We are back with our second installment of how best to budget for your school year. If you're still paying for 2020 or wanting to better prepared for 2021, we have more tips and suggestions to make the school year's expenses a little easier on your wallet.
Hello everyone! Welcome back to the blog. We are going to be continuing with part two of our tips and suggestions series on how to budget and save money when shopping for the school year. We know that many of these suggestions might be better suited for the second semester of the year of 2021, but we hope that if we share them with you now, that you can plan more efficiently for the years to come. Have you used any of our suggestions from the first part of this blog? Have you come across even more money-saving tips that you want to share? Please don't hesitate to comment and share them with us after reading this blog, we would love to hear from you!
3. Plan It (Part 2)
When you're planning on heading out to the store or committing to some serious online shopping, don't forget to research your apps! There are tons of money-saving apps that you can use to get cashback on your purchases. Some apps can alert you if you're getting a good deal or if the item is priced better somewhere else. You can also get alerts when your favorite stores are having good deals and sales too. The school year can also be an exciting task for you, our coupon superheroes! Put your skills to work. You've found incredible deals for your family by using your coupons, use them for the school year too. Don't forget to visit your local dollar stores and clearance stores. They will surprise you with what products they offer. Don't exclude thrift stores or thrifting apps like Poshmark or ThreadUp. While these might not be ideal for electronics, you'll be able to find some incredible deals on school clothes, supplies, and more. For students who are going back to school in person and who wear uniforms, use Facebook Marketplace to good use! Buy gently used uniform items that other students have grown out of and fit your children perfectly!
Also, don't forget to buy clothes off-season. While you might be needing some new fall clothing to make it through the cooler months, there is nothing wrong with picking up a new outfits at the end of summertime or wintertime for the following season. You can get some incredible deals and a good amount of clothes for your children, including school uniforms, when the seasons are changing. When you're shopping at your favorite stores, don't forget to spend some time on the sales rack. They might be a little terrifying to dive into, but it can help your purse strings. Also, remember to buy a size or two up for children still going through puberty so these clothes will fit them once the appropriate season comes around again!
Make sure to take a look around the house before you go shopping. Due to the changes this school year has brought, you might already have to reorganize some of your living areas to accommodate room for e-learning, why not take this as an opportunity to do a little fall cleaning? Does everyone in your home think they need new school supplies? Gather up all the pens, pencils, crayons, markers, glue sticks, scissors, and rulers in the house to see what you already have. Go through them and throw out what can't be used, and keep the good supplies. Have 10 bottles of open glue? Pour them into one another to have full bottles and get rid of the empty ones. Have a bunch of worn down crayons? Melt them down and create new ones! This can be a fun family project and can be a huge money saver. They may not be brand new, but you might already have all the school supplies you need in your home, waiting to be used.
This can also be applied to electronics. Do you have old computers, laptops, or tables that can be refurbished and passed down? How about old pairs of headphones? Can you turn an unused room in your home into a home classroom with pieces of furniture you or your family members already have? Also, there is nothing wrong with sharing. Yes, we know this can be a huge challenge with multiple children. This will have to be a planned effort by the whole family, but you can do it!
5. Make The Most Of It
As we've mentioned in previous blogs, going out to eat can add up very quickly, as can getting delivery. The same goes for school lunches. If your child is going back to school in person, do packed lunches and snacks, and eat breakfast at home. These meals can be added to your monthly budget and can help you cut down on outside expenses. Also, look into buying in bulk. Costco and Sams Club do have excellent deals on electronics, but their initial fame came from their bulk-sized products. Buy in bulk, meal prep, and freeze! Getting a membership to these big stores might seem expensive, but you can get cash back and other perks to make it worth your while and benefit your budget.
Needing extra child care? Ask your tribe first. Can a family member or friend help out? Can you join a nanny pool with your friends and their children who you've already spent time with during quarantine? How about hiring a tutor or personal teacher for your safe bubble of friends and their children? This can cut down costs, give your children personalized attention in their lessons, and help them continue to socialize like they would in class!
When it comes to school activities, we know that you want your child to be involved with as much as possible. You want them to experience new things, spend time with friends and make new friends, add potential skills and experiences for their college applications, and find things that could help them in their future careers. With the pandemic of 2020, the opportunity to participate has been drastically reduced due to safety measures. Many artistic activities like theater, band, and choir have been canceled along with many indoor sports. Remember, when things get back to normal, your children don't have to do them all. Sports, dance, theater, and any after school program and activity can seriously begin to add up. Pay to play, costumes, equipment, private teachers and coaches, can all add to those expenses. Limit your child's activities to one or two, and let them truly invest their time and abilities to those chosen activities. This will also be a big money and time-saver for you and your whole family.
