Don’t have time to get yourself organized? Well, here’s a newsflash you’ve likely already heard: organizing your life will actually give you *more* time to do the things you love. In fact, organizing your essential evening and morning spaces (your bedroom and your bathroom) can leave you with more time throughout the day, allowing you to be more creative. That’s right, we said it: organization can lead to creativity! And it goes far beyond your desk, workspace or office.
We’ve partnered up with IKEA to share all sorts of ways to use organization to make time for your creative pursuits. But it’s not just about literally organizing — it’s about creating calm and energizing atmospheres throughout the home. Your day starts and ends in the bedroom and the bathroom, so that is where our story begins.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll show you how a colorful and orderly bedroom can lead to happier, more productive mornings. We’ll also help you organize your bathroom so that both your mornings and evenings are effortless. The goal? To give each and every one of you 20 extra minutes in the morning or evening so you can spend that time flexing your creative muscles. In fact, throughout this series, we’d like to challenge you to be more creative. Introducing: our Daily Creativity Challenge!
Here’s how it works: We challenge you to spend 20 minutes every day for a week (or a month!) doing something creative that is out of your ordinary routine. Ideally, we’d like you to do this in the morning or evening, so you can see how a quick creative exercise affects the start or end of your day, especially if you’ve used IKEA products to organize yourself. Record your practice in some way (snap a photo!) and share it with us on Instagram using #iamcreative. We’ll share our favorites right here on brit.co.
But before we officially get started, let’s talk about how an organized morning and evening can lead to a more creative you.
1. If You Make Fewer Decisions in the Morning, You Will Make Better Decisions During the Day: This is one that proves itself true time and time again. How many times have you wasted an hour choosing what to wear in the morning? People actually experience decision fatigue about three-quarters through their work day, and this is largely due to wasted time making decisions in the morning.
2. You Can Use Color to Relax and Rejuvenate Yourself: Surround yourself with colors that relax and energize you. We know, those seem like opposite actions, but the truth is, a relaxed self is ultimately an energized one! Keep your wall color simple and choose bed linens that make you feel warm and fuzzy. For some people, all white is the way to go, and for others it’s all about cool tones.
3. When Everything You Need Has a Home, Your Brain Will Thank You: Does your bathroom sink or countertop tend to look like you’re always just visiting? You’ve got half of your things sticking out of your cosmetics bag and the other half wedged onto a corner of your sink. It’s time to give your daily morning and evening essentials a home! The right hooks, towel stand and high cabinet will go a long way.
4. A Better Night’s Sleep Can Make You More Creative: Okay, okay, we know this is a pretty big statement, but we stand behind it. If you go to sleep in a place of calm, you will most likely wake up in a happy, refreshed and more creative state. Make sure your essentials are within arm’s reach, but without crowding your slumber. A good nightstand will go a long way, and our friends at IKEA have plenty to choose from ;)
Be sure to follow along over the next few weeks as we show you simple and impactful ways to organize your space, thereby making space in your brain for creative ideas. And don’t forget to take our Daily Creativity Challenge. We can’t wait to see what you create!
Show us your creative projects by tagging us on Instagram + using hashtag #iamcreative!
This post is a collaboration with IKEA.
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