How to choose the right business bank account

Do you need a business bank account as a blogger and entrepreneur? If you are a sole proprietor, you are not legally required to have a business bank account in order to own and run your business. (This is according to U.S. law for sole proprietors. To be safe, do some homework and check your state’s regulations on this topic.)

However, it is helpful from a clarity and an organizational standpoint to separate your business finances from your personal money.

If you want the money in your business to grow, you must give it a safe place to do so. 

Having a separate account for your business finances, allows you to be able to quickly monitor whether your money is growing or depleting. Not to mention that makes tax filing easier - and the audit process, if that were to ever happen.

Everyone mixes up their money from time to time, but get the sooner you begin the practice of keeping them separate, the sooner you will have a sense of clarity around the money in your business.

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Some banks do charge a fee to open a business account or require a minimum deposit amount. If either is not feasible for you, and you are a sole proprietor,  you can choose to use two regular checking accounts. Dedicate one for your business expenses and the other for your personal funds. We are a big fan of the hybrid-checking account with Radius Bank because they actually earn interest on the money in your checkings.

When it comes to choosing a business bank account, use the following questions to guide your decision process.

  1. How many ATMs do they have? (If you travel a lot, you may need more ATM locations.)

  2. Does your current personal bank offer a business account option? If so, what deals can they offer you?

  3. Does the bank support your local community? (A smaller bank or credit union may be the best fit. if this is important to you.)

  4. Are there any annual fees?

  5. Is there a minimum account balance that you need to maintain? If so, what are the fees if you fall below the minimum balance?

  6. Does the bank offer SBA loans or other funding opportunities for small business owners?

  7. Do they link to any bookkeeping programs? If so, which ones?

Opening a business bank account is a big step in your entrepreneurial journey! Have you opened one or thinking about it? Let us know in the comments, below!

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This post was in partnership with Radius Bank.

Is it time to hire someone?

It’s common for entrepreneurs to bootstrap during the first few years of business. But eventually, you'll start asking yourself "am I ready to hire someone?"  After all, you’re the sales and marketing team, the bookkeeper, the janitor, IT, the negotiator, the president and the assistant, the graphic designer, the publicist, the agent… 

Oooo weee. When you can you sit down and take a break?

Hopefully sooner rather than later, you’ll be able to outsource some tasks to other professionals. It’s a wonderful feeling when you’re able to take a load off your plate and at the same time, help support another person’s financial goals..

So, when is the right time to outsource?

Here are the five key considerations to help you make the decision.

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  1. Am I financially prepared to hire someone? Look at this on a monthly basis and make sure it’s something that you can incorporate, knowing the income that will be coming in. For your first few hires, aim to bring someone on as a independent contract on a per project basis. This will help you keep your costs low and learn how to articulate clear deliverables. Sometimes, business owners take out a loan to help with cash flow if they need to hire folks before the expected revenue makes it to the bank account. If you are considering taking out a loan, check out Radius Bank. They are a preferred SBA lender, loans that are focused specifically on the small business owner’s needs.

  2. Is the task you’re hiring out for something that takes a lot of time? If something takes you 10 hours, versus it getting done in 2 hours by a professional (example: graphic design), the cost is probably worth it. Those 10 hours would be better spent selling or servicing your clients.

  3. Will the work enhance your business? Sometimes it may feel like hiring a graphic designer or copy editor isn’t worth the money because it isn’t directly affecting your sales process. But investing in your business is a sure-fire way to up your entrepreneurial game and attract more paying clientele.

  4. Does the person understand your vision? The more people you surround yourself with and allow to be a part of your business journey who believe what you believe, the more aligned you will be to your mission and goal.

  5. Are they connected to any business owners that could use your services? This is an easy place to get referrals that is usually overlooked. Often times we ask clients for referrals, but what about the people we pay? By helping you make more money, they are increasing the likelihood that you will hire them again and again.

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This post was in partnership with Radius Bank.

 

17 of your biggest money questions, answered!

One of our favorite things to do at Money & Mimosas is to listen your questions about money and help you find the answer to them. Here are eighteen of the most asked questions we had from you about managing your finances as an entrepreneur.

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  1. What kind of money goals do should I set? There are five categories for financial goal-setting.  Earning, Saving, Investing, Spending and Giving. Ask yourself how much do you want to earn and by when; how much of your earnings do you want to save and invest; what do you want to spend your money on (and yes, a brand new wardrobe is a great goal); and how will you use your earnings to give back to the causes you care about.

  2. What is the first step in setting money goals? The first step is to get clear on your priorities. Want to buy a home? Increase your investments? Redo your wardrobe? Launch a business? Is this in the next year? Or five years from now? Figure out where you want to spend your money, and calculate how much you want to spend in each area and in what timeframe. The total will be your money goal.

  3. How often should I set money goals? I recommend setting one goal for the year. And three-month money goals throughout the year.

  4. It's really hard for me to save money.  How do I get better at saving? Most of us have trouble with this! Automate and use a separate savings account. During your weekly money date, commit to transfer a fixed percentage of your earnings into your savings.

  5. I'm really good at setting money goals, but it's hard for me to keep them. How do I stay on track?  Find a money friend aka accountability partner.  This could be a spouse, friend or colleague. If that doesn't feel comfortable to you, check out money groups, such as the Money & Mimosas BOSS club,  to find other people that are passionate about reaching their financial goals. Once you find your money buddy, have a weekly date to chat about goals & challenges. We all need support.

  6. I am self-employed. How much should I pay in taxes? This completely depends upon your business structure and a lot of other factors. Generally speaking, if you live in the United States, aim to save 25-30% of your earnings for potential tax payments.

  7. What tools do you recommend for tracking my finances? Personal Capital and Mint are two of our faves for tracking personal finances. Xero, Quickbooks and Freshbooks are our faves for business finances.

  8. Is there a bank that you recommend? There are a lot of options when it comes to choosing a bank account. One account that we really love for personal use, is the Radius Hybrid-Checking account. They offer you the ability to earn interest* from your checking account - which is unheard of!

  9. What is bookkeeping? Bookkeeping is the process of categorizing your business transactions.

  10. What is the difference between bookkeeping and accounting? Accounting is the process of analyzing your business transactions to make decisions. Bookkeeping can be completed without accounting. Accounting can not be completed without bookkeeping.

  11. Do I have to hire someone to do my bookkeeping? No. We recommend waiting until your business reaches at least $250,000 in annual revenue before outsourcing your bookkeeping. Why? Because you have to understand how the cash flows in and out of your business, before you can expect someone else to be able to do so. Remember, no one cares more about your money than you do.

  12. Do I need to use a bookkeeping program or can I use pen and paper? There is no legal requirement to use a bookkeeping program. Use whichever method makes most intuitive sense to you- an internet program, pen and paper, Excel or a shoebox. The key is to be consistent. However, using an internet program will save you time and money when analyzing your financial statements and filing your taxes.

  13. Is bookkeeping only important for filing taxes? No. Bookkeeping is necessary in order to file taxes. However, managing your finances is one of your #1 tasks as a business owner. Bookkeeping allows you to stay on top of your money throughout the year.

  14. How does bookkeeping help my business? Bookkeeping allows you to determine when it is time to hire someone, expand your business and make strategic tax filing decisions.

  15. I don't have an accounting background. Will I mess up my books? It's ok if you don't have an accounting background. As the boss of your business, you can easily learn how to manage your books. The key is to find a bookkeeping program that works for you (refer to question #4) and use it consistently.

