Tag Archive | work at home mom

Get a Grip on Your Green by Tracking Expenses by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

 by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

 

A good expense tracking system should be part of every mom’s repertoire, but this is even more important for a work-at-home mom.  Not only are you chief financial officer of your household, but you are also adding business expenses into the mix.  Here’s a quick look at a few methods to help you get a grasp on your green:money

 

Receipts

 

No matter what method you use to track your spending, receipts are a must to claim your business expenses as a tax deduction.  You can use your receipts to track your spending at the same time.  Keep all your receipts in one spot, and then set a date with yourself to review them at regular intervals.  Categorize each receipt based on the transaction type, and then enter the totals into a spreadsheet or financial planning software on your computer.

 

Calendar or Notebook

 

Write your expenses down on your calendar each day, or in a small notebook.  At the end of the month, tally everything up and categorize it as you see fit.  Record the results in a separate notebook or on your computer.  A computer will give you a leg up when you are ready to review your budget.  You can easily produce graphs and charts to compare your target budget with your actual spending.  Plus, there is less risk of losing your work when you back it up.

 

PDA

 

Most PDAs have an expense tracking program built-in.  If yours doesn’t, check the web for free software downloads.  Keep your PDA handy to easily record transactions throughout the day.  Assign your expenses a category and your monthly budget review will be a snap.  Don’t forget to backup often.

 

Check Register

 

If you use a check or debit card often, use your check register as an expense tracking tool.  Let your bank do some of the work for you.  You’re statements will make it easy to review your monthly spending.  Canceled checks will leave a nice paper trail, if you ever need one.  Be sure to record everything on the spot, especially debit card transactions.  These are more likely to get lost in the mix.  Balance your checkbook regularly, and you’ll be good to go.

 

Source:

 

(2009). What Tax Records to Keep.  Retrieved March, 10, 2009, from the Internal Revenue Service Website:  http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=105111,00.html.

 

www.sandrabeck.com

www.motherhoodincorporated.com

 

Fear and The New Year by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

by sandra beck

One of the most common comments I get from mother’s working from home is “aren’t you afraid?”

The answer is yes. Constantly. But to use the title of a very powerful book by Susan Jeffers – You need to feel the fear and do it anyway.  It is really easy to sit back and be afraid. When you are afraid you don’t have to act. When you are afraid you don’t have to try. You don’t need to do much but hide.

However, the costs of hiding are high. The longer you hide at home, the harder it is to get out.  I have talked to women from all over the US and Canada that have the same issues. Once you go home to raise your kids, its really hard to do anything else. Mostly because you feel you can’t because you are not employed by some “company.” A lot of times we get confidence from the company we work for or the title we hold.

The thought of running your own company scared the heck out of most moms, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Recntly, I watched the holiday specials with my kids and there was a song in one of the claymation Christmas videos. It’s message was simple. Put one foot in front of the other – and soon you’ll be walking out the door!

This is good advice to any mom who is thinking about working from home, who is working from home or who is considering a change in her work environment. We all know as mother’s that baby’s learn to walk by crawling, cruising and toddling. Yes, some stages take longer than others and every child is different. Well the same goes for us.

If you want to make this new year better by changing what you are doing – simply put one foot in front of the other.  And fear, yes that will be with you ever step of the way but use that energy to motivate you, not defeat you.

