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Having a home business is a great way to earn extra income to pay off debt or meet your savings goals. I've had a number of home businesses over the years–as a direct sales scrapbooking consultant, selling on Ebay, mystery shopping–and the two I have now, blogging and babysitting. Working these side hustles helped us pay off $87,000 in debt, and now they're helping us reach our financial goals of saving for retirement and college. But when you work multiple businesses (or even just one), you need to stay organized.
I use binders to organize all kinds of paper around the house: recipes, my household (budget, insurance info, etc.), the kids' medical records, my volunteer jobs (like swim team) and more. Using a binder makes filing papers and receipts away so much easier than letting them pile up to later be filed in filing cabinet. I keep mine in a cabinet in the living room so they're used almost daily! The binder system is the perfect way to organize for tax time–for direct sales, house or pet sitting, tutoring, or any other home business. Whether you do your taxes yourself (raising hand) or bring them to an accountant, using a binder system will make sure everything is organized and accounted for, saving everyone time and trouble.
To set up a binder system, you'll need:
- Three-ring binder
- Three-hole punch
- Dividers (I prefer the kind with pockets to hold loose receipts)
- Paper! For me, that's the forms I use for my babysitting business
- DYMO LabelWriter® 450 Value Pack (it comes with 4 LabelWriter label rolls)
One of the keys to staying organized is regularly tracking your income and expenses. With my babysitting business, I don't have many expenses, so I can get away with a one-page form to track any money going in or out. I only needed four main sections in my binder, with my availability calendar in the front section. I hole-punched all of my information forms, attendance sheets, notes about tax deductions, and these income/expense forms and inserted them in the binder.
For businesses with more to collect, I recommend a larger binder and dividers that run Jan-Dec so you can separate income & expenses into months. You'll love using the DYMO LabelWriter 450 to create labels for file folders and binder dividers. I appreciate eliminating the waste and hassle of sheet labels. In fact, you'll love it for all your labeling, filing and mailing needs. One of the four label rolls in the Value Pack is shipping labels–perfect for your Etsy or Ebay business, or anytime you're sending mail. You can even connect the program to your mailing list in Excel, Outlook Contacts or Mac Address Book. So easy!
I'm also using the DYMO LabelWriter to keep our personal tax info organized in my household binder. By collecting receipts for donations throughout the year, they're easy to input come tax time. I have another pocket divider to collect tax forms that come in the mail, like W2s, mortgage statements, property tax payments, and any other deductions where we need to show payment. Make sure you have a specific place for everything, so that you'll know where to put paper when it comes into the house. You will LOVE being able to find it when tax time rolls around. Besides the many household uses for the DYMO LabelWriter, it will help you stop procrastinating and save time preparing for taxes.
Setting up the DYMO LabelWriter was super easy. I had it operational in minutes, and the DYMO Label™ software was so simple–just (1) choose your label size, (2) type in the text, and (3) click Print. I love that there's no ink (it uses thermal printing technology), so moving forward you only have to replace the labels. The Value Pack comes with a variety of four label rolls (shipping, file folder, multipurpose, and appointment cards), so you can get right to work. You can create custom labels from 60+ label styles and layouts, perfect for branding your home business. And I love that it has a “sleep mode” to conserve energy (since I have a sleep mode, too!).
You'll find the DYMO LabelWriter 450 Value Pack at Staples in the same aisle as the other small machines (like laminators). And Staples has the best deal, because when you buy the Value Pack, you' re paying for the 4 label rolls and getting the LabelWriter for FREE! See how other home business owners are getting organized at DYMOandDone.
What is your home business?
How are you organizing for tax time?