  16. When should I hire an accountant? This is a personal decision. We recommend working with a tax accountant as soon as possible. Keep in mind, not all accountants file taxes. And most tax accountants do not offer strategy services. You should hire a someone to help with your bookkeeping and/or with financial strategy, once you reach a minimum of $250,000 in annual revenue or feel that you have a good understanding of your books.

  17. Should I write off as much as I can in business at the end of the year? Your tax filing strategy is a personal decision. While most business owners want to write off a lot of expenses at the end of the year, remember to consider your future goals. For example, if you plan on purchasing a home next year, you will want to show a healthy profit in your business as opposed to writing off a lot of expenses. You may also want to consider your retirement planning before spending your money on other business expenses.

Have a money question that’s not listed here? Click here to submit your question for a chance to have it answered on Money & Mimosas.

 


This post was in partnership with Radius Bank.

*Annual Percentage Yield (APY) is accurate as of 05/2/2018. Minimum amount to open account is $10.00. Rate tiers are as follows: 0.00% APY applies to balances of $0.01-$2,499.99, and 0.85% APY applies to the entire balance on balances of $2,500 or more. Rates may change after account is opened. Fees may reduce earnings.

Ready to quit your job and do your blog full-time? Read this first.

We’ve all had days that we’d rather be outside than sitting in our cubicle. But, for some of us those days turn into a weeks, and a nagging feeling that you are not doing what you are meant to be doing.

If you are feeling uninspired and unchallenged in your current position, it may be a sign that you need to work for yourself. However, keep in mind that becoming a full-time blogger and entrepreneur is not for everyone. It is one of the most stressful, financially challenging, soul wrenching experiences you can put yourself through. But, for those of us that have a high tolerance for pain and truly believe that the vision of your life can only come to fruition through pursuing your passion as a full-time career, then taking the leap of faith on yourself will be the most rewarding experience. EVER.

If you are one of those people and you are ready to say deuces to your job, here are some tips that we hope serve as a guiding light. There is no right or wrong way to go about quitting your job to do your blog full-time. Some people quit with no back up plan and very little savings. Others slowly build up their financial cushion and courage before they take the leap of faith. And many people are somewhere in between, holding down a ton of side gigs while they build their thing on the side.

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Only you can determine your risk tolerance and what makes the most sense for you during this season of your life. Here are five steps to consider while you preparing for the transition.

  1. Create a gameplan for when you are ready to go full-time. Maybe it’s 12 months from now. Or 3 months. Whatever it is, set a deadline and a plan for yourself. As some famous person said, a goal without a deadline is just a wish

  2. Determine your income sources. As a blogger and entrepreneur, you need to have an idea for how you are going to make money. In the beginning, it’s wise to try multiple sources as you figure out what works best for you.

  3. Calculate how much money you need to make each month. You need to know the total of your monthly expenses for the basic necessities (such as rent or mortgage, food, utilities, etc) and a little extra for entertainment so you don’t go crazy. Also, don’t forget to factor in the cost of insurance, savings and investing for the future.

  4. Build up a financial cushion. The amount of money you will need in your savings account will depend on how much your monthly expenses are and the level of security you feel you need. If you have responsibilities outside of your individual self, such as children, then your cushion will need to be higher. Definitely check out the Radius Bank high-yield savings account. It has one of the highest APY rates* for savings accounts, which means you will earn more money on the cash you stash.

  5. Turn your employer into a client. Depending on your service offerings, your employer could be your first client. If your current job is similar to what you will be providing as a business owner, talk to your manager about becoming an independent contractor and billing the company as a client. They win because they won’t have to spend the time and money to train a new person. And you win because you are still bringing in an income and able to pursue your business.

Want more tips like this? Click here to join our Insider List.


This post was in partnership with Radius Bank.

*Annual Percentage Yield (APY) is accurate as of 4/25/2018 Minimum amount to open account is $10.00. 1.50% APY applies to the entire balance on balances of $2,500 or more. Rates may change after account is opened. Fees may reduce earnings,


 

Spring cleaning your finances

It’s springtime. After months of gray skies, the sun is peering through the clouds and the flowers are blooming. Spring is the best time to get re-energized about your money goals and take big steps to achieve them.

There’s a reason why spring cleaning is something that your grandmother and mother practiced religiously every year. The season is the perfect time to let go of the old and make space for the new. When it comes to money, this is the time re-evaluate what is working and release patterns that no longer serve you in order to invite abundance.

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Ready to do some major spring cleaning on your finances? Here are 10 steps to take.

  1. Clean out your closet. Nothing says you are ready for an upgrade in your life than getting rid of clothes. Go through your closet and pack up the articles that no longer fit or just don’t inspire you. You can donate them or, with the gently used items, send them off to thredUP so you can get paid!

  2. Review your money goals for 2018. Take a look at the goals you set back on New Year’s Day and reflect on your progress. Is there anything that needs to change or be updated? If you realize that some goals may have been overly ambitious - that is ok!  Life happens. Now you can adjust them to something that is more attainable. Otherwise, keep going for that big, bold, audacious goals.

  3. Set goals for this quarter. If you are a blogger and business owner, how many pieces of content do you want to create? How many brands do you want to work with and how many clients do you want to sign up? When you write down your goals, don’t forget to include your savings and investing accounts totals. How about increasing them by 25% this quarter? You can do it!

  4. Review your bank accounts. Check the fees you’re paying on your various accounts and if you are maximizing your earning potential. One account that most people overlook is their checkings account. Many banks charge a fee to hold an account or do not offer an opportunity to earn interest. With a Radius Bank’s hybrid checkings account, you can earn 0.85% APY* on your balance. It’s an incredible product and an easy way for you to make money on that money. Get it, girl!

  5. Tidy up your bookkeeping. Like a clean closet for your clothes, your bookkeeping is the closet for your money. And nothing says you care more about your money than a fresh set of books. Whether you use Excel, pen & paper, or a digital bookkeeping program (we highly recommend going with an app!), make sure everything is up to date and in order.

  6. Re-evaluate your life. This may seem a little dramatic, but we all have a little drama queen in us. And it’s necessary. Take note of how you are spending your time, who you are spending it with and if it is in alignment with the vision you have for this season of your life. It may be time to let some people go or remove activities that are not getting you to where you want to be, financially.

  7. Calculate your net-worth. Your net-worth is your assets minus liabilities. We talk a lot about this at Money & Mimosas because it is the true indicator of your personal wealth. Compare it to your net worth from three months ago, and set a goal for this quarter.

  8. Review your business and make adjustments. Are you happy with all of the services you provide? Is it time to let go of clients or proactively seek out new ones? Listen to your intuition and make the changes you need to make.

  9. Clear your money energy. As Erykah Badu says, you gonna hurt your back carrying all them bags. Many of us are holding on to resentment and anger against ourselves for past money mistakes. Practice some self-forgiveness and self-compassion exercises to let that ish go.

  10. Refresh your money mindset. After you’ve cleared the air, now you can dream. Take 10-15 minutes to imagine the grandest life possible for yourself. Who are you hanging out with? What are you wearing? What are the sights and sounds you are experiencing? The types of food you are eating? Hold on to that vision of yourself and operate from it during this beautiful spring season.

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This post was in partnership with Radius Bank.

 

*Annual Percentage Yield (APY) is accurate as of 04/18/2018. Minimum amount to open account is $10.00. Rate tiers are as follows: 0.00% APY applies to balances of $0.01-$2,499.99, and 0.85% APY applies to the entire balance on balances of $2,500 or more. Rates may change after account is opened. Fees may reduce earnings.

