Here’s How to Gracefully Cancel Plans in 5 Common Situations
You made plans and were looking forward to them, but for whatever reason you just have to cancel. It could be that you caught the flu, something more important came up or you just need some YOU time to curl up in your cozy reading nook or take a five-minute DIY bubble bath. Girl, it happens. And guess what? It’s actually okay to bow out of commitments from time to time, so long as you do it with proper courtesy and respect to avoid being totally rude, which could hurt your relationships.
To get the deets on how to cancel plans gracefully, we talked with Brianna Haag, a well-known San Francisco career-maven, volunteer and social butterfly. In addition to heading up events for Table8 and managing a seriously impressive social life full of dates, friends and workouts, Brianna also balances scaling an annual male beauty pageant fundraiser and serves on the boards of two different non-profits. Needless to say, she’s manic about managing her Google calendar. Scroll on for her thoughts on the RIGHT way to cancel, and you’ll never appear flaky or unthoughtful again.
Cancelling plans with friends
This one might be the easiest and seemingly most forgivable, but make sure you’re honest and don’t feed the urge to fabricate a white lie. “Your friends will understand if you’re exhausted from the work day, just want to fit in a workout instead, or need some alone time,” Brianna tells us.
However, they WON’T understand if you tell them you had a work thing come up and they later discover you actually bailed because you decided on happy hour with your gym crush. We couldn’t agree more; honesty is definitely the best policy. If your squad is solid, they’ll get it. On the other hand, don’t make canceling on your besties a habit just because they love you enough to forgive you.
Ditching a date
If it’s a first date, you might feel inclined to bail last minute since there’s little risk involved. Or maybe you changed your mind about meeting your latest Coffee Meets Bagel match or would just prefer to spend your Monday catching up on the latest episode of KUWTK or GOT. Whatever the cause, Brianna says, “Really try to follow through with the plans (you made them for a reason!), but if you must cancel, ALWAYS do it with a respectable amount of notice and an explanation.”
Brianna shared a personal story too, telling us, “I recently canceled a bowling date fairly last minute, because a friend of mine had box seats to a Warriors Finals game. I made sure to be clear with my date and ask for a raincheck, and needless to say he completely understood. I made sure to follow up about rescheduling and to make it clear that I was excited to meet him.” Also, Brianna says, if it’s a date with someone you’ve been seeing for a while, there’s likely to be a little more room for forgiveness.
Skipping a casual work event
With a huge emphasis on culture and team building, more and more companies have started to schedule involved off-sites, after-work team-building events and happy hours. Though it’s obviously super important to be there to show that you care and you’re passionate about your work and team, sometimes it’s impossible to squeeze it in.
“It’s okay to miss work stuff every now and then,” Brianna agrees. “Be sure to let the organizer know not to expect you anymore — regardless of whether it’s an office happy hour, industry event, optional off-site or something else.” She also says that if there’s a Google calendar invite for everyone, you should definitely remember to update your RSVP so people don’t expect you. “This is especially important if they’re ordering drinks or food,” she wisely tells us.
Changing your RSVP for a ticketed event
Tons of events require scoring tickets in advance, and doing so obviously comes with the best intention of attending. These types of commitments range from smaller meet-ups to concerts, sports events and conferences.
Relying on her knowledge from four years of working at Eventbrite, Brianna fills us in on the proper etiquette for missing out. “If there’s a ticket involved and you’re going as someone’s guest, give them enough time to find someone else to go with them. There’s nothing worse than canceling so last minute that it’s impossible for them to recruit another attendee,” she says. Brianna also noted that though most event tickets AREN’T refundable, you can always check to see if they’re transferrable to someone else. In the best case scenario, you might still have a shot at filling your spot.
Missing an important milestone
Adulting brings about lots of important celebrations that you surely hate to miss, like acknowledging your friend’s big birthday, engagement, marriage, baby shower, promotion of her dreams and so much more. Not only does being a part of the celebration show your BFFs how much you care, but making memories totally sweetens your life and social calendar too!
So what to do when you’re totally unable to share the good times around a major milestone? “This is a tough one, but the more advance you can give your friend the better,” Brianna says. “If it’s a baby shower, a wedding or a bachelor/ette party, your friend is important to you, so your reason is probably already super valid. Just remember to be incredibly honest and give as much notice as possible.” We all know that things happen, and you’ll totally be missed, but most importantly, you’ll avoid hurting your friends’ feelings by following Brianna’s advice.
What was the last event you skipped? How did you handle it? Spill your story on Twitter @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty)
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