Money Advice for Entrepreneurs from Poshmark Founder, Tracy Sun

If you consider yourself a fashionista, then you are probably well aware of the company, Poshmark. Poshmark is a digital marketplace where you can buy and sell new or used clothing, shoes and accessories. One woman made $15,000 by cleaning out her closet and posting the items on the site. That makes for a sweeeet side hustle.

According to a recent article quoting Poshmark’s press release, the site carries over 75 million items and 5,000 brands and 1 in 30 women in America sell on Poshmark. Since it’s launch in 2011, the company has grown to over 4 million sellers.

I had the great fortune to be able to meet and interview one of the founders, Tracy Sun, at the Hustle 2X event in San Francisco. Hustle is an incredible media and event company for folks like you and me - ambitious, go-getters seeking inspiration and always striving for more.

The Hustle on Money & Mimosas.jpg

The 2X event is a traveling show in 7 cities where Hustle brings together incredible women to share their inspirational stories of success.  The Hustle team was kind enough to offer an opportunity to me and Socialite Renee, to meet Tracy Sun and ask her about her journey to success.

Poshmark co-founder on Money & Mimosas


Here are some of the insights that she shared:

  1. Many of the Money & Mimosas readers would describe themselves as multi-passionate. As a woman who transitioned from science to fashion to tech, what is your advice to our community on creating a career when you have multiple passions and skills? For me, it was important to consciously give myself the freedom to explore. Once I gave myself that permission, I realized that I could bring a different perspective to fields because of my diverse background. It became my super power and unique skill.

  2. Money is always a big topic for business owners. What is your money advice for other entrepreneurs? Learn that it ebbs and flows. The first part of your journey as an entrepreneur is to survive and MAKE money. Once you start earning, then you get into the saving mode which is really really important. Once you have saved a comfortable cushion, then it’s time to focus on growing your wealth. That’s the place where I’m at now and it took a long time to get here.

  3. Do you have a mantra for money? What is your guiding philosophy for building personal wealth? Always be willing to learn more about it and how money works.

  4. What is your #1 advice for a woman who wants to be financially independent? Discover your superpower. We all have one and it will be your #1 tool for success.

Wow, such great insights! To build on her money advice for entrepreneurs, one of my pieces of money advice is to learn how to make money in every possible way you can. Especially in the beginning stages of your business. It is all about THE HUSTLE in the beginning. One easy way to do this is to use Radius Bank’s Hybrid Checking account.


It’s one of the only checking accounts that pays you interest on your balance. Most have zero percent interest which means you actually lose money on balance because of inflation. Click here to learn more about the Hybrid Checking Account.

For more money tips, join the Money & Mimosas Insider list.


This post is sponsored by Radius Bank.

5 Financial Must-Dos If You Are A Brand Ambassador or Independent Contractor

“Empowered women, empower women.”

Introducing Maritza Barrios, the newest Socialite for Money & Mimosas

Introducing Maritza Barrios, the newest Socialite for Money & Mimosas

Money & Mimosas is a movement and on a mission to empower women with the financial tools they need to live their happiest, healthiest, and wealthiest lives. We believe that when women are in control of their money, they are in control of their lives.

As a part of our mission, we are committed to providing women with opportunities to advance their careers and build wealth. And we are so excited to be in a position where we can add our newest team member, Maritza Barrios.

Maritza is the reigning Miss San Jose with a goal of becoming Miss Universe. She is a rockstar brand ambassador and manager who has worked with over 200 brands. As she will say, she is “totally not a 9-5 type gal” and works tirelessly to create a unique career that allows flexibility in her schedule. Click here to learn more about Maritza.

Maritza, Socialite for Money & Mimosas

If you’re like Maritza, being a brand ambassador/independent contractor may be the best career fit for you. Here are some practical steps to take to set your career path up for success.

  1. Open a bank account. This should be solely dedicated to your brand ambassador projects. Every brand has a different pay schedule and it’s imperative that you keep all of your hours/payments organized and in one place. Our favorite bank account for this is Radius Bank’s Hybrid Checking. Unlike most checking accounts who offer zero percent interest, the hybrid account actually pays you for the money you deposit into it. Cha-ching.

