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Dash to Goodwill Before Ringing in 2012

You probably have a list of 50 things to do today as you prepare to ring in 2012 with friends and family, but I'll bet most of them will cost you money.  Here's a quick task to add to your New Year's Eve list that will actually save you some money in 2012.

To save on your 2011 tax bill, take an hour this afternoon and rummage through your closets for old clothes, toys, and household items that are just taking up valuable space.  If you come across something and it hasn't been used in 6 months, get rid of it.  Don't try to talk yourself into keeping it around because there's the slight chance you might need it at some point in the future.

Trust me, if you haven't used that old t-shirt you won at the state fair 3 years ago, you're never going to need it.  Donate it to someone who will, and earn yourself a little tax break.

Once you've bagged up all your goodies, make an itemized list with estimated values and then swing by the Goodwill during your afternoon errand run.  The whole task shouldn't take more than an hour of your time today, but the effort could save you several hundred bucks on your federal tax bill.

If your schedule is just too packed to cram in even a quick trip to Goodwill, there's still time to be charitable with your cash and get credit for it in 2011.  Cut a check to your favorite charity today or make an online donation, and you'll still be able to include it among your other 2011 donations.

Happy new year everyone, and may 2012 bring much happiness and prosperity!

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Joshua Heckathorn's picture

Joshua Heckathorn was President of Creditnet, is a credit expert and has been featured on CNNMoney, FOX Business, Yahoo Finance, The Street, and many other national publications during the past ten years.  He received a Bachelor of Science in Management (Finance) from Brigham Young University's Marriott School of Business and earned his MBA from Seattle University.

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