If you've set aside your hour this week to look at your money, here's what you want to do:
Review client payments
Download transactions into your accounting software (e.g. Quickbooks)
(You will need to have set up your accounting software with your Chart of Accounts so that you can categorize your spending and income appropriately.)
Record the checks you wrote
If you are feeling panicky:
Hire a book-keeper to set up your system! They don't cost much and can get you started with no fuss. Many accountants have book-keepers on staff to work with you, or can recommend someone.
Let's talk about how to keep track of your money on a daily basis to make your life easier later on. It's really easy to put these tasks off, but trust me when I say that you will be SO happy at the end of this tax year if you keep them up... Here's what you should be doing every day...
1. Save Your Receipts! On the top of the receipt write the deduction category of the receipt that matches with your chart of accounts. (Not sure what you should have listed? Check out our budgeting video for help! Or you can look here for a list courtesy of Quickbooks,) If this was a dinner or drink to talk with someone that meets the business expense threshold, be sure to write who you met with on the receipt as well as what you talked about.
For instance, if I'm spending $10 on lunch while getting a case consultation, I'm going to write "Dr. Helpful" on the top and the client's initials "case consultation: E.S." so if I get audited, I know exactly why I was there. Technically, most receipts under $75 don't need to be kept, but it's a great habit to save them all, especially since it's so easy these days. Want more detailed help? Here's what the tax-man says.
There are so many easy ways to do this now-a-days! Here are a couple options.
2. Track Your Mileage! Check with your accountant to confirm the rules, but here are some general guidelines for tracking your mileage:
I highly recommend downloading an app to make this easier. There are TONS to try out and choose from. If you use Quickbooks, there is even a Quickbooks self-employed app to use to help you track these expenses.
I'm currently using MileIQ and I love it because it tracks EVERY drive. That means I don't have to remember to turn it on! Which... I always forgot to do even after buying a decent app... but, MileIQ saves the ride, and then you just swipe right if it's a business expense. MileIQ is free to try, but costs a subscription fee to use regularly. Want a discount? Here's the link to my code to get one. (I'm not an affiliate, just a fan.)
Got a favorite? I'd love to hear!
3. Track Your Client Payments Tools like Simple Practice automate this but there's nothing wrong with a paper ledger, or an excel sheet. As long as you are staying on top of it and know who owes you what, you're good. Not staying on top of it? Time to dig into your history with money and asking for what you deserve (or believing you deserve money!!) with your therapist.
Bonus points: Got two seconds? Open up your business journal or calendar and jot down when you are going to touch base each month with clients who have month still due.
Transform Your Relationship with Food With These 4 Easy Eating Psychology Tips
by Peter Craig
After reading the title, you may be wondering, what is eating psychology? The term was created by visionary nutritionist Marc David, combining nutrition with the psyche of the eater. We are all eaters, and we are all emotional beings. Let's honor that our relationship with our bodies and food is not just a function of mind-power, but one of emotional cycles. Can you hear the overplayed mantra in our culture “Eat Less! Exercise more!” over and over? It's time to gain insight into our eating habits and transform our relationship to food by acknowledging our emotions.
The current paradigm of nutrition doesn’t seem to be working. It is estimated that over 95% people who go on a diet gain that weight back in 1 - 5 years or less.* We think that we can act like computers: less calories consumed + more energy expended = weight loss. Hooray! However, what about the mental struggle of dieting? How about the challenge of sticking to our diet even though our body says it’s hungry? What about stress?
It is estimated that emotional stress can reduce digestive function and absorption of nutrients by up to 75%!*
Catch that? Eating with less stress may be more important than eating the elusive “perfect meal.” This concept leads us to
Tip #1: Activate the ‘Relaxation Response’ as much as possible before meals.
I invite you to take a few deep breaths before you sit down to eat your next meal. Offer gratitude for your meal and those who helped create it. Allow yourself to come into the present moment and slow down. These actions will reduce over-activity in your nervous system and prime your digestion.
Now that we’re enjoying our relaxation response… Deep breath… Let’s learn
Tip #2: Slow down your eating speed.
