Budgeting is important, especially around the holiday season when money is stretched to cover a number of costs: gifts for family and friends, entertainment, transportation – and don’t forget charitable donations. After all, it`s the season to give!
With the holiday season fast-approaching, it’s important to create a holiday budget, which may include charitable giving. By creating a holiday budget before the busy season gets underway, you’ll be able to avoid that holiday debt hangover and the stresses that may come with being stretched too thin.
Think of your holidays from last year when sitting down to create your budget. Make sure the budget you create is realistic and includes those extra holiday indulgences. Not sure how to create a realistic budget? Click here to learn more about controlling your holiday spending.
Charitable Holiday Donations:
We’ve all experienced being approached by friends, family and charities directly to give holiday donations, and the months between October through to December seem especially full of such requests. At times it’s hard to decide which charity to give to, and how much to give. By creating a donation budget and sticking to it, you’ll be able to donate with confidence, and say “no” gracefully to donation requests that don’t fall within your overall holiday spending plan.
When donating, it’s important to research charities prior to making any donation. All charities are different, and have different policies surrounding various types of donations (monetary, in-kind and time).
Some Important Tips when Deciding on Your Charitable Donation:
- Know your charity: Make sure you know the exact name of the charity you are giving to. Some charities have names that sound similar, so visit a trusted site to research those that interest you.
- Give to legitimate charities: Make sure the charity is a registered charitable organization with a registered charity number. Visiting Canada’s Revenue Agency Charities and Giving page is a good place to start.
- Give Safely: Make sure the charity’s website uses encryption technology for online donations and data transmissions before providing any sensitive information.
- Demand privacy: Make sure the charity is not sharing any of your personal information with other organizations.
- Know how your donations are used: If you are not sure how your charitable gift is being used, ask. Charities are required to be transparent regarding the allocation of their donations and funds. Annual reports should be available to all donors.
If your budget is looking tight this year and it is not within your means to give a monetary donation, consider volunteering your time with a local charitable organization. Volunteering with friends and family is truly rewarding and will get you into the holiday spirit of giving.