Always remember that even while you're making a budget for the school year, continue to make a budget for the whole year. Once the school year is over, that doesn't mean you shouldn't keep it as part of your year-round budget. This can help you save more money for the upcoming school year, and not feel pinched once you have to readjust to those expenses come September. It can help you keep on a consistent and steady track with your budget and your finances without giving you a heart attack at the end of every quarter or change of season. After all, that's a pretty fantastic goal to keep, right?
We hope that this blog series has helped you plan out your future or current school spending, and how you might look at the 2021 school year's spending as well. With the uncertainty that 2020 is still giving us, it doesn't look like 2021 will be much different. So, while you might have already purchased everything you need this year, or you're still currently in the middle of the process, you will have more time to choose how you plan out your budget from today forward. Remember, if you are looking for the best accounting services in Goose Creek, the best tax preparation in Goose Creek, business consulting in Goose Creek, bookkeeping in Goose Creek, or payroll services in Goose Creek, we are here for you! Our phone lines and inboxes are waiting for you. Don't hesitate! Please stay safe, everyone. We will see you soon
Staying within your budget for 2020 has new meaning and power over your finances. With the school year in full bloom, it's time to stay smart when learning your p's and q's!
The school year is back, and even though it might look very different than last fall, we know this time of year still has the potential to be exciting and fun. There is nothing like the fresh smell of school supplies on the first day of September! Even with e-learning and distanced learning, and all the different kinds of learning that we are seeing here in Goose Creek, we hope all of our parents and students have a very special school year! While there are already so many things to be worried about this year, your finances might be the heaviest burden of them all. While your children are back to hitting the books, we wanted to offer some tips and suggestions on how to save as many nickles and dimes as possible this school year. There is no one fix it all solution for everyone when it comes to adjusting to this school year or how to make the most out of your finances as you do so. In this two-part blog, we are going to be offering you some suggestions and options that might make your budget work for you and how to remove some worry and stress from the rest of 2020!
1. Hitting the Harddrive
This year's school spending looks very different than your 2019 school budget. When you went shopping last year new clothes, pens, backpacks, and books might have been on the list. This year, things are looking a little more technical. With so many distance and e-learning classes on your child's schedule, you might be looking into buying new computers, tablets, and software. You might also be looking into paying for more childcare or private tutors to help make your professional schedule work around your family's schedule. In all honesty, it looks like your back to school budget might have to be a tad bigger than last year's. This might be a hard pill to swallow since due to shortened hours or continued furloughs, your family's income might be taking quite a hit.
According to Dave Ramsey, parents are spending an average of $70 more than they did last year on electronics. Add on headphones, traditional school supplies, hand sanitizer, masks, and new furniture, Ramsey goes on to explain that parents could be spending up to $790 for all necessary school supplies this year. With every challenge you and your family have already gone through this year, how is this even possible? What makes it even more difficult is that your children need these items now, and the best time to buy it all is as quickly as you can. Your children will need all of these resources to get the most out of their education, to stay on top of their lessons and homework, and to stay connected with their friends and teachers. Take a deep breath, and don't worry. We are here to help!
2. Plan It (Part 1)
Be reasonable about your budget and what your family is currently making. What are the bills you have to take care of, and how much does this leave you for school supplies? Sit down and make a plan. How much can you spend on each child? Figure out this number and stick to it while you're shopping. Remember, a lot of the electronic devices that you could be in the market for can be purchased refurbished or secondhand. They do not have to be brand new and straight out of the box. Many companies from Apple to Best Buy all offer some excellent refurbished and refinancing options. Also, remember to check out stores that you might not exactly expect to have great deals on electronics. Costco and Sams Club are already known for excellent deals on their products, and this does include electronics.
When you do plan your budget and start your research on where to shop, spend time on it. Do not rush. Also, it might be best to stick to the school list and what you absolutely have to buy and not to what your kids are asking for. We might also suggest that they stay at home when you make your school supplies shopping trip. It's easy to say yes to fun add ons that they slip into your cart while you're out and about. A lot of the time these fun items go unused and add up your bill very quickly! While during your research, make sure to learn what all of your needed products are worth. This will come in handy when sales do start to pop up, you'll be able to recognize what is actually a good deal and what just looks to be a good deal.
We know this has been a stressful time for all of our parents, teachers, and families. This is why we are here with this blog to offer you some tips and suggestions to make this year and maybe even some of the next a little less painful. Try and enjoy the school year, getting back into a schedule, and watching your children blossom in their studies. In our next blog, we will be continuing with more tips and suggestions, and we hope to calm your stress about staying within your means. Remember, if you are looking for the best accounting services in Goose Creek, the best tax preparation in Goose Creek, business consulting in Goose Creek, bookkeeping in Goose Creek, or payroll services in Goose Creek, we are here for you! Our phone lines and inboxes are waiting for you. Don't hesitate! Please stay safe, everyone. We will see you soon!