  2. Calendar your payment dates and follow up a couple of days prior to confirm. This will help you manage your cash flow and plan for things like bill payments. Nothing is worse than expecting a payment on a specific date and it not being there!

  3. Set up an accounting system. As a brand ambassador and independent contractor, you are your own business! Be a boss and use a program like Xero or Freshbooks to keep track of your business related expenses and invoices.

  4. File for a business license. When you first begin as an independent contractor, keep it simple and file as a sole proprietor in your local area. Once you earn $70K+ gross (before taxes and expenses), it will be time to start considering a change in your business entity status to a LLC or S-Corp.

  5. Weekly money date. You already know that we PREACH having a weekly money date. The biggest step to remember during your date is to transfer a percentage of your earnings to your savings account. This is especially important as an independent contractor because there will be times when the cash coming in is lower than usual. You can avoid stress during these times by boosting your cash reserves.

    For more money tips, join the Money & Mimosas Insider list.


This post is sponsored by Radius Bank.

The three best credit cards for travelers

Plantains, volcanoes, hiking through Costa Rica’s rainforest...having the ability to explore Mother Earth is a true gift.

As a young millennial couple, me and my beloved take every opportunity we can to check out new places. Especially for special occasions! To celebrate my beloved’s 30th birthday, I treated him to a week-long trip to Costa Rica. It was our first time there and it was incredible.

Costa Rica on Money & Mimosas
Costa Rica on Money & Mimosas
Costa Rica on Money & Mimosas
Costa Rica on Money & Mimosas

The food, sights, sounds, culture - it was both peaceful and exhilarating to be around such vibrancy. Saving up for a trip like this is totally doable. To reduce the temptation of spending your travel funds, keep your savings in a separate account.

I recommend a high-yield savings account because the return is much higher than traditional accounts. Click the link to check out the Radius High-Yield Savings account - they have one of the highest interest rates. 

Costa Rica on Money & Mimosas

After the trip, we went through our photos, videos and expenses. After totaling the costs, we were shocked to see all these random charges from our credit card. Apparently every time we swiped our card, we were charged 3%. Known as a foreign transaction fee.

What?! 3% seems small, but it can start to add up. For every $1,000 you spend, the card tacks on $30. That's easily several mimosas when you're vacationing in Costa Rica or Belize.  After doing some research, I found that most credit cards tack on this extra charge.

But, below is a list of three that have ZERO foreign transaction fees. 

Costa Rica on Money & Mimosas

Bank of America Travel Rewards. The biggest benefit is that there is no annual fee.

Bank of America Travel Card on Money & Mimosas

Capital One Venture Card. Biggest benefit is that you earn unlimited 2X miles on every dollar on every purchase, every day. 

Capital One Venture Card on Money & Mimosas

Chase Ink. Biggest benefit are all the perks for business travelers including zero fees for employee cards.

Chase Ink card on Money & Mimosas

This post is in partnership with Radius Bank.

For more money tips on living your best life, join the Money & Mimosas insider list



 

 

What does it really take to be an Independent Woman?

Over the past couple of months, I have been on tour for my Future of Accounting podcast. I partnered with Avalara, a sales tax compliance technology, to host eleven shows in seven cities. The attendees are primarily financial professionals ranging from CPAs to bookkeepers to investment advisors. It has been a dream come true to be able to travel, share my ideas and message to large groups of people and connect with folks from various walks of life. It’s inspiring to hear the attendees stories of launching their own businesses and their success journeys.

After I present, I try to stay in the city for another day to check out their culture and connect with the locals. Naturally, the best place to strike up a conversation is at the bar. Whether I’m at the Roaring Fork in Austin or the Aluel Cellars in Seattle, it’s inevitable that I’ll find someone to talk to…specifically about money and their relationship with it.

Take Katie* for instance. She sat down next to me at a fabulous bar in Seattle. I was sipping on a pineapple mimosa, naturally, while she ordered a Chardonnay. Her outfit was impeccable! Valentino pumps, a Marc Jacobs bag, a crisp white Karina Grimaldi jumpsuit and beautiful dangle earrings. Her nails were polished a light bubblegum pink and she rocked a ginormous (!) wedding ring. We exchanged smiles and started chatting.

