5 Things Every Playroom Needs
No matter how large or small of a space you may live in — if you don’t dedicate a place for a playroom, your entire home will soon be the dedicated toy explosion. The best way to make that not happen? Create a children’s zone that makes kids feel as though it’s their realm, an environment where they are free to play, make a mess and color on the walls without getting a time-out. Not sure just how to do that? Read on for the five playroom essentials to make any size playroom kiddo-friendly.
Dedicating a space in your home to your children’s toys poses a challenge. All the plastic paraphernalia may be sequestered to one place, but keeping it organized can be a struggle, especially if the space is small. Organization tools have to pass both the durability and ease-of-operation tests. The best off-the-shelf option that doesn’t break the bank is IKEA’s Trofast storage combo options ($70+), which comes in multiple sizes and configurations that accepts lots of storage options (baskets, drawers, bins). (via Ikea)
If you don’t have any space left on the fridge, an alternative is using a curtain wire, such as the IKEA Dignitet ($15). This not only gives your child a place to display their latest production but also decorates the walls of your children’s play space, rather than trying to factor in another pricey art piece in its place. Better to have the authentic stuff by the inhabitants anyway, right? (via Love & Renovations)
Writing on the Walls
Give your children ownership of the room by giving them as few rules as possible. One thing that has always been a no-no is writing on the walls. Chalkboard paint pioneered the no harm, no foul concept. But! Chalk is messy! It gets all over your hands, your clothes and whatever else is in close proximity. IdeaPaint ($225+) solves this messy dilemma. It’s a thin, clear coat that is applied just like paint over the already-painted wall, whatever color it may be. Once the coat dries, you can write on the wall and remove the writing easily, sans mess. IdeaPaint is similar to a dry erase board, so you can use the same dry erase markers and erasers to draw and remove said drawing. (via Getty)
Plan for a play mat that is washable or a resilient rug that can handle crayons or a spilled sippy cup, but that is also comfortable to play on. When you have kids, most of the playtime is spent on the floor, starting when they are only a few months old, so establishing a space that is comfortable for you and your children to sit on and play blocks is imperative. (via Brit + Co)
After you’ve scouted out your kids’ play zone, it’s important to consider their safety. Before you can even believe it, babies can roll over and figure out how to put things in their mouth, so you must take extreme care with what is in reaching distance. All outlets should be covered and no cords or curtain rods/ropes should be hanging down that may cause a problem if you turn your head for even a second. (via Getty)
Designing a playroom of your own? Follow us on Pinterest for more ideas and inspiration.
Brit + Co may at times use affiliate links to promote products sold by others, but always offers genuine editorial recommendations.
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