Five common money beliefs that are holding you back from success

If you want to be the BOSS of your life and live on your terms, learning how to build wealth needs to be at the top of your priority list. Unfortunately, there are five common money beliefs that may be holding you back from success.

How do you know how much wealth you have? Your net worth.

Net worth is calculated by subtracting your liabilities from your assets. The remaining total is your net worth. In some instances someone with a high income, can have a low net worth if they have a lot of debt. The opposite holds true as well. Individuals may have a lower salary, but have a high net worth because they’ve invested in successful vehicles. That’s why income is only a part of the equation.

Women are lagging in the wealth game because of their lower incomes, but ALSO because many do not invest and grow their assets. On average, women tend to hold their cash in savings accounts. While I fully support having an ample amount of cash in savings, there comes a point when it is time to diversify and take the next step in your money journey.

If you want to be able to take 4-day weekend on a whim or escape to an exotic island for three weeks without getting permission or just live life on your own terms, then learning how to build wealth is the skill you need to develop.

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Here are 5 common money beliefs that are holding you back from success.

  1. You need a lot of money to invest. You can start with as little as $10! When you first start investing, I recommend keeping 10% of your savings in a liquid account that earns a decent interest rate. One of my favorites is Radius Bank’s high-yield savings account, which has a 1.30% APY.*  

  2. You need to know everything about investing. As women, we are the queens of research. Which actually makes us the better investor, because we are more informed (go figure!). But, analysis paralysis is holding us back. The longer you wait, the longer you are missing out on the magic of compound interest (where you earn money on money on money). Here’s the thing- you and I will never know everything there is to know about investing. It’s like having a kid or starting a business. You’ll learn as you go. 

  3. Investing is hard. Think of investing as like learning how to swim or trying a new workout. At first, the moves feel awkward and you’re scared you’ll make a fool of yourself. But, the longer you stick with it, the stronger you become and the easier it gets. With investing, the terms and concepts will seem foreign at first. But, you will get the hang of it. Promise! 

  4. You have to time the stock market right. No one ever times it right, all the time. Sure, some people get lucky. But, that’s all it is - good old fashioned luck. It’s more important to be consistent. Consistency always leads to gains over a long period of time.

  5. Only stocks and bonds count as investing. Stocks and bonds are fabulous, but don’t discount your business and side hustle as an investment. As the greatest investor, Warren Buffet, says, “the best investment you can make is in yourself.” Investing in your skills and growing your blog, creates a foundation of recurring revenue. Just like dividend payouts from stocks. Continue to improve your skills and you will be on your way to financial independence in no time!  

Now I want to hear from you! Are you holding on to any of these beliefs or do you have another belief about money that is holding you back? Let me know in the comments below!

For more wealth tips, click here to join the boss life


*Annual Percentage Yield (APY) is accurate as of 4/1/18. Minimum amount to open account is $10.00. Rate tiers are as follows: 0.00% APY applies to balances of $0.01—$9.99, 0.05% APY applies to the entire balance on balances of $10.00—$2,499.99, and 1.30% APY applies to the entire balance on balances of $2,500 or more. Rates may change after account is opened. Fees may reduce earnings


This post was in partnership with Radius Bank.

5 questions you should ask yourself before investing

Ok, ladies. Here is the sad truth. We are falling behind in the wealth game. And yes, while the pay disparity does factor into this. It is also because we are not investing our hard-earned dollars.

When it comes to net worth, the true marker of wealth, women hold 32 cents on the dollar compared to men. For black women it's 8 cents. For Latinas it's 4 cents. Ouch. The fastest way to close that gap is to start making our money work for us. Also known as investing.

But, what does that actually mean? Making your money work for you? What exactly is investing? Is it safe? Why didn’t any of your professors talk about this stuff?

Or maybe they did, and you weren’t in class that day. Hmmmm. 

Whatever. There's no time like the present. So grab a pen and paper and start taking notes.  Now it’s time to grab a pen and paper and start taking some notes.

The first thing to know is that the act of investing can create an opportunity for you to earn income outside of your paycheck without you putting in hours at your desk job. It’s as close as you can get to making money while you sleep.

Freakin sweet.

But, like anything that sounds too good to be true. There are some downsides. It is very possible that you can lose money with investing. Which is why it’s important to go into this situation after you have done some research and are fully prepared to handle any potential outcomes.

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Before you get started with investing, here are five questions you should ask yourself before you do.

  1. What are my goals? Before you do anything with money, it is important to set your intention and get clear on your goals. Are you hoping to pull this cash out in a year to travel the world? Do you want to stash it away for five years then pull it out to use as a down payment for a home? Do you want to keep it in one place until you are ready to retire? Gaining clarity around your goals will help you determine which investment strategy is the best for you.

  2. Am I financially stable? Investing is a risky endeavor and you should only do it when you have your basic needs met. Before you start investing, ensure that you have a comfortable cash cushion in your savings account and you can easily generate the money you need to cover your monthly expenses. If you are living off your credit cards or if your parents are still helping you out with your rent payment, then you are not ready to start investing.

  3. What is my risk tolerance? There are many different ways you can invest your money, known as vehicles. There are savings accounts, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, REITs, real estate and businesses. Each vehicle carries a level of risk. The riskier the vehicle, the more money you can make. It also means you can stand to lose a lot more money. The reverse is true for less risky vehicles. On the least risky side are bonds and savings accounts such as Radius Bank’s High-Yield Savings, which has a relatively high APY*. These vehicles have a low interest rate and a low rate of return, meaning you won’t make that much money from it. But, you also are guaranteed to not lose any money, either. The riskier vehicles include mutual funds, stocks and real estate. You need to determine for yourself, how much risk you are willing to take on. Generally speaking, the younger you are the more risk you can afford. But, you also have to take into account other life choices you wish to make- such as starting a family or business, and purchasing a home. Both, will require access to cash. For a general rule of thumb, subtract your age from 100. The difference is the percentage of risk you can take on. For example, if you are 30, your portfolio can be made up of 70% high-risk investment vehicles. This is only a general rule of thumb that you can use to make a decision that fits your needs. It is up to you to consult with a professional about your unique situation.

  4. Do I understand the difference between mutual funds, stocks and bonds? It’s important to be knowledgeable about investing before you jump into it. It would be like skiing down a Black Diamond slope without knowing how to ski. Sure, you could figure it out. But, more than likely you’re going to hurt yourself. You don’t have to know everything about investing - just like you don’t have to be an Olympic skier to have fun in Vail- but the more you learn, the better you’ll be at it. To help you get started, check out Radius Bank’s Money Management Academy. They have a section on investing that goes over the basic terms you should know and has some games you can play to get accustomed to investing.

  5. Who can I reach out to about investing? With anything new, it’s always nice to have people in your life that you can reach out to for advice or insight. Your parents may have tips for you. Talking about investing and your money goals with girlfriends is a great way to hold each other accountable and get a sense of what your peers are doing with their money. During the Money & Mimosas Like.A.Boss. Bootcamps, we spend time sharing our investment stories and learning from experts. Click here to stay in the loop about our next event.

And now I want to hear from you! Have you started investing or are you thinking about investing sometime soon?  


This post was in partnership with Radius Bank.

