Author - Danielle L. Schultz, CFP®, CDFA

1
Are your finances your fault?
2
Planning to give to charities: should you consider a donor-advised fund?
3
College contingency plans
4
Why your taxes went up
5
Spending: Convenience or necessity?

Are your finances your fault?

Many of us tend to blame every disaster on ourselves. Except for the few who thing everything is the other guy’s fault. Even in this pandemic, I hear a lot of people blaming themselves for losing their job, or making bad investment choices, or not seeing it coming.

If you’re making a financial plan, it’s very important to be realistic about what you can control and what you can’t.  For example, you can certainly take advantage of all the job training offered you, put together a crackerjack resume, keep up your networking contacts, and try to do the best job …

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Planning to give to charities: should you consider a donor-advised fund?

It hasn’t been covered much, but charitable donation deductions were almost eliminated for the middle class in the tax “reforms”. You can only deduct your charitable contributions if you decide to itemize, and your allowable itemized deductions exceed $12,000 for a single and $24,000 for married filing jointly—and remember, all state and local taxes are capped at $10,000, no matter what your property tax is. If your mortgage interest is significant or your itemized deductions will exceed these caps, your charitable deductions will still be deductible. If not, nada.

There’s one exception. For the 2020 tax year, you can separately …

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College contingency plans

I’m a big fan of always having a plan B, and having more than one stream of income. You can only control you own actions, and try to have a plan on how you might cope with unexpected events. That’s why we diversify our portfolios, have an emergency fund, and try to think of some type of side job that keeps some money coming in if the main gig goes kaput. The era we’re currently enduring highlights the worth of these principles. So let’s apply them if you, or your nearly-adult child, is in college at the moment.

If you’re

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Why your taxes went up

Many of us are still pondering why we didn’t benefit from the alleged tax cut and worrying about what will happen this year, again. After all, tax brackets went down 3-4% for the first 4 tax brackets. But (and this continues this year) your taxable income most likely went up. Don’t expect that to improve for 2019. At a recent conference I attended, this was much discussed. Why?

You live in a blue state. Clever how that worked, huh? Because in many blue states and urban areas, your property taxes on a middle-class home probably exceeded the $10K cap. Add …

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Spending: Convenience or necessity?

Yes, in fact I do know it all. Until someone points out that, in fact, I have my head under my wing. This is about the blog post I didn’t write.

Recently, I saw individual Horizon Organic Milk packs advertised at Whole Foods.  I was about to write a scathing post about how the price was about 4 times the cost of a gallon of organic milk, how you could afford to let some of that gallon go sour and still be money ahead, and how you could just buy your kid a thermos—reusable and better for the planet than …

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