6 Online Tools to Make Decluttering Your Life More Efficient
It’s time to get serious about sorting out your life before heading out on an endless summer of epic journeys. Take advantage of all the tech options at your fingertips and put that smartphone to work to declutter your work life, your personal life and — most important of all — your closet space. We’ve teamed up with Close5 to make the process of decluttering your life WAY more efficient.
You can use all the apps below to sell your no-longer-coveted pieces, make the days at your desk more streamlined, take care of household chores, turn all those Polaroids and Kodak prints into sharable digital copies and (finally!) unsubscribe to the endless stream of subscription emails in one powerful click. Basically what all these apps will provide is more time to do what’s most important in life: stay longer at happy hour. Oh, and be more productive, of course ;)
1. Close5: Give your home a spring clean the easy way with this classified app. No more trekking your stuff to resale stores and getting an insulting price or posting on Facebook for no one to see. All it takes with this one is a photo and your defined price, and you’re on your way to making some extra cash. This safe + secure selling tool — buyers and sellers are verified through their Facebook profiles — makes giving away your gently used items more convenient, as buyers are typically within a 5- to 10-mile radius of your location. No more going out of your way to that shady gas station for the tradeoff. Sort of similar to Tinder’s location-based partner finding, you and your buyer could end up doing more than exchanging goods + money.
2. Evernote: Organize everything work-related within one app to get the job done efficiently and scatterbrain free. This digital workspace gives busy gals the opportunity to work anywhere and stay productive, without having to hop from one app to another. Write notes, make checklists, conduct research, organize all your reading materials, mark up docs and store photos — seriously, what does this app not do?! If that’s not enough, you can also make your team more productive by discussing work projects, presenting ideas and attaching important files all within the app. DL this one to make work life just a little easier each day.
4. HomeSlice: The avalanche of passive aggressive roommate notes be gone! This app, saving relationships and living spaces alike, gets the whole house involved in chore completion, supply buys and even keeping track of who’s paying the bills this month before you get tackled with a late fee. It’s time every cohabitant does their share digitally + IRL.
5. Todoist: Toss out that assortment of to-do lists scattered across your desk, kitchen counter and bedside table and trade it in for this all-encompassing task manager. Make the ultimate get-it-done master list by adding details to tasks, delegating the ones you’re not amped about to others, assigning due dates for everything and more. The time to clean up your week and your life is here.
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:
You X Ventures for Unsplash
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.
Kobu Agency for Unsplash
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