When it comes to running my business, I’m an alumnus of the School of Hard Knocks. But
when it comes to getting my taxes together,
I’d rather clean toilets at Yankee Stadium.
Over the years I’ve used the excuse of “I’m
an artist” or “I’m just so busy” to justify
everything. When you start to fall behind,
it’s easy to bury your head in the sand and
say to yourself, “I’ll deal with it next week.”
Problem is, it doesn’t get better, just worse,
and if you find yourself in a situation where
you don’t know what to do, it’s always best
to ask for help. The IRS does not care that
you are overworked or that you don’t have
the money for that quarterly tax payment
because your client turned into a deadbeat.
So, when my editor asked me to write
something money-related for this issue, I
got a little queasy; I’m the last guy to offer
business advice. I do, however, think I have
some real-world knowledge to share.
Here are nine ways to save money in 2014:
1If you don’t like your accountant’s ad- vice, get another opinion! I don’t know
what it is, but I seem to need to fire my accountant every four to five years, or threaten
to do so. Make him or her work for you, and
if your gut says he or she isn’t doing a good
job, it’s probably true. Don’t bury your head
in the sand. The problems won’t go away.
2Save! If you’re not putting money into your savings, you won’t be saving anything. I don’t care if it’s $5 a week (there have
been weeks when that’s all I put away), you’d
be surprised how rewarding it is to save.
3Pay cash for everything. Don’t buy things you can’t afford with your credit
card. My good friend Zack Arias calls it
G.A.S. (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) and
I’ve had terrible bouts with it. There’s nothing worse than paying 12 percent interest
and taking five years to pay it off. Trust me,
if you add up those interest charges, it will
make you sick to your stomach.
4Rent what you can’t afford to buy. Companies like LensProToGo are affordable and stocked with everything you
need. Rent what you need, however, and
don’t go overboard. This was a big mistake
of mine. Do you really need the latest version of that DSLR, or will the previous version work just fine for much less money?
5Pay your bills on time and stay on schedule! Late payments, interest
charges from the tax man, rush charges
from labs and extra hours for employees all
6Do the math. Seriously, when was the last time you sat down and figured out
how much it costs to run your business?
Sure, you’ve heard this advice before, but
do you know what it takes to keep your
business going on a daily basis? Are there
places you can cut costs (i.e., do you really
need that cup of Starbucks?). I call this the
7Buy in bulk! Costco and Sam’s Club memberships can be the small business
person’s best friend! But, be warned: Don’t
arrive at these stores hungry, or rushed! I
can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked
out with that industrial-sized bin of Cheesy
Poofs! You don’t need Cheesy poofs, so put
Taking Income Tax
by the Horns
| FROM THE CUBICLE |
By Jason Groupp