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Posts Tagged ‘financial’

The Christmas Rush

24 Dec

Credit: www.phlmetropolis.com

For most people, it seems, the Christmas rush begins in earnest the day after Thanksgiving and runs on through Christmas Eve.  This is a tradition, just like folks shouting “Hey ya’ll watch this!” and proceeding to blast away three fingers with a small explosive device in celebration of The 4th of July (here in the U.S. of A.)

During this time people go into combat; the mission; to seek out and acquire the perfect gift for everyone on their list of close friends and family.  Yes, friends, there is a reason that merchants rub their hands together gleefully as the pages get torn from the calendar, counting down the weeks to Shopping Season; it is the one time of the year that hordes of people will spend with abandon.  It is well documented that most large merchants make around 50% of their annual income in that roughly 8 week period. Read the rest of this entry »

 
 

The Next Big Thing in Microchips

22 Oct
RFID microchip for animal implantation

RFID microchip for animal implantation

There has been a considerable amount of talk, speculation and fear-mongering going on about the next big leap in personal information and records keeping, namely: microchipping.

Recently I’ve read articles, watched clips of talk shows and seen many YouTube videos on the subject of placing microchips in people.  Some say it’s a great idea, some have concerns over privacy, and some are yelling “Mark of the Beast” and quoting scripture.[1]

Microchips in Pets

As a pet owner I have been, and continue to be, a proponent of having pets chipped: this vastly improves the chances or your pet being returned to you if they somehow get away from you and lose their collar or tags.

These chips store a 12 to 16 character alpha-numeric code.  That’s all.  When a scanner triggers the microchip, it transmits its code and the signal can be read for a distance of up to 10 centimeters (about 4 inches).  The veterinarian or animal shelter then uses the code shown on the scanner to query a database[2] over the internet which returns the name, address and phone number of the animal’s registered owner.   But why chip people?

Read the rest of this entry »

 

AFFLUENZA

10 Oct
Calvin S. Metcalf     “Affluenza” is a make-believe word which could describe an ailment which afflicts us all at times.  It could have its origin in the word, “affluence,” which means the over abundance of material things.  Of course, there is no such word in the dictionary but the condition still exists.  We can easily become obsessed with the need to have things and perhaps more and better things than anyone else.  We find ourselves addicted to prosperity in such exaggerated proportions that it affects our mental, emotional and spiritual well-being.  Our diseased “wanters” create an unhealthy ambition which has a devastating effect upon our physical stamina.
     Perhaps there is no better way to describe this condition than to call it “affluenza.”  It is a disease which has epidemic possibilities.  “Affluenza” is highly contagious because it attacks our ego systems where greed, jealousy and snobbishness make us vulnerable to is infective power.  Once the disease has invaded our need to feel important, we can no longer accept the prosperity of others.  We develop a long list of folk we consider competitors because they have offended us by their affluency.  We become locked into a disease which is fed by an arrogant spirit.  
     Once the rat-race begins, few if any folk have the courage to forfeit.  It is a matter of pride even though our materialistic addiction spends us into bankruptcy.  The economic structures of our society keep infecting us with “affluenza” in order to keep selling us things.  We are gullible to the point of losing ourselves in an attempt to make an impressive display of what we do or do not have.  It is so easy to become victims of our own fantasies and be caught in the web of our own ambitions.
     The only cure for the exhaustion of “affluenza” is a commitment to Jesus who puts things in proper spiritual perspective.  There is a spiritual dimension to prosperity which honors God with our affluency.  Humility  as well as integrity build up our immunity against “affluenza.”  When Jesus is truly Lord, our need to impress others is lost in a sense of servanthood.  We no longer feel superior because we have more.  We find meaning and joy in the fact that to whom much is given much is required.  There is a stewardship about life which cures our “affluenza” and adds greater value to everything we own.  So, in everything we give thanks. 
 
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Posted in Matters of Faith

 

The Economics of Simple Living: Less Debt, More Life

18 Jan

It is popularly said that “Money is the root of all evil.” But, Dear Reader, I can unequivocally state that money itself is not evil.  Having money does not make you a bad person.  Rather it is the pursuit of more and more money, the lusting after money; greed that produces deleterious effects in people.  Greed is the root of evil.

money, cash, moolahMoney is just another tool to be used in bartering with others for what you need.  It simplifies the process of life by offering a universally accepted medium of exchange.  Instead of trading eggs for flour or firewood for meat, you trade your efforts in your area of expertise for money, then trade the money for the things you need to support yourself and your family.

Using money as a bartering medium is far more convenient than exchanging physical goods, especially since so many people these days produce no physical goods.  I’d say the vast majority of American citizens support themselves as service providers not goods producers.  They may be Payroll Administrators in a corporation, or County Tourism Directors, or Network Administrators in a hospital, or a cook in the local grammar school, or even a laborer in a factory that does produce goods, such as furniture.  But at the end of the week, they are not paid in sofas and chairs.  What a good thing *that* is! Read the rest of this entry »

 
 

Tax Tip: Automobile Expenses for Writers

22 Mar

We welcome back accounting professional and author, Brigitte A. Thompson as she continues her helpful advice to writers with a tax tip.

business, bookkeeping, accounting, legal forms, writer, author

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Automobile Expenses for Writers

Driving to the local office store to purchase writing supplies can generate a tax deduction with proper documentation. This is what you need to know.

