Bookkeeping 101

Bookkeepingboring, right?! 

What if I told you that accurate and up-to-date bookkeeping is as critical to your business as your kick-ass marketing strategy?

Bookkeeping can be daunting, so let me break it down for you:

  • WHAT: Bookkeeping is the process of recording and organizing financial data within your business - a.k.a. Show me (where) the monaay (went)!

  • WHEN: Regularly. Depending on how many transactions you have, you can do bookkeeping monthly or even daily. I suggest doing it weekly, at the minimum. Otherwise, transactions accumulate, overwhelm creeps in and then we give up.

  • HOW: Cloud-based accounting software and receipt-capturing apps. There are tons of free and paid options out there. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with good ol’ Excel but trust me, these apps are so smart and user-friendly, you’ll wish you’d hop on the tech sooner! For most of these apps, all you need to get started is access to your bank account and your phone (to take pictures of receipts). More on these apps in a future blog post.

  • WHO? You. Don’t tell your bookkeeper/accountant I said this, but with the help of technology, a simple process and a lot of discipline, you totally got this. While hiring a bookkeeper has a time and a place, it’s helpful to learn how this process works… just like how you learned about sales, operations and marketing when you first got started.

  • WHY: Regardless of who does your bookkeeping and how, the goal here is to finally have the best information to make smarter business decisions! No more birdbox’n it like Sandra B, if ya know what I mean.

If you’d like to learn more about how cloud-based technology can help you manage financial data, stay on top of bookkeeping and make tax season a breeze, join me on October 19th for my Bookkeeping Bootcamp workshop in Calgary. This workshop is designed to help you actually do the work.

It’s perfect for DIY entrepreneurs, side-hustlers and small biz owners who want to get their finances organized once and for all. 

As an added bonus, sign up for my email updates and get 20% off your ticket to freedom from procrasti-bookkeeping :)

3 concrete ways to start saving money today!

Summer is officially over (crying face emoji).

Time sure does fly when you are having fun and while I will miss my lazy summer days, I’m excited for autumn.

Perhaps it’s the change of season, or because I’m a mom, but there’s something about September that signals a fresh start. And what better way to hit refresh than sorting out your finances? I’m sure we can both think of a few more exciting activities to rejuvenate our spirits but you’ll thank me once your savings start to grow.

Here are my three easy methods for saving money every month:

1. Pay yourself first. Put away 5% of your take-home earnings into savings. If 5% is not feasible or realistic, start with at least 1% and increase by 1% each quarter. 

2. Automate. Set up an automatic withdrawal each pay period or at the end of the month. This automation will ensure your money is safe from any impulse unplanned spending.  

3. Protect your savings. Take it a step further and move your savings to a separate bank. Preferably to an account without a debit card or online banking access. Make it inconvenient for you to access that money. Out of sight, out of mind! 

The psychology of money

How does money make you feel - stressed, anxious, happy, excited, empowered? All these feelings are normal and we all go through them. Although we often associate money with spending, saving and planning for the future, money is more than just that. Money is also psychological! Our emotions and behaviours towards money today are deeply rooted in our childhood and family influences.

The key to a healthy and positive money mindset is self-awareness. So the next time you find yourself in a negative space with money, follow these three steps: 

  1. Acknowledge and accept the facts. The hardest step as it is requires us to stop avoiding and procrastinating. 

  2. Practice gratitude. Hands down, THE quickest way to change your focus from negative to positive. 

  3. Flip the script. This is where we take action. Set some goals - big or small, just make it happen!

Tell me in the comments below what emotions and behaviours come up for you when you deal or think about money. What childhood or family experiences influence these responses? What are you going to do about them?

How to save money this summer

Oh Summer, where to even begin?! Summer is easily my favourite time of the year. Here are four tips to keep financial stress out of your summer memories:

  1. Local events - You don’t have to leave the city for summer entertainment. Take advantage of low-cost or better yet, FREE, events in your neighbourhood. Visit your local events calendar or tourism websites to see what’s good in the ‘hood.

  2. Cancel your gym membership - Outdoor workouts are my favourite! Go for a bike ride, round up the crew for beach volleyball or outdoor basketball, hike up some mountains and go for an outdoor pool swim. The possibilities are endless!

  3. Redeem your miles - Use travel miles, rewards or cash-back to book your summer getaway. To save even more money, let’s not forget about those credit card perks - free nights, free upgrades, insurance coverage, etc. 

Keep utility bills low - Turn off the A/C when you’re not home. At night, open your windows and use a fan to circulate cooler nighttime air. Electronics and other equipment generate heat too, so turn them off when not in use.

Spring clean your finances

Spring is one of my favourite seasons! I always feel like I get a new lease on life. Spring signals the end of tax season, which means I have more time to relax, declutter my space, work more seriously on that summer bod, and it’s also a good time to hit refresh on my finances.

Here are 3 ways you can spring clean your finances.

  1. Audit your subscriptions. I’m talking Netflix, Hulu, Audible, Spotify, Amazon Prime, Diet/Fitness apps, BarkBox, and the list goes on! Look through your bank and credit card statements and tally ‘em up (don’t forget the annual ones). Are you surprised at how much you’re actually spending? The next step is to cancel anything unnecessary or redundant.

  2. Reduce your credit card limit or better yet, stop using your credit card! Take a set amount of cash when you go to the mall, grocery store, or when eating out. Also, delete your credit card information from your shopping profiles (ahem, Amazon - I love/hate you). By doing this, you are removing the temptation to overspend.

Implement the 72-hour rule. This is one of the best ways to curb impulse shopping and tackle overspending. The next time you want to buy something, wait 72 hours before adding it to your cart. During this waiting period, ask yourself: Do I actually need this? What else can I use this money for? Can I get it for less? Giving yourself this time-out will help you reevaluate whether or not you really need to buy the item.

What to do with your tax refund

We did it! We survived personal tax season. The most exciting part about tax season is getting that tax refund - am I right? While receiving a refund may feel like a bonus that we want to splurge, is it really a bonus if it was your own hard-earned money all along? Here are five financially smart ways to use that refund:

  1. Pay down debt - start with highest interest or your most stressful debt (what keeps you up at night)

  2. Invest - don’t underestimate the power of compounding, start now!

  3. Create a rainy day fund - work towards having three to six months worth of your typical living expenses 

  4. Pay it forward - give to your favourite charity or share with someone in need

  5. Have fun with it - save towards a much needed vacation

Can’t decide where to put your money? Don’t stress! With proper planning, you can do all 5! Always remember that money takes time, so don’t wait until you’ve paid off all your debt to start saving for your retirement or rainy day fund. The key to building wealth is to start today!