*Annual Percentage Yield (APY) is accurate as of 4/4/18. Minimum amount to open account is $10.00. Rate tiers are as follows: 0.00% APY applies to balances of $0.01—$9.99, 0.05% APY applies to the entire balance on balances of $10.00—$2,499.99, and 1.30% APY applies to the entire balance on balances of $2,500 or more. Rates may change after account is opened. Fees may reduce earnings

7 Daily Habits of Rich Women

Remember when your mom nagged you to make the bed in the morning? If you were like me, you groaned and hated every second of it. I would think to myself, and sometimes say out loud, “why do I have to make the bed, if I’m just going to get right back into it?”

She would promptly say that discipline is a virtue. Disciplining yourself to make your bed every morning is an easy way to set your day up for success.

Want a hot, banging body? You have to develop the discipline and make working out a consistent habit. Our daily habits are what determines our success in life.

The same goes for your financial health. You have to consistently pay attention to your money and discipline yourself to develop habits that support - not sabotage - your financial success. 

If you truly want to be the BOSS of your life, financial independence is a goal that you’ll need to strive for and healthy money habits will help you achieve it. What are these habits?

Money & Mimosas

Here are the seven daily habits of rich women.

  1. Exercise. You may be wondering, what does this have to do with my bank account? Studies show that the better we feel in our body, the better we perform in our financial lives. It makes sense. If you are physically healthy, you are able to be fully present while at work or while negotiating with a client. A quick and dirty, thirty minute HIIT workout will do the trick.

  2. Practice Gratitude. As Oprah says, “If you are grateful for what you have, you will have more. If you focus on what you don’t have, you will never ever have enough.” The more you can practice gratitude for the people and things currently in your life, the more you will attract other awesome people and opportunities. Start by writing in a journal every morning for five minutes about the things you are grateful for- things money can buy and ones it can’t.

  3. Nurture relationships. Wealthy people understand that your net-worth is in your network. Surround yourself with people that will lift you higher and make those relationships a priority. Together, you all can help build each other build wealth.

  4. Practice self-love and self-acceptance. As I always say, financial freedom is a journey of self-love. If we are mean to ourselves, we will subconsciously sabotage our success. When you truly love yourself, you will see money as a tool that supports your well-being and the causes you care about. Every morning, look yourself in the mirror and say three reasons why you love yourself and three things you are proud of yourself for accomplishing.

  5. Find a money mentor. It is important to find someone who has achieved what you hope to accomplish, in order to model their behavior. You can have many mentors - people that are in your life and you see on a regular basis, and people who you only meet through interviews. One of my biggest mentors is Marie Forleo. I religiously watch her Marie TV episodes on YouTube every Tuesday and joined her B-School program. I’ve never met her in person, but I consider her one my best mentors. 

  6. Read about money. ALOT. Studying business and wealth building strategies, will help you stay on top of trends and spark ideas for your own business. If you aren’t already on the Money & Mimosas newsletter, click here to sign up. Every Wednesday, I do a run-down of the business happenings from the week to help you stack your cash.

  7. Do one thing out of their comfort zone. Fortune favors the bold. Building wealth takes courage and you will have to become comfortable being uncomfortable. Whether it’s speaking in front of a group of people and sharing your blog with friends, do something everyday that puts yourself out there.

Bonus: Rich women track their finances and calculate their net worth regularly. Wealthy people are always minding their busine$$. Start doing a weekly money date where you review your previous week’s expenses and set goals for the following week. We call this your Money & Mimosas date, because when you’re done you get to celebrate with a mimosa. Cheers!

Want to test your financial independence? Take our quiz, “How BOSS are you?” to see if you are living life on your terms or by someone else’s rules

The seven biggest mistakes women make with money

Money is something that is present in all of our lives. Studies show that the average person makes 5-7 financial decisions everyday. It governs where we live, where we go to school, the quality of life our children experience, the type of food we have access to and our ability to pursue the life of our dreams. Unfortunately, women continue to make big mistakes with their money that is holding them back from living the life of their dreams.

Understanding how money works and making it work for you is the most important skill anyone can learn- whether you are an entrepreneur building a blog or a tech company, or an executive working for a large corporation. For women, especially, learning how to build wealth is going to ensure that you are empowered to lead a life of fulfillment. Otherwise, you will be living on someone else’s terms - and those terms will likely not be in your favor.

Here are the seven biggest mistakes women make with their money. And more importantly, how to fix them.

  1. Not talking about it. Money is more taboo than sex and politics. And in some circles, it’s considered crass or low-brow to bring it up. How backwards is that?! Talking about the very thing that propels someone into a high social class, is considered pauper. If you want to change anything, the first step is to acknowledge it and talk about. Start chatting about money with your girlfriends. You can start with talking about shopping deals, but expand the conversation to include monthly expenses such as insurance and business costs, eventually moving to topics around high-yield savings accounts and investment vehicles. Not sure how to get the conversation started? Here is a link to talking about money with your girlfriends.

  2. Going on a budget. While budgeting isn’t a bad practice, many women start thinking of ways to cut expenses before thinking about how they can increase their income. Being able to spend below your means is ideal, but if you don’t know how to generate an extra $1,000 or $5,000 a month for yourself, you will never truly feel financially independent. Before setting a budget, jot down three or five ways you can make the same amount of money you were going to cut out.

  3. Charging low prices. When you are an independent contractor or entrepreneur, you are in charge of setting your prices. The issue that many women fall into is forgetting that their prices needs to include your fees for delivering the service and your overhead. If you sell products, your cost is not just the tangible expenses of producing the product. It also includes the retail space you are renting and staff. When setting your prices, be sure to include a buffer for taxes, health insurance, your retirement savings and overhead costs.  

  4. Not saving or investing. Ladies, this is huge! While we all know about the pay gap, women earning 80 cents on the dollar, the wealth gap is even bigger. Women have a net worth of just 32 cents on the dollar. The reason for this is, of course related to the pay gap, but also because we do not save or invest at the same rate as men. Start setting aside a fixed percentage each month that you will use to invest. Check out the Ellevest program, founded by Wall Street mogul Sallie Krawcheck to support women, that helps you identify your financial goals and create an investment strategy to reach them.

  5. Not having a side hustle or at least two income streams. This is especially important for all the corporate executives. 2008 taught us that no job is 100% secure and we all need to have a back up plan. The key is to have a back up plan before your back is up against the wall. It could be starting a blog and offering consulting services in addition to your full-time gig. Always have at least two income streams so that your livelihood is never dependent on just one source.

  6. Not trusting yourself. So many women leave the financial decisions to the men or financial professionals in their life. Whether it’s a father, husband, tax accountant, financial advisor. The reason for this ultimately boils down to a lack of self-confidence. While it is a good idea to do ask for insights from others, at the end of the day you are the best judge of what to do with your money. And research shows that women are actually better at investing and managing money than their male counterparts. Start by opening up an investment or savings account that is all your own and making decisions with it.

  7. Not “dealing” with the finances. As a follow-up to #6, many women leave the big financial decisions to other people. Many women do manage the household budgets, but when it comes to investing, purchasing property, understanding tax implications- they leave the research and decisions to others. Start by having a weekly money date where you review all of your and the family’s accounts. We like to call this your #MoneyandMimosas date, because when you’re done you should treat yourself to a mimosa.

Want to test your financial independence? Take our quiz, “How BOSS are you?” to see if you are living life on your terms or by someone else’s rules.

 

Hiring an accountant? Here are 15 interview questions to help you choose the right person!

Hiring an accountant is an awesome moment in any BOSS's journey. It means that you're making money, and enough of it to warrant asking for guidance on how to make the best use of it.

I know that hiring an accountant can seem intimidating, especially if you don't know what questions to ask. The important thing to remember is that it's just like hiring a Virtual Assistant or Social Media Manager or someone to handle your PR, you want to hire an accountant that understands your business and vision. And someone that you get along with!