Keeping a watchful eye on your finances is always important. During these uncertain times, it is more important than ever.
Keeping a close watch on your purse strings is a necessity. With so much unknown about this year, knowing exactly where your finances stand and how to keep them stable has become a huge priority for most Americans. Since March of this year, over 3 million Americans have filed for unemployment, according to Forbes. Juggling how this pandemic has affected your income and how it will affect your daily and monthly spending could become a huge focus for you and your family. While staying healthy and figuring out new school and work scheduled are our first priorities, it is easy to get overwhelmed with how to deal with these potentially drastic changes in your finances. How do you decide what to cut out? How can you change your spending? What are the necessities that can't be cut out, and how do you make these decisions with the best outcome for your family?
According to Forbes, an estimated 49% of the American population was living paycheck to paycheck even before the pandemic hit. This left no room for extra savings or a nest egg to fall back on. Unemployment has helped, but even that has seen a drastic change since its first wave with the national stimulus checks. Many people have been left without enough to cover their basic needs. The first stimulus check and the additional $600 from the government added to unemployment checks were just short term solutions. What can we do now to help make our bills, keep a roof over our heads, and keep food on the table?
THE NEW BUDGET
You sit down every month and track what you're earning and what you're spending. You create a solid budget based on your calculations that takes care of your bills, your family's needs, and hopefully goes towards a little fun. If your paycheck has been hit or changed due to the pandemic, your budget will have to be retooled. Try and figure out how much of a cut your salary has gone through and try and cut that much out of your monthly spending. Please remember that while you're cutting your budget, your retirement planning and savings still needs your attention. If you can keep paying into those, that is ideal. If you are unable to do so, don't panic. Instead of adding to them, try not touching them unless you have to. Consider what you have in savings during this time, too. If it is needed, remember these funds have been put aside for an emergency.
While the stimulus check will not be part of your 2020 taxes and is being treated as forgiven money, the additional $600 and the now $300 added to your unemployment checks will be taxable income. If you've taken the highest amount in unemployment without choosing to take any taxes out, please prepare for what you will owe in your 2020 taxes. If you can, choose to take out some taxes to make your next tax season a little less painful. Also, try and avoid the temptation of online shopping and avoid making 'panic purchases". Instead of using your extra time to scroll through your favorite shopping sites, sit down and create a brand new long term financial strategy. We have no idea how long this might last, so planning ahead is going to be your best bet.
Everyone owes money every month, even those who collect it for a living. We all have bills to pay, there's no exception to that. If you can sit down and take the time to talk with your landlord, your credit card companies, your insurance company, and discuss your current circumstances it could be a huge relief to your bank account. Be honest and ask if they can give you some kind of break or pause in your payments, a break or pause in accruing interest, and if you can negotiate your interest rates. According to Business Insider Apple, Chase, Citi, American Express, and Capital One offered their clients emergency support during the first few months of the pandemic.
THE DINNER MENU
Part of your monthly budget includes your grocery bill and funds set aside for going out to eat. As much as we all want to support our favorite local restaurants, eating out adds up just as quickly as it did before the pandemic. Tack on delivery fees to this bill, and it can be even more expensive. The dangers of panic purchasing delivered meals three times a day is very easy thanks to our favorite food apps. Meal planning is going to be just as important as budget planning. You'll need to stick to both to feed your family and save as much money as possible. We understand a few delivered and take out meals, but try and avoid them as much as possible.
The pandemic has done a good job keeping us at home and helped us save money on group activities like going to concerts, going to the gym, and getting our hair and nails done. While things are getting back to normal and these services are slowly becoming available, that doesn't mean you need to jump back into using them again. It's best to wait and do so when your income is back to normal. You've survived without them up until now, and you can continue to do so a little while longer. If you have a lawn care service or a maid service that helps you care for your home, it might be beneficial to pause these services. As essential as they might be, they aren't as important as many other things in your budget. Making these decisions is difficult, but they are possible. You just have to keep going back to the drawing board when things get tough.
We know the last thing you want to hear right now is that you have to sacrifice more than you already have just to hang on. You've given up so much already, changed plans, and lost out on promised opportunities. The truth is, you can keep going. If you continue to make these hard decisions to save your finances and protect your family, the light at the end of the tunnel will become much brighter. If you are looking for the best accounting services in Goose Creek, the best tax preparation in Goose Creek, business consulting in Goose Creek, bookkeeping in Goose Creek, or payroll services in Goose Creek, we are here for you! Our phone lines and inboxes are waiting for you. Don't hesitate! Please stay safe, everyone. We will see you soon!
