Hack Your Style: 5 Items, 10 Ways
We’re all about keeping things simple, so long as we can keep things creative. For today’s style hack, we decided to tackle the art of packing lightly. Specifically, the art of creating 10 completely different outfits using only 5 basic items. We didn’t include shoes or accessories in our list but we recommend a pair of black mid-height ankle boots, wedges, or mary janes. Be sure to bookmark this for holiday travel tips!
1. Bodycon Skirt (similar one available at Forever 21)
2. Silk Button Up Blouse (similar one available at Forever 21)
3. Black Skinny Jeans
4. Light Denim Skinny Jeans
5. Graphic Sweater (similar one available at Forever 21)
<br/>For this look, we turned our high waisted bodycon skirt into a mini tube dress. Throw it on over a pair of black skinnies with a blouse over the whole thing, and you’re good for day or night.
<br/>For some reason, this look made us think of autumn in Los Angeles. The combo of the buttoned up shirt with the tied bottom is the perfect combo of work and play.
<br/>This one takes a little trickery. First, put on your skirt as a tube dress. Then button up your blouse until it fits snugly around your waist. Use the sleeves to create a belt that ties, tuck in any excess material, and you’re good to go! This look has festival-wear written all over it.
<br/>Remember those awesome cardigans Mr. Rogers used to wear? You can rock a similar look, but way more chic. Don’t forget to cuff the blouse underneath to give the look a little extra pop.
This could easily be a staple combo for fall and winter.
<br/>If you’ve grown tired of the cheetah print, throw it on underneath the blouse. It adds a subtle bit of grrrrr to any look.
<br/>Yes, a cardigan can totally be a shirt! Ok maybe you already knew that, but we’re loving the look of this simple outfit.
<br/>There’s definitely something a little hipster librarian about this look, and we kind of cheated with the belt. But that doesn’t count… does it?
<br/>The best thing about bodycon skirts is how elastic they are. Turn one into a tube top over a pair of jeans and you’re good to go.
<br/>A sweater can also turn into a skirt! And actually has a pretty different look (and doesn’t require a tube dress underneath). Button it up to your hips or waist, then tie the sleeves around as a belt. So cute!
We would totally sport this look even if we weren’t limited to 5 items.
<br/>That’s right. That’s a skirt around Brit’s neck, acting like a cowl neck scarf!!
Such a great trick for staying warm and stylish.
How do you pack light for the holidays? Which of these looks is your favorite? Any other staple pieces you wouldn’t leave town without? Talk to us in the comments below.
Welcome to Selfmade Finance School, our new money series with Block Advisors to help small business owners with their tax, bookkeeping, and payroll needs year-round. This week, we explore the tax implications of bringing family members into your business.
The question for today is this: Does hiring your family members make sense for your business? Let me be clear. This is not a piece about whether hiring your family members makes sense for your relationships with those family members. As someone who is part of a family business, I could fill up a lot more than 600 words on my opinions about that. For today's purposes, we focus on whether it makes sense from an overall "good business and tax implication" perspective. As it turns out, there is a decent amount of tax nuance when it comes to employing your family. Let's break it down based on relationship to the employee:
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Spouses Who Are In Business Together
Personally, if I had to be in business with my husband, it would not go well. However, many couples build viable, strong businesses together and I say, good for them! Depending on how you have your business entity structured, it will make a big difference on the tax treatment of you and your spouse working as partners. Because a business jointly owned and operated by a married couple is generally treated as a partnership for Federal tax purposes, the spouses must comply with filing and record keeping requirements imposed on partnerships and their partners. The election to file two Schedule C (Form 1040) forms, (one for each spouse) permits certain married co-owners to avoid filing partnership returns, provided that each spouse separately reports a share of all the businesses' items of income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit. Under the election, both spouses will be subject to self-employment tax and on net earnings from self-employment and receive credit for Social Security earnings.
One Spouse Employs Another
If you have a dynamic where your spouse is an employee of your business, then your spouse's wages are subject to income tax withholding, Social Security and Medicare taxes. If you are self-employed (not a corporation or a partnership), your spouse's pay does not have to be included in your federal unemployment tax account (FUTA) contributions and payments. However, if your business is a corporation or a partnership you must include that spouse's pay in your unemployment tax contribution calculation.
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You Employ Your Child
First, let's be clear. I work in my family business, but I am an adult, so I am treated just like a normal employee. However, if you, for example, run a family restaurant and want to hire your children under 18 to work for you, there are some tax benefits. But first, you should check with your state for rules on how many hours minors can work (in non-agricultural jobs) and reference the Fair Labor Standards Act for information on limitations on the kinds of work children can perform.
"This is an often overlooked or under-utilized strategy. Paying your children for true services they provide in your business can be a powerful tax-saving tool," says Cathi Reed, Block Advisors Regional Director. "If you are a sole-proprietorship or single member LLC, and the child is less than 18 years of age, the business is not required to withhold FICA or payroll taxes. The child can use his or her standard deduction against income you pay."
You Hire Your Parent
Oh dear. If you are brave enough to do this, know that you will need to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on your parent's wages and make the appropriate withholdings, but you don't have to pay unemployment taxes. Now all you have to do is convince your parent that you are the boss. Have fun with that!
Is Hiring Family Members Worth It For The Tax Benefits?
"There are some positive tax advantages to hiring family members. It's important to treat a family member like any other employee. Hiring your children can result in substantial savings for businesses. Make sure your child has real, age-appropriate work to do and a reasonable pay rate, comparable to other employees. Consult with a Block Advisors small business certified tax pro to ensure that you are complying with all requirements," advises Reed. "Block Advisors, a team within H&R Block, is dedicated to meeting the tax, bookkeeping and payroll needs of small business owners year-round. To start working with the tax experts at Block Advisors, visit blockadvisors.com."
In my opinion, you should not hire a family member solely because of the tax benefits. You should always hire based on whether that person is right for the job and keep in mind how this hire could materially impact your relationship with that person and others in your family. Finally, as I mentioned, make sure you have a tax professional on your team when making these determinations. As you can see, things can get a little tricky!
*All details were sourced from IRS.gov and blockadvisors.com