Danetha Doe and Money & Mimosas

Most accountants are good at their job, but most of them will not be a good fit for your business. To help you figure all that out, here are 15 questions you should ask before choosing the right person for you.

Fifteen Interview Questions Before You Hire Your Accountant

  1.  What experience do you have with my industry? 
  2. Could you help me figure out how to grow my company and give advice when I'm looking to hire or expand? 
  3.  Do you file taxes? If not, do you have a recommendation?
  4. How often do you meet with your current clients? 
  5. How often may I contact you? Will I be charged each time?
  6. How do you charge your clients? Is it a flat fee, retainer or hourly? 
  7.  Which accounting tools are you familiar with?
  8. Is there a bookkeeping program that you prefer? Why do you prefer it? 
  9. What are some of the latest trends in my industry and how will they help me in my business? (i.e. If you’re a health coach, what are some changes within the way coaches are doing business that may help improve your business?) 
  10. How do you prefer to communicate with your clients? Is it via text, email, social media? 
  11. Do you have a staff member, or someone other than you, who will be accessing my file? 
  12. How much work do you need me to do to make our relationship as effective as possible? 
  13. Do you have any previous or current clients that I could reach out to? 
  14. What’s your #1 tip to me about how I can improve my business? 
  15. Why did you fall in love with accounting and working with small business owners?

For more money tips, click here to get weekly updates from Money & Mimosas

What to do when you fall behind in your bookkeeping

We’ve all been there. When we’ve gone weeks, maybe months, without organizing our bank transactions and receipts. It can be overwhelming to think of the backlog that needs to get taken care of.

I wish I could say that there was a quick fix to this situation, but there isn’t. If you’ve fallen behind in your bookkeeping and want it cleaned up correctly, you will have to put some time and effort into it.

Why is having up-to date books important? Usually the first thing we think about is taxes, which is important. The cleaner your bookkeeping is, the easier and more accurate your tax filing will be.

But, we also want to keep track of how much we’ve invested in our business and if we’re actually making a profit. Too often I speak to entrepreneurs who are super excited about breaking through six-figures, but then have no idea how much they’ve actually spent on their business. Remember…

It’s not what you make, it’s what you keep if you want to run a successful business. 

This page will walk you through the exact steps you need to take in order to get your bookkeeping up to date. If you’ve already started using a bookkeeping program, begin with Step #5.

  1. Choose a bookkeeping program. Some of my favorite programs are Xero, Quickbooks, Kashoo and Freshbooks.

  2. Set up the program. Follow the program’s instructions on how to get set up. The key step is to link your related bank and credit cards.

  3. Make sure all of your transactions are included. Depending on the program you choose, when you link your bank info, it may allow you to backdate to the first day of your business transactions. If not, you will need to obtain the CSV file from your bank and upload the transactions manually.

  4. Set up your chart of accounts. These are your categories (aka “buckets”) where you’ll place different transactions.

  5. Reconcile your transactions. Depending on how many transactions you have in the backlog, I would start with the oldest and work forward. Why? Because the further away the date is, the harder it will be to remember it.

  6. Divide the transactions into week-long chunks. Do not try to reconcile them all in one sitting. For example, if you are three months or 12 weeks behind, plan to complete everything over the course of 4-8 weeks. Each week you’ll reconcile 1 or 2 week’s worth of old transactions.

  7. Reconcile the old transactions with the ongoing transactions. As you're catching up on older transactions, you are also doing the bookkeeping for the present. In this case, if you have 12 weeks to catch up on and do 2 weeks of old transactions and the current week (a total of 3 weeks), within a month and a half you’ll be all caught up!

It’s okay if you’ve fallen behind in your bookkeeping. The past is the past. Now, it’s time to take action, get caught up and establish habits so that it never happens again.

For more money tips, click here to get weekly updates from Money & Mimosas

Five tips for talking to aging parents about money

Hi sister,

Today's topic can be an emotional one. It's hard to think that one day the tables may turn, and we may be taking care of the parents who lovingly raised us. You may want to avoid talking about money with your aging parents because you don't want to face this harsh reality or you may be concerned with overstepping your bounds within the family.

However, it will be a lot easier to have this conversation now, when everyone is mentally present and capable of making mindful decisions about their finances. Rather than waiting until a medical or other crisis happens, and stress overshadows everyone's ability to make rational choices.

According to eldercare expert, Barbara McVicker, fifty percent of nursing home expenses are being paid-out-of-pocket by families, with adult children contributing on average $10,000 a year to their parent’s care. The average lifetime cost of care for an Alzheimer’s patient is $174,000, and is estimated to grow by more than 400 percent by 2050. 

Wealth Wednesday on Money & Mimosas

I don’t like to be a debbie downer on Money & Mimosas, and I hope that you never have to face this difficult situation. But it’s important to prepare for the worst, and hope for the best. 

Here are five tips for talking to aging parents about money:

  1. Make it a date! You know I'm all about making money talks fun, so schedule a date  with your parents where you will all have thirty minutes to chat. If this is your first time talking about money with your aging parents, keep the conversation short. Many parents are concerned about being a burden on their children, and may be reluctant to discuss their finances with their children. Therefore, it’s important to give them a heads up about the conversation (no one likes to be blindsided!) and let them know that you are only asking to make sure you are financially prepared. Otherwise, they may feel that their financial decisions are being judged, which will cause them to become defensive. 
  2. Find a fun location. Maybe it's a park where you all have nostalgic memories or at the family's cabin. Keep it in a neutral location, and not at either of your homes, so everyone feels comfortable and relaxed.
  3. Ask them to bring the contact information of their financial team. For this first chat, the goal is to get their main information in one place. Ask for their financial advisor contact information, the location of their will/trust, and who they have decided will be their power of attorney (which may be you or one of your siblings). Save this information in an email to yourself, Dropbox or Google Drive so you can easily access it later.
  4. During the meeting, ask for a general sense of their monthly expenses so you have an idea of the costs that need to be covered. If the conversation is going smoothly, you may want to also go over their living preferences in case of of a medical situation. Would they like to have an in-home nurse or move to an assisted living community? Would you be willing to let them live in your home? Later, you'll want to go through the costs of their preference so you can be prepared. 
  5. Have a mimosa! Wrap up the meeting by letting them know you are  grateful for their presence in your life, everything they've done for you, and look forward to many more years together. Then, pour a mimosa and cheers to the good life.

Now, I'd love to hear from you! What are other financial topics you've covered with your parents?

For more money advice, sign up for the weekly Money & Mimosas newsletter.

 

Talking money with your man

Hi gorgeous!

Happy Valentine’s Day. Whether you’ve got a boo thang, or you’re rocking the single ladies life, I hope you’re doing something special for yourself today. It could be as simple as treating yourself to a juicy mid-day break to go on a walk around the neighborhood or purchasing fine jewelry with your own money.

OWN your money voice on Money & Mimosas

If you are in committed relationship, this week's challenge to you is to proactively talk about money with your sweetheart.

Because, here's the thing ladies. Speaking up about money with your man is one of the first steps in becoming the true boss in your life.

If you truly want to own your destiny, you are going to need to learn how to articulate your values when it comes to money and how you are going to make your goals happen. 

  1. When was the last time you brought up investments and chatted with your man about your financial goals?
  2. Do you know what his and your investment portfolio contains?
  3. Are you aware of his long-term financial strategy? What is your strategy?

