Important Must-Have Tool

Have you ever had a home-based business before? If no, have you ever known someone who has?

I speak from experience, and many colleagues seem to agree with me, that it’s really easy to blur the lines between personal and business when it comes to finances.

Income Outgone ExcelWhether making a purchase or deciding which bank account to use, many entrepreneurs lump their business in with their personal.

This choice does, often, go hand-in-hand with the shoe box method of bookkeeping.

Don’t for a second, think this is a judgement! That was me absolutely in my first business endeavour… no matter how frustrated my tax accountant got, or how many times she tried to explain double entry bookkeeping to me!

Then income tax time comes around and you get frustrated with yourself, your tax accountant barely keeps the expletives under her breath, and you swear you’re going to clean up your act… but it’s already April and who has the time to backtrack to January 1st?

A couple of years ago I took some tax training, and begged my trainer to show me around business taxation in our quiet moments.

This was really handy as it now allowed me to write a category on my receipts before I threw them into the shoe-box… which did save a bit of time when I finally sat down to sort and record my business finances in April!

Quite by accident this year, I happened on a solution that I’m really excited about!

Can you imagine an accounting program that figures out double entry without you ever having to learn what it means. A program that will scan your receipt, and when you verify it, allow you to designate part of the total to your business, and part of it to personal.

A program that can interact with your bank account and keep track of the comings and goings at Paypal!

A program that allows you to create custom invoices and for a very small fee let your client pay immediately with a credit card!

And when you bring staff on board, it will help you organize your payroll for another small fee!

If you’re mobile, it will work for you too!

The very best part… except for those two fees I mentioned, the whole thing is free!!! I mean, if you want some sophisticated assistance, then there is stuff you can purchase… but all the basics, if you’re willing to learn them, are free!

And there’s a bunch of tutorials so you don’t need to struggle to figure it all out.

OK, OK… I won’t keep you in suspense any longer!

It’s called Wave and you can check it out here:

https://www.waveapps.com/

In case you remember I am into affiliate programs big-time, this is not an affiliate link – the product is free, remember?

If you’re just starting out, or considering growing a small business, get this organized now! You’ll thank yourself next tax season.

If you’re unhappy with your shoebox methods, really get this organized now… before the year is even further gone!

And next tax season, mumble a little “Thanks, Agnes!”

J

 

 

Travel vs Wander

I read an interesting quote recently:

 

74 wander or travel

 

It reminded me of my first year or so online: when I dreamed of travel but wandered through training after training, all of which promised me the income potential to travel!

Does that sound familiar? Are your best travels to date those in your imagination? Are you starting to feel like you are wandering around losing site of your travel aspirations?

I have a clear direction for my business now, but I certainly remember those early days… and I still don’t feel like I have many skills in the tech department.

My last two posts have talked about the new “digital lifestyle” training platform I am checking out. I’m growing to like that term, although I still often say “online entrepreneur”.

At any rate, for anyone looking to find the means to trade in their job for the travel experience, I highly recommend this platform, and the business model. No wandering here!

The training is laid out in a methodical, logical fashion, and they have developed incredibly sophisticated processes to make website building and online marketing as simple as a few clicks of your mouse! I try really hard not to use that weary old phrase “if I can do it, anyone can”… but in this case… it’s true!

Click the ad below! (which I created with two clicks of my mouse!)

 

My Banner
 

 

Daunted By Digital?

Last post I mentioned the new “digital lifestyle” training program I was checking out.

One of my reasons for being enthusiastic was because one of the co-founders was a young Canadian fellow I had come across when I first came online a few years ago. He was likeable then and even more likeable now!

In this endeavour he has teamed up with a young Brit, and their combined brain-power and enthusiasm is absolutely amazing. Equally amazing (and very cool) is the sincerity with which they present their “stuff”. Add to that, the quality of the modules/tutorials that I am going through… well, Wow! comes to mind – it is so thorough, but at the same so digestible! and I am doing things quite easily that I have struggled with for a couple of years!!  😎

One of the stories I just came across is a story I remembered from a few years ago and I wanted to share it with you here: read about Jane Ball here now. The article references Jay Kubassek – he’s the young Canadian I mention above – and ProU – that’s the program he was developing when I came online several years ago.

