The end of the year is fast approaching and as December 31st draws ever near, time to implement those smart, last minute tax strategies is running out. To help make sure you get the most out of your efforts this year, here are some tax tips from the professionals at Clayton, Paulk, and Associates!
As the fiscal year-end grows closer and closer, now is a good time to take a good, hard look at our financial situation and ask ourselves an important (and perhaps difficult) question: am I doing everything I can to secure my financial future? Odds are, there are some adjustments you can make. For instance, do you have a monthly budget in place? If not, this quick blog post is a must-read!
If you are planning to start your own business, your first step should, without a doubt, be to create a business plan. While some business plans differ, there are several standard elements you should include in your document. In this blog post, we will look at our first part – the Executive Summary.
The holidays are fast approaching, and you may find yourself looking at your bank account with some distress. It can be easy to overspend during these festive occasions, and because of that, it is important to create a holiday budget – and stick to it. In this article we will show you how to do just that!
Steps to Create a Holiday Budget
If you already have a monthly household budget in place, creating a spending plan for the holiday season should not be that difficult for you – think of it as a smaller version of your monthly plan.
If you do not have a monthly budget created yet, we greatly encourage you to create one. Think of a budget like a roadmap and financial security as your final destination. If you do not have a set of directions (and, more importantly, if you do not follow them), how can ever expect to land at your end-point?
The first step you should take is to ask yourself this question: how much money do I realistically have to spend? Once you have this number in mind, you can begin to make a spending plan, which should include how much you intend to spend on each family member and friend. Once you decide on these two key factors, stick with your decision and don’t make any modifications.
Another thing to consider when creating a holiday budget is how much you will spend on the celebrations themselves, as well as incidentals. For example, you may have allocated $50 per gift for everyone in your family. However, does that include the cost of wrapping paper, bows, ribbon, or tape? How about shipping fees? All of these “holiday incidentals” need to be figured into your budget as well.
If you are hosting for the holidays, you will need to add this to your budget too. Figure out a “price per plate” that includes food, drink, plastic ware and paper plates, and so forth. If you want to cut down on this cost, consider asking loved ones to bring something, such as a bottle of wine, a casserole, or dessert. This is a pretty common practice, and if each person brings a side dish or appetizer, it not only helps reduce your costs, but it makes your guests feel as though they are a bigger part of the occasion. Who doesn’t like to share a favorite recipe after all?
Another thing you should do is create a spreadsheet to keep track of all of your expenses and gift purchases. If you know what you intend to purchase for each person, mark it down on your spreadsheet even if you have not purchased it. This will help you keep track of your purchases and help ensure you do not overspend.
Finally, make up shopping lists for gifts prior to hitting the stores. This not only helps you avoid temptations, but savvy shoppers will go online and bargain hunt to find out which stores have the items on their list for the lowest price.
The holiday season is fast upon us and the urge to overspend is difficult to resist. While the giving spirit is great, blowing your budget is not. After all, the holidays are about more than gift giving – they are about spending time with family and loved ones. To help you keep on track during these festive occasions, here are some helpful holiday saving tips to help you give to those you love – and even keep a little for yourself!
Halloween is right around the corner and along with it comes the frightful cost of costumes, candy, and party supplies. There is no reason to break the bank however, and with these Halloween saving tips, you might even have a little left over to treat yourself!
Halloween Saving Tips
By its very nature, Halloween is a time of gluttony – we send our children out on the streets dressed in costumes to “frighten” candy out of our friendly neighbors and local proprietors. As prices of candy – especially chocolate – continue to soar, and we are bombarded by Halloween advertising and temptations to create elaborate costumes, it is important to put the holiday in perspective and take steps to reduce the costs of our celebrations – without taking away any of the fun!
Wait To Purchase Your Pumpkins
Carving pumpkins is a great Halloween tradition, especially if you have children. Of course, if you have multiple children, purchasing pumpkins can get pretty expensive. This is an easy problem to solve, however, as the price of pumpkins drops dramatically as you get closer to October 31. Waiting until the last minute to by your pumpkins is a savvy way to save money during Halloween. And since most people wait until the night before Halloween to carve their pumpkins, there is no need to purchase them early.
By Decorations at the Dollar Store
Purchasing Halloween decorations at big box stores may seem like a good idea, but the cost can quickly add up. Fortunately for you, your local dollar store or discount market has many similar (if not the same) types of Halloween decor for a fraction of the price.
Aside from decorations, dollar stores are great for Halloween party supplies and even DIY costume supplies. Skip the fancy stores and get your holiday decorations on the cheap with this simple Halloween saving tip!
Attend Community Events
Throwing a big Halloween party can be expensive. If you do not have the funds to throw a shindig for friends and family, consider searching your local paper for local Halloween events that you and your family can attend. Most are free or have a small price of admission – even with the cost of food and rides, you will likely save money – and have fun in the process. Who doesn’t love a hay ride?
Make Your Own Costume
If you are crafty – or a loved one is – consider creating a DIY Halloween costume instead of purchasing one. Not only can you save significantly, but do-it-yourself costumes tend to be more creative and elaborate than their store-bought counterparts. Plus, we tend to value things we create ourselves, meaning you are more likely to re-use your outfit at some point in the future – a win-win!
In this week’s blog post, we are going to look at a very important part of every business: prospecting for new clients and customers. We’ll share some tips and techniques that should make acquiring new leads – and closing those leads – a whole lot easier!
Running a business is hard work. Business owners are pulled in so many different directions, that it can often be hard to focus on big picture items, such as growing your business and prospecting for new clients.
All business owners, at some point in time, experience ups and downs in their company’s financial status. From weaker than expected quarters to accounting issues, sometimes it can be difficult to keep your bottom line from bottoming out and ensure your cash flow keeps flowing. In this article, we are going to look at some ways small business owners can increase their ROI.
Cash flow is the driving force behind any business. Without it, you could not pay employees, produce goods or services, grow your business, or even keep the doors open – and the lights on. With that thought in mind, today’s small business owner blog post is all about keeping the cash flow…flowing.
If you are a small business owner (SBO), you may find yourself having issues juggling the day to day demands of your business’ operations and devoting enough time to your accounting duties. To help you in this endeavor, in this quick blog post, we will share some simple accounting tips to help you get your finances in order.