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April 2015 archive

10 TAX TIME STRESS RELIEVERS

Taxes… just hearing the word makes me tense up. Since we’ve al been stressing out this month, I’ve decided to give you all some simple stress relievers to take you mind off of your money troubles and to help breathe easy!

1. LISTEN TO CALMING MUSIC
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Close the blinds, light a candle and zone out listening to some of these mellow tunes to make all of your money woes melt away. Try this playlist to get you in a super chill mood! Songza.com

2. MEDITATE/YOGA
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Calm you mind and banish your money problems with some deep breathing exercises and some relaxing yoga. Fr those of you saying, “Yo, Karyn how do you think I can afford a yoga class?” and to that I say YOUTUBE! Yoga For Complete Beginners 

3. GO FOR A WALK
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Going for a walk is a great way to clear you mind, get your heart a-pumpin’ and forget all about you tax troubles while you are getting some lovely alone time.

4. BAKE SOME GOODIES
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Baking lets you focus on something rewarding that you get to immediately enjoy after you’re finished! No need to break the bank on this. Check out allyou.com for some cheap, easy and UBER tasty noms for you to make.

5. READ
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We’ve all got books that we’ve brushed aside for a rainy day. Now’s the time to indulge and let yourself melt into another world. No books on hand? #LIBRARYTRIP!!!

6. EXERCISE
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Workin’ up a good sweat is a great way to put your focus on yourself instead of your bank account. This way you are getting healthy and keeping your mind off of that ugly tax ordeal. PLus, no need to join a gym! Check out darebee.com for some sick workouts and nutritional guides to get dem gains!

7. GET A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP
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After staying up all those nights tossing and turning worrying about money, now it’s time for you to go to bed early and get the rest  that you deserve. A good sleep means you’ll have energy to tackle anything that comes your way, plus a good sleep = a healthier you!

8. PLAY LIKE A KID
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What kid worries about taxes? Not any that I know of, so head to a park and get silly. Stop being an adult for a minute and remember what it was like to have fun without being worried all the time. Climb a tree, ride you bike, grab some Lego or just get creative (pillow fort anyone?).

9. KEEP A JOURNAL OF WHAT YOU WANT TO ACCOMPLISH
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Writing down things that you want to accomplish will get you excited and motivated for the future. Keep your goals simple and write down ways to achieve them. Want to go on a trip? Start putting your spare change in a money jar. Seeing what you want to accomplish will get you in a positive mood in no time!

10. PREPARE FOR NEXT YEAR
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I know all you want to do is forget about the ordeal you just went through, but if it was so stressful maybe preparing in advance will help you avoid it altogether. Look at what didn’t work (ex. disorganized paperwork) and start a new system (ex. start putting papers in a file folder). Start researching ways to cut down your work and even look for ways to outsource it. Starting now will allow you to budget your time and money so you won’t be doing everything at the last possible second!

For some more tips check out here for more —> http://www.wisebread.com

Do you have any good stress relievers? Leave them in the comments or take a pic of yourself doing some on Instagram and tag us @momoneymoprogress and put #lessstress in the description!

Have fun!
Karyn <3

WE’RE OFFICIALLY LIVE! PODCAST LAUNCH + LAUNCH PARTY

Today, we celebrate…all in the name of money and progress of course. We have officially made it to iTunes to launch Season One of the Mo’ Money, Mo’ Progress podcast.

We are launching the series with the incredible entrepreneur, Natalie Sisson, the Suitcase Entrepreneur. Natalie is an incredible entrepreneur and an amazing example of following her passion (of travelling the world) and finding a way to get paid well to do it!

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Have a listen blow or download the podcast here! https://itun.es/i6L78N5

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This season we are thrilled to feature amazing entrepreneurs and financial experts.

Here is the complete list of amazing interviewees:

  1. Natalie Sisson, The Suitcase Entrepreneur
  2. Shannon McLay, Founder & President of Financially Blonde, LLC
  3. Melanie Lockert, Creator of DearDebt.com
  4. Susan Su, Writer and Startup Marketer
  5. Sandra Hanna, Founder of Smart Cookies
  6. Sarah Vermunt, Founder of Careergasm
  7. Gloria Roheim McCrae,  Author of BYOB: The Unapologetic Guide to Being Your Own Boss, Co-Founder of Wedge15
  8. Kamara Toffolo, Career & Leadership Coach
  9. Courtney Johnston, Rebel, Copywriter, and CEO of The Rule Breaker’s Club
  10. Stefanie O’Connell, Millennial Finance Expert, Creator of The Broke and Beautiful Life
  11. Lesley-Anne Scorgie, Bestselling Author and Founder of MeVest

We will be releasing new episodes every Tuesday.

Download and listen on your commute on the subway, in your car, on the run or by a fire with a hot cappuccino (ahem…or wine)!

