Just like clockwork, I filed for my yearly tax extension yesterday.
See, I have a bit of an admission to make which is that I really hate numbers and money or any combination of the two. Design Crush has been a business for nearly ten years and an LLC for more than half of that, and I’m honestly just getting a hold on my books now. It’s always felt extremely overwhelming to me, and so I’ve never made the time to fully understand and grasp what was going on behind the scenes. Money in the bank? Great. Set aside enough of that payment for taxes? Done. And that’s basically the extent of what my plan has been until this year.
Accounting got to the point of being a constant source of stress, a point of mental wellness that needed addressing. So I reached out to FreshBooks after sitting in on one of their workshops, they made accounting seem both easy to tackle and far less overwhelming than it had up until this point.
I’ve teamed up with FreshBooks to bring you the story of my journey this year as I tackle the financial side of Design Crush – and what better time to start than Tax Day?
Let’s start from the beginning.
When I first logged into my free one month trial I was immediately impressed by the clean layout. One thing that’s always kept me away from other accounting software is the sheer amount of information being thrown my way visually. FreshBooks was actually designed to be simple to use for the self-employed and easy to navigate, and that’s actually what it is. It became apparent – quickly – that I was about to be far more streamlined as a business as soon as I familiarized myself with the system. (On average users save 16 hours per month!)
I played around backlogging invoices from January 2017 to the present, marking the paid ones off and entering the information of the brands I work with most often for future billing. FreshBooks helps you to create a professional looking invoice that includes your logo, as well as sends out reminders when one goes overdue – basically taking you out of the role as the bad guy. (I love this.) You can even personalize a thank you message that goes out once each invoice is paid. Now this feature is like magic to me, you can set up your account up to accept credit cards! *mind explodes* If you’d like to dig even deeper you can add additional charges for late payments and request deposits from clients. Everything can be automated, making invoicing as painless as humanly possible.
Invoicing features: customization, payment reminders, automatic late fees, accept credit cards, recurring invoices, flexible due dates, handle received invoices, discounts, deposit requests, preview before sending, multi-currency billing, multi-language invoices, duplicate invoices, automatic tax calculations
Next thing, I photographed receipts and uploaded them to mark as expenses. Being a visually-driven person, it really helps that I’m able to see both the actual receipt as well as the file in FreshBooks. Nearly all of the functions include a line graph spelling things out for those of us who comprehend information better in that form. In this case I can tell immediately how much I’ve been spending and how profitable Design Crush is at any moment. Goodbye shoebox of receipts and manual entry! My accountant is already thanking you because he won’t be receiving a handwritten list for my 2016 taxes. *cringe*
Expense features: receipt attachments, tax-friendly categories, easy to read summaries, remembered vendors, multi-currency tracking, easily editable
So, this is the start of my journey. I’m looking forward to sharing more of what I learn along the way as I step out of my comfort zone and tackle this neglected area of Design Crush. If you have any questions about FreshBooks I’d love to try and help get answers for you from their award-winning rockstars in customer service. In the meantime, you can sign up for a free monthlong trial right here!
This post sponsored by FreshBooks. All words and opinions are my own, as always. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Design Crush creating fresh content!Posted In behind the scenes, living, office, sponsored post
1/ a black cast iron fondue set for your cousin who wants to borrow yours
2/ a set of four brew espresso cups for someone who can’t stop won’t stop
3/ a chic candle snuffer for your mom who always has one burning
4/ a ceramic flask for your uncle who loves the outdoors
5/ a double ended highlighter set for the students in your life
6/ an Esym scent pod for your best friend’s stocking
7/ a pair of gold agate bookends for your aunt who’s a librarian
8/ a Juniper 37G knife for your friend who always has one in their pocket
9/ a Lomo Instant Sanremo + 3 lenses for your dad who loves photography
10/ an overdue notecard set for your grandmother who still writes to her childhood friend
11/ a maple sugar cube for the sweet-tooth
12/ a set of four frosted stout beer glasses for your friend who loves craft beer
13/ a One iOS lightning charger for the workaholic
14/ a SOMA glass water bottle for your super healthy aunt
15/ a Soundflex bluetooth speaker for your friend who bikes every weekend
16/ a standing pen for the one who’s forever asking to borrow one
17/ a torq nutcraker for your grandfather who loves snacking on nuts by a fire
18/ an acrylic chess set for your best friend’s uber smart kiddo
19/ Wild Medicine soap & crystal for your boho pal
20/ a bottle of winter oil bath for the one who needs to slow down and relax
Do you ever get an overwhelming feeling to toss everything and start over? My last big clean out was two years ago during my last move, and over the past few months I’ve had a visceral feeling that it was time to go through everything again.
