This post is sponsored by Xero.com. All opinions are my own.
When I first started blogging I didn’t keep good money records. Yikes! I keep great records in my personal life, but the blog was something different. It was new. And basically I was only spending money, so I didn’t think it mattered to keep track.
Then tax time rolled around and it was sooooo hard! I didn’t have to PAY taxes (still it was a loss). But I needed to know how much of a loss to claim (and be able to back it up in case of an audit).
That was stressful! I vowed not to be so scattered next year.
That’s where Xero.com comes in. It’s an online accounting software that helps you keep track of your business.
Here’s a video that shows you how it works. It’s so simple. And you don’t need to have employees or a team to use it and make it work. It’s great for solopreneurs too.
(instead of just writing in a notepad or using Excel)
Trust me, I know. I LOVE Excel. I use it for everything. But it’s just not enough for keeping track of your blog or VA business.
Reason #1 – Make Tax Time Easy Peasy
It won’t take you months of sifting through emails and receipts to find out much you made and spent on your blog because it will all be in ONE PLACE.
Reason #2 – Keep track of the money
Know what you’re spending your money on and where you’re making money. Use easy to view charts and graphs to make sense of your business and make smarter choices.
Reason #3 – Make your invoices look a bit more professional than Paypal
There is nothing wrong with starting with Paypal, but Xero can make your invoices too so professional. You only get one chance for a first impression!
Don’t wait until your blog or VA finances are a complete mess. Start keeping track of things now.
Tip #1 – Do it now!
Here is my biggest tip when using any software to keep track of your business expenses – Enter it right away!
Don’t think – “I’ll remember it.” or “I’ll enter it later”
You WILL forget. Sorry, it’s true.
I keep all finance emails in my Inbox until I’ve entered the expense or income in Xero.
Whenever I get paid, it goes into my checking account app and Xero.
Whenever I buy something, it goes into my checking account app and Xero.
Tip #2 – Keep everything separate
If you don’t have one already, get a separate email address with your domain (you can get one easily through Google now), set up a separate checking/credit account and a separate business Paypal account.
It is so much easier at tax time, when everything is already separate! It will make the IRS happy and it will make you happy since you have less work to do.
Tip #3 – Set up Xero right away
You might be sensing a theme here. Personally I am a recovering procrastinator. I don’t know about you, but I know when I tell myself I will do it later, there is a 50% chance it will never get done.
So, a lot of my advice is always just – do it now. Get it done and then fix it later if you have to.
Don’t procrastinate. Set up your accounts right away so you can start using Xero right away. The sooner you get your blog finances organized, the sooner you can focus on doing more of what you love – blogging, right?
When you make your finances a habit – you set yourself up to win.