Why is it that we feel more charitable around the holidays? Maybe it's the eggnog getting to our heads, but holiday time is a huge season for making strangers feel warm and special. According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics, Giving USA 2015 estimated the 2014 figure for individual giving at $258.51 billion, which was a 7.1% increase from that of the year prior. Maybe it's all the horrible news that keeps bombarding our screens. But donating to charity is not just a generous way to spend your extra cash around the holiday season: there's a way that charity can give back, too.
According to Charity Navigator, when you make a donation to an eligible charity, you can save on taxes. For example, the higher your tax bracket, the lower the actual cost of your donation, considering your tax savings. For example, if you're in a 33% tax bracket and donate $100 to a charity, that means you're only actually paying $67 when you take your $33 tax savings into account. The higher your tax bracket, the more tax savings you will have. So, it pays to be wealthy!
Another benefit you may not know about your donation to a qualified charity, is that it's deductible within the year, even if you make a payment on credit that is not made until the following year. Most charitable organizations also qualify for a charitable contribution deduction, including religious organizations, educational organizations, hospitals, government units, and more.
But people assume incorrectly when they think only monetary donations can give them tax breaks. Even if you're not donating money, you can still be recognized for deductions for clothing and household items in "good condition or better." These will be taken into consideration at their value.
But one important caveat: you must always remember your documentation, even for non-monetary donations. If you donate clothes to Goodwill, for example, always get a receipt. In case you are audited, you must have a canceled check, credit card statement, or a written verification statement from the charity including its name, the date of donation, and amount donated. Even if you donate some dollars into a bucket, without a receipt, you won't be able to use that as a charitable deduction.
Donating to charity is a great thing to do all year round, to all parties involved. For more on how you can give the best gift of all this season, read this!
Airbnb offers an affordable option for people looking to be more comfortable as they travel.
However, there are downsides to staying in a host's home rather than a hotel. Whereas hotels are designed for constant streams of visitors and often have furniture built to last, at an Airbnb, you may be staying on old or cheap furniture that a host is using in order to maximize their profits.
And while most reputable hotels will have regular room inspections from staff to check for any wear and tear, Airbnb damage disputes are oftentimes he said, she said situations. If you are in an Airbnb and something breaks, there are a few steps you should take in order to ensure that you are not on the hook for damages out of your control.
If you're keeping tabs on the art and tech worlds, you've probably been hearing whispers about "NFTs" for the past month. Just over the past week they've entered the mainstream lexicon.
Twitter founder Jack Dorsey made the news for selling his first ever tweet. The app has been teasing paid subscription models and newsletter-like features, but tweets for sale is "the next frontier."
just setting up my twttr— jack (@jack)1142974214.0
The 2006 tweet went up for auction as an NFT, and the current bid is $2.5 Million. But what does it mean to own that? Why would anyone want to? And what even is an NFT?
Long gone are the days when the majority of Americans dreamed about owning a home with a white picket fence.
The traditional American Dream may be on its deathbed, but that doesn't mean a core component of the vision can't survive. It simply takes a diverse perspective. People can still believe they can attain their own vision of success in society with hard work, knowledge, and risk-taking. Investing in today's American Dream may literally mean investing money in our modern economy, starting with our infrastructure.
Real estate investing in particular is a lucrative method that can boost income and secure a better financial future for many. There's always risk involved, but the payoffs can far outweigh the uncertainty. Selecting solid financial investments is about confidence and competence. If you're looking for some advice on this kind of investment, here are a few savvy tips for new real estate investors.
Stick To a Specific Strategy or Niche
Real estate is a challenging sphere of the business world, one that requires several key skills: groundwork knowledge, networking, perseverance, and organization. True knowledge of the real estate market will come with time and experience, but it's a smart idea to select one area of the market and stick to it. This is the best way to attain in-depth familiarity with your specific niche.
First, choose a geographical area close by and then a niche strategy within it, such as house flips, rental rehabs, or residential or commercial properties. By doing so, you can become aware of current inner working conditions in the market and you'll have a better idea of how these trends may change in the future.
Be Vigilant About Viable Financing Options
While it takes money to make money, you don't have to use all your own money. A common misconception about real estate investing is that you must be wealthy to start off. This isn't straight fact, however. A majority of people can test the waters of real estate investing without a lot of initial cash in their pocket.
Aside from traditional financing options from banks and institutions, private lending options can be worthy solutions. Hard money lenders are popular, reasonable choices, and they tend to have fewer qualification requirements upfront. However, be sure to strategically choose a hard money lender to find the best possible fit.
Master the Art of Finding Good Deals
There may be hundreds of thousands of available properties for sale on the current market, but the bulk of them will never amount to the final money-making result you desire. Another great tip for new real estate investors is to use good math to estimate profit. Taking risks is part of the process, but you have the ability to analyze properties and use networking sources to find the greatest deal. You can't win every deal, but you can steadily work towards a thriving financial future.