Jan 05

HOMEOWERSHIP BASICS

Posted on January 5, 2022 at 8:50 PM by Alexis Fox

Is 2022 the best time to buy a home?  The good thing is there are no “acceptable” or “unacceptable” answers to this question.   The most important question to ask yourself and answer is, are you ready personally or financially to buy a house?   Here are some tips and tools if the answer is "Yes"!

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Dec 08

7 Strategizes to Energize Your Gift Giving This Holiday Season!

Posted on December 8, 2021 at 3:52 PM by Regina Roberts

Holiday 2021 Financial Blog - Page Banner - 900x175 

FINANCIAL BLOG FROM YOUR CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER

Title: 7 Strategizes to Energize Your Gift Giving This Holiday Season!


It’s that time of the year again.  The Holidays, yeah!  Thankful and grateful for this new season of sharing and enjoying gatherings again with families and friends.  But hold on!  Let’s not go crazy with all the money we have saved during the pandemic.  You will want to budget your holiday spending to maximize all your dollar$.

1. Set Up a Spending Budget

Track your income and expenses. When you keep record of your spending you are likely to spend less, or at least not spend more than you should.  Shoppers who make a list to purchase are more likely to not exceed their budget.  This means making a complete list and staying with the plan.

2. Put Work Bonuses Towards the Holidays

If you get a work bonus throughout the year, put that extra money away in savings for the holidays. You may have been the lucky one to win one of the employee vaccination incentive drawings or received the vaccination incentive bonus; consider using those incentives towards your holiday spending.

3. Take advantage of 0% APR credit card

Keep your credit card usage to a minimum, especially this holiday season since we are still watching to see how well we will bounce back from this economy downturn. If you need a credit card to make a holiday purchase that can’t be passed up, use a credit card with 0% interest. The credit card companies are busy this time of the year, enticing you with zero percent credit card transfers; please be careful.  If used correctly, this can help you save money and give you that cushion you may need to get you through your gift giving escapade. Remember to read the fine prints and pay attention to the expiration date to ensure that what was transferred is paid off within the time given.

4. Become a Smart Shopper

If you plan and take a little extra time, you can save money fast by becoming a smart shopper, especially during the holiday season.  Smart shoppers compare prices, buy things on sale, buy generic vs name brand, and use coupons. In addition, make better choices when you are shopping or browsing. Be conscious of your spending and ask yourself “do I really need this”. If you are thinking of buying something, hold off at first. Then a week or so later, if you still want it – get it if it is in your budget.

5. Re-visit your closet

Sell items you do not use any more like clothes, toys, and furniture. In fact, when we get new electronics, furniture, etc. we sell the old ones to help pay for the new items. Furthermore, we have the kids pick 3 toys they don’t use/play with anymore and sell them before a new batch of toys comes in during the holidays.


Happy holidays and happy budgeting.  Please stay healthy and safe. Your best years are ahead of you, plan better for the future!


 

Mar 08

HEADS UP - SMALL BUSINESSES

Posted on March 8, 2021 at 11:07 AM by Regina Roberts

Financial Blog Banner - Heads Up Small Businesses
If you have never hired a tax professional, this is the year you should do so. This is the year you want to be more prepared. Pay attention! There are some tax rule changes that will have an impact on businesses as you file your 2020 tax return. With everything that transpired with business during 2020, some business tax returns will be complicated.

Each taxpayer has his or her own unique situation, therefore, some advice to the small business owners, please speak to a professional that deals with taxes. It’s always important to get organized, so here are some ideas to get started.

1. Organize your records. Make sure all your financial materials related to your business are up to date, organized and filed in one place.
2. Organize the small things.
3. Again, if you took advantage of any of the COVID-19 programs, such as SBA loans, grants and credits that was made available to you through the CARES Act, please discuss them with your tax preparer.
4. Examples:
a. Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) - PPP loans may be forgivable if certain conditions are met.
b. Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) - Per the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), any forgiven Small Business Administration (SBA) loan should be included in taxable income.
c. Employee Retention Credit - Up to 50% credit, if you have employees that were kept employed during the pandemic.
d. Review all new credits - First Coronavirus Response Act, Small Employer Health Insurance Premium Credit and Work Opportunity Tax Credit.
e. Deferral of employer payroll taxes.
5. Consider all charitable donations.
6. Consider retirement plans and retirement contributions made.
7. Look at your expenses. Separate Capital expenses from Business expenses.
8. See if you qualify for Section 179.
9. Attorney or accounting fees for your business
10. Depreciation
11. Charitable donations
12. Stock deductions
13. Medical reimbursement
14. Health insurance premiums
15. Health savings accounts
16. Healthcare for employees
17. Banked health credit
18. Life insurance
19. Education expense (professional classes)
20. Website design

As you can see this is no way an exhausted list. Consider all deductions that can help you to avoid paying more taxes than you need to, because the more deductions you have, the lower your taxable income. You must also take time to understand the tax rules so you can avoid penalties. If you don’t think you can, then get professional advice as needed.

I believe in you!