Creative Ways to Keep 5 Frequently Broken New Year’s Resolutions
As soon as the ball drops and the confetti flies through the air of parties across the globe like an ubiquitous snow storm of glitter, the self evaluation begins and New Year resolutions are declared. As good as our resolve is to craft chic DIY New Year’s headwear and whip up party-perfect food Champagne pairings, sometimes we struggle to follow through with our more serious resolutions. This New Year, we’re bringing you 20 products that will make you want to keep some of the most frequently broken New Year’s resolutions.
Getting healthy is on everyone’s mind today (champagne flutes in hand) but it’s also one of the most commonly broken ones after memories of midnight smooches begin to fade. Come on, we’ve all dealt with crowds at the gym in Jan only to be first in line for your fave treadmill come Feb. Arm yourself with the goods to keep those resolutions.
1. Heart bkr Bottle ($35): Start by bringing this water bottle with you to the gym. You’ll feel so sorry about abandoning it when your muscles get sore that you’ll keep up that new fitness regimen.
2. Cloud Leggings ($58): You’ll float through that hot yoga class in no time when you don these comfy and cool cloud leggings.
3. Hustlin’ Tote Bag ($24): Consider a dedicated gym bag as the ultimate hack towards keeping up that resolution. Even if its only purpose is for lugging your yoga mat, you’ll be inclined to use it. Load this tote with extra hair ties, a spare pair of socks, your running shoes and a little body spray for post-gym refreshes.
2. Learn Something New
How many times have you thought to yourself, “I wish I could learn Karate,” during your morning commute or, “I bet I could sew my own clothes if I really tried,” while trying on clothes that are way out of your price range? Incorporating a new hobby is a popular resolution, probably because learning new skills helps people improve their lives in a meaningful way. We might not have a class for an instant black belt and the self esteem that surely accompanies it, but we can help with other fulfilling lifestyle changes.
5. Sewing Online Class ($19): Breakout that old sewing machine that’s been collecting dust in the back of your closet, because, hell yes, you can make that trendy skirt or embellished tee.
6. Illustration With Watercolor Online Class ($19): That feeling that there just isn’t enough time in the day is a major factor in breaking self-improvement promises, but artistic endeavors can actually help you work through that stress. Break away from that catch-22 by learning the ins and outs of watercolors.
7. Coding Online Class ($39): Your new after-work, pre-happy-hour squeeze doesn’t have to seem frivolous. Teach yourself a marketable skill by learning to code in 2016. You can also tackle that secondary “get a new job” resolution at the same time.
3. Travel to New Places
Oh, the places you’ll go! Whether it’s a destination on the opposite side of the globe or a day trip to the next town over, stay inspired with these travel goodies.
8. Compass Wall Decal ($36): Visualize your goal with this directional reminder. Even if your next destination is a new coffee shop on the other side of town, you’ll find it hard not to visit someplace new.
9. Hand-Painted Sket1chbook ($26): You’ll definitely want to give this pretty notebook some love. Sketch out the views from the top of the Alps and on the edge of the Grand Canyon or, if drawing isn’t your thing, write a description of the tastiest morsels you nosh on in each place you visit.
10. Magnetic Photo Rope ($12): Hang up one of these magnetic photo displays and make it your goal to fill it up with the best shots from your travels by the end of 2016.
11. Travel Jewelry Organizer ($39): You’ll kick yourself if you don’t put this clever notebook-style jewelry box to good use, so pop it into a tote, backpack or suitcase and get on the go.
4. Be Less Stressed
Easier said than done, right? Start with two or three deep breaths, open your eyes and get ready for a little R&R.
12. Aroma Therapy Set ($18 per scent): Your sense of smell is kind of a huge deal when it comes to subtly effecting your mood. Pick up stress relief, relax, breathe scents and roll them on instead of reaching for a brown paper bag to hyperventilate into.
13. Shit Shirt ($24): They say that laughter is the best medicine, so if every moment feels like an “Oh shit” one, remind yourself to take it all a little less seriously with this LOL-worthy tee.
14. Disco Earbuds ($16): If the hustle and bustle of your day to day and construction next door interrupt your only moments to relax, block ’em out with your favorite tunes.
15. Vantigo Print ($30): Even if your window faces a wall, you can still wake up with a happy little view every morning. Hang up this adorable Golden Gate Bridge print somewhere prominent, and be sure to cross as many metaphorical bridges as possible this year.
5. Make + Save More Money
A vice is a vice, but some are worse than others. Financial resolutions are some of the easiest to make and break (especially after all that holiday spending). If you’re trying to kick bad habits to the curb, try rewarding yourself with these goodies.
16. Stash Drawstring Bag ($19): Turn old, rarely worn clothes into cash at the start of each season this year. This canvas bag can be a potential gold mine when you consign all of those lightly worn items.
17. Pastel Cutting Board + Utensils ($45): Eating out can be a major cash trap, so commit to making more meals at home. You’ll see a marked reduction in your weekly spending when you use this adorable kitchen set.
18. DIY Gold Bar Necklace Kit ($19): Curb your accessories spending budget by crafting pieces at home. Your creations will be extra unique, unlike those baubles that everyone else is wearing.
19. Cold Brew Coffee Kit ($32): Think about how much you could save if your main source of caffeine doesn’t include inflated prices for your name spelled wrong on a branded cup. When you brew your own coffee at home, you’ll be amazed at the extra cash you’ll find in your pockets.
Are you one of the 40 percent of Americans who make a New Year’s resolution each year? Sound off on Twitter @BritandCo.
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