Thursday, February 12, 2015

7 Tips to Make Blogging Less Stressful for Bloggers

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and TurboTax, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #TurboTaxACA

It is tax season!  I guarantee that this is something that has been on everyone's minds lately.  Taxes can be very stressed for people, especially us bloggers because blogging is so new and there isn't much help out there.  For me, taxes aren't stressful at all because I do a few things through out the whole year so by the time January comes around I just have to do a few things and I'm ready to do my taxes.  I thought that I would share some tips on how to make taxes less stressful.
TurboTax- 5 tips-001
1) Use TurboTax to comply with ACA requirements.
Did you know that there is a new requirement this year involving health insurance?  If you do not have health insurance then you will have to pay a tax penalty.  Take the stress away of not having health insurance with TurboTax. 
All you have to do is put in your information in and then TurboTax will help guide you through the process and show you discounts that you could be eligible for.  You have be covered by health insurance by February 15th in order to not be penalized for 2015 taxes so make sure you don't miss the deadline.
2) Don't procrastinate doing your taxes.
When you procrastinate, your stress level goes up and if you're like me, then your can't think straight and the pressure is crazy and you make a ton of mistakes.  So if you get them done early you can just be done and enjoy the tax refund, if you get anything.  Plus if you are filing a 1040A/EZ, TurboTax lets you file for free if you do it before February 16th, so that makes doing it earlier even better!  Who doesn't love saving some extra money? 
3) Keep track of all your expenses and earnings. 
You can do this anyway you want, spreadsheet or a program or old school like me, with a notebook.  I have a notebook that is my blogging notebook.  I write down all of my expenses and earnings the day that they happen. When I write down my expenses or earnings, I write down the description of what it was, it makes it much easier when I go back and look at it to see where the money came from.  Plus you have to separate your expenses, so when you write down the amount of what you spend along with what it was it makes it much easier to group the expenses together.   I also doodle in the notebooks my ideas for blog posts :).
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4) Summarize your earnings monthly.
Every month I go through my notebook and determine how much I made (or spent) that month.  This way I have an idea of how much I'm making every month and I have an idea of how much I've made in the year.  Plus it's a lot easier to add 12 numbers at the end of the year instead of hundreds of numbers. 
5) Have a separate bank account. When you have a business, you need to have a business account.  It's an easier way to keep track of your money.  I put all the money that I make in that account and all of my business purchases are from that account.  It's a great way to see how much is going in and how much is going out.   Whenever I want to use that money for something that is not blog related, whether it be for a fun new outfit for me or going out to eat with friends or even groceries, I will transfer the money over to our family account rather than using my debit card.  That way when it's tax time and I can go back to look at my expenses I can see all the different transactions and when I see a debit card purchase I know it's an expense for my blog and not just something that I wanted to buy with my money.

6) Separate your purchases at the store. Yes I am that annoying person at the store that has 2-3 transactions.  I multitask when I go to the store, I don't just go and get one thing, I get several things like groceries or toiletries along with my craft supplies.  So when I am out shopping for blog related stuff I do separate transactions.  That way I can use my debit card for my business account and then our family card for the other stuff.  Then I save my receipts.  That way when I go through the expenses I know that everything is an expense. For example,  I don't have to go through my receipts and try to figure out or remember whether or not that candy I bought was for my sweet tooth or for a sponsored post.

7) Use TurboTax to help you determine your deductions and credits.
Like any business, us bloggers have deductions and credits that we can take for our business.  But since blogging has a lot of business and personal expenses, it's hard to determine what you can take.  So by using TurboTax and going through their questions, you could easily figure out what you can and cannot deduct. 
TurboTax Deductions

If you do these things then tax season shouldn't be stressful for you!  Just make sure you check out TurboTax if you haven't filed your taxes yet to help ease the stress!