Switching Homes? Make Your Move a Successful One

Moving homesMoving is stressful; there are very few people who have a 100-percent anxiety-free move. There are things that you can do to make moving as stress-free as possible. If you want to have a successful move, there are tips to follow. Here are five of them:

1.Book Your Moving Company

The American Moving and Storage Association tells us that summer is the busiest time for professional movers. If you are planning to move between May and September and will be using a moving company, find one and book your dates now. This will ensure that your dates will be free and you won’t have to adjust the time of your big move. If you’re not moving during the busy summer months, still plan to give any moving company that you choose a six-week notice.

2.Try to Overlap

If it’s possible, overlap the close of your home with the move into your new home. Try to give yourself a two week cushion. This will give you time to paint walls, replace carpeting and make minor, necessary repairs to your new home. A cushion will also allow you to move slowly rather than all at once. When you do this, you can move one room at a time, unpacking as you go. Moving in this manner ensures that your new home will be set up and ready to live in when it’s time to vacate your old one.

3.Purge

Before you pack, take a good look around your house and get rid of anything that you don’t use. The general rule of thumb is this: If you haven’t used it in six-months, and it’s not a seasonal item, it can go. There’s no sense spending time and energy moving your unused items into your new home. Whether you sell your belongings, give them to charity or recycle them is up to you; just make sure they don’t make the move with you.

4.Utilities

Two to three weeks before your move, contact your utility companies. You’ll want to have your old utilities shut off and your new ones turned on. If you call ahead of time, you won’t have the hassle of living in a new home without lights or heat. Try to set up your appointments for a day or two before you move into your new home. This will ensure that you aren’t inconvenienced by schedule changes or problems that arise with your hook-ups.

5.Cleanclean house

There’s no sense putting your items into a dirty house. Before a single box makes its way into your new home, wash the floors, clean the cupboards and wipe down the walls. As you’re unpacking, wipe off your belongings to remove any dust that settled during transportation. You aren’t going to want to spend a week unpacking and another week cleaning. Cleaning as you go will save you time.

You can’t make your move completely hassle-free, but if you follow these tips, your move will be as easy as it can possibly be. Make appointments ahead of time, overlap your move-out and move-in dates and get rid of clutter before you pack. For more tips on a successful move, contact your realtor for assistance.

About the Author 

Robin Knight writes for real estate blogs. If you live in the DC area, click here to find out more about homes in Alexandria.

Tax Cutoff is Approaching, Is Your Business Ready?

The CEO

Tax Cutoff is Approaching, Is Your Business Ready?

Getting a small business off the ground can put enough on your plate without having to think ahead to tax season. But if you’re new to owning your own business, you might not be prepared for how complicated small businesses taxes can be and how much you need to take them into consideration all year long. Keeping accurate books and records will not only help you in the event of an audit, it will also make sure you get the most deductions possible. Tax deductions can be a huge financial boost to a new business, or at least a good way to avoid owing too much, and you might be entitled to write off more than you know. Maximizing your deductions plus avoiding traps associated with filing business taxes can often make for a delicate balance.

1. Get Help – You Need It!

No matter how savvy you think you are with the tax system, you shouldn’t prepare your business taxes alone. Doing taxes for your business is actually very complicated and can often involve a lot of paperwork and a lot of math, and if you make serious mistakes, they can cost you in later audits. Government rates and percentages for how much you can deduct are constantly changing, and there are probably rules about what you can deduct and how you report it that you simply don’t understand. In fact, the sooner you get help with tax preparations, the easier the process of filing your taxes will be. Finding a good accountant should be one of your priorities once your business starts to take shape. You may need a reliable bookkeeper too, if your company’s financial dealings and clientele become too extensive for you to keep track of your records.

2. Special Deductions and Potential Problems in Year One

Your first year as a business owner can be slightly different than your subsequent years when it comes to how you file taxes. The biggest pitfall for new businesses are the estimated tax payments that you submit quarterly. Your estimated payments are based on how much you expect to earn during the year, but if your business is brand new, it can be really difficult to make an educated guess. If you pay far too little, you could end up owing a lot of money at the end of the year. But you can also write off many of the costs involved in forming your business – the Small Business Job act of 2010 permanently raised the amount of startup costs that first-time business owners can deduct to $10,000. That’s a good reason to keep your receipts.