She shared that she was originally from Walnut Creek, a posh neighborhood in the affluent Bay Area of California, and had relocated to Seattle to live with her then boyfriend, now husband. After talking about all the fun sites in Seattle, the conversation switched to our careers.

“I’m a blogger. I blog about money.” - I said.

Whenever I share that I’m a money blogger, the conversation goes one of two ways. Either it ends abruptly. Or, the other person is intrigued and wants to chat all things money.

Thankfully Katie fell into the latter group

She confided that she had been laid off from her job in tech a couple of weeks ago and was nervous about her finances. She had been the breadwinner for her family and they were planning on purchasing a home and starting a family soon. Since she had been working in the tech industry and had been earning around $170,000 per year, she had fallen into the habit of spending however much she wanted, whenever she needed. Giving little thought to budgeting or being mindful about her spending. And although her husband was very supportive, they had ample savings and her parents to fall back on, Katie was feeling extremely stressed, anxious and unsure of her future.

When I asked her how much the main household expenses were, she had no clue. Then I asked her what she wanted to do with her next step. She shared that a lot of her friends had suggested that she start her own consulting practice or some sort of business, but she had no idea how to get started. And she was concerned that she wasn’t in a financial position to take a leap of faith to start business.

“I’d love to do my own thing. I want to be independent, call the shots, choose who I work with and who I don’t, but I don’t even know where to start. And I’d want to have a nest egg built up before I take that risky leap.”

Katie is one of countless women I’ve met in this same position. Raised wealthy, very career driven and successful, with everything running smoothly in their life.

Until, an unexpected and unfortunate situation happens. And then they are confronted with the harsh reality that they do not have the skills or confidence they need to be financially independent.

Here’s the thing. While not everyone should start and run their own business full-time, relying solely on your job (or spouse) as the one source of income is more risky than starting a business. Especially when you don’t have the tools and confidence to pick up the pieces in the event that the company lays you off or downsizes.

Being financially independent is not a specific number and it does not mean that you are jet-setting to the Caribbean every weekend. Financial independence means that you are in control of your destiny, you have the ability to generate the income you need to live life exactly as you please.

  1. It takes confidence and mad money skills to be financially independent. I told Katie that a great place to start would be to calculate how much she needed each month to live her life. Include nail and hair appointments, gym membership, happy hour, and the essentials like rent/mortgage, car payment, groceries, etc. Knowledge is power. And when you know your number, you can start to plan accordingly.

  2. Aim to save three to six months of living expenses. Take the number you just calculated, times it by three and set a goal to have that saved by a certain date. Then, multiply that number by six and set a goal to have that saved by a later date. I am a huge fan of the high-yield savings account from Radius Bank. The bank is completely virtual and currently has one of the highest interest rates on the market.

  3. Write down five to ten ways you could make an extra $1,000 this month. Could you sell clothes? Offer graphic design services on the side or do photography? If you practice making money when you don’t need to, you won’t feel blindsided if you find yourself in a situation when you have to make money.

  4. Start jotting down positive affirmations about yourself in your journal and why you are resourceful, resilient and an INDEPENDENT WOMAN because...

Independent Woman with Danetha Doe on Money & Mimosas

The biggest key to being financially independent is nurturing your confidence and believing that you can take care of yourself.

 

To grade your financial independence, take our quiz “Are you financially independent?”.

For more success tips, join our weekly insider list


*Name changed to protect identity


This post is in partnership with Radius Bank.

Five steps to Get Financially Fit

You wanna live fancy? Live in a big mansion? Party in France? You betta…

Get financially fit. And there is no getting around it. Unless you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth, if you dream of living the rich and famous lifestyle you will have to learn how to make, manage and grow your money.

And even if you have been raised with access to a lot of resources, becoming savvy with your finances will help you boost your sense of self-worth and give you the confidence you need to achieve all of the dreams you have in life.

Mastering your money is the gateway to personal freedom. Once you have the confidence in your ability to manage your finances and the skills you need to increase your net-worth, a world of possibilities will open to you. It may mean the ability to travel the world, spend quality time with friends, feeling a sense of accomplishment that you can stand on your own two feet.

Whatever success looks like to you, money will play a role within it. Commiting to your financial fitness is demonstrating a commitment to the dreams you have for your life.

