This Thursday, 7/23, The Believe Project, a 501(c)3 charitable organization that brings the joys of Christmas to children stricken with an illness, is holding a Christmas in July fundraising event. My wife was talking with our neighbors who plan on joining us and gave CASH to purchase the tickets.   Now, maybe I’m overly sensitive due to my line of work but, while cash still is king, you don’t give CASH to purchase tickets for a charity event! Where’s the paper trail to prove the charitable deduction?!

This got me thinking.   I’m always asked “how can I save on taxes?” and it seems that the answer can be a lot simpler than one may think.   It’s true that many tax savings options require a cash outlay – contributing to an IRA; purchasing equipment for your business; paying your vendors early (cash basis business), and many others. However, there are certain ways where you don’t have to spend more money but rather tweak what you are already doing – make all charitable contributions w/ a check or credit card; if you are required to drive for your job, keep track of your miles (NOTE: it’s better if your company reimburses you then it would be to deduct the miles); if you are looking for a job, keep track of all expenses – miles to interviews, postage for sending of resumes, binding of portfolios; if you have side job – photography, web site creation, etc. – keep track of expenses (I will post on Hobby activities in the coming weeks). Those are just a few of the more common ones.

When you head to church on the weekend or attend a charity event, write a check, pay by credit card and/or use your envelope.   Always, I repeat always, keep good (and traceable) records.