Tuesday, March 24, 2015

How I Use My Kikki K Small Planner As A Wallet

After using a wallet all my life I wasn't sure how I would like switching out to a small planner.  I LOVE IT!!  I ordered this small lilac Kikki K from their website and I am obsessed!!  Currently Kikki K does not have any small planners available but they are release a couple new collections soon.  Keep your eyes open for them.  I heard one is copper!!  

Meet Kinsey!   I love how small but functional she is!  On the left side I keep my debit/credit cards, id and misc store cards.  She comes with 3 small pockets and a larger one that I keep cash and a couple checks in.

I made my "Well, Hello There"  dashboard from a Project Life Card* as with the heart clip.  For a small 6 ring planner she has a ton of space!!

The monthly inserts that came with the planner are a pink color.  Of course I jazzed mine up with Heidi Swapp stickers.  The planner comes with 3 dividers; monthly view, weekly view and addresses.  I covered the addresses divider and made it "important"  I store notes, receipts, etc in that section.  

Glimpse into my April monthly view.  The inserts themselves are basic but large enough to embellish.  I don't decorate this planner as much as my larger ones as I use this planner frequently and need the additional space.  

Weekly view.  Again, enough space to add appointments, to-do and notes.  

For a more detailed review and how I plan head over to my youtube channel.  :)  I will still be doing makeup reviews, outfits and crafts.  I am just adding a few planning videos :) 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Bookkeeping for Bloggers Part 1 Organizing, Income and Expenses

Disclaimer:  I am not a tax attorney, CPA or tax advisor.  I am a blogger sharing my tips with other bloggers.  Anytime you file your taxes you should seek the guidance of an accountant or tax expert.

I learned a very important lesson this year.  KEEP YOUR RECEIPTS!  I realized last year that blogging and youtube is a legitimate business for me that provides a small income.  With income comes taxes.  I thought I would share how i prepare, organize and provide you with some of my tips.

I can't stress enough to start your bookkeeping as soon as you start your blog.  What happens if your blog takes off and you want to deduct those expenses?  No receipt...... no deduction.


You can organize your receipts a few different ways.  When I purchase something that would be considered a expense I place the receipt in a different pocket of my wallet until I get home.  Once home I enter the expense into Freshbooks.  Freshbooks is a cloud based accounting software.  You can access it on the go, link your accounts and it is very user friendly.

I prefer Freshbooks to Quickbooks.  I think Freshbooks is FAR easier to use and it is made for service-based businesses.  Sending invoices, time tracking, and reports are so easy to use!  I purchase the Sprout package and it does the job :)

After entering my receipts into Freshbooks I file my receipts in a accordion file I purchased at Target. BOOM!!  Expenses done!

I track EVERYTHING.  I want to know how much I am bringing in and spending.  Business keep records and blogging is a business (if you want to make it one!).

Examples of my expenses:  Supplies, Design, Car Expenses, Phone, Internet, Education, Travel, Photography Expenses, and so on.


Blogging is a fairly new occupation and expending.  There are so many ways to make money blogging and you need to track every dime that comes in.  Uncle Sam will not be happy if you don't!

What counts as Income?
Sponsor income, advertising, affiliate programs, guest posting resulting in income, product gifts and so on.  Anytime you receive money or products it is considered income.

What about gifts?
Anytime a brand "gifts" you with a product it is basically in exchange for advertising on your blog.  The IRS considers this income.

Misc notes regarding income....
Thank you gifts from companies-  Any gift out of affection is not considered income via the IRS.

What about unsolicited products??
If a brand sends you a products that is not requested and you chose not to feature it it is not reported as income.  Any products that are sent to you by a company unsolicited and you feature them on your blog is considered income.


Deducting your expenses is a perk to blogging.  These deductions can help off set any taxes you owe and even help increase a refund.

As I mentioned above some of my typical expenses are; Supplies, Design, Car Expenses, Phone, Internet, Education, Travel, Photography Expenses, and so on.

Supplies include; post supplies, office supplies and anything I need to purchase for my business.  Supplies is a pretty broad category.

Web and Design Expenses:  Hosting fees, etsy fees, domain registrations, images, graphics and so on.

Car Expenses-  Mileage.  My car is paid off so I only deduct mileage.

