Pre-half term holiday sickness

A week before the end of the first half term, the girls started taking it in turns to be ill. First off, the youngest one has a cough and cold and heartrendingly asks me ‘Why do I always get ill?’ I really don’t know but she does seem to get coughs and colds a lot more than my older daughter. Maybe it’s because she’s still young. Continue reading “Pre-half term holiday sickness”

Happy New School Year

Happy New School Year!

This was an interesting summer holiday juggling work and childcare for six weeks. In so many ways I’m glad they are back to school. We can get back into a routine and they are not just sitting at home doing not a lot. However, I miss the mid-week lie-ins, half-hearted pyjama days and the no rushing around whatsoever. Continue reading “Happy New School Year”

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.

 

7 things I hate about going on holidays abroad

Don’t get me wrong, I love going on holidays abroad but there are a few things that I do hate.

1. Coffee

For some reason, wherever I go, even if its to Costa, I don’t generally like coffee. I prefer my own version of coffee using a kettle and coffee from a coffee jar. I’ve never been a big coffee drinker in that I need to drinks lots to get through the day and recently I’ve cut back on sugar, although after going on holiday it has gone up again. However, the first morning I got there, I was craving some coffee and nothing tasted good enough. Continue reading “7 things I hate about going on holidays abroad”

The 7 Year Cycle

As I’m sitting on the train back from London for what could be the last time in a very long time, it’s starting to feel like an end of an era. Working from home, for a company in London, has been the best thing I have had in a long time, and looking through my CV, it is also the longest job I have had to date.

Continue reading “The 7 Year Cycle”

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”

Digital Retox Course

Digital Retox is a course delivered by Digital Mums, a social media training company that is specifically aimed at mums to make them work ready and still have the flexibility of working from home.

Every year when the social media manager course comes up on my emails asking if I want to do it, I contemplate, decide that I’m not really ready for this and then watch the price go up.  They created a new pilot course but I still didn’t do it, they created another pilot course and this time I jumped at the chance.  I’m so glad I did as it was a really interesting course and it was quite nice to talk to people on google hangouts and see them and realise that it is quite possible to work remotely and still be connected. Continue reading “Digital Retox Course”