This Is the BEST Way to Take the Pain Out of Dreaded To-Dos
It’s hard to believe that the Olympics have already come and gone, after months of anticipation leading up to them. From Simone Biles’ history-making appearance and incredible routines to gold medal victories that gave us allllll the feels, there was definitely no shortage of superstar sports moments in Rio that totally set Twitter ablaze. To rediscover that excitement, we chatted with Jill Wilson, the SVP of Game Development at Social Gaming Network. She created five games you can play with your S.O., friends or your fam to turn the tasks you dread most into opportunities for amazing victory. Scroll on to read them and then go crush it!
The Dish Derby
How fast can you unload your dishwasher? Jill tells us, “Our household personal record is one minute, four seconds for a full load. But this type of chorelympics-worthy performance doesn’t come overnight. It takes practice, passion and dedication to the Dish Derby.” This lady totally knows what’s up.
How to play: Open the dishwasher. Start the stopwatch on your phone, and unload those dishes like your life depends on it!
Guess the Groceries
Jill swears that grocery shopping can actually be fun. “Get in the game while checking the grocery shopping off your to-do list, she says, “First stop, Whole Foods. Next stop, Showcase Showdown.” Oh yeah.
How to play: Shop ’til you drop. Guess the total cost of what’s in your cart. If playing with a partner, the person who comes closest to the actual total price of the groceries without going over wins. If playing solo, give yourself a W if you can guess within $10 of the actual total price.
Master Chef Me
Jill asks, “Can you channel your inner Gordon Ramsay from the comfort of your own kitchen?” Sharpen your knives and get ready to have some fun with this dinner competition.
How to play: Write down 10 ingredients you have in the house on little slips of paper and put them in a hat. Pick out three. Make a Master Chef-worthy dish highlighting those three ingredients. Best dish wins! If playing solo, you be the judge. Do you deserve to go up to the balcony for that meal?
Finding old food in the fridge happens to most of us at one time or another. Jill agrees and says, “You NEED to clean out that questionable take-out before it completely takes over.”
How to play: Take everything out of the fridge — this way, you can’t quit halfway through the game. Put things back in neat rows. When you complete a row, throw out three expired products. You can even sing the Tetris song as you go.
Your Most Dreaded Task
Jill says, “We all have the one — that chore or task that keeps getting moved to the next to-do list and seems way too big to tackle. Whether it’s planning a family reunion for 120 people (yes, I’m currently doing this) or doing your taxes, when chores seem overwhelming, we oftentimes put off doing them. In these circumstances, you probably need a game more than ever.”
How to play: Break the task up into chunks. Then divide those chunks into mini chunks. Remember that no chunk is too small. Jill tells us, “For example, if I’m planning the family reunion, one chunk is to find a date that works for everyone. My mini chunks include emailing or calling each person I need buy-in from in order to make the decision, and then emailing everyone again to confirm. Already, I’m at about 12 items for just that one part of the task.”
Put it all in a spreadsheet and print it out. Stick it on the fridge. Write out a list of mini prizes you want to give yourself and one big prize. Put the mini prizes in a bowl by the fridge. Every time you complete a mini chunk, give yourself a star sticker. Every time you get 10 stars, pick a mini prize out of the bowl.
When you finally complete the whole chore, treat yourself to your a grand prize. New bag, anyone?
Will you try one of Jill’s games? Tweet us which one @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