We all have different values, expectations and goals when it comes to money. And just like sex, you're going to have to communicate your values to your partner in order to be satisfied. Do I have your attention now?

Often times our values around money are based on our individual interests. I'll use myself as an example. While on vacation, I love to splurge on luxury hotel accommodations. Few things give me more pleasure than to wake up in a beautifully designed, spacious bedroom with heated bathroom floors, a sprawling kitchen with an island and a fabulous view from the 57th floor.

On the other hand, my beloved would much rather save that money and spend it on activities. Why? He's got an insatiable love for adventure and needs to be moving...constantly!

So, what do we do? Sometimes we compromise on the hotel to fit his budget and my needs. Or, I can choose to pick up the additional cost if I don't want to budge on what I want.

Boss ladies always get what they want. Period.

 Me and Nick on vacation in La Paz, Mexico. 

Me and Nick on vacation in La Paz, Mexico. 

 Boat ride in La Paz, Mexico.

Boat ride in La Paz, Mexico.

Whether it's traveling, household items, saving for a big purchase, wedding planning, eating out, how to decorate the home...learning about how each other views and values money is key to having open, honest conversations about money with your sweetheart. And just like sex, if you better understand each other's needs then you will both feel satisfied. 

So for this Valentine’s Day, own your BOSS status and chat money on your date with your boo.  

Not sure how to begin the money conversation?

Here are three steps to talk about money like a BOSS with your man.

 Fun times in La Paz, Mexico. The locals are so awesome and the food is AMAZING!

Fun times in La Paz, Mexico. The locals are so awesome and the food is AMAZING!

 

  1. Share your money story. What did you both experience about money. Here are some prompts for you - Did you hear your parents talk about money and what were those conversations like? When did you first start working? Were you given an allowance? How did your parents spend money?

  2. Share your dreams and personal goals. Does one of you want to own a cottage in Tahoe and the other want a condo in the Hamptons? Who wants a private jet? Who wants to do more hiking trips?  Do you want to turn your side hustle into a full-time gig? Let the conversation roll naturally. You may be surprised what you learn about each other!

  3. Ask about investments. Get caught up on each other's investment accounts and long-term financial visions. Set a time for the both of you to chat with your financial advisor and talk through the questions you will ask them during the meeting. If anything seems confusing, now is the time to ask more questions and gain clarity.

Now I’d love to hear from you! What are some ways that you and your sweetheart differ when it comes to money? Let me know in the comments below.

 

And for more money tips that I only share in email, click here to join our weekly Money & Mimosas newsletter. 

 

Find your money buddy

Hi babe!

Today we’re chatting about the importance of having a money buddy. Someone that will hold you lovingly accountable to your money dates and financial goals. Talking about money ranks up with there with religion and politics--- we just don’t do it. It’s taboo to bring it up and women would rather share sex tips than insights on how to earn additional 5% on their investment.

When we don’t talk about it, we are robbing ourselves of learning valuable information from each other that will support our financial independence. Men do it all the time. In fact, one of my guy friends was able to negotiate a moving bonus that was double the amount that the company was offering. How did he know to negotiate for a higher amount? Because a mutual friend shared that he was able to receive that amount because it was the going rate.

A couple of months ago, one of my girlfriends texted me saying she needed some money chat time. I love supporting my friends with financial information whenever I can, so she came over that evening to sip champagne on my condo's veranda.

She was upset about her student loans. Her initial loan amount was $27,000. She had paid off $12,000. So her balance should be $15,000. Or so she thought...

She had paid $12,000, but her outstanding balance hovered around $25,000. How could that be?! I asked her if she had been paying attention to how they allocate her payments. What percentage of her payment was going to interest versus the principal?

As it turns out, most of her payments had only been applied to interest.  At the rate she was going, she would ultimately pay $60,000 on a $27,000 loan. I told her that she had to call her loan company every single month to make sure that the majority of your payments are being applied to the principal.  Otherwise, they will continue to screw her over. As we finished our bottle of bubbles, she felt relieved and ready to take action. Now, whether this was due to my advice or because of some liquid courage...

In either case, when you have conversations about money, at the very least you will feel less alone. And more than likely, you will gain additional financial wisdom and are more motivated to reach your goals. It could be about student loans, investment tips, how to price your services or ask for that raise.

 That's why it is so key to find your money buddy. Someone you can trust and someone who you know will hold you lovingly accountable to your goals. Besides, isn’t way more fun to do things with a pal?!

 Me and my friend, Maggie, after she bought her beautiful home in California. Maggie had recently launched her business and we were brainstorming collab ideas and sharing advice on how to price our services. So much fun.in.the.sun.

Me and my friend, Maggie, after she bought her beautiful home in California. Maggie had recently launched her business and we were brainstorming collab ideas and sharing advice on how to price our services. So much fun.in.the.sun.

Your challenge for this week is to find your money buddy and have a money date.

Your buddy can be a girlfriend, your sister, spouse, mom...anyone! Here are five items for you two to cover during your first date. Grab a mimosa and let’s do this!

  1. Share your money story. What did you learn about money growing up? What were your experiences with money as a child and young adult?

  2. What are your BIG, BOLD dreams?

  3. Share what keeps you up at night. What are you most worried about when it comes to money?

  4. Share your goals. What are the specific financial goals you want to accomplish in the next 3 months?

  5. Snap a photo and check in on social with the hashtag, #MoneyandMimosas, so I can say hi and cheer you on!

For more tips on how to build your wealth and become the boss of your life, click here to join our weekly Money & Mimosas newsletter

Seven practical tips on saving up for your first home

Hi beautiful!

Buying a home is a goal many of us share. Having a place to call your own where you can remodel to your liking, not have to worry about neighbor’s footsteps above you, and finally be able to paint the walls bubblegum pink...or maybe that was just my five-year old self.  

Owning a home is what many people would call the American Dream. However, it should not be done lightly. Becoming a homeowner is a substantial financial undertaking and requires significant planning. If this is a goal of yours, it’s best to start saving up for the down payment and related costs, as soon as possible.

Here are seven practical tips on saving up for your first home:

Money & Mimosas photo.jpg
  1. Determine your ideal location and research the average home costs in the area. Your area may even have a first-time homebuyer plan that can help reduce some of the costs. Plan on having to come up with 20% of the home cost in cash for the down payment. You likely won’t need that much for the down payment, but it’s a good idea to have the extra cash cushion because there are other additional costs that many people forget. Which leads us to the second step...

  2. Calculate the approximate closing costs, moving expenses, and three months worth of insurance payments and maintenance costs. Often these costs are forgotten and can be not so fun surprise when they pop up.

  3. Transfer your credit card balances to 0% and/or ask your credit card provider to lower your interest rate. This will help you save money on the interest payments on your current account balances. Money that can go towards your down payment savings account.

  4. Open up a separate savings account. Be sure that the account is a high-interest earning account so you can make money on your money. Cha-ching! Check out Radius Bank’s high yield savings account. It’s APY* is one of the highest on savings accounts!

  5. Create a plan. Determine how much you need to save and give yourself a deadline. Remember, a goal without a deadline is just a wish. Then you can determine how much you need to save each month in order to reach your goal.

  6. Calculate your monthly expenses and see what can you eliminate. Cutting out expenses and being mindful of your spending choices will pay off in the long run. Some items you may want to consider are reducing restaurant visits, eliminating subscriptions or memberships you don’t use, excessive alcohol consumption or shopping sprees.

