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Don’t Relax When It’s Time For Tax

Don't relax when it's time for tax - old school photo NY Public library shop window sign
Photo by The New York Public Library on Unsplash

Tax has long been one of the most frustrating aspects of finances for normal people, with this ancient form of bill dating back thousands of years. Of course, there isn’t much wrong with this sort of payment, and countries simply wouldn’t be able to exist without it, but this doesn’t make it any easier for people to take it seriously. To help you out with this, this post will be exploring some of the challenges which can arise when you don’t pay proper attention to your taxes. It doesn’t matter if you work for yourself or have a job with a big company; you should always be on top of this side of your finances.

Overpayments

Making overpayments on your tax is one of the best mistakes you can make with it, as this won’t result in any nasty surprises. Instead, you’re likely to be able to get the money you’ve overpaid back. Some countries will do this automatically, giving you a lump sum once they’ve figured out how much you need to pay. In other cases, though, you may have to file for a refund, and this will mean that you will have had to do some accounting beforehand. Tax return accountants can be used to help with this, giving you the chance to avoid any errors in your initial payment.

Underpayments

It’s far more common that people will pay too little towards their taxes, with the amount they pay failing to reflect the money they’ve earned. While this is easy enough to do, it’s not worth the hassle, as you will often receive a bill from your government which has to be covered very quickly. If you’ve underpaid by a large margin, this can be a fortune, and will be very hard for most people to cover. You can avoid this by using special accounting software throughout the year, or by taking on the support of a company like HFM Tax to make sure that you don’t get anything wrong.

Failing To Pay

Finally, as the last area on this list, it’s time to think about the most severe circumstances you could find yourself in with your taxes; you haven’t paid anything. This can be a horrible spot to be in, with many governments charging large fines when people don’t take the time to file their taxes properly. Of course, if this goes on for many years and you actively avoid paying your taxes, you could find yourself in much more serious trouble. People have been put in prison for this sort of crime, and this is highly likely if many years go by and you don’t have the money to make up for the tax you owe.

With all of this in mind, you should be feeling ready to take on the challenge of dealing with your taxes. A lot of people struggle with this, finding it difficult to feel comfortable when it comes to tax season. Of course, though, there are plenty of tools and resources out there to help you, and the support of a professional company isn’t too hard to find.

How To Teach Your Children To Be Money-Conscious

You want your children to have the best qualities of you and your partner. Something that might be important to you as money. Now money should never be the thing that controls your life, but it will certainly help define what you do in it. So with that in mind, here are a few tips to teach your children in being more money-conscious.

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Show Them How To Budget

Children are never going to learn how to handle money, and many parents won’t even teach them until they’ve started earning money themselves. It’s also not something that many of us would learn about at school, particularly as it’s not always likely to be something within the school curriculum. Leading by example is important, and so it matters that you are budgeting your household income in order to show them when they are at an age to learn. It’s never too early to teach them about money. Earning pocket money for doing errands around the home is going to help them being grateful but to also know that hard work can be rewarding. 

It might be a good idea to let them see the family finances and that way, they can have an understanding of what they may need to know about going forward. Giving them an insight into a typical budget plan can be very helpful for their own in the future.

Warn Them About Loans And Borrowing Money

When you find a Swedish sms lån, it’s something that might come at the right time for you or your household when they need it. However, they need to remember and be wary of having loans and borrowing money in general. If they become too complacent with knowing that money is effectively free and available to borrow, that could be quite dangerous for those who enjoy spending their money a little too frivolously. So warn them about taking them out and that they should be used in emergency situations too. You as a parent are likely to want to know about financial situations that they’re in when they are young, so always tell them to approach you first for help. It’s better for your child to pay you back, rather than to a bank or loan shark

Encourage Them To Get A Job

When they’re of an age at which they could work, you should be encouraging them to do so. Being able to get a job will help them see and learn the value of money and what it does in their own life. Having savings is important and having a job can help them put some money into their account so that they are well provided for later on in life when they need it. It also helps them to live their lives to the fullest and to show them how money can influence the type of lifestyle that they may want in the future.