Running a small business can be a dream come true and very daunting. If you use all of the correct tools to help you run your company efficiently, it will be the dream you've worked for.
Starting a small business in 2020 might sound crazy, but more have popped up nationally than you might think. So many people have lost their jobs, been put on furlough, or are unable to do their jobs virtually that they had to do something. With the unemployment rate at an incredible high, many Americans have been forced to creatively do the pandemic pivot. With so many of us at home with nowhere to go, the birth of honing new or rusty skills and crafting abilities had the opportunity to flourish. People started posting their goods and wares on social media and out of the blue, they have a whole new little business operation running out of their homes.
Some people were already deep in the process of building their small business when the pandemic hit, while others found solace in being hired by one after their corporate jobs were eliminated. Whatever the situation, small businesses have become quite the lifesavers of 2020. To keep that success and productivity as safe and possible, every small business needs the proper tools to stay productive, organized, and financially stable. What is the best tool out there for these situations? Quickbooks!
We use Quickbooks ourselves and we offer classes to help small business owners and anyone out there grow and manage their money. One of the biggest reasons small businesses fail, according to Forbes, is because there is no business plan. Poorly managed bookkeeping can sink a business before it even had the chance to grow. Admittedly, bookkeeping is difficult, time-consuming, and very meticulous work. This is why working with a company like ours and using Quickbooks is so imperative. We both make sure that every part of your bookkeeping is done in a properly organized manner, allowing you to get back to the business of your business.
Quickbooks pro was created specifically for small businesses, and it is very user friendly. It does so much of the work for you, that it's hard to get yourself overwhelmed. With a small-ish price tag of $300, it's a very small price to pay for the huge benefits it gives you. Tax season, after using Quickbooks, should no longer be something you dread or fear. Everything will already be taken care of. It even comes with tutorials to help you get started, and the Quickbooks team is also available to help you when you need it. There are so many benefits just waiting to be used.
Coming to the point where you can own your own business is a huge accompaniment and celebration. Let that celebration continue and use all the right tools to help you and your company grow and stay organized. If you are looking for the best accounting services in Goose Creek, the best tax preparation in Goose Creek, business consulting in Goose Creek, bookkeeping in Goose Creek, or payroll services in Goose Creek, we are here for you! Our phone lines and inboxes are waiting for you. Don't hesitate! Please stay safe, everyone. We will see you soon!
Mornings, for many of us in 2020, look much different than many of us expected them to. We still have to be productive, so here are a few ways to stay energized and focused no matter what!
Hello friends! We are finally emerging from the other side of the 2019 tax season, and we are seeing a positive light at the end of the tunnel. A lot of what has kept us energized is the hopeful promise that our clients who did file on and around July 15th will be looking at a tax return very shortly. Something that, due to the next unknown aid situation coming from the government, will be a very welcomed financial relief. We know that by this point in the year, the late summer heat and constantly hearing about the pandemic for the last five months has us all bogged down. So, we wanted to change gears with this blog and focus on another aspect of working from home.
Many of us are still working from home either by choosing to, having to, or the fact that we already did. Finding a groove in working from home can be a daunting task. You have to shift your home around, make some necessary but inconvenient purchases, struggle with separating your space from your workspace, and possibly dealing with our children going back to school online again. On top of all of this, and being more tired than normal, we still need to stay productive, get our work done, and meet our deadlines. The best way to get ahead is to start with a jump start to your morning. So, we wanted to change up our blog content and give you some simple tips and inspiration to get a jumpstart in your day to keep you energized. Let's be honest, we could all use a little inspiration and jump-start to our days right now!
We know this is a strange time. Please know that you're not alone in feeling this way. Also, please know we are here to support you and our amazing community of Goose Creek! If you are looking for the best accounting services in Goose Creek, the best tax preparation in Goose Creek, business consulting in Goose Creek, bookkeeping in Goose Creek, or payroll services in Goose Creek, we are here for you! Our phone lines and inboxes are waiting for you. Don't hesitate! Please stay safe, everyone. We will see you soon!
Filing your taxes can be difficult the older you get, but thanks to a brand new form that has been created for taxpayers over the age of 65, this will no longer be a problem!
Money is a part of your whole life. From the first time you asked for an allowance to the first dollar of retirement that you spend. Taxes, too, are just as prevalent once we start earning money, and will follow us through until the end of our lifetime. We are a family company here at Hoods, and we want to help and care for all of our families in Goose Creek. We have made it and are now just a few weeks past 2020's new tax day of July 15th. We will be busy over the next few weeks helping all of our amazing clients get their tax paperwork finished and taken care of. As we finish up this year's tax season, we wanted to take some time to talk about our seniors and retire clients, and share some exciting news for their next tax season.