Phone-  I deduct a portion of my cell phone bill as I use the internet on my phone to check email, get online and take business calls.  I only deduct the business portion as my phone is also for business use.

Internet Connection-  Similar to my phone I deduct a portion of my internet expense.  Being a blogger having internet is mandatory and honestly 80% of my time I spend online is for business.  Sometimes it is even more.

Education-  Education is so important when working in a industry that is forever changing.  Some of my education expenses include classes, ebooks, workshops, registration fees and misc education expenses.


Keep your receipts handy and accessible.  I keep my receipts handy year round until my taxes are filed.  This helps to remind me to keep up with my bookkeeping and you never know when you will need that receipt.

Don't forget to expense out contracted labor.  This can be your attorney, CPA, Virtual Assistant, Web Designer, etc.  If you pay someone keep track!

 The easiest way I found to track my expenses and income was to open a separate checking account.  Mixing personal and business can be tricky and messy.  Some banks will allow you to open a small business account with no fees if you have personal accounts there.

Visit my Instagram page for pictures of how I organize.  Follow me on Instagram for planning ideas, organization tips, quick makeup reviews and a look into my life.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Make Your Own Luck #misstrenchcoat

One of my new favorite bloggers is Alexis from Strange & Charmed.  Recently I've really gotten into a planning craze (checkout my instagram!) and I stumbled upon her youtube videos and blog.  Her blog is lifestyle blog full of tips and inspiration.  I seriously check her blog every single day.  I adore her photos, writing style and her youtube videos are long enough for detail but not a snoozefest.  Again, totally girl crushing right now!

Aside from her blog she also has a shop.  I recently ordered a Kikki K planner and as soon as I receive it I will be ordering a few things from her shop and I am considering enrolling in her "Empire Building"(business coaching).  I am making some serious changes in my life and my business will be one of them.

I will be talking about her business coaching in another blog post.  If you are curious please visit her site for more info HERE.  If you decide to enroll let me know!

Alexis creates printable for her shop and every month she pics a different topic.  This month her topic is "Make Your Own Luck" and it revolves around setting an important goal for yourself.  I snagged the picture below directly from her site.  If you are interested in printing your own copy please visit her shop.

After some thinking I decided I really want to share my goal with ya'll.  The last 6 months of my life have been busy, difficult and disappointing.  I am changing that right now on 3/9/2015 at 10:59pm.  

I am giving myself until 3/1/2016 to be fully self employed.  Some of you know I work for a financial firm and I love my job.  My branch manager is awesome, the reps are great and I enjoy what I do but I need to achieve more in my life.  Honestly, I am tired of driving into an office everyday and being stuck at a desk.  If I could only work in the office once or twice a week I would stay but I don't see that happening.  I've worked really hard for 8 years at my financial job and I will miss it but it is not allowing me to have the freedom I need.  I get my work done and do my job well but I need freedom.  

I am not a morning person.  If you wake me up at 6 am there is a good chance I may cut you.  I dislike mornings.  I am a walking troll until 10 or 11 am.  I barely can speak full sentences.  

My financial job is killing me.  2 hour a day commute, no time in the morning to walk my dogs, when I get home I am to tired to cook or work out, it is stressful,  I rarely eat lunch,  I only leave my desk for bathroom breaks and so on.  My branch manager is so great and understanding but he needs someone there full time.  I just can't be there full time anymore.  

As sad as that sounds I feel like I've achieved all I can with that job unless I want to be a advisor.  I am a firm believe in things happen for a reason.  Last year I decided I wanted to become an advisor and that didn't happen.  At first I was devastated but I got thinking....  Does someone have a bigger plan for me?  Would I truly be happy as an advisor.  

I hate money!  I hate budgeting, I hate listening to clients complain because they don't have enough money,  I dislike the stock market, I could careless about the economy and politics and most of all the pressure is to much for me.  So why did I want to become a financial advisor if I dislike everything about the industry?  Simple answer.... money.  I am currently paid VERY well and would be as a advisor also.  I've seen the good and the bad of this industry and I am over it!  

My goal in one year is to be fully self employed.  110%.  

I encourage you to download the free printable from Alexis.  Does anyone else feel the way I do about being self employed?  I feel like I know what I am passionate about and that is what I need to do.  It's time for Mandy Jean to focus on Mandy Jean.