I’ve been traveling a lot more this year attending business meetings and networking events. Up until now, I’ve never really needed to track my mileage; but with the current mileage rate for 2017 being a whopping 53.5 cents per mile, I decided it’s in my best interest to track it.
Dragon Dictation: Tired of having ideas pop into your head with no pen and paper handy? Dragon Dictation is an app that translates speech into text. This iPhone or Android app allows you to record a short message on your Smartphone, and then sends it via text message or email for you to use at a later date. The app is actually fairly accurate in its translation too. Occasionally it will substitute the wrong word, but is more common if the user has an accent or speech impediment.
Expensify: With a tagline of “expense reports that don’t suck!” Expensify provides a mobile app for your iPhone, Android or BlackBerry device. You can then use this app to enter, categorize, and make notes about expenses right as they happen. And according to Expensify, their eReceipts have been designed to meet and exceed IRS regulations for record keeping.
FlightTrack Pro: Airline Tracking: This handy app has flight alerts, Tripit, terminal maps, weather delays and the ability to manage your flights in real-time. With over 3,000 airports listed and over 1,400 airlines available, it also comes in handy the next time you have to pick someone up at the airport. FlightTrack Pro is available for Android and iPhone.
Many of you know that PayPal FINALLY decided to play nice with 1ShoppingCart.com so you can now do recurring payments in 1SC when you’re using PayPal as your merchant account and/or Gateway. Up until PayPal’s recent update on March 15, if you tried doing recurring products using PayPal and 1SC, PayPal would only charge the customer for the initial charge, but none of the recurring payments after that. Well now you can! If you didn’t know about this earth shattering change (well, at least it was earth shattering to those of us who’ve been asking for this feature for what seems like years and years.) you can read about it and download the integration instructions here.
However … as pleased as I was to see that PayPal was finally stepping up their game, I found out they have evidently made some more changes that don’t make me feel quite as warm and fuzzy as I was feeling after their last upgrade. [Read more…]
by Jane Atkinson
My client is a talented, hilarious speaker.
She worked her butt off for years doing the crappy speaking gigs for $250 in bad venues. She paid her dues.
Now she’s earning $2500 per engagement but her local bureau wants to list her at $4000. (Cause she’s good.)
But here’s the rub, if a client called her directly she would not feel comfortable quoting $4K. She’s just not $4K confident yet. So what does she do?
It’s that time again … our beloved tax time; and the deadline for getting your taxes filed is rapidly approaching. If you’re one of the lucky ones that will be getting a refund, then you’ll definitely want to read the following article by Cindy Morus, Certified Financial Recovery Counselor. If you’re not getting a refund, you’ll still want to read it ;-). Cindy gives some great advice regarding how you can have more fun with your tax refund this year, and what you should and should not do with the money you get back.
How to Have MORE Fun With
YOUR Tax Refund in 2006
By Cindy Morus
I counsel a LOT of people about money. I see the same mistakes being made over and over again.
If you’ve made ‘em, don’t worry. I’m here to help you do it right THIS year! The fact is, moneymakers need a money coach, just like gymnasts need a gymnastics coach.
As your MoneySmart coach, here are the mistakes in thinking and behavior I want you to avoid:
It’s that time of year again … our beloved tax time!!! Time to pull out that shoebox you’ve been keeping all of your receipts and tax information in and start figuring out what is deductible and what isn’t. The following article by Jan Verhoeff, Financial Consultant, might answer some of your questions as she shares her top 10 tax tips for the self-employed. Jan also offers a free tax planner and preparation guide that you can download at http://www.lulu.com/janverhoeff. It has four pages of organizer for tax season to save everyone money on their tax preparation.
Tax Strategies: Top 10 Tax Tips for Self-Employed
By Jan Verhoeff
Self-employment offers a multitude of tax benefits. Opportunities to maximize your income while increasing your income may actually mean you are paying more tax, but at a lower percentage of your income. As Americans it is our duty to pay our fair share of tax to support our government, however, IRS and legislature have provided many opportunities to maximize personal benefits while minimizing personal tax debt.
It’s getting to be that time of year again, when we’re confronted with that age-old dilemma of what’s deductible and what’s not. Fear no more, Suzette Flemming, owner of Flemming Business Services sets us straight in the following article regarding the top 10 do’s and don’ts of business-related tax deductions and expenses.
Is this deductible?
By Suzette Flemming
In some cases the IRS is very specific and detailed in describing what you can and cannot deduct, however, most of the items fall under their Ordinary and Necessary rule.
An ordinary expense is an item that is common and accepted in your business.
A necessary expense is a purchase that is helpful and appropriate to your business but doesn’t need to be crucial to your business.