Doing taxes has now become easier than ever before thanks to the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, according to CPA Practice Advisor. As part of this new act, the IRS has made special tax forms for senior taxpayers, the 1040-SR US Tax return forms. These forms come with larger fonts and better readability. With the fonts being larger, the forms will now be two pages instead of one. To help with readability, you will also see a change in the coloring of the forms. Any shading that had been previously used around text boxes has been removed. Even better, these forms are available to fill out both online or in their paper form that can be submitted through the mail. The IRS, since they released these new forms, have "wanted seniors to know about the availability of this new tax form" and we will gladly help them spread the word. The form, along with its new features will include a standard deduction chart, too.
We understand that the process of learning and growing through each wave of taxes in your life is hard. From learning how to do it for the first time, learning how to file for the first time as a married couple, and learning how to file once you retire and begin collecting from social security is all hard to keep up with. Thanks to the 1040-SR forms, the IRS is taking steps to ease at least one of these transitions while we are here to help with the rest.
You don't have to be retired to use these forms either. As long as you were born on Jan 2, 1955, and before, they are available to you. If you are still working, have multiple sources of income, are receiving social security, annuities, or more, these new forms allow you to report on all of it. Not only is the readability much better, it's aimed at cutting down on extra work and stress. The from even allows you to choose to take the standardized deduction or itemize your deductions. The chart that is provided on these new forms will make taking that standardized deduction much easier. If the taxpayer wants to itemize, they will just need to include the Schedule A itemized deduction paperwork with their 1040-SR return. Also, according to CPA Practice Advisor, these new forms make sure that seniors are "aware of the incredible standardized deductions for taxpayers 65 years and older."
What if your partner isn't 65 years or older but you are, and you plan to file together? That's ok! You will still be able to file together and you can use the new 1040-SR form to do so if you wish. According to CBS News, this will make filing taxes easier for at least 10% of over 150 million Americans who file their taxes. It will also, thanks to its new set up, allow seniors to use the form to see if they'll be getting a refund or not right away and to know what amount they will be receiving. It will give this generation of taxpayers the freedom to continue to handle their taxes and their finances, which we love to see. Seniors who have a dependent child or grandchild are still able to take a tax credit for them as well with these forms. Ironically, as much as we have been thanking the IRS for these new forms, it was thanks to a very long battle fought and won by congress that made the 1040-SR forms a reality.
Now that this tax season has come to a close with the passing of July 15th, please keep these new forms in mind for preparing and filing your 2020 taxes next year. We could still see more financial changes in what remains of 2020, so filing may be even more unique next year than we can guess. We will be here to help you through these changes if they appear. But, if you haven't been aware of these new forms, we hope that they will help you in the future. We are here to support you and our amazing community of Goose Creek! If you are looking for the best accounting services in Goose Creek, the best tax preparation in Goose Creek, business consulting in Goose Creek, bookkeeping in Goose Creek, or payroll services in Goose Creek, we are here for you! Our phone lines and inboxes are waiting for you. Don't hesitate! Please stay safe, everyone. We will see you soon!
The CARES Act has provided relief across the board. For those of us who have student loan debt, the CARES Act has come in with a plan to help manage those payments for the time being. But, is everyone covered?
There is no question about it. Student loans are a big deal. The education that came along with accruing the debt is priceless, but when that bill comes every month it can be hard to remember that. Although we have had some positive steps forward in our economy since the pandemic hit earlier this year, many of us are still dealing with financial strain. When money gets tight, the first things that come to mind are taking care of the essentials; a place to live, food, transportation, and your bills. For a lot of Americans, this has been hard to take care of. Student loans put pressure on many, regardless of what was going on in the country. Thankfully, when the CARES Act was signed, relief was finally here. Those with student loans were going to get a little break. But, did that mean everyone with student loan debt was going to feel this relief? Sadly, no.
The United States has seen relief and support in more ways than one through the ongoing pandemic of COVID 19. The CARES Act has been one such support system. It has provided small business loans, helped with those planning for retirement, given us our stimulus payments, and it also ushered in relief for the payment on student loans. According to Dave Ramsey and AmericanProgress.org around 43 MILLION adults in America have student loan debt. The CARES Act gave many Americans one less thing to worry about. It has allowed thousands of Americans to allocate these funds to keep food on the table and the lights on. While many of us waited for our stimulus checks to appear, this was cause for celebration. But, it didn't mean a celebration for every student loan holder. While this aid did help those 43 million Americans, it didn't help them all.
