1stdibs.com/furniture/">vintage home furnishings</a>.</p> <h2>4. Consign Your Stuff at a Brick and Mortar Store</h2> <p>I personally prefer to sell difficult to ship items like furniture and glassware to a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beyond-goodwill-the-different-types-of-thrift-stores">local second hand store</a> for either store credit or cash. Although stores usually take a 30% to 60% cut of the sale price, sometimes it's better to cash out so you can get those things out of your house before you break them and they become unsellable.</p> <p>There are some second hand stores that will buy goods outright for cash, and some stores that will only give you store credit. If you consign your items at a store, make sure that you are clear about pricing. Some stores will discount your goods to nothing after a set period of time. And some stores will not return items that don't sell to you. If you have a bottom price threshold, this needs to be negotiated in advance and on paper.</p> <p>In addition to bulky vintage items, I also sell back my used books, records, and contemporary clothes to second hand stores for cash.</p> <h2>5. Throw a Garage Sale</h2> <p>I paid for two entire years of my life by trash picking furniture and then selling it back to my neighbors at monthly garage sales. Last year my husband and I paid for our Christmas vacation with money that we'd earned selling stuff at garage sales. And our garage sale inventory wasn't even that amazing. Like, I can't even remember half the things we got rid of! They were that inconsequential to my life.</p> <p>I approach every garage sale as an opportunity to get other people to pay to remove clutter from my house, so most things are priced at one dollar. By taking this grateful-to-my-customer stance, I am always happy with my garage sale earnings, regardless of how paltry.</p> <h2>6. Gift</h2> <p>Shopping for presents is time consuming and expensive. A few years ago I decided to start gifting clothes and things in my house to admiring friends and family members. As in, &quot;Oh, you like that? Here, just take it with you. Happy early birthday.&quot; This on the spot gifting is always a welcome surprise and I don't have to fuss with wrapping.</p> <h2>7. Recycle</h2> <p>I know many people who live in homes that resemble recycling centers because they care about the environment. While it is a good thing to keep resources like glass and paper out of the landfill, you are not actually doing the world any good by turning your house into a mini dump. Companies as diverse as <a href="https://www.terracycle.com/en-US/brigades">Terracycle</a> and <a href="https://www.madewell.com/madewell_feature/DENIMDONATION_sm.jsp">Madewell</a> have recycling programs for hard to recycle items like denim, instrument strings, and Solo Cups.</p> <h2>8. Upcycle</h2> <p>Why pay for new craft supplies when you have clutter? Instead of bringing new, virgin goods into your home, find <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-awesome-practically-free-upcycled-craft-projects?ref=seealso">new uses for your old things</a>. You don't even have to have any creative talent to upcycle. For example, upcycle your old cotton underwear into cleaning rags.</p> <p>My husband and I own two Moroccan poufs. Rather than pay for new stuffing, we filled our poufs with old linens and drop cloths that are too torn or stained to sell or donate.</p> <h2>9. Share</h2> <p>I share a china pattern with my brother-in-law. I only have space in my small kitchen for eight place settings. My brother-in-law has 12 place settings. Whenever we have larger dinner parties, we loan each other dishes. What can you share with your friends and neighbors? I share garden tools with my friend Laura. I share kitchen gadgets with my neighbor Alexandra. I share a set of luggage with my sister. I only have to store those things in my house half the time. More importantly, I don't have to buy every single thing.</p> <h2>10. Check It Out</h2> <p>If you don't have handy friends and neighbors, look for a tool library in your area. I don't own bike repair tools because I live within walking distance of a bike repair cooperative.</p> <p>I am a lifelong library patron. In addition to checking out books, music, and videos, I use my library as an air-conditioned oasis in the summer when my house becomes unbearably hot, and as my personal newsstand. Once a month a have a magazine date with myself and spend an afternoon flipping through glossy pages to my heart's content. I give myself a little reading vacation, and cut the clutter and the cost of owning a personal subscription all in one fell swoop.</p> <h2>11. Catch and Release</h2> <p>I am a minimalist traveler. The only time I buy books is when I'm going on a trip. I buy the cheapest copy of the books I want to read so I have no problem leaving them behind in cafes and airports when I am done with them. Not only do I get cheap, analog entertainment, this book packing method always ensures that I have a little room in my luggage for vacation purchases.</p> <h2>12. Rent</h2> <p>Due to near constant <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-everything-breaks">car trouble this year</a>, I have been experimenting, unintentionally, with living as a one-car household in Los Angeles. I suspect by the end of the year that the math will prove that it is cheaper for us to rent a second car when we need one rather than own three cars outright.</p> <p>I don't love renting because I know that ownership is generally a better deal. But, do I really need to buy a jackhammer to break up my cracked driveway? No, I do not.</p> <p>When deciding when to rent and when to own, be honest: How often will you use this item? Will your daughter wear her Quinceañera dress a second time? Consider the extra cost of renting to be money that you saved on storage fees.