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Posts Tagged ‘The Money Book’

Welcome to Toolbox Saturday where you’ll find tools for various things from writing to whatever.

How often have you overspent on a “deal” that was guaranteed to help increase your income, but left you broke instead? How many times have you lacked the funds necessary to buy that eBook that could teach you ways to improve your marketing strategy?

If you’re like most Independent Authors, myself included, the times for either scenario are many. So what can you do to safe-guard against those ups and downs in your finances and take control of your spending?

Read the rest.

This blog, The Road to Writing, will be discontinued Dec. 31, 2011. If you would like to continue receiving great tips and inspirational posts please remember to subscribe to my new blog by RSS or email for LOL Mondays, Spirit Wednesdays and Toolbox Saturdays.

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Welcome to Toolbox Saturday where you’ll find tools for various things from writing to whatever.

The saying goes, “A fool and his money are soon parted.” I’ve lived that saying for a long time, unfortunately, so when I saw The Money Book by Denise Kiernan and Joseph D’Agnese I wondered what sage (unusable) advice I would find between the covers. I wondered if it was going to be another Rich Dad, Poor Dad, a book that promises to give you secrets to accumulating wealth, but never delivers.

To be honest, I first picked it up because I liked the cover (remember the 8-second rule?). I decided to take a look inside when I realized they were speaking specifically to people like myself, a part-timer trying to make enough to eventually go freelance.

Read the rest.
This blog, The Road to Writing, will be discontinued Dec. 31, 2011. If you would like to continue receiving great tips and inspirational posts please remember to subscribe to my new blog by RSS or email for LOL Mondays, Spirit Wednesdays and Toolbox Saturdays.

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Death and taxes, the two unavoidables in life. Thankfully there are people and web sites out there to help us slot all those numbers in the correct places on the correct forms and keep us from having to visit with a friendly IRS agent because we’ve gotten “creative” with the numbers. Here are 7 links to help you understand how to do your taxes:

  1. The IRS — this one seems rather obvious. It’s their forms, their rules, so it makes sense to check out their site for answers to our questions.

  2. Tax Advice for Writers by Bonnie Lee — simple to read and easy to understand with a great section on hobby-loss information

  3. A Fool And Her Money — depending on when you’ve started getting your tax-related material together, The Money Book may be more helpful for next year’s tax season, but it’s a resource worth investing in

  4. Tax Tips for Writers a guest post by Jessica Monday — more information on what can be used as a deduction including what can happen when you sell your house

  5. Tax Tips for Writers Freelance Income Reporting by Rachel Campbell — includes information on deductions and what forms writers need to fill out

  6. Tax Tips for Freelancers by Julian Block — a short, but excellent article on bad-debts that can’t be deducted

  7. Taxes and The Writer by Daniel Steven — information on accounting methods, types of income and forms, as well as another list of deductions

Doing taxes can be frightening and overwhelming, not to mention disappointing if you have to pay instead of getting a nice refund, but it’s unavoidable on The Road to Writing.

I’d love to hear from all of you. Besides checking with a good tax accountant, what other tips do you have for doing taxes?

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I’ve been thinking about moving into a full-time freelance/independent author career a lot recently. The question that keeps coming up, though, is, “am I willing to give my all?” Being self-employed means independence — at a price. That price can be financial security. Being your own boss can be great, but unless you’re ready to face what it takes to be independently employed, you might be better off sticking with your day job for a while.

So what does it take? Planning. You don’t necessarily need to be debt free, according to Michelle Goodman, author of My So Called Freelance Life, but you do need a plan or you’ll spend your time hopping from one unsatisfying gig to another rather than living your dream. Michelle’s common sense, down-to-earth advice is to forget writing down lofty ideas and “think tangible, realistic, bite-size pieces.” Having a goal to write the next bestseller is a great ambition, but how are you going to get there? That’s your plan.

For instance, my goal is to become fully self-employed by a certain date. To get to that goal I’ve written down three steps: 1) finish my WsIP, 2) submit articles to Constant Content and other freelance web sites, and 3) monetize my blog once I move it to its new domain. I will break down each of those steps into monthly, weekly and daily steps. After writing those down, its only a matter of working my plan… and perhaps rewarding myself for a job well-done. Although accomplishing a goal should be its own reward, it never hurts to dangle a carrot in front of yourself. (I plan on going out for a nice lobster dinner. 🙂 )

Beyond setting down a series of steps on how you will reach your ultimate writing goal, you’ll need to assess your financial status. One of the best resources I’ve found in helping you figure out just what your financial state looks like is The Money Book. It’s a no-nonsense approach to looking at past financial blunders and realizing there is a better way to handle your money — a way that includes saving for those inevitable emergencies on a fluctuating income.

If you’re over your head in debt, you may need to keep your day job while working on becoming a full-time independent author. J.D. Roth of Get Rich Slowly took his steps into the world of self-employment in stages, cutting back the time he spent at the box factory a little at a time after all his debt, except his mortgage, was paid off. At the moment, that’s my plan as well: pay off everything except the largest debts before leaping into being a full-time freelance/independent author.

Living your dream is possible, but having a solid plan before you drop the safety net can mean the difference between succes and failure on The Road to Writing.

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I don’t know if Major League games actually end due to rain, but I know Little League games do — or used to. (It’s been awhile. :)) It seems that sometimes our writing time does to, though it’s usually not because it’s raining outside.