  7. Pick up a side hustle. Having another income source outside of your full-time position gives you the flexibility to go after ambitious savings goals such as saving up for a home. Consider selling products on Amazon, monetizing the blog that you’ve been working on or teaching fitness classes. If you already have a small business, brainstorm ways that you can increase sales? The sky is the limit when you dream big and take massive action.

Now I’d love to hear from you! Are you currently saving up for a home or have you already purchased your home? What is one tip you can share that can help others realize their homeownership dream? Leave a comment below.

For more wealth building tips that I only share in email, click here to join our weekly Money & Mimosas newsletter.
 


This post was in partnership with Radius Bank.

*Annual Percentage Yield (APY) is accurate as of 12/19/17. Minimum amount to open account is $10.00. Rate tiers are as follows: 0.00% APY applies to balances of $0.01—$9.99, 0.05% APY applies to the entire balance on balances of $10.00—$2,499.99, and 1.30% APY applies to the entire balance on balances of $2,500 or more. Rates may change after account is opened. Fees may reduce earnings

How to save for your dream wedding

Hi beautiful!

Congratulations on your upcoming celebrations. This is truly a magical time to spend with your girlfriends, family and, of course, the love of your life. I want you to be your happiest, prettiest and most confident self during this entire amazing experience. Even if at times you feel overwhelmed with all of the decisions that have to be made- from what flowers to choose, which flatware to use, OMG - the dress!...

All of these decisions add to the cost of the wedding. The average wedding, according to a survey by The Knot, is $35,000. If you’re looking to have it in a place like Manhattan, you’re looking at something closer to $80,000. And if Meghan Markle’s upcoming wedding is your inspiration, then the price tag will be wayyyyy more.

 What's better than getting engaged and having a mimosa?! Congratulations, Cait, on your upcoming wedding! Check out all of her fun adventures @caitlinhosn on Instagram. 

What's better than getting engaged and having a mimosa?! Congratulations, Cait, on your upcoming wedding! Check out all of her fun adventures @caitlinhosn on Instagram. 

Most financial gurus will tell you to create a strict budget for your wedding. Of course, you want to make sure that you don’t add unbearable financial stress to your marriage. After all, money is the #1 reason why couples may end up in divorce.

But, I know that this is your BIG day. The day you may have dreamed of your whole life or ever since you fell madly in love.

So I say, have your cake and eat it too. Because every woman deserves to feel like a princess on her special day.

Here are some quick tips on how to save for your wedding.

  1. Research wedding costs before you create your budget. Often times, couples will set an arbitrary budget for the wedding without doing any research to see if the budget is realistic. For instance, you may think that you can hire a makeup artist for $150. But, their average wedding rate may be $1,000 in your area. Once you hear the price, you will feel defeated. As this happens over and over, tension between the two of you will increase as you continue to spend “over your budget”. But, if you knew that most MUAs cost $1,000 in your area, you wouldn’t be shocked. In fact, it would be in your budget. Therefor, sit down with your beloved and write out what your dream wedding would include. Then, research and total the cost.

  2. Ask, how can we afford this? It’s likely that your dream wedding will cost a pretty penny. Before you start chopping your budget to something that’s more realistic, brainstorm ways that you two can make the dream a reality. Is there a way you can make more money at work? If you have a side hustle, is there a way you can ramp up your sales? This is why I’m a huge fan of having a business- whether it’s full-time or part-time- because you have more control over your earning power and can create space for your dream big day to come true.

  3. Set milestone goals. Maybe you want to save $50,000 or $100,000 for your wedding. That’s a lot to tackle all at once. Break up the total into monthly milestone goals.

  4. Open a separate savings account. Keeping a separate account will help reduce your temptation to dip into it for other purposes. Also, it’ll be motivating as you watch it grow. One of the highest earning savings account is Radius Bank’s High-Yield savings account. For balances over $2,500, there is a 1.3% APY. *

  5. Sales and Saving. Soooo, I know that a sale on a pair of shoes is tempting. Not the shoes for the wedding. Just a pair of shoes that you just have to have. If you read my post earlier this month, you know that as long as the sale fits within your indulgence allowance then it’s fine to buy the pair. But, the money you saved on the purchase should be transferred to your wedding savings account. For instance, if it’s a $100 pair of shoes that is on sale for $40, then the $60 you saved needs to go into your wedding savings account.

  6. Go on a spending detox. What?! You just said I could have my cake and eat it too. Why should I go on a detox? Here’s the thing, love. Being financially fit is just like being physically fit. If you get your workouts in and eat healthy 90% of the time, you can have your cupcake and mimosas. Same thing goes with your finances. Especially if you’re saving up for a (hopefully!) once in a lifetime moment. I want you to have your dream day and in order to do that, you have to be mindful of your spending choices. Go through your monthly expenditures, and ask yourself do I really need this? Is there anything you can cut out during this savings period? Are there retailer newsletters you can unsubscribe from so you aren’t tempted to buy more clothes? Maybe you and your beloved can eat in more. Besides saving some money, it’s a great way to bond!

  7. Don’t be afraid to ask for discount. Ask and ye shall receive. Or as my friend says, closed mouths don’t get fed. When you’re purchasing items for the wedding, ask if there are any current specials or discounts. Lots of retailers and businesses offer AAA membership discounts, discounts for students, or other specials that they may not advertise. The worst they can say is no! 

And now I'd love to hear from you! What does your dream wedding look like? Let me know in the comments below.

For more wealth tips for the modern woman, sign up for the weekly Money & Mimosas newsletter to get this and more hand-delivered to your inbox.


This post was in partnership with Radius Bank.

 *Annual Percentage Yield (APY) is accurate as of 12/19/17. Minimum amount to open account is $10.00. Rate tiers are as follows: 0.00% APY applies to balances of $0.01—$9.99, 0.05% APY applies to the entire balance on balances of $10.00—$2,499.99, and 1.30% APY applies to the entire balance on balances of $2,500 or more. Rates may change after account is opened. Fees may reduce earnings

One little trick to help you reach your BIG savings goal this year

Hi gorgeous! How was your first week of 2018? Still fired up and committed to being the BOSS of your money? I hope so, because your dream life is soooo close.

In this week's Wealth Wednesday post, I'm going to share one little trick for making sure you don't lose momentum when it comes to sticking to your money goals.

Have you ever set a financial goal, only to lose interest a few months later? Sometimes it’s not even your because stuff does happen. Like, the car has to go into the shop and there goes $1,000. Or your kid had something unexpected come up in school and there goes the $500 you were going to put away this month.

But sometimes, it's not semi-emergencies that knock us off of our money course. Rather it's shiny objects. Like maybe Tieks just released a new, limited edition pair of rose gold flats that you just have to have. Ooops, there goes the $250 you were going to put towards saving up for a house down payment. Times four because who can just buy one pair of Tieks at time? Self-control is so overrated.

 Is it just me, but every time Tieks drops a new pair of flats, I just gotta have it.

Is it just me, but every time Tieks drops a new pair of flats, I just gotta have it.

Emergencies happen to all of us and are usually unavoidable. You should definitely have an account to cover those types of situations. However, when it comes to shiny objects, you should also have an account dedicated to satisfying those urges. I call this your indulgence account.

Having an indulgence account is a little trick for helping you stay focused on your big savings goal without feeling like you are starving yourself in the meantime.

It's like being on a 21-day cleanse diet. It's much easier to stay the course when you allow yourself a healthy chocolate bite at the end of each night. Otherwise, you're likely to binge halfway through the cleanse and chow down on all the french fries in sight.