Teaching your children these important life lessons is very beneficial to give them the best start in life.

5 Crucial Expenses Founders Need to Budget for

It’s easy to underestimate how expensive starting your own business can be. Building an industry-leading company requires more than just a great idea or plenty of industry passion, you also need the right finances in place to guide your organization towards success. 

While some entrepreneurs assume that they can simply jump in and tackle each expense as and when it arises, the truth is that planning your costs ahead of time is a far better alternative. Not only will your budget give you the guidance you need to make the right decisions on behalf of your business, but it will also make it easier to apply for a loan or seek out funding from investors too. Everyone who might consider giving your business money will want proof that you’ve thought about the future. 

Here are a few of the crucial business expenses that you will have to consider when you’re building your startup budgeting plan. 

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  • Equipment Costs

Depending on the nature of your business, your equipment costs may be one of the biggest monthly expenses you have to think about. If you’re running a conventional business, like a brick-and-mortar retail store, or a restaurant, your equipment could include everything from point of sale systems to ovens, refrigerators, storage rooms, and more. 

Even if you’re just running a basic online business from the comfort of your own home, there are still equipment expenses to consider. For instance, you might need a computer that you can use to complete your work each day, a printer for your invoices, and a phone that you can use to make long-distance calls. Remember, you can always save some extra cash on equipment by checking out second-hand options.

  • Supplies and Inventory

Next, you’ll need to pay for the materials required to create the products that you’re going to sell. It will be up to you to figure out how much inventory you need to have on-hand at any given moment. However, remember that an absence of inventory could mean that your customers go elsewhere if you can’t deliver what they need straight away. 

Do your research before you begin building your products, so you can determine exactly what kind of products and materials you need. Don’t be afraid to shop around until you find the supplier that gives you the best deal too! If you need somewhere to store your products, take that warehousing cost into account too. 

  • Human Resources

Although it’s becoming a lot easier for entrepreneurs to launch businesses without any outside assistance today, there are companies that you won’t be able to run on your own. You may need the help of a team of dedicated sales assistants to ensure that you can properly serve your target audience. On the other hand, you might just need a few dedicated specialists to help you out at a few times of the year-  such as an accountant or marketing professional. 

Don’t forget that you can reduce some of your HR costs by considering things like remote working today. Working with contractors over the internet means that you don’t have to pay for physical office space where your team members can work. 

  • Legal Fees

There’s more to keeping your business’s head above water legally than paying for an attorney when someone tries to take you to court. You’ll also have fees to consider when it comes to things like incorporating your company or setting up retainers. Make sure that you know exactly how much it’s going to cost to get your business off the ground, then keep it up and running. 

To protect yourself from overly excessive legal fees, don’t forget to invest in the right business insurance too. You might need to take to a business advisor for insights into the kind of insurance that you need for your type of company. Not every kind of coverage will be relevant to you. 

  • Marketing

Finally, if you want your business to grow, then you’re going to need to set some extra money aside for capturing your audience’s attention. Startup founders need to budget at least some of their cash aside for things like social media marketing, email marketing, website development, and so on. 

The good news is that marketing doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Even some basic investment into social media can be enough to start generating real engagement from your target audience. You can always invest more cash into marketing as your business grows. 

Changing Your Relationship With Debt

Debt can be a terrible burden to have to live with. What can start with a small amount on an overdraft can slowly snowball into tens of thousands owed to various different companies. Pretty soon, you will be juggling a whole host of repayments to several loan companies. 

Debt can lead us to make some pretty poor decisions with our lives. It can make us desperate, and in the worst cases, can cause us to turn to crime to try to solve our problems. The cycle of debt can also cause severe problems when it comes to your relationships. The stresses and strains of harboring a large amount of financial weight can bring us to breaking point with our loved ones. If the debt is shared, not dealing well with the stress can create cracks. But if the debt is primarily on one partner, this can cause a whole different set of tensions. In many cases, people choose to hide their debts from their partners, and this will only lead to a feeling of betrayal and mistrust. 