Last Friday afternoon was on of those days for me. I was trying to work on Prayerfully Yours, when all of a sudden my laptop quit. There were no error messages, no warning of any kind. It just suddenly turned itself off. At first I thought the power cord had come loose, but it hadn’t. Seeing no other apparent reason for it to shut itself off, I decided to restart it, hoping to at least be able to back up what I had been working on. My laptop, however, had other ideas. It refused to stay on. It simply looped itself through the restart process.

To say that I was near panicking at that point would be an understatement. All my work, past and present, was on that one machine and nowhere else. If it quit I had no idea if I would ever be able to retrieve all that information, nor did I know if I could even afford to buy a new laptop right away. So I did the only thing a frustrated non-techie writer could do. I hit the stupid thing.

Okay. It wasn’t my brightest moment, but it made me feel a little better. Tantrum over, I calmly thought of other solutions and , in the end, was able to fix the problem. (At least I hope I did.) What I gained from this unpleasant ordeal were two lessons: 1) always back up your work and 2) it’s imperative to get your financial house in order and establish an emergency fund. Had I done either of these I wouldn’t have panicked. I still would have been frustrated, but at least I would have had a plan.

Long story short, if you haven’t started backing up your work do it now. And if you haven’t read The Money Book by Denise Kiernan and Joseph D’Agnese take time out of your busy life to do that as well. You’ll be grateful you did both when your computer decides to take an unannounced hiatus from work on The Road to Writing.

Update: One possible way to backup your important files is to use CD’s and DVD’s. I’ve found, however, that I don’t like having multiple disks taking up my space or needing to remember to backup my files. I opted to use Mozy.com‘s online services. It’s pretty simple to use once you’ve downloaded the software and it checks your files regularly to see if changes were made and need to be backed up.

The only downside I’ve found thus far is that, if you don’t feel comfortable spending about $5 per month on their unlimited services, you only get 2 gigabytes free. I honestly believed I had less than that until I went to back all my files up. Turns out Mozy wants to back up everything, multiples of files included. That meant spending an hour manually deselecting the files I didn’t need just to bring to space consumption down to under 2 gigs. I’m a try before you buy kinda girl, so, even though it was a hassle to do some manual manipulations, I think the service is worth the effort to find out if $5 a month would be a waste or a reward. Otherwise it’s back to space hogging CD’s.

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How often have you overspent on a “deal” that was guaranteed to help increase your income, but left you broke instead? How many times have you lacked the funds necessary to buy that eBook that could teach you ways to improve your marketing strategy? If you’re like most Independent Authors, myself included, the times for either scenario are many. So what can you do to safe-guard against those ups and downs in your finances and take control of your spending? Budget.

If your primary goal is to continue to improve yourself, whether that means your writing or how you market your product, having money allocated specifically to continued education assures you that the money is there when you need it without having to ask the dragon (aka credit cards) to fit the bill. Using a budget for those funds also forces us to think before we buy.

Michael Martine of RemarkaBlogger suggests in his post “The Most Important Question You Need to Stop Asking Yourself“* that you first set training goals, something specific like learning how to take advantage of social media to market your book, and then take a look at how you spent your “training” money in the past year. (If you’ve read The Money Book you’re a step ahead already.)

From there he tells us to set our quarterly budget by taking the amount we’re comfortable with spending over a year and dividing it by four. As Michael says setting a training budget helps us decide between what is a good buy and what would make us “the victim of others for their gain.”

What I really like about this approach is that, while we’re setting a spending limit, it’s based on past experience. As Simple Life in France puts it in “How to budget for inspiration not deprivation” by building a budget at the end of the month, or in this case upon last year’s spending, “your budget is just an honest friend here to tell you the truth about the way you spend your money. You’re making observations, not judgments.” As my mentor, FlyLady Marla Cilley, says, in order to improve ourselves we need to get rid of the “stinkin’ thinkin’.” That means not beating ourselves up each time we overspend, but rather making an effort to do better this month.

If you want to budget for your continued training, basing it upon last year’s spending and reviewing it at the end of each month can be a real stress reliever, especially when you can congratulate yourself for staying within your limits on The Road to Writing.

*This is a cached copy via Google. I was last able to access the RemarkaBlogger web site on June 29,2010, at 2:30 p.m.

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The Money Book

The Money Book for Freelancers, Part-Timers, and the Self-Employed: The Only Personal Finance System for People with Not-So-Regular Jobs

The saying goes, “A fool and his money are soon parted.” I’ve lived that saying for a long time, unfortunately, so when I saw The Money Book by Denise Kiernan and Joseph D’Agnese I wondered what sage (unusable) advice I would find between the covers. I wondered if it was going to be another Rich Dad, Poor Dad, a book that promises to give you secrets to accumulating wealth, but never delivers.

To be honest, I first picked it up because I liked the cover (remember the 8-second rule?). I decided to take a look inside when I realized they were speaking specifically to people like myself, a part-timer trying to make enough to eventually go freelance. The very first example the authors shared felt almost like a story from my own past. I was sold. I immediately found out if I could by it on Amazon for less than Borders was asking for it, which I could. So I shelved the copy I was perusing, went home, and bought a used copy.

From there it’s been an exciting ride of digging out past financial statements, cringing before lists of foolish purchases and working diligently on putting together a plan to make a go of it — financially speaking. (My husband thought their no nonsense language regarding credit cards being “dragons” we must slay was particularly well said. :)) I’m also looking forward to increasing the percentages we’re able to sock away for ourselves in the various savings accounts Kiernan and D’Agnese suggest those of us “with not-so-regular jobs” open.

The Money Book plan is so simple, I think even we can follow it, which is a great big step in the right direction on The Road to Writing.

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