If the article (or I) have piqued your curiosity, check out this website I built with a few clicks of my mouse – it has way more info than I can relate here!!

 

best retirement button

 

 

Lovely Walk Down Memory Lane

I’ve found a really comprehensive “digital lifestyle” training platform that I’m checking out before I recommend it to you.

I’m going through all the modules to make sure it delivers and can truly make the process of getting online understandable and manageable for even the least techno-savvy of you.

Yesterday there was some very interesting mindset work that I was working through and it brought to mind a lovely moment that I had sort of forgotten… but not really, as all the emotions came flooding back in a second!

If your financial situation is, or has been, anything like mine was between 2007 and 2013, you really think about how you spend your money and “luxury” purchases are carefully considered!

I was in Vancouver, bunking in at my daughter’s before a flight out early next morning for a training workshop in the States. It was a lovely summer afternoon and I was browsing the shops on Robson Street, mostly just window shopping and enjoying “the big city”!

I came to a shop my daughter used to work in and decided to venture in.

Now, several years earlier I had become acquainted with this shop because several women I knew loved the casual wear produced and the label had taken on quite a prestigious air. I certainly couldn’t afford the clothes so thought little more about it. After my daughter started working there though, she was allowed quite a sizeable family discount at Christmas so, after a couple of years, I had a number of pieces of clothing in my wardrobe, and had grown to love the quality, the fit, and the warranty.

Needless to say, a great pair of slacks caught my eye and I had to try them on. I loved them immediately and decided to buy them. I remember an internal chuckle realizing I was paying full price instead of opening an exciting Christmas gift.

As the clerk rang up my purchase and processed my credit card, I had a massive OMG! moment that I had not even checked the price tag!… because I didn’t need to check the price tag!

I’m not frivolous with my money. Never have been, and financial security does not change that.

However, yesterday, it was so nice being reminded of the epiphany that did, in many ways, represent the success of my online adventure.

Stay tuned for more thoughts as I work through this very promising platform!!

 

 

best retirement button

Discover Your Inner Entrepreneur

 

If you’re like more than half the Baby Boomers in Canada, you’ve probably considered starting your own business – maybe you already have!

There’s a really great reason considering that our retirement dreams got slapped pretty hard in 2008… some of you I have talked to started your losing streak in 2001 when the dotcom bubble burst!

Being an entrepreneur provides three huge benefits for Boomers!

First, Financial Freedom: You set your financial goals, and then you work toward them! Yes, it’s work… and a learning curve… and some investment… but Heck! we’ve lived through parents, and children, and marriage breakdowns, and unfulfilling careers – what’s a bit more focused exertion when Financial Freedom is in the crosshairs?

And I often say that investing in myself is a safe bet because I have insider information!

Second, Time Freedom: Can you imagine setting your own work hours around your grandchildren, or your volunteering, or your garden? and I mean really seeing yourself, in your clothing of choice, saying the most convenient time for me to work today is __-__? It’s a pretty sweet thought, isn’t it?

(I’ll be honest with you – I love my online business so much, some days I work longer days than I did when I had a job!!)

Third, Doing Things: One of my favourite holidays was taking my three (then) teenagers to Disneyland. It turned into a comedy of errors but that just improves the tale-telling. It’s made me want to take my grandson, though, and follow that up with trips to Drumheller, or Niagara Falls or The Maritimes, buying a bigger vehicle as more grandchildren come along! A good friend of mine loves traveling alone because she never has to compromise, and she loves the people she meets along the way.

What do you want to do that your job and your finances get in the way of?

 

Now I know there are some of you who may be thinking “That sounds great, Agnes, but I don’t have a clue what kind of business I could possibly start.” Well, déjà vu! that’s exactly what I said!

