March is for Money
By Amy Mercer
Tax season is upon us and if you are anything like me, your chest constricts at the very thought of how to organize your freelance jobs and expenses. Take a deep breath. A part of taking care of yourself is being financially responsible, not just for tax time, but for always.
Put aside some time, when the kids are in bed or at school, and use a resource like Turbo Tax or Microsoft Money to organize your writing related income vs. expenses. It will make you breathe easier. If you work from home, there are many tax write off’s you might not even know about, such as that play room/office, or even all those writing magazines you subscribe to.
Financial worries are not uncommon for us stay at home mama writers, and easing or managing our financial stress is a necessary part of taking care of ourselves.
- One of my favorite features of Microsoft money is the “set up your spending limit” tool. Groceries are the biggest expense next to the mortgage in our house, and I breathe easier knowing Microsoft money is helping me keep an eye on my grocery bill. There are also all kinds of budgeting graphs and pie charts to customize for us visual learners as well.
- Invest in Turbo Tax, it’s only 29.95$ (or free for simple forms) and it walks you through your taxes step by step.
- Read “Tax Time Tips for Freelancers” (http://www.mediabistro.com/articles/cache/a9574.asp) from Mediabistro.
- Start teaching your kids about money and you just might learn something yourself. Read Jeff Opdyke’s weekly column about balancing family and money as a writer, “Love and Money” (http://online.wsj.com/article/love_and_money.html) in the Wall Street Journal.
- If managing money raises your blood pressure, make an appointment with a financial planner. Do your research; there are affordable options available for every writer mama.