Monthly Business Finance (You’ll Love Yourself at Tax Time!)

For most entrepreneurs, bookkeeping ranks up there with the absolute most dreaded tasks in the business. Unless of course, bookkeeping is your business- in which case, chances are you probably don’t need to read any further!

Love yourself at tax time

Last year at tax time, I found myself scrounging around, digging through piles and piles of papers to find one certain receipt. Hunting through emails, looking for that invoice. Hours and hours wasted. If only there was some super obvious way to avoid all this, right?!

Well, I’ve learned a lot since then. And guess what? Doing my taxes was MUCH easier this time around (and only in part because I hired an accountant to file them for me)!

Here are a few little things I’ve learned that have made life so much easier!

1- Invest in a filing cabinet, or at least a filing box. Personally, I use both.

2- Actually use the filing cabinet. I know some people prefer to use a software program or app for bookkeeping, but it’s important to back it all up in physical form too. You can be audited for years and may need too produce those documents, and what will happen if your phone or computer is long gone by then? So use digital if you like, but print and file too!

3- Have separate bank accounts. Using your personal account for your business is probably one of the biggest mistakes that people make in the world of small businesses!

4- Keep every receipt (that is relevant), every invoice, every document you think you may eventually need to refer to. Mine get collected into an envelope to sort later (usually weekly, but sometimes monthly during slower periods.

5- Pay roll. If you have employees, track their payroll monthly- you’ll thank yourself when it is time to issue T4’s/T4a’s!

6- Stay up to date on sales tax payments (whether they be monthly, quarterly, or yearly). Most provinces/states require you to collect sales tax, and it’s not something you want to fall behind on!

7- Keep a milelage log. A lot of planners come with them included, and if not, there’s tons of free printables to be found online.

8- Print everything. Your monthly bank statements, any invoices/receipts you receive digitally, contracts, etc. Print them, and then FILE THEM.

9- Keep an ongoing expense sheet, and add to it regularly. It’s easy to forget that printer ink you bought if you don’t log it right away!

10- Update your ledger, income/expense spreadsheet, or online software to calculate your monthly net profit- it’s hard to evaluate how you’re doing when you really don’t know what you’re doing!

Follow these tips on a regular basis, and I promise you will have the easiest tax season possible! Who knows? You might even grow to enjoy (or at least not dread) bookkeeping!

Be Thankful! (Gratitude Journal)

In life, it’s so easy to focus on what we don’t have, that we often forget to think of the things that we are blessed with. We forget how important the people we have are, how amazing and rich our life really is, and how much worse things could be.

how keeping a gratitude journal has changed myperspective

My grandmother always told me, “No matter how bad you have it, someone has it worse.”

When we start focusing on the negatives instead of the positives, our entire perspective changes. Suddenly, it becomes very difficult to even find the positives in our lives. The same goes in the other direction though, when we focus on the positives instead of the negatives, everything suddenly seems brighter, and even the negatives don’t seem so bad.

A few months ago, I realized just how negative I had been. In fact, I noticed that it was even rubbing off on my children! That’s not the behaviour or mindset I wanted them to learn from me. So I made a conscious decision to change it.

I started keeping a list, which I add to daily, of all of the good things in my life. Whether it be something good that happened, a person whose been on my mind, something we did as a family, a trait I admire in my children- whatever is making me feel the most grateful at that moment. I write it down.

gratitude journal

Eventually, I bought this cute little notebook, but prior I had a log page in my bullet journal.

Since starting, I have found myself actually being happier and more content with the things I have! And when I’m having a particularly bad day (you know, where all you want to do is curl up on the couch and watch Netflix with an entire chocolate cake..), I make myself go back and read through them!

Next step: Implement gratitude journals with my children!

Do you keep a gratitude journal?

Increase Your Productivity with Time Blocking

I’ve recently started using time blocking in my planning in hopes that it would help my productivity level sky rocket (or at least increase slightly..), and so far, I’m loving it!

time blocking-productivity

No more sitting down at my computer wondering what I need to do next, because I’ve told myself what needs to be done ahead of time.

No more bouncing back and forth between tasks, because they’re all broken down by similarity.

