Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Sunday, January 24, 2010
According to a recent post on a New York Times blog, “If you made a charitable contribution to the relief effort in Haiti, you may be able to claim a deduction on your 2009 tax return.”
Normally, contributions are deductible only for the same tax year in which they are made. But both houses of Congress moved quickly to make an exception, which allows taxpayers who itemize their tax deductions to deduct their donations on their 2009 returns for qualified Haiti disaster relief. President Obama is expected to sign the measure shortly.”
If you plan on making these deductions, be sure to keep your receipts! “Generally, a bank record or written communication from the charity will suffice, but it should include the charity’s name, along with the date and amount of the contribution. If you made a donation through your cellphone via text message, keep your telephone bill, which must also show the name of the organization and the date and amount of your donation.”
This news is interesting, but I personally did not give my charitable donation for the aid of Haiti to get a tax write-off, I gave money because I found it so sad that fellow human beings are suffering after experiencing such hardship after a natural catastrophe. So far, I have sent a donation to the American Red Cross and a text message donation to Wyclef Jean’s Yele Haiti organization. I plan to give two more donations to Habitat for Humanity and Doctors Without Borders during the month of February. It has been a goal for me to do charitable giving on a monthly basis for a long time, and making small donations for Haiti has just been a way for me to jumpstart the process.
Friday, January 22, 2010
Saturday, January 16, 2010
I currently have three close friends that are expecting right now and so I will be attending at least three baby showers during the course of 2010. It’s only January, so I could feasibly have other friends with “special announcements” as the year goes on. So now comes the question, How much I should budget for each baby gift? I’m thinking of setting a limit of $25-$35 per gift. I'd love to spend more, but I think that limit is what I can reasonably afford right now with the other goals I am saving for this year. As a twenty-something, I expect to have to allot money for wedding and baby shower gifts pretty regularly for the next several years, so I'd better get used to it!
I like giving a variety of things and usually use gift bags but this time, I plan to look for inexpensive baskets to put the gifts in which is “greener” anyway because they can be reused. I won’t actually go into detail on what gifts I plan to give because I believe some of my friends occasionally read this blog (and I’ll also make the final decisions after looking at their registries), but here are some items I’ve given as baby gifts in the past that have fit in my targeted price range:
- Bath toys
- Bath tubs
- Diaper bags
- Baby bath towels and wash cloths
- Lotions, soaps, shampoo
- Onesies (6 months or older)
- Clothing (6 months or older)
- First Aid Kits for babies
- Spa gift certificate for Mom-to-be
How do you decide what price-limits to set on gifts for special occasions like baby showers?
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Click here to donate to UNICEF’s relief efforts.
Click here to donate to Wyclef’s charity, Yele Haiti.
Click here to donate to the Red Cross.
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Saturday, January 2, 2010
- Take one international trip
- Apply for two grants for non-profit organizations I am involved with
- Participate in Nanowrimo
- Exercise at least once a week
- Blog more frequently
- Take more photos
- Increase emergency fund by $1700
- Eliminate all credit card debt
- Start future goals fund (home purchase, car purchase, etc) and contribute $1500
- Two month shopping moratorium at some point in 2010
- Write/publish a minimum of two freelance articles
- Generate $500 income outside of my day-time job
- Obtain a professional mentor
- Complete all course requirements for my graduate program