– Think ahead for your Christmas shopping.  How much are you going to spend on your spouse, mom, dad, siblings, friends, etc? Write it down, and that will help determine the price range of gifts you look at for them.

– Don’t forget the Christmas events and “obligations” that always happen but surprise us every year.  Office gift exchanges, a hosting gift for that friend who throws the party, money in the red bucket, tips for your postman/garbage man/recycling man/dog groomer/etc. etc. ad nauseum. 

– Let’s say you have some 2014 money that you know you want to give away this year – maybe it’s come from a Christmas bonus, a small business draw, or you’ve just been socking it away.  Giving before the end of the year will bring the tax deduction this year, but if you don’t know where you want to give it exactly, what do you do?  Opening a donor-advised fund with National Christian Foundation will allow you to “park” the money, get the tax deduction this year, and then grant the money as you make decisions about your giving in the future.