In any situation before the pandemic, to stop or pause your loan payments you would have to prove that you were financially unable to pay your loan. When you proved this, you would then qualify for a forbearance or deferment. These are the technical terms for putting your loan on hold. While your payments are paused, your loan continues to accrue interest while it's in forbearance. With the CARES Act, every federal student loan was automatically put in forbearance, your loan payments were paused, and no interest will accrue until its end date, according to Forbes and Dave Ramsey. You do have the option to continue your loan payments if you wish, and it is recommended you do so if you can afford it.
Did you notice the specific loans that are being taken care of by the CARES Act? Only federal student loans. These loans are personally owned by the United States Department of Education. Any other private student loans that are not federally owned will not be covered under the CARES Act. To give you a better idea, here is a list of federal and private student loans that are and are not covered:
As of now, according to Dave Ramsey, the loan forbearance and the 0% interest will last until September 30th. This could be extended, but only time will tell. Please note that this is not the government forgiving all of your federal student loan debt, nor are they paying your loan for you. Once the CARES Act ends, you will need to pick up where you left off. If the focus of your money needs to be survival, then take advantage of this opportunity. If you can keep paying your student loan, continue to do so. Regardless of your decision, take this time to save up as much as you can. If these last three months have taught us anything, being prepared is a must.
If you do have a private student loan, there are some companies out there that are offering some relief during this time, according to Forbes. This is not true of every company and they are not legally mandated to do so. If you are having issues paying your private student loans, call your loan company immediately and see if there is something you can do. If you are going to put your loan on forbearance, make sure to ask about the interest that will be built up.
This Act has done a lot of great things, but there is a darker side to it. According to Forbes, there was more damage done than relief. There have been reports that one, if not more, of the U.S. Department of Education loan services, reported borrowers loan status to credit bureaus. This very improper move lead to serious credit damage. Some have even had their tax refunds seized, illegally, by the Department of Education. The Department of Education claims that all tax funds have been repaid, but some citizens are still waiting. Lawsuits have even been filed, says Forbes.
As much as the CARES Act has helped, was it worth it? Will it be able to sustain the country in the months to come? As much as it has seemed to help a good number of people, it has also seemed to fail many others. If you have any questions about your finances during this time, need help with your tax payments or tax money for 2019 or 2020, please never hesitate to contact us. We are here to support you and our amazing community of Goose Creek! if you are looking for the best accounting services in Goose Creek, the best tax preparation in Goose Creek, business consulting in Goose Creek, bookkeeping in Goose Creek, or payroll services in Goose Creek, we are here for you! Our phone lines and inboxes are waiting for you. Don't hesitate! Please stay safe, everyone. We will see you soon!
Are you utilizing your time properly and working as much as you need to be? Thanks to some easy to use tools and apps, you can monitor this with ease!
As we get back into a normal routine, returning to business and productivity as normal can be a little daunting. With so much happening in our community while we are adapting to many new changes, we wanted to share some of the best tips and tools on how to keep your small business productive.
Make sure you know exactly how much time you and your employees are spending on each client and project. There are multiple ways to track this progress with apps, a dial-in program on your work phone database, computer programs, and more. Make sure to review this time with your employees, and see if they are working wisely. Discuss with them if time needs to be added or if they're spending too much time on certain things. If they are spending too much time on certain projects or tasks, offer suggestions on how to use their time better. If their time is exactly what is needed to get every task and project done properly, make sure your clients are paying the correct amount for the hours you're working for them. Tracking hours like this can help you adjust your fees accordingly and to guarantee you and your employees are getting compensated properly. Toggl, Tsheets, and ResueTime are great examples of tools that can help you with this.
TO DO LIST
Managing your time is very important and so is managing your projects and everyday tasks. Being proficient in this will help keep your current clients very happy, help with getting the word out about how professional your company is, and be a huge draw to new potential clients. Being able to give very accurate timelines and project estimates is essential, and following through with them as promised will guarantee a happy client. Knowing what projects and tasks you have on your plate, knowing what order they need to be finished in, what their completion dates are, and which ones must be done right away are important to keep your sanity and productivity intact. Efficiency is a key proponent to the growth in any small business. Don't worry, there are many different kinds of task management software out there for you to use. You just need to find the right one for your companies particular workflow. When you're in the market for this kind of software, try out a few versions for free before committing to anything. This can save you a lot of time and hassle. Make sure you pick software that allows your whole company to use it and communicate in, and one that allows a calendar to be uploaded into it so deadlines can be set. Pick one that has an operating system that is flexible to your personal needs, and doesn't take a long time to learn. Pick one that can sync with your current applications, software, and with your website and social media platforms if needed. Trello, Basecamp, and Asama are three great examples to start with.
