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The tax filing deadline for 2019 was extended to July, so most of the people I know are in the midst of flinging together their taxes to get stuff done.
Figuring out taxes and money as an online creator is HARD. There are zillions of courses for photography and lots of people who write about building a website –
But figuring out the MONEY side of things can be really difficult.
Here’s My 2 Cents (& 5 Tips)
I haven’t totally figured out my money management system – I’m in the midst of setting up an S-Corp, and I’m looking at different bookkeepers. I realized that I was ACTIVELY KEEPING MYSELF from making money because managing it stresses me out, so I’ve been tackling allll of those feelings.
I want to be a millionaire by 30, y’all!
Below, I’ve shared my 5 tips for influencers/solopreneurs/weirdo professionals with 17 streams of income who are trying to GET IT TOGETHER. I also offer one-off coaching sessions if you need help organizing your life, starting at $125 for a one hour session. My consulting site here.
DISCLAIMER: I am NOT a licensed financial planning professional, accountant, or lawyer. There’s NO WAY to put all of the money knowledge into a post. My goal is to EMPOWER you with. my lessons, so you’ll have more background knowledge when you hire your legal and financial team (or work with them, currently)!
Buy This Book!
I’ve found that self-education makes my accountant/money management MUCH easier, because I have more background info!
Cannot recommend this book ENOUGH for helping me find ways to save money on my taxes. It’s a matter of knowing where the write-offs are – and planning my biz to take advantage of them!
Purchase a copy HERE!
Tip #1: MAKE A SEPARATE BUSINESS CHECKING ACCOUNT FFS
Y’all. Taxes for me are a PAIN IN THE BUTT – and I did it to myself. I have done a CRAPPY job keeping my personal expenses separate from my biz expenses. I have paid for this laziness EVERY year for the last 5 YEARS.
How did I pay for it? By having 2x the bank accounts to go through to file my business taxes. UGH.
Don’t be like me, printing out hundreds of bank statements and going over them with a highlighter. Set up a separate checking account and card, and run your business expenses THROUGH THAT ACCOUNT ONLY and get paid INTO THAT ACCOUNT.
Tip #2: Designate a Spot for 1099’s
A 1099 is a tax document that is sent by companies who pay you over $600 for services, and you need these docs to file your taxes. I always lose mine (ugh), and I’ve spend weeks emailing a company to find them.
Don’t make my mistake! When they show up in the mail, designate a drawer, filing cabinet, etc, to keep them in.
Tip #3: Monthly Quickbooks, BABY!
After years of doing my taxes using Google Sheets and adding up expenses (ew), I finally got my life together by using Quickbooks! I can link QB to my bank account, and sort business expenses into categories – saving me OODLES of time.
This requires more discipline (I sit down the last of the month to do this), but after years of the “Google Sheet” method, I am MOTIVATED.
Doing this also helps me BE REAL about how much money I made that month, and it acts as a sort of check-in to make sure I’m track with my financial goals.
Tip #4: Separate Savings Account for Taxes at a SEPARATE BANK
Being self-employed in the USA means that you have to pay taxes. Which means you need to put aside a percentage of every check (varies, most folks do 30% ish – ask your accountant for a number!).
Realizing you owe more in taxes than what you have available is NOT a cute feeling.
I recommend setting up a tax account at a new bank (that isn’t connected to a debit card), so you can avoid temptation. Deposit the money into this account as soon as you get it, and forget it!
If you’re lucky (and follow my advice in #5), you may be able to give yourself a little end of year bonus – because you owe less than what is in your account!
Tip #5: DO NOT DIY YOUR TAXES – GET AN ACCOUNTANT
Y’all, I could GUSH about this topic, but seriously – GET AN ACCOUNTANT. My accountants have saved me THOUSANDS of dollars (even when I was making, like, $35K a a year).
The worst time to find an accountant is during tax season, and I like to meet with my accountant quarterly to go over my biz expenses and discuss what I’m up to – so they can help me find more write-offs. A lot of small biz owners file their taxes in January or February, to have their accountant’s full attention. If you want until the month before filing date, they’re not going to have as much brain space for you!
What Have You Learned?
I love talking about money and money tips, which is why I regularly blog about personal finance! What have you learned as a creative professional who does taxes?
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