5 Hacks to Make Your iPhone Feel Like New Again
You’ve probably heard a rumor (or 10…) about the much anticipated iPhone 6. We get it — the mere thought of a durable, scratch resistant screen is enough to make us drool. And don’t even get us started on the 13 megapixel camera with pixel enlarging capabilities. (All unconfirmed rumors, of course. But who could resist?)
1. Clean Out Your Phone: To keep your iPhone in tip-top shape, you need to make sure you have adequate storage space. This will improve your device’s functionality and will enable you to do a software update. Trust us, you’ll feel the difference instantly.
You can do this manually by deleting apps you no longer use as well as those unusual yet creative selfies you took when no one was looking. (Especially those!) Alternatively, you could use PhoneClean, a free software cleaning software, which works in a similar way to CCleaner and CleanMyMac, makes it easy to rid your device of any unnecessary data. With a few clicks, you can kiss damaged media files as well as unnecessary texts, images and other media files goodbye.
2. Protect Your Phone: If you’re anything like us, you spend a considerable amount of time surfing on the go. And while there’s nothing quite like free Wi-Fi to make a morning commute fly by, have you ever stopped to think about your privacy? Unless you’re super savvy about it, your online activity can easily be tracked. That means someone could be reading your emails without you knowing it or worse, could get their hands on your credit card details.
It’s time to get smart about your mobile browsing habits with SurfEasy. This handy app does the worrying for you. It makes sure you’re protected and lets you surf anonymously and safely wherever you may be. (Free on iOS and Android)
3. Upgrade Your Battery: Ever noticed how your iPhone battery never seems to last very long? It’s one of our pet iPhone peeves. But don’t let that make you ditch your phone for a newer model. You could be doing it all wrong — download Battery Doctor and you’ll never get caught with a low battery again.
This app helps you stay on top of your battery and even gives you a good idea of how much power each app is gobbling up. Other useful features include an indication of how long it will take for your phone to recharge as well as tips for preserving your battery. (Free on iOS)
4. Automate It: Backing up your phone will free up space, improve your phone’s functionality and will give you peace of mind. This way, even if you lose your phone, your memories won’t be lost forever. Using the IFTTT app, you can set up automated processes to backup your data. It may sound complicated, but it’s really simple and quite fun!
IFTTT or If This, Then That is an app that lets you create automated recipes — the data, not the food, kind. Think of recipes as rules. For example, if Instagram then Dropbox. This would send any image you upload to Instagram to a Dropbox folder. To really get a taste of it, we recommend giving one of IFTTT’s many recipes a try. (Free on iOS and Android)
5. Give It a Check-Up: Sometimes, when a phone acts up, there may be something wrong with it. In this case, it doesn’t matter how much free space you have or how healthy your battery is. Using an app like PhoneDoctor will help you pinpoint defects quickly and easily so you can get your phone up and running without any fuss.
In eight minutes, the app thoroughly tests the phone’s hardware including calls, audio and wireless functions. It also gives you an indication of the phone’s hardware, battery and memory health. The app helps optimize the battery and memory so your phone runs faster. Perhaps it’s time you book your phone an appointment with the PhoneDoctor? ($2.99 on iOS)
What apps would you recommend for rejuvenating an old iPhone? Share your suggestions 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