We are currently recording season two of the show. If you have suggestions for amazing entrepreneurs or financial experts who you want to learn from, let us know at momoneymoprogress@gmail.com!

<3 The Sisterpack

 

 

MY TAX STRATEGY (WARNING: IT’S TERRIBLE)

I’ve never been taught how to do taxes. I’ve pieced it together from my parents, the Internet, and as of last year, my incredible financial planner Shannon Lee Simmons.

My taxes are complex and it completely overwhelms me. I have a full-time job, and had seven different income streams last year (motivational speaking/event hosting/TV producing/producing web content for an entrepreneur/I’m an affiliate for Tilt and Instapage).

Yes, it’s exciting to find creative ways to get paid, but goddamn it, it’s stressful as f*ck to figure out how to pay the government for your passions. Although I promised myself this wouldn’t happen AGAIN this year…I’ve again waited until the last-minute to take a look at everything.

Here’s my TERRIBLE strategy this year, as well as my new strategy I’m implementing now so next year won’t be such a shit show.

Gwen’s Tips for a Terrible Tax Strategy:

  • Try to do it all at once.

I have been sitting in the same spot for five hours, going through an insane amount of paperwork, highlighting and circling numbers. My brain hates me. This is NOT the optimal way to do this. (I thank Nicki Minaj and Drake jams for keeping me company through this challenging time).

  • Avoid looking at docs until the last-minute.

I’m missing an important document that I now have a minimal window to track down. This could’ve been easily avoided had I taken a gander at all of this tax stuff much earlier.

  • Avoiding in general.

I’ve suddenly found myself eating, drinking, and sleeping to numb out and avoid. It’s dumb, but it happened. As Tony Robbins would say: the pain of avoiding was greater than the feeling I’d get of accomplishing all of the tax stuffs.

  • Don’t keep documents organized in any way.

I envy those who are magnificently organized. I have receipts in a box, and random papers in a drawer. It’s kind of all there, but there’s no great organization strategy. Disorganization is a HUGE deterrent to gettin’ er done.

Gwen’s 100% improved Tax Strategy:

  • Have a monthly money date.

Instead of trying to tackle every expense and income stream all at once, I’ve scheduled a one hour money date on the last Friday of every month. I’ve created a simple excel doc where I can enter business expenses and income.

  • Organization: DO IT!

Organization must exist! This time around, I’m going to use the file folder system that’s been sitting around collecting dust. Instead of putting receipts in a drawer, I’m going to actually start filing them. This will be a serious game-changer.

  • Book my tax session in January.

I’m lucky that my gal Shannon is willing to fit me in, but this year I’ve GOT TO book early. I’ve actually put a note in my Google Cal to book next January 26th, 2016!

If you’re in a position right now where you have no idea where to start, my #1 piece of advice is DO NOT DO THIS ALONE! Research a financial planner in your area and reach out and take action. Yes, it may cost a pretty penny for the advice, but think of the mental energy you’ll free up!! You can do this. Start small, take action, and know that you’re not alone.

<3 Gwen

 

 

FINANCIAL LINGO

When tackling your finances it can sometimes feel like you are reading another language. The jargon they use can be totally confusing and overwhelming.

Who would want to keep a dictionary next to them while they do their taxes? Not this gal, so I’ve put together a list of some of the lingo to help you understand your money better.

Amortization:
The repayment of a loan by installments.

Auditor’s report:
A section of an annual report containing the auditor’s opinion about the veracity of the financial statements.

Average tax rate:
Taxes as a fraction of income; total taxes divided by total taxable income.

Accounts Receivable:
How much money is owing to the business.

Angel Investors:
Individuals that will lend money to businesses in its early stages.

Before-tax profit margin:
The ratio of net income before taxes to net sales.

Bridge financing:
Interim financing of one sort or another used to solidify a position until more permanent financing is arranged.

Compounding:
The process of accumulating the time value of money forward in time. For example, interest earned in one period earns additional interest during each subsequent time period.

Core competency:
Primary area of competence. Narrowly defined fields or tasks at which a company or business excels. Primary areas of specialty.

Creditor:
Lender of money.

Collateral:
The instruments that you provide to guarantee a loan.

Debt/equity ratio:
Indicator of financial leverage. Compares assets provided by creditors to assets provided by shareholders. Determined by dividing long-term debt by common stockholder equity.

Debt ratio:
Total debt divided by total assets.

Depreciate:
To allocate the purchase cost of an asset over its life.

Earning power:
Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) divided by total assets.

Equity Financing:
A method by which money is lent, but instead of the lender being paid back with a payment schedule they receive a percentage of the business and they are paid back through the profits of the business.

Fixed cost:
A cost that is fixed in total for a given period of time and for given production levels. In the long-term all costs are variable.

