Accounting for Bloggers – Part 2

The last blog looked at some of the more common allowable expenses.  You can click on this link if you missed it.  In this blog I will look at some of the ways you can record your income and expenses. 

Most people are familiar with spreadsheets and this is possibly the easiest and most cost effective way to do it.  You can use the first page to record the income, the second page for expenses and if you wish, although not necessary, a third page as a summary. 

Continue reading “Accounting for Bloggers – Part 2”

National Insurance Recap

 

London Landscape

National Insurance Class 2 will be abolished from April 2019. So with only a year left and if you have been self employed at any point in the year, now is a good time to make voluntary payments via Class 2 in order to top up any shortfalls, if for example, you do not have your full 35 years of state pension.  This works out to be cheaper than paying the voluntary Class 3 NI.

Here is a recap on all the different National Insurance and what they mean:

Class 1

National Insurance Class 1 is the national insurance due by employed workers as long as certain conditions are met. It is paid by the employer through the payroll. Read about this in more detail in my previous post here:-

National Insurance Class 1

Class 2

Class 2 is the national insurance paid by self employed workers. You do not have to pay Class 2 if you earn less than £6,205. This is however, going to be abolished from April 2019 so you only have a short time to make any voluntary contributions to make up any gaps in your NI history. You can read more about Class 2 below:

The Pain of Class 2 National Insurance

Class 3

Class 3 National Insurance is a voluntary contribution that needs to be paid if you have gaps in your NI history. You need to pay 35 years of national insurance to be entitled to full state pension.

Why Pay Class 3 National Insurance Contribution?

Class 4

Class 4 national insurance is the NI paid by self employed workers when they have profits above £8,424. You can read more about Class 4 NI below:

Class 4 NI and your profits

 

Feel free to get in touch if you have any queries.

Tax-Return-Checklist

As usual, if you would like any further details on this or any other accountancy matters, please follow this link:

And your quarterly tax calendar for 2018 can be downloaded here:

Tax dates

 

Midsummer Holiday Blues

 

Live your dream

I’m sitting in the car waiting for one daughter to finish her piano lesson while my other daughter is reading my tax adviser magazine and I’m sitting on my laptop blogging! Hmmm… I wonder which generation we should worry about!

Anyway, this isn’t why I started blogging. We are half way through the school summer holidays and this is the first summer holidays that I will be working in an office job while juggling childcare. So far, getting to the half way point has not been too bad. The first week and a half, we went abroad on holiday, the next week and a half, the girls stayed over at my mums which is an hour away in a different town. That was incredibly hard as I missed them so much, especially as I had just spent 10 amazing days just chilling with them all day long.

Fourth week

This fourth week of the holidays, however, is proving to be a bit more difficult. They want to stay with me all the time. They don’t want to go to their other grandparents’ house or the summer camp I booked them in for which are the only choices they have. I had no idea how everything would work out over the holidays so I had back up plans for every day just in case something happened and I got stuck. Apart from occasionally questioning my reasoning for starting an office job when I could have been working from home and chilling with them over the summer holidays especially while the weather has been so good, it’s been ok.

Anyway, I’m at home two days a week so that helps. However, working in an office-based job does tie me down to our city which is fine most of the time but I do miss just spending holidays at my mum’s chilling with her or with my friends from back home and working around my summer social life. Oh well. I guess I can’t have everything and the grass does always seem greener on the other side.

Boundaries

I don’t, however, miss the lack of boundaries where I constantly worry about finding time to work and then working til late at night. It is good to have fixed cut off times for work. Plus, my daily hours fit in perfectly with the school run so for half the year, life will be good, the rest of them time I will enjoy the chaos.

However, the tax returns are looking good. I have completed quite a few of them and only have two big ones left to do. I still have a few last minute simple tax returns to do which usually don’t come til the last minute, however, they are usually quite easy to do so I don’t normally worry about those. Apart from feeling like I should be doing something more, everything generally seems to feel good at the moment.

 

Quarter 3 Planner – Free download and possibly the last one

It’s that time of the year again when I am planning on how to conqueror the next quarter in the most efficient way. With this in mind, I have created a new planner to cover the next three months. The majority of the next three  months will be the school holidays. It is the first one where I will be in an employed job so this will be interesting. Continue reading “Quarter 3 Planner – Free download and possibly the last one”

My Top 5 Accountants on Instagram

My top five favourite accountants on Instagram all happen to be women. It wasn’t a conscious decision to find just women but it does seem that there are more women out there starting their own business.  Maybe its the social media effect or maybe when you are so into something that is all you see.