</p> <h2>13. Swap</h2> <p>Even our shyest friends love our book exchange party that we host every New Year's Day. The concept is simple: Everyone brings the books they enjoyed reading but are now taking up shelf space, and throws them on the communal pile. Our guests take as many books as they want home, for free. The books that are left behind are donated to the Los Angeles Public Book Drive.</p> <p>Swap parties are fun because it's weirdly satisfying to see people fall in love with your old things. But why stop at books? What about a winter coat swap at your kid's school? How about a kitchen tool or recipe swap party with your neighbors? I offset the cost of my groceries by attending a monthly neighborhood backyard produce swap.</p> <h2>14. Donate Like a True Do-Gooder (Without Getting Audited)</h2> <p>If you want to get stuff out of your house in a hurry, feel like you are helping the less fortunate, and get a tax write off, donate your extra stuff to charity.</p> <p>Charities like The Salvation Army and Goodwill do not set a valuation on your donation. That responsibility is left up to you. But donor beware! Huge tax deductions for donated goods are a red flag to auditors. Use a <a href="https://satruck.org/Home/DonationValueGuide">donation value guide</a> to assess the true market value of your used items. Also, it's a good practice to photograph your donated goods so you have evidence of your good works should you get audited.</p> <p>Ahem, let me get on my soapbox for one moment.</p> <p>Charities spend a huge amount of their budgets on trash collection because so many people use their local shop as a dumping ground for all their old crap. Would you buy a pair of pants with a brown stain across the front? No, you would not. Don't be that guy who trades trash for a tax write-off. That's cheating on taxes and on charity.</p> <p>When it comes to charity donations I am very careful to only donate items that are in selling condition. As in, an item is in such good condition that I would spend money to buy it.</p> <p>(Steps off soapbox.)</p> <p>That said, just like I am always on the hunt for new places to recycle weird stuff, I am always on the lookout for groups that repair expensive, broken goods for charity. For example, I donate my old glasses to the <a href="http://www.lionsclubs.org/EN/how-we-serve/health/sight/eyeglass-recycling.php">Lions Club</a>.</p> <p>The screen of my laptop computer died in January. Although I could sell it on Craigslist for parts, I'm donating it to CRASH Space, my local hackerspace, because I know the makers there will recycle the entire machine responsibly. As a side benefit, I can claim this donation as a tax write-off since CRASH Space is a nonprofit.</p> <h2>15. Curb It</h2> <p>My nightly walk takes me past a wide set of concrete steps that used to lead to an apartment building but now lead to a vacant lot. I few years ago I started leaving items that were in usable condition, but not nice enough to donate or sell for money, on the steps to nowhere. I leave pretty much everything &mdash; stinky shampoo, old clothes, recently expired canned goods, vintage electronics, magazines, pens that I don't like &mdash; on the steps, neatly merchandised for easy shopping. The things that aren't gone by the next night, I know they are truly garbage. I throw the leftovers away without guilt. Usually, the stuff is gone before morning.</p> <p>This personal donation spot has been a fun experiment. I have met some of my late night shoppers and I was happy to hear how they are enjoying my old things. Also, some of my neighbors have started copying me. About once a week I see that someone else has made a donation to the steps.</p> <h2>16. Go Digital</h2> <p>Yes, I am old. I came of age in a world without cloud storage and I have nostalgia for books made from dead trees. So is it any surprise that the bulk of my clutter is paper-based? Between the library and our digital subscriptions to everything from IMDB to Netflix, we're managing our shelf space, but our file cabinet is exploding.</p> <p>Although I have successfully resisted this chore for more than a decade, I am finally getting around to digitizing the hard copies of all my old contracts, patterns, notes, etc. for clutter free, online storage.</p> <p>Does anyone have any tips on digitizing documents and ditching paper clutter? (Oh, please). I could use all the help I can get!</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fmy-16-favorite-ways-to-get-rid-of-clutter&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FMy%252016%2520Favorite%2520Ways%2520to%2520Get%2520Rid%2520of%2520Clutter.jpg&amp;description=My%2016%20Favorite%20Ways%20to%20Get%20Rid%20of%20Clutter"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/My%2016%20Favorite%20Ways%20to%20Get%20Rid%20of%20Clutter.jpg" alt="My 16 Favorite Ways to Get Rid of Clutter" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-16-favorite-ways-to-get-rid-of-clutter">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-money-and-declutter-by-selling-these-5-unlikely-treasures">Make Money and Declutter by Selling These 5 Unlikely Treasures</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-throw-out-today">25 Things to Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-gifts-that-wont-become-clutter">9 Gifts That Won&#039;t Become Clutter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-decide-what-to-keep-when-downsizing">How to Decide What to Keep When Downsizing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-rid-of-all-your-crap">How to Get Rid of All Your Crap</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Organization charity cleaning clutter craigslist downsizing eBay garage sales mari kondo renting selling waste Tue, 01 Nov 2016 09:30:31 +0000 Max Wong 1824618 at http://www.wisebread.com Rich People Spend $350K+ to Park Their Cars — Here's How We'd Spend it Instead http://www.wisebread.com/rich-people-spend-350k-to-park-their-cars-heres-how-wed-spend-it-instead <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/rich-people-spend-350k-to-park-their-cars-heres-how-wed-spend-it-instead" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/fancy_sports_car_91447401.jpg" alt="Spend $350K on this instead of parking fancy cars" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I came across a news report recently about the construction of a <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2016/09/14/luxury/autohouse-car-condo-miami/index.html">luxury condominium for cars</a>. It will allow people with fancy cars to park their vehicles in a secure environment, at the reasonable cost of just $350,000.