Keep in mind what is ordinary and necessary for one business isn’t necessarily ordinary and necessary for another.
Money, money, money, money . . . we work so hard to attain it in our businesses. We put time and effort into establishing the right fees and rates. We get lots of clients and customers – and the money starts rolling in. But where does it all go? We think we have a grip on what we’re spending on a day to day basis, but do we really? When we do start bringing in the bucks, much of the time we end up wasting it or throwing it away. Suzette Flemming, owner and CEO of Flemming Business Services, shares some great tips on how you can find out if you’re keeping your hard earned money, or just throwing it away.
What Would You Do With $1,200?
By Suzette Flemming
It’s not a dream. What would you do with an extra $1200? You could buy a new computer, start or pay into a retirement plan, pay a few bills and the list goes on. The trick is to find the $1200. I found my $1200 in a telephone line that was no longer being used. I had the line disconnected. When the next bill arrived I had saved $100 over the previous bill. Over the course of a year, I found $1200. Where will your extra money be found?
Setting the fees and rates for your business can often be one of the most daunting tasks a businessowner will ever have to do. I know it was for me. You come up with a figure in your head and think . . . “That sounds about right.” But then you look at it again and wonder . . .”Is it too high? Is it too low? Have I covered all my bases?” You check out what others in your industry are charging for the same services, and you diligently go over all of your projected expenses. But is that enough?
In the following article, Suzette Flemming, Flemming Business Services, shares 10 easy steps geared toward making the process of setting fees and rates a little bit easier.
By Suzette Flemming
Not too cheap. Not too expensive. It’s tough to be just right. What to charge for the services you provide is an incredibly difficult task. It is one that us business owner’s wrestle with when we open our doors and every time we are asked for a quote thereafter. I have seen advice that ranges from “test different prices” to “survey friends and family” to “pick a number.” However, there is a logical process for setting your fees.
by Cindy Morus, Certified Financial Recovery Counselor and Certified Credit Report Reviewer
Of course, these don’t have to be done in any particular order! Just pick one or two that particularly apply to your situation.
* Create your 2005 filing system. This might include new file folders, a new box to hold them or space in a filing cabinet with easy access.
* Set up a folder to collect all the important 2004 tax documents which will be arriving soon. Sure to arrive at your house are W-2s, 1099s, mortgage statements, etc.
* Set up an appointment with your tax professional early so you get the appointment of your choice. This also gives you a deadline to get your information ready! If you’re self-employed, the next quarterly estimated tax payment will be due on January 15.
* Review last year’s investments especially in your 401(k), IRA’s etc. Find out what financial planning resources your company or 401(k) plan administrator offers and set up an appointment to talk to them. For non-company portfolios, talk to your investment advisor. You have until April 15 to make contributions to IRA type accounts (check with your tax preparer for eligibility).
* What about Quicken or Microsoft Money? If you don’t use software to balance your checkbook, pay your bills and keep track of your savings and investments, this is a great time of the year to get started. My personal favorite is Quicken and for small businesses, you might consider Quicken Home and Business. If you are a small business with Payroll needs, check out QuickBooks.
* Medical Insurance reimbursements. If you haven’t submitted all your medical bills to your insurance provider, now is the time to do so.
* Will and Estate Planning. No one likes to think about dying, but the best thing you can do for your family is to make sure they are taken care of by creating a will and making sure you have adequate life insurance. Think how easily you’ll sleep knowing you have provided for your family even if you are no longer there.
* Speaking of insurance… If you haven’t reviewed your health or home and auto policies in the last couple of years you might find you can save money and/or have better coverage. For example, if you still have a $250 deductible (which was my first deductible in 1979!), you will probably save by increasing it to $500 or $1000. Try to set aside some of your savings for deductibles in case you need them.
* Create your own Anti-Emergency Fund! We all know those car and home repairs, school fees, medical expenses and vacations are going to happen. Why not determine how much you’ll need and save 1/12 of it each month?
* Holiday Bonus or Money Gifts If you received a financial gift this holiday season, hold on to it for at least 30 days while you decide what you really want to spend it on. All too often financial windfalls are spent before they even arrive. Consider dividing it into thirds: 1/3 to the past, 1/3 to the present and 1/3 to the future. Past might include paying down debt, present could be something you need or want now and future could be retirement, college savings, or a special vacation
* Financial Goals for next year. Think about where you want to be next year at this time financially. If you want to save $1000, put aside $2.74 each day and you’ll be there! Break down your financial goals into monthly, weekly and daily amounts and watch how quickly your savings will grow.
Happy New Year!!!!!
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