Lately, while on Instagram, I’ve been finding quite a few accountants.  My initial thought was how is this even possible?  What kind of picture would you put up? Another P&L account. Maybe lots of numbers. Or Oooh! Look! The balance sheet balances!

However, these accountants are pretty normal and still somehow manage to make accounts look good on Instagram.  Sometimes, I wish I was starting my own accountancy practice now as it seems like a really exciting period to be a woman and become a sole practitioner.  Anyway, here’s my list of the top five (female) accountants that I have found so far:

Continue reading “My Top 5 Accountants on Instagram”

Blogging mojo

For a while, I thought I had lost my blogging mojo. Before I started this new part time job, I had written a batch of blogs to come out on a weekly basis for about six weeks.  Over these six weeks, I then proceeded to do absolutely nothing related to my personal blog.  Not only did I not know what to write about, I just didn’t have the time. Two part time jobs and a family to look after does that – unsurprisingly!  Continue reading “Blogging mojo”

15 simple steps to create a filing system for your accounts paperwork

These 15 simple steps to create a filing system for your accounts paperwork are aimed at self employed sole traders. You need to keep paperwork for at least 10 years in case you ever get an enquiry from HMRC. Being organised can help your accountant turnover the work faster and also resolve HMRC enquires faster, if you were ever in that situation. Continue reading “15 simple steps to create a filing system for your accounts paperwork”

First school holidays while working

Quote by Rachel Brathen

These are the first school holidays that I have had to deal with while working. I was so worried at the start but even though there is no real plan and I feel like I’m winging it, its not been so bad.

The one thing about them being older is that they are less clingy and letting them go to places is a little easier. Which is useful as this is the first time I’ve had to look into school holiday clubs. I did have their grandparents as back up before they fly off to India just in case either of them were ill or if anything happened that I couldn’t be there for them. Although this new place I work at do seem quite flexible and family friendly. They also allow working from home (which I will be doing soon!) so I don’t think it would be too much of a problem if for any reason I had to leave early as long as I attempt to make up the hours.

Holiday club

This week for 2 days the girls went to a football and fitness club. I was a little unsure about whether they would like football but the fitness part included lots of different activities like tennis, dancing and what seemed like rounders but they convinced me it wasn’t called that. Either way it sounded like fun, especially when my younger daughter came back proudly showing off her certificate for her effort in tennis.

It seems a bit pricey but at least I have something for the summer holiday if I need it or even if I don’t need it it might be something good for them to do once or twice a week in the holidays. I’m hoping, over the summer holidays that I might get some more flexibility with working from home because otherwise, I think I’m going to run out of holidays.

Being employed

Being employed is nice but it feels really strange working for someone at set hours with set amount of holidays rather than doing your hours as and when you feel like it. There are a few benefits though.  Rather than having to pay and do all my own CPD, I can now do it through work and possibly during work hours which feels like such a privilege and a relief. No more waking up at 4am and cramming in some online CPD.  I’ll need to find something else to do if I wake up so early!

Also, it’s nice to go into an office so close to home and talk and meet other people. Finally, once work is finished there is no (current) expectation to do more than your set hours which feels strange. Since I started working for myself, so that I could have the work/life balance I so crave for, I ended up working at any odd time. The boundaries of stopping work at a set time never really happened because I had the flexibility to do what I want when I want.

Once I’m in a routine and with working from home, I think it will get easier. The only thing I might miss is going to the girls shows and sports day and other stuff at school. I’m not too fussed about missing it to be honest but I think the girls might be disappointed. I’ll worry about that when it happens.

SATS

In other news, my daughter will be doing her SATs in May. Her reading and writing I’m not so worried about as long as she doesn’t rush. However, as a daughter of an accountant and an IT bod who both loved maths at school, we are a little disappointed that she doesn’t seem to have the maths gene and share the same enthusiasm for Maths. She is only 7 and so maybe we are expecting too much, too soon.

Homework

She says herself that she finds it a bit difficult and so this might be the one thing we will need to sit down and work with her. Although trying to get her to sit down and work is another thing entirely. Bribes with the iPad might come into play. I’ve only used it once so far but it worked out quite well and peacefully for a change! The alternative would be some sort of tutoring. Another perspective might help.

I don’t know how people do home tutoring.  It is something I randomly think about occasionally and I would love, in principle, to be able to do it but I don’t think I would have the patience to do so especially considering how hard it is to get them to do homework is. I’m so glad there are schools even though some days I feel like I spend more time in school events and meetings than I do anything else!