Home Hacks: 10 Must-Try DIY Cleaning Supplies
Here at Brit + Co., we believe that the future home can also be a frugal home. So we keep our ear to the ground for time-saving tricks and cash-friendly hacks that help make your pad chic and super smart. Our latest find: DIY cleaning supplies. They’re nothing new, but fresh off of mixing our own cold remedies, we’re feeling up to another made-totally-at-home challenge. With just a bit of elbow grease and products you probably already have laying around your pad, you can get your living space so fresh and so clean on the cheap. Start with these 10 must-try home cleaning basics.
1. Dish Soap: Refresh your senses while you remove grease and grime with this four ingredient DIY dish soap that includes a mix of your fave essential oils. Brownie points for the mason jar pump! (via Doterra Blog)
2. Bathroom Cleaning Wipes: You guys, these lemon scented surface wipes are stored in a custom silver tub that keeps its contents fresh and amps up the look of your bathroom at the same time. Genius home hack. (via Savvy Sugar)
3. Grapefruit and Kosher Salt Tub Cleaner: This DIY is as simple as they get: slice a grapefruit in half, sprinkle with salt, and scrub a dub dub that tub. As this blogger notes, you can use this method to clean sinks, toilets, and tile too—I’ve tried the hack on my wooden butcher block with a lemon (smaller surface, smaller citrus) and loved the results. (via Apartment Therapy)
4. Furniture Polish: Making a wood furniture polish is exactly the same as making a vinaigrette for your favorite salad. No joke—add white vinegar, lemon juice, and olive oil into a small plastic squeeze bottle and prep it for use with a vigorous shake. (via Savvy Sugar)
5. Glass Cleaner: A basic DIY glass cleaner recipe gets a boost from essential oils for scent and dish soap for shine, making this your go-to for streak-free windows and mirrors. Stamp out the label for your spray bottle to add a charming handmade touch. (via New Nostalgia)
6. Garbage Disposal Cubes: These vinegar and lemon chunk ice cubes are not for your drink (yuck)—they’re for your sink! Well, your garbage disposal, specifically. Consider these its favorite breath mints ;) (via WikiHow)
7. Dry Carpet Cleaner: Smelly carpets are no match for this easy homemade carpet cleaner. Simply sprinkle it over the culprit carpet and let it sink in before it’s vacuumed up. Don’t worry, this eco-friendly recipe is pet and baby-safe. (via Savvy Sugar)
8. Laundry Soap: Next time you run out of detergent, give this tried and true DIY recipe go. This blogger gives it two thumbs up in her one year-later review—it’s cheap to make, it’s long-lasting, and it’s great for sensitive skin. (via Liz Marie Blog)
9. Felted Wool Dryer Balls: This might be the cutest way to banish chemicals from your laundry routine. Add a drop of essential oil to these adorable wool-felted balls that wick moisture from your wet clothes and reduce static in the direr. (via Petals to Picots)
10. All-Purpose Cleaner: Finally, the big poppa of home cleaning supplies is given a DIY makeover. Borax and lemon juice tag team to disinfect and deodorize in this all-in-one cleaner that’s scented with a sprig of rosemary. (via Savvy Sugar)
Do you DIY your own cleaning supplies? What recipes really work? Any fantastic one we missed? Tell 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