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5 Ways To Write Off Your Wedding On Your Taxes and Help Others.

5 Ways To Write Off Your Wedding On Your Taxes and Help Others.

Weddings are without doubt joyous occasions for families, friends, and of course the couple exchanging lifelong vows in front of those they hold dear. However, in many cases weddings can be both stressful to plan and stressful on budgets. However, this does not have to be the case. With proper planning you can even find innovative ways to write your wedding off on your taxes.

1. Put that extra food to good use.

Whether due to a couple of last minute no shows or a caterer that got a little carried away, having a lot of food after a wedding does not have to be a burden or a bad thing. You can arrange with a food bank to donate those extra edible favors or reception menu items. You will be helping people in need have a great meal (that was no doubt meticulously planned) and you can also get a receipt or letter from the food bank so that you can write off a portion of the food costs off on your taxes. It is a win-win all around, and some caterers will go ahead and package all left over food into nice containers to deliver to the food banks if you let them know before hand.

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Feeding America provides a list of food banks by state. You can also search by zip code.

2. Stop and smell the roses.

Then give them away. No seriously, unless you’re interested in getting a bouquet preserved for a memento. You can donate your flowers to a hospital, nursing home, women’s shelter or even school instead of them inevitably ending up in the trash. Get a receipt from the charity for about 25%-50% of the original cost because you used the flowers and decor at the wedding first. Additionally, there are a few nonprofits that utilize volunteer efforts to help with delivery of the flowers. Two examples of this are Petal Share and Repeat Roses.

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3. Ditch the Dress.

While some keep their wedding dresses for decades to admire, others choose to trash their dresses immediately after a wedding. Another option is to donate your dress to someone in need. This can go for bridesmaids as well, they can donate their dresses to an organization like Becca’s Closet which supplies underprivileged girls with prom dresses. Wonderful causes and wonderful uses for your dress that just so happen to be a tax write off for you. Simply get a receipt from the organization you donated to.

4. In lieu of Wedding Favors Donate to Charity.

This one is pretty self explanatory. If you and your fiancé have a favorite cause, let your guests know that you have donated to charity in lieu of doing wedding favors. You can give your guests a more personalized feel by having pictures and/or stories of people that the donation has helped. Another spin on this is to make your wedding into a charitable event, sponsoring a particular organization. Choose your favorite charitable cause and speak with them about turning your wedding into a fundraiser for their cause. Then instead of guests providing wedding presents they would make a donation to the nonprofit on your behalf.

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5.) Choose a Charitable Venue.

Many places of worship are tax exempt and if you give them a donation then the amount of the donation can be written off on your taxes. It is not allowed to write off expenses for venue usage fees or service fees. However, if you choose to pay any amount to the place of worship in excess of the amount charged for using the venue, then you can write off that amount on your taxes. Additionally, if you choose to hold your ceremony or reception in a nonprofit venue this rule will apply as well. Many museums, botanical gardens, and historical sites are nonprofit organizations. 

A QUICK NOTE: The IRS requires that you provide receipts in order to receive these tax write offs. These receipts should include the name of the nonprofit or charity, the amount you donated, and the date of your contribution. Large donations have additional criteria needed by the IRS. Always check with your accounting professional to get the more detailed ins and outs of what you need to do. Or you can read IRS Form 526 for more specific guidelines.

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Featured photo credit: © micromonkey via us.fotolia.com

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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