Simple Living Works!

Simpler Living Weekly Nudge

Posted on: December 16, 2018

Monthly eNews #87

In This Issue:  Consumer Christmas Counter-Offensive // “WHOSE Birthday?” Podcast, parts 1-4 // Will the New Tax Laws Affect Our Charitable Giving? // Much More!

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Latest Podcast Episode–WHOSE Birthday? part  4 (12/15/18)

Consumer Christmas Counter-Offensive

We’ve begun our Non-Consumer Christmas Campaign early this year. Since SLW! Podcast began in 2013, we’ve had a short series the last two months of the year reprising audio from an edition of “Whose Birthday Is It, Anyway?”

This year we extend the series for four months, issuing a new episode the 15th of each month.

“WHOSE Birthday?” is the Advent-Christmas annual for individuals, families and congregations or groups that at one time was published on paper. Now all editions are free online.

SLW! (and its predecessor Alternatives) has been countering the consumer assault on faith since 1973. But our mission is not just limited to Christmas. Christmas is just the most glaring example of replacing true meaning in life with stuff. It goes on all year–at other holidays, rites of passage and everyday.

In the now 30 annual editions of “Whose Birthday?” we use gentle reminders, helpful tips, Biblical reflections and fun activities, not lectures nor condescending judgments. We try to show how each one of us can resist, non-cooperate in the system for our own health and that of those around us… our families, friends and congregations.

Technical note: The SHOW NOTES for each episode are extensive. You can listen to and/or read any/all the items in all four episode whenever your like by following the links. So, you can binge or wait for each episode to be released.

What Others Are Doing – So Much Help! – Latest Posts

I gladly pass along links from simple living bloggers, podcasters, coaches and others. Some faith-based, some not. You needn’t read them all. Choose just FIVE links to investigate. COMPLETE LIST (Monthly Digest). For links to earlier entries, check the previous SLW! Weekly Digests or Monthly Digests.

What’s Happened

Will the New Tax Laws Affect Our Charitable Giving?

On the recent annual #GivingTuesday (11/27/18) we were urged to support non-profit organizations. It’s a real relief from the hyper-consumerism of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Now some of us are planning our year-end giving. How much can we afford to give away while we look Christmas in the face?

I normally give away as much as possible AND itemize deductions on my Income Tax returns, not only to be helpful but also to get above the standard deduction. This way I can keep my share of taxes from supporting the war machine and force-feeding the military.

The Republican Tax Scam of 2018 has thrown ordinary citizens a bone by doubling the standard deduction (in contrast to the monumental tax deductions for the wealthy and corporations!). This ploy could have a serious negative effect on charitable organizations—now we can get the deduction without giving the money away. (Yes, the deduction also includes property taxes, state income taxes and medical expenses.)

My plan is to double my giving one year and reduce it the next. That way I get the benefit of the higher standard deduction in “lean “ years and go above it in “fat” years. Likewise, we’ll give to progressive political causes  and candidates (which are not tax deductible) in even-numbered/election years (2018, 2020), to help balance the doubling of charitable donations in odd-numbered years (2019). 

This plan is called “bunching.”  It won’t work for everybody. I am not giving tax advice. I urge you to talk to a tax professional. In the meanwhile, here’s an article that may help: “Bunching Charitable Donations Could Help You Save onTaxes This Year—

We can live our consciences and still keep the system from negating our generosity.

Podcast Reminder

You can access all SLW! podcast audio and the show notes at (then click window #3). Complete Episode Index. Listen through your computer, iPod, iPad, iPhone (or equivalent).

SUBSCRIBE through or your favorite podcast service. To SUBSCRIBE to email notices, click Comments at the bottom of Show Notes, then check ‘Notify me of new posts by email.’ Please rate us in iTunes and leave a review.

Send us your email address to receive the free monthly SLW! eNews. Remember to like us on Facebook. Urge your friends to do the same. Do your friends a favor. Share our blog and podcast.

Like SLW! on Facebook. | Follow us on Twitter. | Follow us on Pinterest. Share your thoughts on our podcast and blogs. Email, leave a message on our Facebook page or on the SLW! blog.

Peace, Gerald “Jerry” Iversen, Chief SLW! Activist

Copyright: Creative Commons non-commercial attribution share-alike license.

Through social media, we extend the mission and resources of the non-profit organization Alternatives, 1973-2011.

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