Here are the five steps you need to do to get financially fit:

Wealth Wednesday on Money & Mimosas

 

  1. Get clear on your money story. A lot of our financial habits stem from our upbringing, culture and beliefs about money. Take ten to fifteen minutes and think about your money story. To get you started, you can ask yourself: what did I learn about money from my parents and how I view money today as a adult?

  2. Find a money buddy.  There’s nothing like having an accountability partner to help you stick to the goal you set for yourself, whether it’s fitness or finances. So, the next step to getting financially fit is to find someone to help you stay accountable. This is a person that you can trust, you know has your best interest at heart and is someone that is not afraid to tell you the truth. Check out this post for more tips on how to choose your money buddy.

  3. Weekly date. With your money buddy, schedule a weekly time to chat about money. At Money & Mimosas, we call this your money date. During this time, you want to review your expenses, income and share your goals. And the best part- is when you’re done, we say treat yo’self to a mimosa.

  4. Bank account. Choosing where you store your money is a HUGE step in getting financially fit. Because, this will determine if you make, or lose, money while it’s sitting in a bank account. With inflation, most checking accounts are set up for you to lose money because you don’t earn any interest on the balance. But, with Radius Bank Hybrid Checking Account, you earn money on your money. Cha-ching!

  5. Pick up a side hustle or additional income stream. Having multiple income streams is the best way to ensure that you financially fit and secure. When you rely on one source, you can place yourself in a vulnerable position if it disappears all of sudden. Beyond preventing a financial crisis, a side hustle also offers an opportunity to explore your creative side. For more reasons to pick up a side hustle, check out 14 Reasons Why You Need a Side Hustle, Now.

For more money tips, join our Money & Mimosas Insider List.

This post is in partnership with Radius Bank.

What to do during your weekly money date

Have you been noticing the #MoneyandMimosas on Instagram and all your friends posting about mimosas? We hope so! Because that would make our champagne glasses bubble over with joy.

Every Friday, we encourage our readers and community to post a photo of themselves with a mimosa, a caption sharing a win from the week and the hashtag, #MoneyandMimosas. When you do that, you will be featured and entered into a drawing for our monthly giveaway.

But before you take a sip of that oh so tasty mimosa, we want you to have a money date.

It’ll only take fifteen to thirty minutes! Promise. Spending a mere fifteen to thirty minutes a week with your finances will completely shift your world and get you that much closer to living your BOSS life.

Here are the seven steps to cover during your money date. Print this off and keep it by your desk as a physical checklist.

Wealthy Wednesday on Money & Mimosas

 

  1. Check your savings account. How much is in it? How far are you from your yearly and monthly goal? In the Money & Mimosas BOSS club, we challenge our members to add $10K to their savings within a 12-month timespan.

  2. Review your checkings account. Make note of the current balance. If you want to make sure your money is working for you while it sits in the checkings, check out our friends at Radius Bank. Their hybrid checking account actually lets you earn interest on your balance. Sweet!

  3. Pay yourself, first.  While you’re in your checking account(s), total how much income was deposited this week. Take a percentage of it, anything from 10% and up, and transfer to your savings account or investment account. This is the most important step because you are declaring that your financial wellness is top priority.

  4. Review your last week’s personal expenses. You can use a tool like Personal Capital or Mint to quickly review your categories. Make note of how much you spent on groceries, dining out, shopping. Did any of these totals surprise you or were they about what you expected?  

  5. Bookkeeping and review outstanding invoices. For all the bloggers and entrepreneurs, reconcile (aka categorize) your business expenses. Not only is this important for taxes, but it will help you plan for hiring, photoshoots, clothes, makeup and everything related to growing your brand. Do you have any clients that owe you? Are they overdue and need a reminder? Make note of how much money you are waiting for and how you plan on allocating it.

  6. Pay bills. You can either choose to do this once per month or every Friday. Make payments on any credit card balance or bills that are due the following week.

  7. Drink a mimosa. This is the most important step. Cheers to you for a week well done and spending quality time with your dolla dolla bills.

Wanna join the #MoneyandMimosas party? We're doing a monthly giveaway where one of you will win a self-love package!

To enter our monthly giveaway, take a pic of yourself with a mimosa, use the hashtag #MoneyandMimosas and share one win from this week on Instagram. Cheers!