Funded debt:
Debt maturing after more than one year.

Gross profit margin:
Gross profit divided by sales, which is equal to each sales dollar left over after paying for the cost of goods sold.

Interest:
The price paid for borrowing money. It is expressed as a percentage rate over a period of time and reflects the rate of exchange of present consumption for future consumption. Also, a share or title in property.

Net Income:
The amount achieved after deducting all expenses and taxes from the Gross Margin.

Note Amount:
In small business sales, the total amount that is to be financed, which is calculated by subtracting the down payment from the selling price.

Non-Recourse Loan:
A loan in which the lender cannot come after you personally for any shortfall between the amount owing and the assets pledged.

Pre-Tax Income:
The amount of money that the business made prior to deducting what is owed for any and all applicable taxes.

Return on assets (ROA):
Indicator of profitability. Determined by dividing net income for the past 12 months by total average assets. Result is shown as a percentage. ROA can be decomposed into return on sales (net income/sales) multiplied by asset utilization (sales/assets).

Term loan:
A bank loan, typically with a floating interest rate, for a specified amount that matures in between one and ten years and requires a specified repayment schedule.

Time value of money:
The idea that a dollar today is worth more than a dollar in the future, because the dollar received today can earn interest up until the time the future dollar is received.

These are only a few terms hat you may come across. I know it can be frustrating when you are dealing with money when it’s presented to you in a confusing way. Just take it one step at a time, ask questions and don’t be afraid of a little research. The answers are out there.

Do you have any simplified financial terms that you think would benefit us? Let us know in the comments!

#YouGotThis
Karyn – Micromanager + Chief Gif Maker

HOW TO BUST THROUGH LIMITING BELIEFS ABOUT MONEY

Dealing with financial chaos?  This is an interview you need to watch.

Marie Forleo and Kate Northrup are two savvy, inspirational entrepreneurs who share the truth about creating financial freedom. Kate believes when you free yourself financially you can be fully present to your purpose on the planet.

We couldn’t agree more, and it’s one of the reasons we started Mo’ Money, Mo’ Progress (so we can stop obsessing about money!

Grab a green tea, turn airplane mode on your phone, and close down all the tabs so you can focus on the below video.

Which money belief resonates most with you?

You can learn more about Kate at KateNorthrup.com and Marie at MarieForleo.com!

Gwen

DON’T BORROW FROM TOMORROW – TAKE THE INTERAC 21DAY CREDIT-FREE CHALLENGE!

This month, I challenge all of you put a freeze on your credit card spending for 21 days. You might be wondering, “Why 21 days?” Well, it takes 21 days to break a habit, or form a new one! So by putting your credit card away for 3 weeks, you’ll learn to spend you OWN money, and stop relying so heavily on your credit card.

Think you’re biting off more than you can chew? Don’t worry– financial guru Gail Vaz-Oxlade is here to give you 21 days of tips on how to pull this off successfully. Did I mention it’s free? All you have to do is sign up for the INTERAC 21 Day Credit-Free Challenge here and you’ll be on your way to learning how to manage your money with your old pal, Debit Card.

The program will take you through all 21 days no matter when you start, so you can sign up at any time! Tell us about your progress in the comments section, and on INTERAC’s Twitter and Facebook page. Don’t forget to use #21DaysCredit-Free!

Pizza and Awesomeness,

Gabby

MAKIN’ MONEY WHILE YOU SLEEP? SHARE YOUR STORY!

Phew! It’s been almost four months since we started the Mo’ Money, Mo’ Progress blog. Every week each member of The Sisterpack is sharing a tip, tool, resource or story to help you make mo’ money and manage what you got.

We will soon be launching Season 1 of the Mo’ Money, Mo’ Progress podcast, but we’re also starting a new series shorter interview series called, “Makin’ Money While You Sleep.” You may have heard stories online of people making money while they sleep, but usually the stories are told when the entrepreneur has hit the 6-figure mark. We want to share the stories of how you’re doing that now! Whether you’ve made $5.00 or $5,000 (or…errr…$5 million?! :D)…we want to hear from you!

Perhaps you’re selling an e-book or e-course, or planning a conference or paid event. Or maybe you’re selling jewellery or a physical product! It’s all valid and all so very exciting. If you’re doing this, we want to hear from you to share your story! This is such an exciting opportunity for our generation and we want to share the stories of amazing folks (hopefully like you) who are making a profit from their passion and doin’ it while you sleep! (AKA…livin’ the dream!)

If you are willing to share your story, or have a friend or person you admire who you’d be curious to know how they did it…email us at momoneymoprogress@gmail.com with #SleepMoney as the subject line.

We look forward to hearing from you!

<3 The Sisterpack

 

GABBY’S MARCH CHALLENGE: SHOP ALL THE DEALS!