So, because I knew you’d say that, I put together a simple but powerful quiz that will give you great insight into what sort of entrepreneur you are. Bottom line, your business has to suit your personality!

What’s your entrepreneur style?

Click the link below and find out!

http://agnesknowles.ca/theQuiz


 

 

 

Are You Goal-setting? Or Do You Have A Dream?

 

 

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Do You Qualify For This Tax Credit?

Before we get into the holiday season… which leads us into the New Year and tax time, I thought it a good idea to think ahead so you could be prepared.  I’ve posted this article before, but it never gets old!!

At this time of life, many of you are caregivers for an elderly parent, or possibly even a spouse with health compromises, or perhaps your own health is no longer optimum. When I was primary caregiver for my mother, I dreaded tax season for both of us… until I took some training in tax preparation and saved us both a lot of money. I was listening to talk radio recently and discovered that a tax credit I thought was common knowledge is in fact a well-kept secret.

Here are two questions to answer before I start:

  1. Do you (or your loved one) pay taxes?
  2. Do you (or your loved one) have some impairment in physical or mental functions?

If you answered yes to both these questions, I recommend you keep on reading.

The Canadian government (Canada Revenue Agency) allows a tax credit for any individual who has a prolonged/permanent impairment in one or more specific areas. This impairment must be acknowledged by a medical practitioner and you are responsible for any fees that practitioner levies. Instead of rewriting the qualifications here, I am giving you the link to the Disability Tax Credit Certificate: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pbg/tf/t2201/t2201-12e.pdf

The Disability Tax Credit (DTC) was implemented in 1988 as a non-refundable tax credit. “Non-refundable” means that it can reduce a person’s taxable income to zero, but if the application of the credit results in a negative tax owing, no refund is issued. The good news for you, if you are a caregiver, is that any amount of the disability tax credit not needed by the person with the disability to reduce their taxes payable to zero can be transferred to a “supporting person”. A supporting person may be able to claim all or part of their dependent’s disability amount if the person with a disability was resident in Canada at any time during the tax year and was dependent on the supporting person for some or all of the basic necessities of life (food, shelter, or clothing).

If you are just finding out about this tax credit now and you think you or your loved one should have qualified for the DTC several years ago, you can in fact claim for the credit for up to 10 years into the past. You do this by filing an adjustment on prior tax assessments. The form you need for this can be found at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pbg/tf/t1-adj/t1-adj-12e.pdf

It is important to note that it takes time to have your physician sign off on the tax credit certificate, and then have it reviewed and approved by Revenue Canada. You cannot move forward without your letter of approval from Canada Revenue. So start the ball moving now. Once you have your letter of approval, you can file adjustments on each of the tax years that were made applicable on the certificate, to a maximum of ten years.

The other tax detail that apparently many people do not understand is how many items are covered as medical expenses. For caregivers adapting a home to accommodate a loved one, the adaptations, and the expense of same can by huge! (voice of experience here!) The link for that information is: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pub/tg/rc4064/rc4064-12e.pdf

If you are at all confused by the paperwork, either phone Canada Revenue’s help-line at 1-800-267-6999 or drop by a tax specialist and get some help.

p.s. Apparently there are reports of eligible people not wanting to have the certificate completed as it means they are admitting they have difficulties and their pride is getting in the way. Depending on how much tax they pay, this credit can be worth thousands of dollars each year. This money could go quite far in making their life easier and some of their activities more independent. Stick with your assertion that it is an important step.

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Quote Of The Day: You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know

It’s a phrase I use often. I was listening to Les Brown last night and he put a new twist on it!

 

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What goal would you like to find out you “don’t know”?

 

 

Don’t Retire “From”

Usually we think about retiring “from” a job or a career. I’m reframing that today.

 

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What do you think?

 

 

A Retirement Dream Catcher

Instead of the usual Vision Board I have created a Retirement Dream Catcher.

 

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Click the link below to claim yours:

http://agnesknowles.ca/retirementdreamcatcher/