Keeping your home and office finances in order can seem like a full-time job in and of itself. It feels as though the rules are constantly changing. Then there is the technology, which is always changing, that adds a completely new and different element to the process of record keeping and financial planning each year. The good news is that technology can be instrumental in getting, and keeping, your financial matters in order – for the home and the office. So can various tactics like those listed below.
It is vital to have goals for your personal life just as it is for your business. In fact, both entities need short and long-term goals. Long-term goals for business can include things like tackling new markets, introducing new products, and starting new arms of the organisation – perhaps even franchising for small business owners.
Long-term goals for families and households include things like an RESP (Registered Education Savings Plan) for your children, starting a business, or even funding adventures during your retirement.
Business short term goals include things like purchasing new equipment, updating software, or even investing in services like GPS fleet tracking. Families also have short-term goals like repairing the roof, replacing appliances, and even going on family trips. For some families, buying a new vehicle might be on the list of short-term goals.
All these goals, whether for home or business or long or short terms have one thing in common. They all require a plan for achieving them.
Create a Plan
The key is to tackle each goal individually and to create a plan to accomplish that specific goal. You can work on more than one goal at a time. But each goal needs to have its own plan for success.
In business you can begin setting aside funds to purchase new cash registers, for instance, while simultaneously exploring your options for expansion locally, regionally, or even nationally. You do not need to sacrifice your long-term goals in order to take care of short-term needs.
The same holds true for households. You can set aside a certain amount of money for your child’s college, your retirement, and your new refrigerator. You might even consider contacting TD Canada Trust to help you set up a college or retirement fund. TD offers a wide range of financial services, including retirement planning, home mortgage lending, investment planning, and more. Put their knowledge to work for the benefit of your home and family.
If your needs are larger, or more immediate, you may need to take urgent action in the form of a second job, selling off some of your possessions on eBay, or even making items to sell. Another option to consider is offering a service to others in your community to earn extra income to achieve your short and/or long-term goals.
The plan needs to be actionable. It may be aggressive, but it needs to be realistic. Otherwise you’ll never stick with it and all the time and energy you invested in creating the plan will be wasted.
Set a Budget
In order to ensure that you are able to achieve the goals you’ve established and follow the plan you’ve created, you must often set a budget that ensures the necessities are dealt with so that you can focus time, attention, and money on your future goals as well.
A good household budget accounts for all the necessities (including spikes in electric bills for summer and gas bills in winter) as well as a few luxury items so that you don’t feel like you’re sacrificing too much in hopes of achieving your financial goals. You have to live a little. Create a budget that allows that.
Business budgets require some creativity too. Allow for room to reinvest in things like business brochures, employee perks, and giving back to the community. These are all investments in your business that will provide returns in the future.
Keep Your Finances in Order
Organised record keeping is essential for successful money management in homes and businesses throughout Canada. It also makes the entire process much simpler. These are a few small steps you can take to improve your record-keeping organisation and improve your overall financial situation over the long haul for your home and your business. Ensure that everything is organized with some simple upgrades at Staples. File boxes, organizational drawer inserts can make a frantic office feel decluttered and easy to work in.
Invest in Software to Assist
Intuit QuickBooks offers finance software for home and small businesses. For businesses, the service is second to none as Intuit offers a wide range of services designed to help your business stay on top of its finances. This includes things like software to manage your finances, payroll software to help you pay your employees, and merchant services that allow you to process debit and credit cards.
In addition to Intuit QuickBooks, there is also TurboTax software that is designed to simplify the tax paying process. Despite its necessity, no one really likes paying taxes. Software, like TurboTax that simplifies the process, makes it far less burdensome.
Pay Invoices/Bills/Creditors Quickly
While it may be tempting to hold onto money for the business or household for as long as possible, developing a reputation for paying your creditors quickly will aid you in your record keeping and leave them more cooperative to work with you when true emergencies arise.
From the record-keeping standpoint alone, paying creditors quickly means you know where your finances stand when the time comes to budget out necessities and luxuries for the month. Businesses can quickly gauge how much money they have left to reinvest in the business each month and this is a huge plus because it eliminates the guessing game.
Ultimately, this crucial step serves to ensure that creditors are paid each month – and paid on time. This eliminates concerns over late fees, too, and can help avoid higher interest rates on future purchases. It may, in fact, result in lower interest rates on future purchases by improving your personal or business credit score.
Work on Taxes throughout the Year
Some people wait until tax deadlines are looming to deal with all their tax information for the year. If you have invested in the software mentioned above, you have the tools you need to keep up-to-date records concerning your deductions, tax credits, and more. Keeping up with your taxes monthly ensures that all records are in on convenient location, reducing the risk of things getting misplaced, mishandled, lost, or destroyed.
Stay on Top of Money Owed to You
This is more relevant to businesses than households. Businesses must invoice promptly for services rendered and stay on top of invoices. Otherwise, payment could fall through the cracks and money could be lost.
On the other side of that equation, you must properly credit payments received promptly so that customers do not receive double billing or inaccurate statements from your company. Those can damage your reputation and may lead to public relations problems for your business.
Follow the Plan Month after Month
Whether you’re following your financial plans to achieve your financial goals or simply following a plan that will keep your finances and financial information in order, the key to success lies in consistently following the plan you’ve created.
Make a list. Mark your calendar. Automate the process whenever possible so that payments are automatically made and you don’t have to lift a finger. That way if you find yourself busy or caught up in other workplace necessities, the bills are paid on time, the invoices go out to clients, and your tax records are filed appropriately.
The more organisation you use when creating and maintaining your household and business finances, the simpler the process will be. Using software to assist in this process takes some of the stress out of these financial tasks and helps to ensure accuracy in your record keeping.
Ebates.ca can help you out with your finances! Be sure to check out the Financial Services section.