Debt can tear families apart and put people on the streets. And, if you are in any way struggling with debt, you should take immediate action to stop it from ruining your life. This can be hard to do, and you may not know what the best course of action might be, or who to turn to for support.

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Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

Getting The Help That You Need With Debts

In the first instance, when it comes to dealing with personal debts such as loans, credit cards, or student loan debt, you should reach out to a friend, family member, or partner and ask them for help. To be clear, this does not mean that they should lend you money. Quite often, taking a loan from someone that you are close to can be problematic as it may lead to arguments. It is only useful if it is a meaningful amount of money that can be used to clear entire debts. Otherwise, it is often just adding to the problem. 

The type of help that you will want to get is emotional support and constructive advice. Being able to talk to someone about your money problems will be vital as it can help you feel as though you are not alone. 

If you have a partner, make sure you involve them in the situation. They have a right to know about the problems that you are facing, even if they do not directly affect them, it can still be a cause of great tension in your life, and they need to be able to support you through it. 

Seeking Support From Debt Charities

To get support, you should reach out to the citizen’s advice bureau, or a debt charity such as Step Change. Having help from people who are trained to deal with your specific problems will be greatly beneficial to you and your situation. 

They may be able to signpost you towards a robust solution so that you can start to overcome your situation. There may be ways things that you have not thought about doing that can help immensely. 

If you have a complex relationship with managing your money or the stress of your situation is weighing down on considerably, then you might need to talk to a counselor who can help you to process the problems that you are facing. 

Restructuring Your Personal Finances 

One of the primary ways that you can fight debt in your life is to change the way that you deal with your finances. You may be in the habit of ignoring the money that you have going out because it causes you stress or anxiety. This is perfectly natural, and this is a defense mechanism that you will have developed. Unfortunately, it is not terribly helpful getting you out of debt and could, in fact, cause your problems to worsen.

Getting ahead of your debts will mean understanding where your money is being spent every month. For this, you will need to create a full and thorough assessment of your income and expenditure. You should ensure that you do need to leave anything out and be fully honest with yourself about what you are spending money on. Denial will only worsen your situation. 

Start with your most essential outgoings first. This will be your mortgage or rent payments. This will be outgoing that you probably cannot do very much about, but it is important that you prioritize paying it. 

Next up, look at things such as your utility bills. Your gas, electric, water, phone, and broadband. You may be able to lower your consumption or switch suppliers for many of these things. So, shop around and make the switch to the company that offers you the best deals. Make sure that if you are on a limited offer, that you understand the terms and look at switching again if the prices start to rise. 

Your debts should obviously be on the list. You need to pay these every month so that you are not going to get further into the financial black-hole. More on how to reduce the payments on these later. 

Then you will get to your non-essential spending. This will include items such as satellite and streaming subscriptions, gym memberships, as well as memberships to clubs. There may be things that you are paying out for that you don’t even remember that you have. These are prime examples of things that you should cancel in order to save some money. 

Setting yourself budgets for your food shopping is a good way of managing your money. Have a look at home much you are spending on average each month and try to use that as a basis for planning. Think about areas of your shop that you are spending too much on. Are you buying branded items, when an own-brand product would be much cheaper? Get yourself into the habit of shopping in a more savvy manner will mean not picking up impulse buys and working off a shopping list. 

One way of managing your spending is to spend more time planning meals. If you are cooking from scratch, and also have a plan for your meals each night, you can use cost-effective techniques to get ingredients that can be used across a number of meals so that nothing gets wasted. 

Keep in the habit of documenting and tracking everything that you are spending. It may feel completely unnatural to you, but doing this will teach you to control the way that you use money, Building a new relationship with your finances takes time, and eventually using spreadsheets and checking your online banking regularly will feel natural. 