Make sure that once your small business is up and running that you have a solid program manager that allows you to control your website domain, emails, Eblasts, documents, and more. This will allow you to be in control of your domain and be able to manage your website without stress. It will allow you to send out eblasts, gather and store clients' emails for easy use and promotional purposes, and to keep all of your online documents organized and accessible. Squarespace, GoDaddy, MailChimp, and WordPress are great examples to start with. Also, use Google to your advantage. Their business tools are outstanding, easy to use, easy to access, and free!
DAY TO DAY
Social media management is a key player in your advertisement world. This can become very time consuming having to not only create all of your content, but also needing to remember to post at the correct times every day. Thankfully, there are plenty of programs available to you that allow you to schedule your posts ahead of time once they're created. You can also choose what platforms your content is being posted to, what times, how often, and more. Buffer, HootSuite, Agoraplaus, and Facebook Creator Studio are good choices to look into. Make sure when choosing the correct platform, that it allows you to post on all the social media sites you use. Some don't allow posts to Instagram, while others only allow you to post on Facebook and Instagram. Make sure to read the fine print, try it out for free if you can, and only invest in a plan that you need. Your plan level will depend on how many accounts you're running, what platforms you're posting to, and how many posts you'll be posting every month.
Everyones ability to remember their ideas, tasks, projects and activities vary from person to person. You might believe that you can remember everything without writing it down. When working for or owning a small business, that's a difficult place to put yourself into. Avoid putting yourself into these situations and skip the possibility of forgetting something. Even if you're not someone who likes writing a list or keeping a handwritten planner, tons of wonderful apps can help you with this. Your smartphone is a great place to start, as it might already have a built-in calendar and note-keeping app. Google is also a great place to begin. They have a fantastic interface for both your computer and your smartphone. Other great apps to keep your to-do lists and notes organized are Evernote, Wunderlist, and Todoist.
Staying organized, communicating, and using your time wisely are three of the most important things to keep your small business productive. We hope these tips and suggestions help your company grow. If you have any questions or comments, never hesitate to reach out to us. We are here to help our Goose Creek family and stand with you during these difficult times. Remember if you are looking for the best accounting services in Goose Creek, the best tax preparation in Goose Creek, business consulting in Goose Creek, bookkeeping in Goose Creek, or payroll services in Goose Creek, we are here for you! Our phone lines and inboxes are waiting for you. Don't hesitate! Please stay safe, everyone. We will see you soon!
The pandemic has affected us in many ways. Sometimes, it's difficult to keep up. For those who receive supplementary security income, receiving financial support has been an interesting battle.
Hello Goose Creek! We hope this finds you healthy and well. Times are still unsure, but there is a ray of hope in how our beautiful state is starting to open up bit by bit. The waves of financial help have been an interesting experience, and each of us has been affected in different ways. For those of you who receive supplementary security income or SSI, it has been a difficult and interesting experience to go through. But, there has been an update to your economic impact payment. In this blog, we will be discussing what this update is, how to apply for as much financial help as you can, and what this will look like for you over the next few years. These specific benefits for SSI recipients were created to help you as much as possible and to help care for and supplement your children.
For those new to the term, SSI pays benefits to adults with disabilities and also helps pay for children who have limited income and resources. It also financially helps those who are 65 years and older who don't have disabilities but who meet the financial limit and need assistance.
For those of you who collect SSI, you had until May 5th of this year to go to the IRS website and fill out the IRS non-filer tool to list and receive $500 for each of your qualifying children. A qualifying child is one that is 17 years old or younger who is under your care and your responsibility. If you did not make this May 5th deadline, you will have to wait until tax time of next year to apply and receive this financial help. Even if you did miss the deadline you will be able to (if you haven't already) receive your $1200 stimulus check. You will receive them either in paper form or through direct deposit. Please note that the IRS will be sending you these checks, not the Social Security Administration. If you have any questions about filing or any questions about a qualifying child, contact the IRS offices. Not the SSA.
Be aware, as we have mentioned in some of our recent blogs, there are a lot of scams out there targeting SSI beneficiaries directly. There is no fee or anything you have to give to receive your stimulus check or your impact payment for your qualifying children. The only thing you were required to do was to fill out the non-filer tax form on the IRS website. If you have already missed this cutoff, make sure to still apply and fill out this form. Even if you don't receive this money until next year, you are entitled to it. The information that the SSA gives to the IRS every year doesn't provide them with any information about your dependents (your qualifying children). Not filing at all will prevent them from knowing that you have dependents that qualify for this $500. If you did file on time, you should have started to see your money mid-May. You will receive the money just like you would with your normal SSI benefits. When you do begin this process and use the non-filer form, be prepared to create an account. You will need to provide information for each of your qualifying children. You will need to provide contact information, social security numbers, your address, email account, and phone number. Be prepared and have this information ready for when you do file.
