Quick Tips For the Self-Employed

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Disclosure: this is a sponsored post in collaboration with Intuit QuickBooks and #WeAllGrow Latina Network. I remember taking the leap into self-employment and feeling all together lost in the sea of tasks that had to be managed.

It was hard enough trying to figure out the differences between s corps and LLC's, making sure everything was set up correctly and finally, figuring out finances.

Finances.

Yup, I said it. Spreadsheets, post it notes, invoices in a Word doc. That was my life, people!

Thankfully, I'm here to share another way with you. Because there's no reason for you to have to go through my shenanigans. Learn from my mistakes!

Intuit QuickBooks offers you a way to maintain all things accounting. No more spreadsheets, folks.

My biggest fear was messing something up on my taxes. You don't have to worry about such things, any longer.

With tools like the self-employment tax calculator, you'll be able to avoid the heartburn and night sweats that could be brought on when working on taxes. Oh and did I mention that this calculator is free99? That's also important when you are self employed. Amirite?

Lisssen, I'm not good with the maths so any help I can get, I'll take it! I'm glad for services like this that also give you things you didn't even know you needed.

When I was purchasing my home last year, additional paperwork was requested (at the last minute, of course) that could've put my closing date at risk. Now, I learned about this in my finance class but did I have it ready? I sho did not.

There was some running around all over the place that could've totally been avoided. You see, Intuit QuickBooks also offers a free income statement template, examples, and a guide! These are all things I wish I'd had at my finger tips.

Don't wait until you are in a bind (around tax time or home purchases or any myriad of moments) to realize that you should have an accounting tool working for you.

The best tips for self-employment that I can give are:

  1. Track your purchases and expenses
  2. Create invoices and payment systems
  3. Have business forms like income statements handy
  4. Automate/streamline as much as you can so you can focus on your work

All these tips can be covered by Intuit QuickBooks. It's a one stop shop.

I recently found a new gem for those women entrepreneurs out there, too. They've released A Woman’s One Stop Resource for Starting and Financing a Business which provides information on starting up and financing our dreams. Doesn't get much better than this.

For more details and information, you can check out the website and get at them on Facebook and Instagram. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at what you find. This stuff makes the maths more bearable and the business more fruitful.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Intuit QuickBooks and #WeAllGrow Latina Network. The opinions and text are all mine.

 

Making "Cents" of Money in Relationships

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When we look at the marriage customs of our ancestors, marriage was often a business relationship that brought two families together. Now that love is the foundation of many 21st century relationships, why does MONEY seem to contribute so often to relationship conflict? Mine, Yours, Ours DollarsSometimes, when each partner works and they can't agree on financial issues, they decide to split the bills down the middle or allocate them out in some other fair and equitable manner. Once the bills are covered, each partner can spend what they have left as they see fit.

It sounds like a reasonable plan, but the process often builds resentment over the individual purchases made. It also divides the spending power, eliminating much of the financial value of marriage.

How to Bridge the Gap: Develop a pre-approved purchase agreement (i.e. purchases below a certain amount are discretionary; purchases above $500 are to be discussed). Be a check and balance for each other.

Debt Broken_Piggy_BankFrom school & car loans to credit cards and gambling habits, most people come to the relationship with financial baggage. If one partner has more debt than the other, or worse yet one partner is debt free, the sparks can start to fly when discussions about income, spending, and debt servicing come up. How to Bridge the Gap: make it a goal to live debt free; mutually develop a plan for paying down debt regardless of initial ownership. Once paid down, make it a goal to pay credit cards off monthly. For those who aren't married, knowing what you are about to get yourself into can help you decide how to deal with it. If you just can't come to an agreement, but your heart won't let you walk away, a prenuptial agreement may be an option.

Power Play Power_PlayPower conflicts often occur in the following scenarios:

  1. He works and she doesn't
  2. He's unemployed and she's working
  3. One partner earns more than the other
  4. One extended family has money and the other does not

When these situations are present, the money earner (or the one who makes the most money) may have a tendency to want to dictate the spending priorities. Although there may be some rationale behind is idea, it is still important that both partners cooperate as a team!

How to Bridge the Gap: The power play issue can get ugly quickly!! Few things build resentment faster than being made to feel inferior. If you've got the cash, you need to be sensitive about how you present spending decisions. If you don't have the money, you need to be prepared for the stress and tension that is almost inevitable, even in good relationships. The Bottom Line Like many relationship problems, lack of communication is often the underlying issue in money-management conflicts. Challenges aside, getting married can have serious financial advantages. It is a great way to double your income without doubling your expenses. If you can synchronize your goals, you and your partner can reach them much more quickly than working alone!

Planning For My #HispanicDream

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[box type="shadow" align="aligncenter" ]I wrote this post as part of my participation in a blog tour for Latina Mom Bloggers on behalf of MassMutual and received compensation to thank me for taking the time to participate. However, all opinions expressed are my own.[/box] I am going to make a confession. I try not to think about my financial future. It's not that I don't care. Being an entrepreneurial mami has meant that I have had to take some leaps of faith and some calculated risk in order to secure my family. Not just financially but to ensure that I also have the time for them. As I've often said, success for me these days has little to do with how much money I make.

But I think about it. Knowing that I have to start creating some long term plans as I build the foundation for my business. So, of course, this MassMutual survey comes along right when I'm set on NOT thinking about this stuff. This, my friends, is what I like to call "a nudge" from the universe.

Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company conducted their third biennial State of the American Family Study. This study offers a snapshot of Americans' views on finances. The following three points stand out to me:

  • Paying off debt. More than half (57 percent) of Hispanics prioritize paying off their mortgage as a top financial priority and nearly half (46 percent) prioritize getting out of credit card debt – significantly greater than the general population.
  • Focusing on a college education. Nearly half (49 percent) of Hispanics claim that paying for their children’s college education is something they insist on doing, yet only 31 percent rank savings/investing in their children’s college education as a top priority.
  • Educating children about finances. Close to half (47 percent) of Hispanics are actively involved in educating children about finances and 79 percent recognize it is important in order to ensure their success in the future. Perhaps this emphasis is because 36 percent of adults wish their own parents had taught them more about money.

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Yes, Lawd! These are some of the things that keep me up at night. College for my girl, as I give my school loans the side eye, is definitely something I think of often.

Reading through some of the findings on the Mass Mutual State of the American Family site has reminded me of all of these not so little (I'd use the word gigantus!) concerns. It has reminded me of my desire to not put my financial burdens or retirement questions on my child.

Nest_EggHaving come to this country with my parents, I got to see first hand the financial sacrifices that were made in order to push me forward. Though I will always be grateful for what my parents did for me, it is my hope that I will be able to pass down to my child knowledge of finances and the peace of mind that comes from knowing that her Mami has planned for her future.

That is my Hispanic dream.

Did these findings resonate with you? What are some of the things that keep you awake at night regarding your financial future?