10 Tips on How to Decorate With a Roomie
Some people dread living with roommates. The lack of personal space, uneven chore duties and clashing design aesthetics are enough to make even the nicest people shun the idea of shacking up with another person, even if it does mean cutting the rent check in half. But we’re here to tell you that living with a roomie isn’t all bad, and decorating a brand new space together can actually be, well, kinda fun! Whether you’re settling into your first dorm room or beautifying your first apartment, these 10 tips on roomie decorating will help you through it. Just remember the three Cs of joint decorating — communication, compromise and (of course) COLOR.
1. Make Sure You’re on the Same Page: Before you begin buying furniture and searching for bold wall art, sit down with your roommate to talk out the design of your new place. What color palette will you use? What vibe are you trying to create? Ask your roomie what they like and what they hate. Be sure to listen carefully; that way, you’ll get to know your their style and tastes inside and out. And don’t forget to talk about the most important decorating detail — the budget! (via Garden of Happiness)
2. Use Pinterest from the Get Go: Pinterest is about to become your best friend (if it isn’t already). Before you even move in together, share pinboards with your roomie to show off your style and all of the adorable items you love. By sharing your Pinterest dreams and desires, you’ll get the conversation started about how to decorate your awesome new space. Plus, you may even find you have some design preferences in common!
3. Take Inventory: What do you have, what do you need and where can you find it for cheap? Sit down together to take inventory before you begin the hunt for everything cute. You’ll naturally cut costs by making sure you’re not buying something you already have, and even if you do have doubles, it isn’t the worst thing in the world. Donating or selling redundant items is always an option.
4. Tie Existing Furniture and Decorative Elements Together: Once you’ve picked your colors and the overall feel, start tying existing furniture and decorative elements together. Paint old furniture to fit your color palette, swap out old drawer knobs for newer, cuter options and start thinking of washi tape hacks to spruce up the little things, like stray cords, vases and decorative coasters. (via Babble)
5. Go Shopping Together: If you’re in need of a larger piece of furniture, like a statement lamp, couch or dining room table, go on a roomie shopping spree. This is a great way to ensure you find a piece you both love and bond over your cool new digs.
7. Take Design Risks: Just because you’ve laid out a general color palette and design aesthetic doesn’t mean you can’t stray every so often as long as it looks good. Mix and match florals and geometrics, juxtapose modern lines with more organic pieces. The sky’s the limit. Just be sure you’re on the same page about the look you want to achieve and you’ll be fine. (via Apartment Therapy)
8. Personalize Your Bedroom: Both of you will have to compromise when it comes to common spaces, but your bedroom is your domain, so go wild. DIY some glitter heart bed pillows, pick up a funky bedside table, slap on some sweet wall decals. Just let your creativity flow free. (via High on DIY)
9. Be Flexible: No one likes a roommate who isn’t willing to compromise. If your roomie is adamant about decorating a certain room one way, suggest that you take on another room that needs designing. That way, you both have your own design projects going at once, and you each feel like you have a say in how the space looks.
10. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate: We can’t say it enough: Communication is key. If something isn’t working, speak up! Remember: This is your space, too, and your opinion counts.
How did you and your roommate decorate your digs? Tell us how you worked out your design differences 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