The miles that you drive which are related to the operation of your business, or the actual expenses required to maintain your automobile can generate tax deductions. This is one of the most overlooked tax deductions for writers.

You will need to choose one method based on the options below. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted in Tips, Tricks & Tools

 

This Business of Writing: Recordkeeping

19 Mar

Today, Dear Reader, we continue the series on the business of writing and welcome back Brigitte A. Thompson as she shares her professional advice as an accountant and author.

business, bookkeeping, accounting, legal forms, writer, author

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Bookkeeping is an essential part of the business of writing and includes storage of receipts, invoices, statements as well as all the required documents to substantiate both income and expenses.

Business Recordkeeping Options for Writers

To justify expenses, it is important to establish a system of recordkeeping that works for you. Some things need to be recorded daily, while others can be done weekly or monthly. It is imperative that you get into the habit of saving and recording everything related to your writing business. All invoices, receipts, credit card slips and bank statements are essential documentation that should be kept. Read the rest of this entry »

 

This Business of Writing: Ordinary and Necessary Expenses

12 Mar

Today, Dear Reader, we continue the series on the business of writing and welcome back Brigitte A. Thompson as she shares her professional advice as an accountant and author.

writer, author, business, bookkeeping, accounting

All rights reverved: iStockphoto.com

Bookkeeping is an essential part of the business of writing, especially identifying and tracking expenses. Business expenses are considered an operating cost.  The more legitimate business expenses that we can document, the lower our tax payments will be.

Ordinary and Necessary Business Expenses for Writers:

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires that our writing expenses be ordinary and necessary in order for them to be acceptable. An ordinary expense is defined as common and accepted in our profession. A necessary expense means we need to spend this money in order to operate the business. The expenses must not be considered extravagant. They must be an essential part of doing business as a writer. It is important to differentiate between personal expenses and business expenses.  Read the rest of this entry »

 

Tax Tips for Writers: Business Meals

08 Mar

We welcome back accounting professional and author, Brigitte A. Thompson as she continues her helpful advice to writers.

business, bookkeeping, accounting, legal forms, writer, author

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Writers may choose to meet with their agents over lunch or they might arrange to meet a subject to interview at a local bagel shop. The cost of the meal can be a tax deduction with proper purpose and documentation.

1. The primary purpose of your business meal must be related to your writing business.

2. You must conduct business during the meeting such as discussing the storyline of a new book or determining which publications are interested in your current article.

3. Be sure to save the receipt. It should contain pertinent information such as the name of business, location, date of the meeting, time, who was present, total charge, and how it was paid for. You can use the back of this receipt to record a summary of what was discussed.

The amount you can deduct is limited to 50% of the actual unreimbursed costs. The IRS is considering an increase in this amount to allow 80% reimbursement. As of this writing, the deduction has not been raised. You can Visit the IRS Web site for updates.

accounting, bookkeeping, author© Brigitte A. Thompson, Datamaster Accounting Services, LLC
Author of Bookkeeping Basics for Freelance Writers available on Amazon:

The information provided is intended to be general and based on the Federal Tax laws of the United States. As such, it is subject to change. This information is not intended to be used as a substitute for financial or legal advice. Be sure to consult your tax advisor on all tax matters.

 

This Business of Writing: Accounting Methods

05 Mar

Today, Dear Reader, we continue the series on the business of writing and welcome back Brigitte A. Thompson as she shares her professional advice as an accountant and author.

business, bookkeeping, accounting, legal forms, writer, author

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A business can be operated under one of three methods of accounting; cash, accrual, or hybrid. The IRS will be automatically informed of your choice when you file your first business tax return. If you decide you would like to change your accounting method, you will need to get approval from the IRS using Form 3115, Application for Change in Accounting Method which is available on their web site IRS.govRead the rest of this entry »

 

This Business of Writing: Legal Organization

27 Feb

Today, Dear Readers, we begin a series of posts by accounting professional and author Brigitte A. Thompson of Datamaster Accounting Service LLC.  Please make her welcome as she shares her expertise with us all.

business, bookkeeping, accounting, legal forms, writer, author

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Writers work in all different genres and write for a variety of media outlets.  Some of us are business writers, others create romance novels and many write articles for magazines or copy for web sites.  Putting words into print is our profession, but dealing with the financial aspects of our writing business can be challenging. This series of blog posts can help!

Legal Organization for Writers

There are several forms of legal organization to choose from when establishing your business. The most common form for a writer is a sole proprietorship, but there are other options. You should understand the choices and speak to a lawyer, accountant, or tax preparer to find out which option is the best for you. Read the rest of this entry »