Catching up on e-mail…

3. Knowing What You Can and Can’t Write Off

With all of the clients, meetings, and business excursions that can happen in a year, it’s easy to get mixed up with what you can and can’t deduct, and you might not even intend to. Remember to keep business receipts for strictly business activities. You can write off meals and entertainment events as long as they are directly related to client meetings or other business purposes. Even the amount of automobile deductions you make is directly related to how much you use your car for business. All personal driving is invalid. The good news is that there are plenty of things you can write off that business owners sometimes forget. You’re entitled to the home office deduction as long as you have a true home office, even if you don’t do all your work there. If you’re self-employed and paying for private health insurance, you can also deduct 100 percent of the cost.

As you can see, there are a lot of things to consider when it comes to filing business taxes. You need a reliable accountant or tax preparation service to make sure you understand what your records really mean as far as what you owe and what you can be refunded. Getting a head start on thinking about these issues can change the future of your business for many tax seasons to come.

 Guest Contributor

Charles Hoyt blogs about financing at for mckinleyplowman.com.au. If you’re getting your business ready for tax season, look into more information at http://www.mckinleyplowman.com.au/content/migration/uk_pension_transfers/67.

Live Frugally to Stay Sway From Debts

By Guest Contributor:  Jack Reed

Debt is a serious issue in the US today. The national debt clock ticking away at a frightening fast pace is a testimony to the fact that the US is indeed not in a good economic state. A major reason for this scenario is that most of the people have no sense of control over their finances. Using credit cards and spending beyond one’s means has almost become a fashion today. No wonder why a large number of Americans are resorting to debt relief programs. So where does the solution lie? It is just you who has the power to bring your finances under control and the best way to achieve this is to start living frugally!

First of all, get rid of the wrong idea that being frugal is cheap, it’s not. Rather it is smart! When you practice frugality, you make reasonable and economic choices for yourself. So if you are hesitant to take the first step towards frugality then read on to know how you can go about it.

1)    Try the do-it-yourself approach: What is the first picture that comes to your mind if you see your faucet leaking? By most chances a plumber. We have become so used to paying others to get our things done that we fail to realize how much we can save by a do-it-yourself approach. If you are a little uncomfortable with that then you can even check out your local home improvement store which conducts free home repair workshops. Take the help of a friend or research on the internet with a quick search to fix your problems. With this approach, the person who gets paid at the end is you, with a pat on your back!

2)    Stop being too brand conscious: People fancy buying branded stuffs. You can very well end up paying a lot more for a simple pair of branded shoes than what you would have paid had you purchased it from a normal store. Brands might provide you with better quality stuff but it is really not worth to lighten your wallet so much. Unbranded stuffs are the way to go and the good news is nobody really bothers to notice what you are carrying with you!

3)    Don’t let the Joneses bother you: So you are jealous of your neighbor’s shiny new car? It does not really matter how others choose to live their life. You are your best judge, know what you can afford and tread accordingly. You can always spend on things you fancy but before that you need to build up a healthy financial picture of yourself. If your neighbor has the new car and shows it off as an achievement then you also have something to show off- you are free from debt! And you know yourself which is a bigger achievement, got the point?

4)    Prepare a handy list of your finances: Keep a track of your income and expenditure. Know the areas where the major chunk of your income is utilized, it could be food, insurance, bill payments etc. You don’t really need to give up on the little luxuries of life but some compromises are worth it. It is perfectly fine to indulge once in a while but you should be careful to stay within your budget and trim your expenses from other areas if necessary.

5)    Avoid cards as far as possible: This is an old advice but the best and the most prudent one. Credit cards do tempt you to spend beyond your affordability. Make use of cash to ensure that you never become a victim of credit card debt.

Do not be hesitant to practice frugal living. It is your guide to living better for less. It is a wise adjustment with your finances and lifestyle. So get geared to try the frugal side of life so that you can always enjoy being debt-free!