Do NOT apply for this or through the non-filer form if you did end up filing your 2019 tax return. If you are required to file, this tool will not speed up the process of getting your payment, it will slow it down. If you are someone over 65 and you're caring for a child 17 years or younger, please know that you are also eligible for these benefits. If you missed the cutoff date, make sure to file for these benefits so you can receive them in 2020.
For everyone who receives SSI benefits and those who are eligible for this economic impact payment, we hope this helped. Don't forget, we are always here for a consultation if you need help! Never hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions about your taxes, filing for taxes, and so on. We are here to help our Goose Creek family and stand with you during these difficult times. Remember if you are looking for the best accounting services in Goose Creek, the best tax preparation in Goose Creek, business consulting in Goose Creek, bookkeeping in Goose Creek, or payroll services in Goose Creek, we are here for you! Our phone lines and inboxes are waiting for you. Don't hesitate! Please stay safe, everyone. We will see you soon!
You can follow the Social Security Administrations Offices on Facebook, twitter, and their blog by following the links below:
For Updated information about the current pandemic and how it will affect you financially, visit the IRS website!
With the recent announcement that the unemployment rate is at its highest since the great depression, more and more people have needed to apply for unemployment. With the high volume of people calling and applying every day, it's become a challenge to get any kind of relief money. During these difficult times, we wanted to share some tips and suggestions on how to make the process of applying for unemployment a little less painful and to help get the money you need now!
Hello Goose Creek! We hope during these unknown times you continue to remain healthy and safe. We have been watching the news as closely as many of you have, and we are anxious to see what things will be like as everything is slowly allowed to open up. We are still diligently working for all of our clients, and we are here for all of your tax preparation needs as we get closer to the new tax date of July 15th.
Many of us are still waiting for our stimulus checks, our tax returns, and our small business loans to be approved or to show up. With the delays being connected to many different and unique factors, it's still hard to know exactly when our personal financial relief will finally appear. With the unemployment rate continuing to skyrocket, more and more people need and have been applying for unemployment. Many of the people who are applying are doing so for the very first time. Over 33 million people, it has been estimated, have applied for unemployment over the past two months. This number is expected to rise as businesses remain closed. With this incredibly high demand, it has brought an extreme amount of frustration to those who have been attempting to apply with no success. People are spending countless hours trying to get ahold of anyone to help them with their application process with no success, and heaps of frustration. With this headache adding to the stress we're already carrying, we wanted to share some tips on how to make the process of applying for unemployment during this pandemic a little less painful.
The new stimulus relief bill that the president signed in March for $2.2 trillion in relief money has changed who is now qualified for unemployment. Before the pandemic hit, those who worked part-time or who were self-employed and lost work or clients were unable to apply for unemployment. Now, that has all changed. Thanks to the new stimulus package full time, part-time, self-employed, those who collect veteran or social security benefits, those whose businesses have closed due to the pandemic, those who were unable to start a new job, or those who now have to care for children or family members whose care facility was closed due to the pandemic, are now all eligible to apply for unemployment. The new stimulus package will be giving its recipients an additional $600 a week on top of their state's weekly benefit that they have been deemed eligible for. It is also providing an addition 13 weeks of unemployment benefits to those who are eligible. You will not be eligible for unemployment benefits if you're able to work from home. You are also not eligible if you've quit your job out of fear of getting COVID-19. On the other hand, you are eligible if you have had to leave your job and self-quarantine due to possible exposure.
Each state is unique in how they handle their unemployment claims, and how and when you can apply. Who is and who is not eligible is still a little hazy, so you need to pay attention to the small print. That is where a lot of the frustration can come from and why so many people are calling unemployment instead of just filing right away online. The fine print is peppered across all the documents you need to fill out to apply and they can be very confusing, leading to those high call volumes. There are some things you can be doing that can make the process a little less painful, though.
These are unknown times, and losing your job or getting your hours cut can add on extra worry and stress. There is nothing wrong with applying for unemployment or asking for help on how to apply. It was created to help during times of crisis, and the money it can give you and your family can help you survive. Take the opportunity to apply for it if you need it. Never hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions about your taxes, filing for taxes, and so on. We are here to help our Goose Creek family and stand with you during these difficult times. Remember if you are looking for the best accounting services in Goose Creek, the best tax preparation in Goose Creek, business consulting in Goose Creek, bookkeeping in Goose Creek, or payroll services in Goose Creek, we are here for you! Our phone lines and inboxes are waiting for you. Don't hesitate! Please stay safe, everyone. We will see you soon!
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.