Build This Cooler Box for Your Backyard Patio
Summer is approaching, so that means it’s time to host friends and family outdoors. Whether it’s graduation, Father’s day, or Fourth of July, you’ll have plenty of reasons to spruce up your outdoor space. We created an outdoor cooler box to hold all of our favorite beverages (read: beer) and keep them cold in the hot months. What’s great about this piece is that the cooler is removable, so it’s extremely easy to pull out and use for a day at the beach.
— (4) 38-inch pieces of 1 3/8-inch square wood
— (4) 16-inch pieces of 1 3/8-inch square wood
— (4) 25.5-inch pieces of 1 3/8-inch square wood
— (2) 18.75-inch pieces of 1 3/8-inch square wood
— (24) 15-inch pieces of wood 3.5 inches wide
— 2-inch wood screws
— 1.5-inch wood screws
— black paint
— 1/64-inch drill bit
— electric screwdriver
— paint brush
1. Drill holes at the ends of all four pieces of wood that measure 16 inches, 25.5 inches and 18.75 inches.
2. Using the screwdriver, attach the 16-inch piece of wood to the top of two 38-inch pieces of wood. Measure 15 inches down the 38-inch piece of wood and drill in the second 16-inch piece of wood.
3. Lay the two pieces you just created on their sides and drill the 25.5-inch piece in place to finish off your box.
4. Stand your cooler box upright and screw the last two 18.25-inch pieces along the bottom. This will hold your cooler in place.
5. Tape together seven 15-inch boards and hand letter a cute saying to spruce up your container.
6. Drill holes on the top and bottom of each 15-inch piece and then drill onto the outside of the box. Drill seven on the length and five on the width.
Now, this first step is a pain but totally necessary to avoid having your wood split when screwing it together. Drill holes at both ends of all pieces that measure 16 inches, 18.75 inches and 25.5 inches.
Lay a 16-inch piece across two 38-inch pieces and screw into place. Measure 15 inches down the 38-inch piece of wood and screw your second 16-inch piece in place. Do these same steps to the other two pieces of 16-inch and 38-inch wood poles. You should finish with two pieces that look like rectangle boxes with long legs.
Lay the pieces you just drilled together on their side and screw the 25.5-inch piece across to create the box shape.
Stand your box upright and screw your last two 18.25-inch pieces across the bottom. Your piece may be a bit wobbly but it will sturdy up in the next couple steps.
Time to add some pizzazz to this cooler container. Pick your favorite phrase and hand letter with paint onto seven 15-inch boards of wood. Seven? Yes, seven! I, of course, couldn’t count and centered my hand lettered masterpiece onto six boards of wood. Check out in the next step how I fixed my mistake.
I added an exclamation point! Next, drill holes in the top and bottom of all 24 pieces of wood, then screw them to your new cooler base. Seven pieces will lay across the front of the cooler box and five pieces will lay on the sides.
Slide your cooler into place and get ready for the party! Pro tip: If I was able to go back to the hardware store, I would have purchased more white wood to cover the top rim of the container to give it a polished look. Most of your guests will be seeing the top edge when they pull their drink from the cooler, so might as well make it nice :)
One of our favorite parts about this project is that this stand can stay put on our patio, but the cooler is mobile for a quick day trip to the beach.
Fill your cooler with refreshing beverages for you and your guests. Set up a side table with glasses, cute straws and refreshing treats.
Show us your project by tagging us on Instagram + using the hashtag #iamcreative!
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