www.sandrabeck.com

It's 3:00 a.m. … Do You Know Where Your Mom Is? by Elisa Garcia

My daughter, Alina, certainly knows my pre-dawn whereabouts. She’s 2. Well, two and a half, as she’d say. And, obviously, she’s asleep right now, just like most Americans (excepting, of course, public service staff and mothers of newborns).But if my daughter were awake, and, more importantly, not in the midst of a two-year-old tantrum, she’d peer at you sweetly from under fringed doe eyes and point delicately up to the ceiling.“Sshhh,” she’d say. “Mama’s at work.” Then she’d roll right over and go back to sleep, thank you very much.It’s 3:00 a.m. And as usual, I am upstairs, whiling away the wee hours before a computer in a makeshift guest room/ home office adorned with construction paper and crayon scribbles, partner, daughter, dog, and cat snoozing peacefully away. I don’t know why, but I have always been a graveyard shift type. It’s when I perform at my optimal level. Back in college (way, way back, like, late 1990’s), I worked the third shift from 5:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. for a 24-hour answering service. Then I’d slog to my dorm room and sling back a few Diet Cokes while I cobbled together a last-minute paper due in hours. Now, years later, I’ve come full circle, though a little has changed; my drink of choice is now flavored coffee, and I’m a 30-year-old mom, not a 19-year-old coed. But, otherwise, here I am, still plugging away while the rest of my house sleeps.It wasn’t always like this, though. Ten years ago– heck, four months ago–, I, too, would have been asleep, albeit restlessly, dreaming of spreadsheets and monthly quotas. In a few hours, I would have risen and listlessly, rotely, gone through the motions of donning a suit and dropping off my daughter at day care before logging in ten hours at a job turned career I dreaded. Then, like millions of women, I would have commuted over an hour to my cluttered suburban home, mashed together a marginally healthy, probably microwaved, vegetarian meal, and then whisked my toddler to bed, all in two to three hours. Then repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. But what choice did I have? I was the breadwinner, the family moneymaker stuck in a booming industry, scared of never, ever having enough.

Then came the crisis of consciousness, the crushing realization that my daughter was already almost two-and-a-half, and that things would likely be the same when she hit ten if I didn’t change something fast. Basically, all tedious details aside, I had a mini (midlife?) breakdown. But a good one. A few (major) changes and a few (thousand) talks with my sometimes still skeptical partner, and here I am, typing at 3:00 a.m., bringing home the (soy) bacon in a setting that couldn’t be further from the conservative corporate climate I coped with for ten long years. Admittedly far from lucrative (yet), writing is now my family’s bread and (non-dairy) butter. Sure, I work late and unpredictable hours. Sure, there’s tons of (unpaid) overtime, and, yeah, I double as the office cook, maid, and chauffer. And, yes, I’m constantly hitting the (virtual) pavement, and constantly drafting late-night proposals and pitches, and constantly facing rejection. And at the end of my shift, I’ll sign off and sleep for a couple of hours before beginning my second job: heading down to the kitchen, brewing more coffee, and slapping some hotcakes on the griddle.

But I’ll do all this in slippers, not heels. And in a few hours, my daughter and partner will pounce out of bed, smiling and savoring the smells of Mama’s frugal but hearty breakfast, the fruits of my labor. And then it won’t matter that I’m tired or that my current freelance earnings are less than a quarter of my prior cushy salary. Or that we eat out once a week, not four. Or that we sip Sanka, not Starbucks. Or that [insert sacrifice here]. How many other moms no longer have to worry about negotiating an impromptu sick day with an unsympathetic boss? How many other moms are blessed enough to find their personal niche, support their family from home, and enjoy the freedom of taking their child(ren) to the park on a midmorning Monday?

Thank heaven I’ve found my calling.

 Elisa and Alina

So You Want To Start Your Own Company?

Congratulations! You want to work at home. The good news is that you can! I do! I own a company called www.motherhoodincorporated.com. You can start one like mine in your own neighborhood! I am not trying to sell you anything or get you to join information…I am simply providing the information I wish I had provided to me when I started my business. If I can help one mom stay at home with her kids I have done my job~!

Like millions of other woman across the world, I am sure you’ve come to the realization that right now home is where you either want to be or need to be. This blog is designed to get you working at home in a way that makes sense for you and your family.

It may have been a bumpy ride getting here. Like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, you may have experienced a wild ride of people telling you that you need to get additional training or buy a bunch of expensive equipment; the real world equivalent of being told to find the wizard or steal the witch’s broom. But just like Dorothy, you really don’t need any of that to get home.

In the movie, Glenda the Good Witch finally breaks down and tells Dorothy the secret – It seems a little cruel that she doesn’t tell her in the beginning – what’s so “good” about sending someone on a wild goose chase? But eventually Glenda “The Not so good Witch” spills the beans. It turns out that all Dorothy ever needed to get home was the rubber slippers and she’d had them the whole time. The same is true for you. Can you guess what your rubber slippers are? You’re a busy mom, so we’re not going to send you on a treasure hunt through a forest and watch you be attacked by flying monkeys. I’ll just tell you. Your rubber slippers are your computer. That’s right; all you need to begin working at home is your trusty computer and an Internet connection.