</p> <p>Yes, $350,000 for a place to park.</p> <p>Suffice it to say, we can think of smarter things to do with $350,000. If you are lucky enough to have this kind of cash available to you, consider these alternative and sensible ways to spend your money.</p> <h2>1. Bolster That Emergency Fund</h2> <p>Before you shell out thousands of dollars for that custom-made personal watercraft, ask yourself if you'd have enough cash left to pay for a major medical bill if you got hurt. Or a hot water heater if it leaked all over your basement. Ask yourself how long you could get by if you lost your job. It's bad to blow money on unnecessary things. It's even worse to blow that money when you have nothing saved for a rainy day. Make sure you have <em>at least</em> three months of living expenses in liquid savings before you make any crazy purchases.</p> <h2>2. Pay Off High-Interest Debt</h2> <p>If you have money, there's no real excuse for carrying high-interest debt, such as that from credit cards. Interest from debt can erode your net worth, so pay off as much as you can. Focus on paying down the debts with the highest interest rates and go from there.</p> <h2>3. Contribute Maximum Toward Retirement</h2> <p>If you have a high income, there's no reason to hold back on putting as much into your retirement funds as possible. Those with 401K accounts can contribute up to $18,000 per year, and anyone with earned income can contribute $5,500 annually into an individual retirement account. Both of these accounts allow you to invest and see your money grow in a tax advantaged way. Focus on investments that mirror the overall performance of the stock market, and you'll see your money grow without much stress. Maxing out retirement funds may very well be the least frivolous thing to do with your money.</p> <h2>4. Invest Even More</h2> <p>Okay, so you've maxed out the amount you can place in retirement accounts. That doesn't mean you can't continue to invest! If you have the funds, consider buying stocks, mutual funds, and exchange-traded funds in a traditional brokerage account. You will have to pay taxes on any gains, but if you're investing for the long haul, you'll still come out well ahead in most cases.</p> <h2>5. Go to College</h2> <p>The best kind of investment is an investment in yourself. If you have enough money to pay for college, go for it! A typical person with a bachelor's degree <a href="https://trends.collegeboard.org/education-pays/figures-tables/lifetime-earnings-education-level">earns 66% more</a> over the course of their lifetime than someone who does not got to college, according to the College Board. And the earnings get even higher for those with advanced degrees. If you've already been to college, consider opening a college savings account for your children or another relative who's college-bound. Most states offer 529 plans that allow you to invest money without paying tax on the gains, provided that the money is later used for education expenses.</p> <h2>6. Buy a Home (Or a Second One)</h2> <p>If you're sitting on a sizable sum of money, it might make sense to put some toward a down payment on a house or other piece of real estate. It's better than renting, because you're building equity and may be able to even sell the real estate later at a profit. If you already own a home, consider buying a second and renting it out. This way, you not only get the benefits of real estate ownership, but an additional income stream as well. This sure beats cars or other material items that don't accrue in value.</p> <h2>7. Do Some Home Maintenance and Upgrades</h2> <p>Maybe it's time for a new roof, or your furnace has been on the fritz. Maybe you've always wanted to turn the basement into a nice family room. If you invest a little money into your home, you can stave off expensive repairs later, and any upgrades you make could increase your home value.</p> <h2>8. Give Some Away</h2> <p>$350,000 is a fair chunk of change, so why not give some away to a cause that you support? Remember that all charitable donations are tax deductible, so there's a financial benefit to giving away cash rather than spending it on something silly.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/rich-people-spend-350k-to-park-their-cars-heres-how-wed-spend-it-instead">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-14"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-moves-to-make-as-soon-as-you-conquer-debt">7 Money Moves to Make as Soon as You Conquer Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-putting-off-these-9-adult-money-moves">Are You Putting Off These 9 Adult Money Moves?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-increase-your-net-worth-this-year">10 Ways to Increase Your Net Worth This Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-family-money-matters-your-kids-dont-need-to-know">9 Family Money Matters Your Kids Don&#039;t Need to Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-strengthen-your-finances-before-retirement">5 Ways to Strengthen Your Finances Before Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Budgeting 401k charity debt emergency funds investing IRA luxury money retirement spending Thu, 13 Oct 2016 09:30:20 +0000 Tim Lemke 1811799 at http://www.wisebread.com