I can hear it now, “I’m too busy at work to slow down eating.” Or “I’m just a fast eater.” Yes, I understand. How about slowing down just one meal a day? For all of you counselors out there, we can just call it a mindfulness meal. If you’re a ‘fast’ eater, try eating a ‘medium’ speed. If you’re a ‘medium’ speed eater, try ‘slow.’ You don’t have to change everything overnight; see what happens when you allow yourself to savor the flavors a bit longer and chew your food more carefully (Some say to chew 20x or more per bite!). You may notice that you feel full faster, or that you’ve digested your food better. Excellent!
Tip #3: Get in rhythm with your bio-circadian rhythm.
We're relaxed, we’re chewing slower, now what? If you can, eat around the same time each day. Your ideal digestion time is approximately 12 pm - 1:30 pm, when your digestive fire is at its peak. Find your own natural rhythm and your body will thank you. As you may or may not know, eating most calories at night can lead to excessive weight gain.
Tip #4: Honor your appetite.
In this sometimes crazy culture that worships thinness and is often so judgmental of different body shapes (for us guys too!), it’s almost as if your appetite is bad. Especially if you're on a diet, your desire for nourishment can become the ‘enemy.’ Sound familiar? Marc David calls this a ‘toxic belief’ that we may internalize from society, our parents, or others around us. In reality, your appetite is natural and essential! It is a beautiful metaphor - how attuned are you to your appetite for life? Eating may be a substitute for other kinds of experiences - intimacy, sex, social connection, pleasure, etc… (See my blog post about it here).
Eating challenges are doorways into a deeper inquiry about your relationship with your body and emotional needs.
There is no miracle diet. Yes, achieving macronutrient balance is important- getting enough healthy fats and proteins as well as complex carbs. Selecting high-quality ingredients is ideal, but if you’re increasing stress though unrealistic dieting goals, you can still actually put on weight because of the reduction in digestive capacity due to stress.
In closing, I invite you to honor your eating journey where it is right now. Not when you lose 5 pounds, or look a little different, but now. When we view our eating habits with just a little more curiosity and compassion, a small shift can happen over time that can change our lives.
“The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.”
- Carl R. Rogers
"Eating with awareness is the most important and powerful tool to transform your relationship to food and the body."
- Marc David
Interested in learning more? Please feel free to download my Clean Eating 101 Guide here or check out my blog here. You can also check out Marc David’s book, The Slow Down Diet here and his website here.
* Marc David, http://psychologyofeating.com/interesting-studies-reseach-and-resources/
No one likes looking at money... well, almost no one. If you've been watching my Instagram's stories you've been watching how I handle money. There are a couple really basic things that I know that I need in order to track my money.
1. Time. I know that I need a huge stretch of time to sit down and look at my money. I try to stay on a regular schedule: an hour a week, two hours at the end of the month, and a half-day or day every quarter. This means I'll be ready to hand over prepared documents to my accountant come tax time. For me, I do best when I have a stretch of time set aside so I don't feel rushed or pressured, and can just sit and focus. I hate to say it, but I really need a day set aside just for this when I'm not doing client work. Doing it when I have clients on the mind just doesn't work for me personally. It isn't important that you do it my way, just that you do it. Figure out what leads to success for you (e.g. coffeeshop? home with no one around? office with a yummy coffee?)
2. Energy. Guess what? If I'm feeling like crap and in the last two weeks of my cycle I am NOT going to look at money. Instead, I'm going to look at it during the first two weeks when my estrogen is rising and I'm in that "confident and positive" phase of my month. I'm not going to do it if I'm sleep deprived and stressed. Again, that won't make money decisions do-able. I'm very protective of myself in this way. Why make this harder than it needs to be? Plan for success.
3. Organization. The only way my quarterly peeks work is if I have been organizing my money as I go. If not, then when I'm sitting down to review money, I'm going to be doing book-keeping tasks instead. Not sure what I mean about book-keeping tasks? I'm talking about the week-to-week tasks of categorizing expenditures, attaching receipts, Make sure you are working on your expenditures and income regularly so that you don't have to undo a big mess later on.
Want to join me on this journey? Here's your homework: open up your calendar and schedule time to look at money. You will need: 1) An hour a week; 2) Two hours at the end of the month, 3) Three hours at the end of every quarter. Schedule it now and you'll be able to stay on top of your money all year long!
Next week on the blog I'll be talking you through the weekly steps of keeping track of your money, so stay tuned!
In the next few weeks I'm going to be talking on Instastories about how I track and organize my money, so if you aren't on Instagram, now's the time to do it! Find me @launchwellnessaustin!