My new day plans look like this (I’m still working on the neatness factor..):

planner time management productivity

 

First, I sat down ad made a do list of every single thing I need/want to get accomplished in the run of the next day. Then I take my markers and color code (because, well, I like colours) by type of task (social media, emails, finances, advertising, household, children, projects, etc). As you can see, the majority of tasks for this day are finance related, so clearly that’s my “focus”.

Next, I block things that fall into the same time every day into routines. For example, my morning routine includes coffee & journals, showering and getting ready, and then answering all emails and messages.

Then I pencil in any meetings, commitments, or phone calls I need to make at a specific time.

Then, everything from my list all goes into my bullet journal, by hour.

Next, I want to tackle time logging, so I can practice my time blocking more effectively- by knowing exactly how much time each task requires.

Note: Make sure to plan in some family time, personal time, workout time, etc! It’s easy to get carried away by our to do list, but it’s important to keep that down time as well!

Canada Day Round-Up!

CANADADAY

Up here in the Great White North, it’s almost Canada Day! It’s a big day in my house because we’re not only a patriotic bunch, it’s also one of my girl’s birthdays!

Needless to say, I’ve found myself on Pinterest (a lot)- so I put together this list of my 15 favorite recipes, crafts, décor ideas, printables, etc!

I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

chocolate covered pretzels
Chocolate Covered Pretzels from Little Miss Kate & Co.

fruit kabobs
Canada Day Fruit Kabobs from Frugal Mom Eh?

red velvet
Red Velvet Cookies with Cream Cheese Filling from Your Cup of Cake

cherry cheesecake
No Bake Cherry Cheesecake from Love, Create, Celebrate

poke cake
Great Canadian Poke Cake from Tasty Kitchen

canada day cracker
Canada Day Crackers from We Love Crafty Tracey

cupcake toppers
Canada Day Cupcake Toppers (+lots more printables!) by WC Design Studios

mason jar
Mason Jar Lids, also by We Love Crafty Tracey

mason jar centerpiece
Canada Day Centerpiece, also by Love, Create, Celebrate (Can you tell I have a thing for mason jars?..)

button art
True North Strong & Free Button Art by Frugal Mom Eh

Canada flag pallet
Canada Flat Pallet Sign from The Happy Housie
Canada Day Printable Package by A Little Pixel
canada day printable pkg

Canada Day Mantle Décor from A Little Something in the Meantime
mantle decor

Printable Canada Day Party Pack by Botanical Paperworks
canada party pack

Canada Day Project Life Printable by Just Rhonda
canada day project life

I’m Re-Branding! Should You?

Brunch (1)

Let’s face it- my blog is all over the place. And as far as content is concerned, it’ll probably continue to be a mixture of business-y stuff and mommy stuff, because well ya know, I’m a Mom in Business (duh). But, I feel like things should and could flow better.

So, I’ve made the decision to rebrand both my blog and my businesses. When people look at my blog, I want them to feel like they know me, that they’re getting a glimpse of who I am and what I do. Trust and loyalty are important, and that’s what I intend to build with my brand.

So, I’ve spent a lot of time researching this branding thing (which by the way, I thought I knew..), only to discover that it’s so much more than I originally thought it was! It’s something we throw around a lot in the business world, but not something anyone really, truly, defines often enough.

So, in case you’re in the same spot I am, I’ve put together a list of the top five resources that I’ve come across in my researching- and some of them even have freebies (yeah!).

Why Branding Matters– by Elle & Co is a very in-depth article (with lots of visual examples), on why branding is important for even the smallest businesses.

How to Develop Your Brand– by Gemma Sands is a great article about what branding means and why it is important- she even includes a free workbook!

How To Start Branding Yourself and Your Business– Christine at Better Looking Biz talks about brand/personality words, including step-by-step tips (and a free worksheet!)

http://How To Create a Consistent Brand Experience– by Spruce Rd. A great article of tips, focused on consistency- and a free checklist!

Launching Your New Brand– by Rosanna. In this article she explains what should be done AFTER your brand is created, because really, a great launch is half the battle!

There, the research is done for you, now get to work! I hope you find these links as helpful as I did!

Who is taking this branding/rebranding journey with me? Any experienced branders (um, sure) with tips to share?