Everyone knows that the only absolute truths in life are death and taxes. We don’t know when the first might occur, but the latter is like clockwork. April is tax time and it’s here again. As a single mom we juggle plenty, now we’ve got one more task to the list. But, with the help of my friend and financial advisor, Janice Goldman Picker, I’ve got a few smart money saving ideas. And a few of my top time savers to make the process feel seamless. You might even want to incorporate these time savers into your everyday life, all year long.
1. Sticky notes –I only write as much as will fit onto one sticky note. That should average about 5 or 6 to-do’s. When you’ve completed the list you get to crumble it up and toss it away. The whole process creates a sense of completion and accomplishment that’s satisfying. If you want to amp it up a notch, at the end of the day before you go to sleep spend a few moments acknowledging your accomplishments.
2. Schedule the day – I love using a white board calendar. You can schedule every hour of every day. If necessary, include your shower and workout time. You’ll be amazed at how much more organized and efficiently your days will run.
3. Cool family organizing app – Kona is a free online at Kona.com, in the App Store at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/kona-mobile/id532571760?mt=8 and for Android devices on Google Play at: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.deltek.konamobile It helps single moms:
· Organize carpools, play-dates and sports team activities through the interactive calendar, so that everyone participating knows what day they are driving, whose house the children will be at on a particular day and time, and when and where practice and games will take place.
· Plan parties and organize multi-family vacations through the ‘conversation’ , ‘task’ and file sharing features.
· Coordinate, organize and execute professional, personal and volunteer events (PTA fundraisers at school, book clubs, Girl Scout activities and more).
· Create virtual to-do lists with the ‘task’ feature for hosting a dinner party with friends and managing household projects (like painting the nursery or building a new deck).
· Stay synched on decisions and progress with a business associate.
And here are a few solid ideas from Janice*.
4. Employ a family member- If you are a small business owner or work out of your home you can take a deduction for reasonable compensation paid to a child you employee. This will reduce the amount of taxable business income that flows through to you. Be aware, though, that the IRS can question compensation paid to a family member if the amount doesn’t seem reasonable, considering the services actually performed. Also, when hiring a family member who’s a minor, be sure that your business complies with child labor laws. Ask your tax accountant about applicable fees
5. Establish an employer-sponsored retirement plan. This can provide you with a number of tax and nontax benefits. With such a plan, your business may be allowed an immediate federal income tax deduction for funding the plan, and you can generally contribute pretax dollars into a retirement account. Contributed funds, and any earnings, aren’t subject to federal income tax until withdrawn.
*Janice helps strengthen women so that they can make the necessary choices to thrive in their financial and personal lives. Most of her clients are women who have survived a personal setback, whether it be divorce, widowhood, illness or disability. Here’s a link to speak with Janice Goldman Picker directly.