By Lan Robertson
The scent of freshly baked gingerbread cookies, the sparkling lights from Christmas trees, and the kindling of the lights of a candelabrum menorah are just a few of the things that we have to forward to as we jump into the holiday spirit this festive month of December.
That’s right! The holidays are here and while many of us will be celebrating and giving gifts, this is a busy time of the year and it’s important that you make the most of your time. Here are a few tips that always help me keep my cool when there is so much to do in so little time:
1. Save money by prepaying tax-deductible bills. For example, if you paid your January mortgage in December, you could deduct the January interest payment this year. The same with a property tax bill. If a property tax bill is due in January or February of next year, as a homeowner you may also pay it this month and deduct it from your taxes for 2011.
2. Max out college and retirement contributions. If you have a 401k for yourself or a 529 college savings plan for the kids, make the largest additional deposit you can according to the legal limits and your own financial comfort. Remember though, it would pay to stretch yourself in this area. First of all, the money is not leaving your life; its going into the future to multiply on your behalf. And second, the government is going to give you additional credit for preparing for your own future as well as your childs! Being paid to save can be worth the sacrifice. Read more…