Atlanta Residents Still Find Time and Money to Donate to Charity Despite Downturn

How can you help others when you can barely help yourself? It's a question on the minds of many Americans as we pass the Salvation Army red kettle and toss the requests for donations that pile up in the mailbox this holiday season.

But there are ways to give to charity even when times are tough, say Atlanta bankruptcy attorneys. Just ask the nearly two-thirds of Americans who plan to donate before the year is out, despite tough economic times that make paying the mortgage and credit card bills extra difficult. Even though more than 80 percent in a recent survey said they have the same amount or less money than last year, more than 70 percent say they will give the same or more as last year. So how do they do it?

By making sure their charity donation is a win-win. Maybe the most obvious way to make a donation financially feasible is to look at it as a way to save money on your taxes. What you give to charity this year can be deducted on your tax return come April.

Of course, if you're like many folks, you might not be able to wait until next year to get that tax break. Maybe you're buried in bills and struggling to make the house payment. You know there are others worse off than you, but you just don't have a dollar to spare. But you do have something else - time and resources.

Again, you want to strike a balance between helping others and taking care of yourself. If you're strapped for cash, maybe you're better off putting any extra money towards paying off your debts - and instead donating home-cooked food or your serving skills to a soup kitchen, your old clothes to a center for homeless families or your friendship to lonely elderly folks at a nursing home.

Just like gift-giving between friends, it's the thought--not the dollars--that counts when it comes to charity. Still, the better your financial situation, the better you'll be able to make financial decisions, from deciding how much to donate to choosing how much to sock away in your savings account to planning for your dream vacation. Worried you'll never find financial freedom because debt keeps getting in the way? Maybe it's time to try a new strategy. Bankruptcy can offer the payment plan you've been waiting for to start affordably lowering debt. Find out for free if there's a bankruptcy plan right for you with a complimentary personal debt analysis courtesy of an Atlanta bankruptcy attorney.

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