 

This post is in partnership with Radius Bank.

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.

Wealth Wednesday on Money & Mimosas.png

 

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!

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

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.

Wealth Wednesday on Money & Mimosas

 

  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.

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

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.

Wealth Wednesday on Money & Mimosas

 

  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.

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.

Wealth Wednesday on Money & Mimosas

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.

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?

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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.

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Budgeting against your goals throughout the year

This post was in partnership with Wells Fargo. Originally posted on Wells Fargo Works.

One of the more challenging aspects of running a company is determining how to best allocate the company’s revenue according to a budget. Oftentimes, a company will begin the year with one idea and, midway through, realize that they want to take a different direction. This can lead to uncertainty about how to best manage cash flow and how to adjust projections. 

The key with business budgeting is to always remember that a budget is a fluid document. It’s merely a guide for you to use to determine your next best move, and it is OK to adjust it throughout the year. 

Estimate your annual budget

When you’re creating your annual budget projection, you may want to consider applying the 60/20/20 rule. Generally speaking: 

  • 60% of revenue should be used for fixed expenses. This includes salaries, overhead expenses, reserves for tax payments, and the company’s profit goals. 

  • The first 20% should be dedicated to growth. This may include investing in marketing, advertising, and other initiatives to expand the company’s brand and reach. 

  • The second 20% should be designated for internal development. This could include R&D for products-based businesses or training for staff members to improve their skill sets and leadership abilities. 

Create quarterly budget goals

Every 90 days or so, you should aim to check in on your annual budget projection. To help with this, you also need to create four separate quarterly budgets. When planning your quarterly budget, work with your team to decide on the number one objective for each quarter. It could fall under one of three categories:

  • Growth: Pushing your business into a growth phase 

  • Stability: Remaining stable and consistent 

  • Research and Development (R&D): Increasing your service level with an advanced technology investment or internal team training 

RELATED: Need help setting financial goals for your business? Expert Ellen Rohr is here to help.

Adjust based on your needs

Keep in mind that the 60/20/20 rule is a guide. Depending on your quarterly objective, you may need to tweak these percentages. For instance, if you are developing a new product to bring to market, you will likely need to increase the percentage dedicated to internal development, and decrease your funds allocated to growth. 

Once that product has been created and is ready to go to market, you may reduce the amount devoted to R&D from perhaps 30% or 35% back down to 15% or 10% and re-allocate the remaining funds to growth. At this point, you might consider increasing the percentage of revenue dedicated to growth to 30% or 35% in order to pay an outside branding consultancy to help you package and position the product, work with a marketing agency to help you spread the word, and later work with an advertising agency to help you increase sales. 

If you are a service-based business, you may decide to focus on developing your staff at a specific point in the year, which will increase the amount of money that the company is using for internal development. 

The key to business budget planning is flexibility when it comes to your objectives and quarterly budgets. This will help drive your budgeting decisions and keep your business on track. 

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The secret to paying off your debt faster

If you are like the majority of Americans, you have a mound of debt that you are eager to pay off. In fact, the New York Federal Reserve released a report that the total household debt for Americans reached $12.73 trillion in 2017, surpassing the 2008 peak. Yikes!

From student and auto loans to credit cards, the increasing level of debt is a source of anxiety for many. According to the Prosper Marketplace Financial Wellness Survey, 44% of Americans rank debt relief as a top priority for improving their financial standing. Companies like Prosper can help you get your finances back on track by consolidating your debt, so that you can sleep better at night.

Paying off your debt is one of the first steps to achieving financial wellness. And while we all know to spend less than what we earn in order to pay off our debt, it may often feel as if this is easier said than done. As a financial coach, I have worked with hundreds of individuals and have helped them pay off nearly a half million dollars in debt.

One of my clients had over $70,000 in debt that she had been accumulating over the past fifteen years. Within one year of working with each other, she was able to pay it all off. We did this by slightly increasing her earnings and, more importantly, we worked on shifting her mindset. Because when it comes to finances, there is a little known fact that most financial advisors may not have shared with you. In order to experience a shift in your financial situation, you must have a mindset shift, first.