ALL THE DEALS

My March challenge was to try my hand at couponing. Unfortunately, I don’t get many coupons where I live, so I decided to scour flyers for deals instead. When I received a flyer for my local grocery store in the mail, I was really excited to flip through the pages and finally try my hand at shopping for deals.

My first thought: This is awesome! Why doesn’t everybody do this?? I went to the store, flyer armed in hand, and began to search for the items I needed. Strolling around with my cart, I began to realize something… Just because orange juice is on sale, doesn’t mean I need it. Just because bread is 2 for 1, doesn’t mean I want it. There was something happening here, and I didn’t like it. Flyer shopping made me suddenly want to buy everything that was on sale, whether or not I planned to get it in the first place! Thankfully, my logic kicked in and I bought way less than I imagined I would. I tried really hard to only pick up things I needed that were also on sale. Okay, so maybe I didn’t need 3 mangoes for $2, but they were damn good. No regrets.

The Moral of the Story: Shopping for deals is awesome. I did get some things I needed at low prices that I wouldn’t have bought if I didn’t look through the flyer. But the trick is to by only what you came in planning to buy– it’s easy to get sucked in. Don’t let low prices get the better of you. Stick to a list and remember that a deal is only a deal if it’s something you really need.

For my April challenge, I’ll be learning how to finally do my taxes! How hard can it really be?

Keep it real,
Gabs

KARYN’S MARCH CHALLENGE: TRANSIT TROUBLE

For those of us who don’t own a car, we rely on transit to get us places. Recently in Toronto they hiked up the transit fare prices. As someone who was unemployed when this was announced, it really burned my muffins.

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I had to buy a metropass if I wanted to get anywhere, but with prices going up would it be worth it? My March Challenge was to see if buying the new and more expensive metropass made any difference and if I would save any money.

I started keeping tabs on every where I went and what type of transit I used, whether it was the bus, streetcar or subway. I also noted on whether I would be able to get a transfer or if I would have to pay an extra fare. To my surprise I actually travelled quite a bit (this may be due to me snagging a job… FINALLY!). Mostly it was back and forth from work, but if I had just been paying the cash fare, it’d be $6.00 everyday.

I assumed that I’d be losing money on the weekends when I had nowhere to really be, but that wasn’t the case. I sometimes spent more money on the weekends than at any other time. Running errands and chillin’ with my famjam really added up. Even though I didn’t travel every day I still would’ve spent oodles of cash, metropass or not.

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So my grand travel total for March was $174.00. I was able to save $32.50 when buying a metropass. Now while I was doing some lovely math I wanted to see if I could’ve saved money using other offered passes.

If I have purchased the Weekly Pass for $40.75, I wouldn’t have saved anything, but actually spent an extra $5.95. This is the same for the $11.50 Day Pass, which would have only saved me .50 on 2 days, but ultimately costing me $5.89 at the end of the month.

So I guess that the transit fare increase didn’t really affect me too much. I still saved over 30 bucks and it got me to work on time. Thanks TTC.

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Let me know about your transit money-saving stories or if you have any gripes about increases in your area.

Keep it real!

Karyn Elliot: Micromanager + Chief GIF Maker

MONIQUE’S MARCH CHALLENGE: INTERVIEW IN THE UK

My March challenge was to get an interview set up in a foreign country. Full stop.

I’m planning on moving to Liverpool, England next fall until about June 2016 (visa pending). My goal was to use part of the two weeks that I would be visiting Liverpool to lay the groundwork for employment so I would be able to supplement my freelance income while abroad.

The task seemed simple enough but, as I learned, preparation is everything. An interview didn’t happen and I didn’t get one set up while I was there. I knew I would only have a few days to execute the plan, as my entire reason for visiting was to spend time with my boyfriend, whom I hadn’t seen for five months before that.

James-Van-Der-Beek-Crying-On-Dawsons-Creek-Gif

I chose to prioritize my existing clients and work commitments before I left, leaving little time for resume rewriting and research. It wasn’t a negative experience however; this was an incredible learning experience.

While on the ground in the UK, I was able to get a solid understanding of the city in terms of next year’s living situation (accommodations, check!), city layout, and job opportunities. (I was also busy having waaaay too much fun dancing at the annual law ball, checking out a massive cathedral, getting lost by the docks, and having a pint with new friends at the Cavern Club!)

Best of all, I found the place where I will be spending most of my freelance time when I’ll be writing and editing: the local public library, which is a gorgeous, modern building that also houses some of the original works of William Shakespeare, among other greats.

So, I’m currently 0/2 for my challenges. Let’s turn this around!

My April challenge:
To earn more than I spend (and still enjoy life). No credit card. I’m reviewing my bank accounts every day to keep me on track and sending invoices on time. Let’s do this!

High fives and good vibes!
<3 Monique

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