Restructuring Your Debt

One way to deal with the debt that you have currently is to take out a consolidation loan. If you have multiple debts, you will have a few different interest rates. Some of your debts may be more pressing than others, and you may constantly be juggling them. When it comes to paying them off, you will probably not get to pay them all off as there will always be one or two of your debts that keep escalating because you have too many to manage. 

Taking out a consolidation loan will mean that you can put all of your debts into one easily affordable monthly payment. This will make the overall debt much easier to manage. 

Once you have paid off all of your other debts with your consolidation loan, you should cut up your credit cards and close the accounts so that you are not tempted to go back into more debt. 

Worst Case Scenarios

If your debt has gone too far, you should get in touch with a firm that can negotiate with your lenders to agree on a settlement. Doing this may mean that you can avoid filing for bankruptcy, while also giving you the opportunity to clear your debt in a more manageable manner. 

The lender may agree to cut some of the debt for you. There will be an agreed-upon payment plan that will be easier for you to manage in your current situation.  

Nobody wants to file for bankruptcy, or have any court judgments hanging over them because they have failed to pay a debt. Getting in there early and discussing your options with a company that can renegotiate your position may be greatly beneficial to you. 

Getting out of debt may well take you a great deal of time and effort. It will need you to remain focused and change your way of thinking about money. It is possible to get out of debt, though, and although it may feel as if it is the end of the world when you are tangled up in interest and loans, it can get better. Reach out and get the support that you need, but most importantly, work at yourself in order to improve your own relationship with money and debt. 

How to Make Money, Even When You’re Retired

When you retire, that doesn’t mean that the money has to stop flowing. People that plan for retirement are often set for life. But workers that don’t plan for retirement can still hire private equity experts to maximize income after retirement. It’s easy to become versatile with your money-making abilities by exploring multiple opportunities. Check out the list below to see all of the available choices for retirees.

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Photo by Craig Adderley from Pexels

Rent Out Extra Space

You can turn an extra room or an outhouse into profit by renting it out to guests. There are websites that handle setting up visitors so that minor work is required on your side to get the money rolling in. You set the rates, along with any rules for the guests to follow. This setup works best if you have a space that is disconnected from the main house. That way you can maintain the integrity of your own personal space without compromising privacy. Renting out space is done a lot, and depending on the situation, some retirees have rented out their entire homes to go on long vacations.

Rent Out Your Parking Lot

Do you live in a prime location that is only a few miles from the biggest events in the city? Then this option is for you, and can potentially make more than renting out extra space. You rent out parking for less time than renting a room but get much more money as a result. Usually when a big event takes place near a neighborhood, homeowners will block off their parking so that tourists don’t sneak in a free space. Instead of going through that trouble, rent out the spot and get paid to let a tourist do the blocking for you. It is a win-win situation that keeps you from worrying about a stranger taking up a precious parking spot.

Become A Life Coach

The best life coaches are the ones that have years of experience to draw from. That can be you, and the competition isn’t as bad as you think. Since every life coach has a unique perspective, there isn’t a lot of overlap with specialties. A life coach that helps with dieting is completely different from another coach that offers the same set of skills. Consumers are looking for someone with knowledge, and also someone that they can connect with. If that is you, then the marketing takes care of itself after the first customer. You can further enhance your chances of making money from this tip by becoming a certified life coach.

Rent Out Your Home While On Vacation

There are people that pay you to house sit their home. It sounds weird when you first hear it, but is actually a real and legit thing. If you opt for international house sitting, you can visit exotic locations for weeks or months at a time and rent out your home while away. Getting paid to take a vacation is a retiree’s dream, but in this case, it is a reality. Your chances for getting picked are enhanced due to your status as a retiree. Homeowners are more likely to trust someone older and responsible that has put in years of hard work over someone younger and inexperienced. Getting paid to house sit is probably one of the few positions where ageism is reversed.