I’m currently over halfway through the Marie Kondo-ing of my things – the kitchen, living room, guest room, bathrooms, and master bedroom have been sorted. About half of the castoffs have been given away and the rest are sitting in my finished attic waiting to be sold or donated.
But the room I was dreading was my office.
As a blogger I work out of a home office, and it often ends up as the room where submissions, samples, and products for projects get tossed. In other words: the Dump Room. Just walking into it made my anxiety jump a few levels, which definitely isn’t conducive to productivity.
We’ve written about Poppin before, and you might’ve seen them yourself in some big box stores. The New York-based brand is a leading manufacturer of workplace furniture, as well as those brightly colored supplies you’ve likely seen, supported by the belief that everyone deserves to work happy. (That’s something we can all get behind, isn’t it?) Their well-designed, clean-lined pieces were a perfect match for my office, and I chose two white Stow 3-Drawer File Cabinets to tackle my biggest issues: organizing and decluttering.
These powder-coated steel beauties showed up completely assembled and ready to rock – all of Poppin‘s furniture is always in stock and ready to ship asap – and I got right to work storing office supplies in one and craft and tech in the other. A bonus: one lock protects all three drawers! I chose white to match my desk, but the Stow Cabinets also come in a bevy of other colors.
Everything else went into boxes on these shelves – notecards, notebooks, washi tape, etc are all hidden away nice and neat. The only things left out are the ones I need access to often, like pens, markers, and greeting cards.
Tip 1: If you forgot you owned it – toss it.
I came across plenty of things that I either never remembered purchasing or thought I’d thrown out long ago. You’ll never have an easier decision.
Tip 2: If you don’t use it on a weekly basis – store it.
There are lots of items you own that are only get used occasionally. Tuck those things away in drawers, closets, or pretty boxes that are preferably labeled.
Tip 3: Don’t keep duplicates.
Extra supplies (Sharpies, tape, etc) excluded, you usually don’t need more than one. Get a new printer/camera/coffee maker? Get rid of the old one right away.
Tip 4: Donate it.
Guilt played a huge role in my entire decluttering process. My mom gave me this. I remember what I was doing that one time I wore this. I could maybe use this again if… Pass on your wealth by donating these loved but unneeded items.
Tip 5: If it’s broken, throw it away.
You’re not going to fix it. In fact, if it’s that important of an item you’ve probably already replaced it. To the trash can you go, end of story.
This post sponsored by Poppin. As always, all words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Design Crush creating fresh content!Posted In behind the scenes, living, office, series, sponsored post, tips + tricks
Parentesit is a collection of modular wall panels that both aid in reducing sound and add a geometric visual element to whatever space they’re in. Choose from three shapes – circle, square, and oval – as well as several colors, or a step further and include the customizable ambient light and speaker to make them even more functional.
Posted In living, office, technology
Being as I consider myself a bit of a stationery aficionado, I’m sort of amazed that I’ve never written about Appointed. It’s only been about a year and a half ago since the American-made brand of luxe utilitarian desktop products funded themselves on Kickstarter. All of Appointed’s paper goods and accessories are thoughtfully handcrafted with the finest of materials, making functional synonymous with beautiful. Be sure to check out the classic-yet-modern monogramming they offer as well!
Posted In create, living, office, paper goods
Bride & Wolfe’s Mesh Series Shelves are a range of powder-coated steel shelves with perforated patterns, perfect for adding decor or storage to your walls. Choose from various shapes – circles, rectangles, triangles, and a shield – to add some pizzazz in a graphic way.
Posted In house and home, living, office
Designer-owners Amy Pastre and Courtney Rowson are creating amazing things for desktop, tabletop, and travel. Within the past year or so I’ve become a massive fan of these ladies and what they’re doing over at Sideshow Press. Amy and Courtney believe in great design and craftsmanship for everyday products and are dedicated to working with remarkable materials and like-minded American manufacturers. All things I stand behind wholeheartedly. It doesn’t hurt that they know their way around a letterpress machine like a couple of bosses either.
Posted In accessories, cocktails, create, entertaining, house and home, living, office, paper goods, style, wear it