Let's say your big savings goal this year is for a down payment on a house. Depending on where you live, that could be anywhere from $20,000 to $100,000 or more. Which means you need to save anywhere from $1,600 to $8,000+ per month. That is a lot to chew on and can feel overwhelming. Inevitably you'll hit setbacks and feel discouraged along the way. And may abandon your goal all together. But, setbacks don’t have to lead to throwing the home of your dreams to the wayside...

 Pressing pause and showing gratitude for your little victories on your financial independence journey is the fastest way to experience abundance.

Pressing pause and showing gratitude for your little victories on your financial independence journey is the fastest way to experience abundance.

If you make it a practice to treat yo self along the way, you will keep the excitement alive and find it much easier to stay on track. The key is to be mindful and structured about when and how you treat yourself.  Setting smaller savings goals and giving yourself an indulgence allowance is the best way to reward yourself as you work up to your bigger goal.

Beauty treatments are my favorite small indulgence to save up for- anything from a monthly massage, to a body scrub, lash appointment, facial...you name it.

 A beauty treatment could be anything from a full-on spa date to a mani-pedi and bath at home. Little indulgences make your journey to financial independence enjoyable, and help you to regain focus on your goals.

A beauty treatment could be anything from a full-on spa date to a mani-pedi and bath at home. Little indulgences make your journey to financial independence enjoyable, and help you to regain focus on your goals.

The first step in building an indulgence allowance is to open up a separate account. By separating your funds, you are creating clear boundaries for your allowance. I really love Radius Bank's hybrid checking account for indulgence allowances. It has a .85% APY*, which is by far one of the highest interest rates for checking accounts within the United States.

The next step is to determine your monthly indulgence allowance.  Your allowance can either be a fixed amount or a percentage. If you are using a percentage, 5% of your gross income (this is income before taxes or expenses) is a good rule of thumb.

If you are using a fixed amount, divide your total by four. This is the amount you need to contribute to your account on a weekly basis.

Whichever method you are using, be sure to transfer the amount each week to your allowance during your #MoneyandMimosas date. Otherwise, if you wait, you may be tempted to spend it throughout the month on other items.

Money & Mimosas date.jpg

Small indulgences are a great way to press pause and reflect on the progress you've made on your savings goal. Otherwise it can feel like your spinning wheels and can easily get discouraged. The hybrid account also comes with a debit card that could be used specifically for these purchases. This is super awesome because there are a lot of online savings accounts that do not offer a debit card.

And now I'd love to hear from you. What will you be indulging in each month? Let me know in the comments below.

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This post was in partnership with Radius Bank.


*Annual Percentage Yield (APY) is accurate as of 01/04/2018. Minimum amount to open account is $10.00. Rate tiers are as follows: 0.00% APY applies to balances of $0.01-$2,499.99, and 0.85% APY applies to the entire balance on balances of $2,500 or more. Rates may change after account is opened. Fees may reduce earnings.

Tips on how to build a business that supports your lifestyle

This post was in partnership with Wells Fargo. Click here to read the full post

Looking for a life that offers more than daily routines or a rare overseas vacation, these business owners want to have more control over their lives, and their businesses. Rather than spend all their time trying to drive the business forward, they are content to run their businesses a certain way in order to generate enough income to live life the way they want to live it. Their goal, therefore, is for their business income to support their personal lifestyle goals. This type of business venture is increasingly being referred to as a lifestyle business.

Take Sylvia Esmundo. After a career in financial technology, she decided to follow her passion and turn her lifestyle blog into a full-time business. Sylvia shared her learnings from being a lifestyle entrepreneur.

1) What inspired you to launch your lifestyle site, Sylvie in the Sky?

A: I started blogging a long time ago, back in 2006, as a living journal of everything that inspired me — music, fashion, books, art, travel — and chronicles of my 20 something life. I paused for almost two years between getting married and having our son, Theo. And once I became a mother, I felt reinvigorated to start a new chapter of storytelling. There are a lot of mom bloggers and lifestyle bloggers out there, but not many that I truly related to, and very few Asian — let alone Filipino — ones. I wanted to be able to share my stories and hopefully be a source of inspiration and guidance for others like me.

2) How much time do you devote weekly to running your blog?

A: Not as much time as I’d like! I’ve been focusing on Instagram first, since it involves one photo and a small caption — my version of microblogging. I would say on average 5-10 hours a week. Daily posting takes no more than one hour to write, post, and to make sure I’m liking and commenting on other friends’ content to show support. On weekends I’ll plan my content for the next 1-2 weeks so my Instagram feed looks balanced from an aesthetic point of view, and I’m scheduling my brand campaigns according to their due date. The planning takes another hour. And finally, I’m always exploring the city and shooting new content, and I spend about 3-8 hours a week creating content.

I spend another 5-10 hours corresponding with brands for upcoming collaborations, attending events, etc.

3) For those that don’t believe that blogging is a “real job”, can you tell us about the skills it takes to be a successful digital influencer?

A: I view blogging as running my own digital publication, and I’m the editor-in-chief, head of marketing, head of sales, head of PR, financial analyst, and stylist/model/graphic designer/photographer, all in one. I need to understand who my audience is and what they’re looking for every week/month/season. I write stories and create visual imagery that will inform, guide, and inspire. I need to create and consistently evolve my site experience to be easy to navigate on any digital platform, especially mobile. I analyze my site performance to understand what content is performing best and worst to refine and maximize these areas of interest and opportunity. And finally I’m pitching myself to brands and negotiating campaign deals and contracts, while tracking my incoming revenue and expenses to make sure those are in line come tax-filing time. Now with all that said, who’s going to tell me that blogging isn’t a real job?

4) Could you tell us a little bit about how it generates income for you?

A: The smartest bloggers will create multiple revenue streams because it’s never wise to rely on one sole channel. For me, obtaining brand sponsorships from companies for native content campaigns on my blog and social channels are my biggest revenue channel. I also offer consulting services for content, digital marketing, and e-commerce strategy for influencers and brands of all sizes. Finally, affiliate marketing (marketing products from other affiliate businesses) is a growing area for me in which I recommend products that I love to my audience and they purchase them.

As you can see, it is possible to seamlessly integrate your business into your life. And by doing so, it allows you to enjoy more aspects of life while still earning an income. Before you embark on this journey, take some time to:

  • Determine the goal that will drive your business decisions: Get clear on your values and what’s really important to you. Start with your tangible goal and ask “why?” as a follow-up several times to peel back the layers and ensure your real goal will surface. You have to be intentional with your business decisions to ensure that you are creating a company that supports that goal.

  • Find the inspiration for your product or service: Are you inspired by other people’s visions and goals for themselves? Perhaps your business can focus on consulting. Or are you more motivated by impacting your community? Maybe your business will focus on philanthropy. Use motivation as a guide for choosing what product or services you can provide and which clients you want to serve.

  • Stay grounded in reality: Every business is only as successful as its ability to solve a problem or address a yearning for its clients. Do your due diligence and talk to your potential customers. Ask them for feedback on your product and service, and be willing to adjust to meet their requests. Like any business, it takes time and effort to build a lifestyle-based company.

For more tips on how to build a business that supports your lifestyle, click here to join the Money & Mimosas weekly newsletter

Danetha Doe is passionate about helping entrepreneurs increase their net-worth and self-worth, and was named a next-generation accountant by Quickbooks. To learn more about her, visit www.danethadoe.com and download her free e-book, “The Money Guide for Women Who Love Luxury: How to Add $10K to Your Savings in 90 Days Without Going on a Budget.”