Find And Sell Older Photos

Your memories are worth more than you think if they have historical significance. It doesn’t need to be a perfect 4k high definition photo to be valuable. Pictures from known world events are always sought after. That moment is in the past, and there are still an unlimited number of pictures and videos in the wild that show the events from completely different angles. This is a lot different than paparazzi photos on popular blogging websites. If you think that your pictures or videos have historical significance, there are plenty of buyers willing to gain exclusive rights to them.

Write Letters The Old Fashioned Way

This is more of a niche way to make money, and requires a bit of background. There are a few buyers around the world that pay for typewritten notes using older equipment. Out of all the choices on the list, this one will probably be the hardest to make money from. You have to own an old typewriter, and you also have to develop a rapport with the client. As small as this industry is, it is one of the most fulfilling to do as a retiree. The work is calming, non-hectic and has a very relaxed schedule. While working at your own pace you discover new people, new stories and a brand-new way to make extra money.

Use Your Crafting Skills

Websites make selling your crafts to the world easy. This is another hobby that can turn into a big money maker without you putting in a lot of effort. The fun thing about crafting is that you can make whatever you want. Your customer base will come to you, and you can choose whether or not to offer customization options. You’re technically in control of a small business where your working hours are ‘whenever you feel like it’. Some people make a few extra bucks a month while others have replaced their entire retirement income. The level of success is all up to your own flexibility and knowledge of customer needs.

Tutor In A Specialized Subject

This is similar to being a life coach except you get to teach a class on something that you’re specialized in. So instead of coaching up a single student on how to get through the tougher parts of life, you are teaching several students a brand-new skill. Once you get a few students, word of mouth will help you get even more money. As a retiree, there are several skills that you can teach based off of personal experience. A manager in training may reach out to you for tips on becoming a manager. A homeowner may need help dealing with the financial burden of a new home. Whatever your personal experience is, turn it into a money-making machine.

Bloggers Are Everywhere

Just because there are countless bloggers online that doesn’t mean there is no money to be made. Blogging will always bring in the advertising bucks, even if you are small time. The most interesting aspect about this money maker is that you gain more attention by being yourself. Make the blog persona, and write about your own personal life experiences. People read blogs for unique takes most of all, so being natural with your personality is a must. Out of all the choices on this list, blogging is the one that takes the most setup. If you’ve got the time, consider it a great carefree option to journal your life online while making some money on the side.

Sell Your Items Online

Over the years, your multiple hours of work weeks allowed you to collect a lot of things that you probably don’t use anymore. Usually a garage jail or drop off at goodwill would take care of these unused items. Retirees that never got around to either option can sell their unused items online for a tidy profit. Selling products online starts out small, and then turns into something special when you get a lot of positive reviews. There are dedicated platforms for this that cover the initial setup and expand your reach well beyond what a simple garage sale would cover. You can sell items internationally all from the comfort of your own home.

Trade Stocks

This is the logical step for a lot of retirees that have already invested in stocks while they were working. Plenty of retirement packages include stocks that turn into a sizable chunk after retirement. When you have all of the time in the world, dabbling in stocks can quickly become overwhelming. Retirees are encouraged to trade on the stock market, but to a certain extent. Don’t treat the market like a casino, and never put in more than you’re willing to lose. Short term and long-term gains will get you a lot of money if you’re smart about the initial investment.

Invest In A Startup Company

There is a low buy in for some startup companies that end up making millions in profit later on. With this type of deal, you can be a hands-off partner that collects a check without doing any of the work. There is room for error in this, so tread lightly. Former jobs can sometimes provide insight into such companies and will already have profiles on them. Depending on your relationship with a current employer, you may have a goldmine right under your nose. The lesson here is to not burn any bridges while you are working so that there is always a potential money-making opportunity down the line. 

Wrap Up

Once you get the ball rolling, passive income is the best residual money you’ll ever make. With enough success, it can even be more lucrative than normal employment. Make a list to get started, and find out what choice works to get the money you deserve.