‘Tis the season for holiday spending! Regardless of what time of year it is, we realize that money is always on your mind – whether at the forefront or on the backburner. At Intuit, our mission is to power prosperity around the world, and we do so every day through our flagship products – TurboTax, QuickBooks, and Mint.
In the spirit of giving, we’ve compiled some of our favorite financial tips to get you through the holiday season, so you can spend less time worrying about money and more time celebrating with friends and family. From our family to yours, happy holidays!
Boost next year’s tax refund by making charitable contributions:
Did you clean out your closet this year? In addition to making space in your closet, you may qualify for a tax deduction for the fair value of donated household goods that you no longer use, including books and magazines that you give to the library. Track your charitable donations with TurboTax ItsDeductible to help accurately value and track it all so nothing gets left behind!
Did you know that close to 30% of all charitable donations are made in the last few weeks of the year? If you haven’t already, consider donating to your favorite charity. Many companies also provide corporate matching, enabling you to potentially double the impact of your donation. It’s a win-win for everyone!
Make a gift budget – and stick to it:
If Santa makes a list and checks it twice, then you should too! You’re more likely to overspend if you haven’t made a budget, so talk with your family to manage expectations and decide what is truly important to you. Have a big family? Consider doing a White Snowflake gift exchange or DIY cookie swap Hosting everyone for dinner? Consider making it a potluck to save money (not to mention hours of cooking time!).
Check your Flexible Spending Account:
Sometimes money can disappear at the start of a new year! If you contribute to a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) then double check your policy to see what happens if you don’t spend it all by the end of the year. Many FSA’s have a use it or lose it policy, so check if your money disappears or has a 90-day grace period. If you have a balance that doesn’t roll over, consider spending on it applicable medical expenses before you’re counting down the clock on New Year’s Eve (treat yourself to that FSA-approved acupuncture appointment so you don’t end up gifting vitamins as a stocking stuffer)!
Consider alternate income sources:
Is your budget looking tight? Consider turning your hobby into a paying side hustle to generate some extra income. If you’ve had your holiday decorations up since November 1st, consider offering your decorating services to your neighbors. If you have a green thumb, consider offering gardening services. It’s a great calorie burn after one too many holiday cookies and helps out your neighbors while they’re traveling for the holidays. You could also do small accounting, graphic design, or web development projects while enjoying a cup of hot cocoa on the side from the comfort of your own home.
Following these easy tips can help you earn more money, spend less, and identify opportunities where you might have left money behind. At Intuit, we believe that together we prosper and hope these tips set you up for holiday success and in the new decade.