No matter where you are on your financial journey, it is important to remember that having a positive mindset is the key to getting to your next stage of financial wellness. And who better to know the connection of a positive mindset and financial wellness, than Oprah Winfrey.

“The great discovery of all time,” Winfrey once said on her TV show, “is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude.”

 

And sometimes, as Winfrey says, it’s our own mindset that’s blocking the path forward.

When we have debt that continues to haunt us, we become frustrated and often spiral into negative thinking. You may say phrases such as “I am bad with money” or “money doesn’t grow on trees” or “being broke is just the way my life is”. These thoughts turn into beliefs that are sabotaging your ability to pay off debt.

The secret to paying off debt: Money & Mimosas.png

Imagine that you were talking to a young child and trying to teach her how to do long division. The first few times, she may get the answer wrong or take a long time to figure out how to do the problem. Would you yell at her to hurry up? Or tell that she is stupid for not getting the problem right? Of course not! You would gently show her a few mathematical short cuts. And encourage her by saying that she is smart and good at math. Why? Because no one is motivated by shaming or negative talk.

The same holds true for you. In order to pay off your debt, you have to encourage yourself throughout the process. You are not doing yourself any favors by beating yourself up and having negative thoughts. The key is to remain positive and become your own biggest cheerleader.

As you work on paying off your debt, here are five steps you can take to improve your money mindset.

Step #1: Write down all of the money mistakes you have made on a sheet of paper.

Step #2: Grab another sheet of paper and write "I forgive myself for ..." followed by each mistake.

Step #3: Go to a mirror and read the second sheet of paper out loud to yourself. Look yourself in the eye as you say, "I forgive myself for..."

Step #4: And then, tear each sheet of paper into a million pieces. Because the past is over. And now it is time to move on...to a much brighter future.

Step #5: Repeat these steps daily until you pay off your debt.

Now we'd love to hear from you! Is paying off debt one of your financial goals? If so, why is this important to you? Leave us a comment below.

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This post was sponsored by Prosper.

Our Top 5 Favorite Bookkeeping Apps for the Independent Woman

Oh, bookkeeping. The bane of every business owner's existence. 

But, we all know that keeping track of our monies is the secret to leading the carefree, glamour-filled lifestyle. As an independent woman, it is imperative that we know how to manage our books. And not end up in a BBHMM situation like Rihanna did with her CPA firm. More about that, here.

Often times, business owners wait until tax season to start thinking about their books. Leaving you in a frenzy trying to figure out where the receipt is for that random $87 charge way back in the month of the May. 

Top 5 Bookkeeping Apps for the Independent Woman.png

Do your tax accountant a favor this year and let's burn all of the shoeboxes. Get a jumpstart on organizing your books by using an online program. Not only does this make filing super easy peasy, it also helps you stay on top of your finances throughout the year during your weekly money dates

Here is a list of the top five bookkeeping programs that I love for the independent woman.

  1. Quickbooks Self-Employed - a fantastic tool for freelancers and independent contractors. Best feature: Love that it automatically calculates your quarterly taxes, and allows you to send invoices on the go. Downside: customizing your invoices is very limited, which we know is important to our creative friends. Cost: Starts at $10/month and goes up to $17/month.

  2. Freshbooks- great tool for the self-employed and project-based businesses. Best feature: hands down the best invoice customization tool on the market. Downside: the financial reporting is limited, which may be an issue as you grow your business. Cost: Starts at $15/month and goes up to $50/month

  3. Xero Tax Touch- known as beautiful accounting software, this program's design is really easy on the eyes and geared towards freelancers/independent contractors. Best feature: easy-to-read report on your income, expenses and how much taxes you owe for the year. Downside: no invoicing capability, which is a huge downside for the woman on the go. Cost: $6/month

  4. Sage One- geared towards the small business owner on the go. Best feature: great inventory tracking capabilities. Downside: this product is a little too robust for the freelancer or independent contractor, and therefore not very intuitive. Cost: $25/month

  5. Kashoo- named the #1 accounting app on the iPad and really great for the traveling business owner. Best feature: works offline so you can access your data even if you are out of internet range. Downside: similar to SageOne, not necessarily an intuitive program for the freelancer or independent contractor. Cost: Approximately $17/month

And now we'd like to hear from you! Which accounting software do you use for your business and why? Leave a comment below.

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