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Archive for November, 2015

Financial Goals To Shoot For In 2016

As we’ve done the previous 2 years, this is our year end, or close to year end, attempt to get you looking at setting some financial goals for the upcoming year. Two years ago we talked about setting goals like budgeting, saving money and increasing income. Last year we looked at 2015 financial goals of generating more income, paying off a significant bill, and finding something to give up to help you grow your money.

Personal finance
Creative Commons License Alan Cleaver via Compfight

Thus, it’s time for 3 more goals to look at, while still incorporating those old goals. After all, those are important, and if you worked on any of them you’re way ahead of the game by now. Yet you’re not done; not sure if we’re ever done. So, let’s look at 3 more things to shoot for in 2016.

1. It’s time to look at protecting your future. This could be seen as saving money but, though that’s a part of it, it’s not close to being enough. This time we’re talking about things like buying life insurance, possibly purchasing long term catastrophic life insurance, checking on your health and automobile insurance, and of course having someone talk to you about your pension or social security.

If you haven’t done any of these things you probably should. If you’re young you definitely need to do these things because they’ll cost you less to invest in now. If you’re older you need to know where you stand when you’re ready to retire.

2. This isn’t necessarily a financial goal for you but your family; it’s time to set up a will. This isn’t the easiest thing to have to deal with mentally but it’s potentially one of the most crucial. Many people think that their spouse will automatically get everything once they pass away and that the spouse will do “the right thing” in distributing assets to other family members.

Unfortunately, it’s not quite that simple. Even if there’s only one person who could possibly get all the assets the government is going to get involved. If there’s no will the process gets uglier and the potential recipient might not have the resources to hold out for as long as it could take.

Wills don’t have to be expensive or overly complicated, but they’re definitely necessary.

3. Time to think more about investing. Once you look at everything else, you need to think about ways to help grow the money you already have. You could put it in a bank and earn .5% a year on it but that’s not very significant. You need to think about better ways of growing your money and assessing your comfort level as it pertains to risk.

This is an area where accountants are great to work with. They can help you assess what you already have and where you want to go, then guide you to the proper people who can help you take it further, while helping you determine how much you can afford to risk. If you start early enough you’ll be amazed at how much money you could possibly have to live on in your old age.
 

Buying Capital Equipment On Black Friday

This might seem like a strange type of article to be on the blog of an accountant. However, since we’re talking about Black Friday as it applies to business expenses and capital equipment, it seems like fair game from our perspective.

Reading about the crunchpad on my own pad.
Steve Paine via Compfight

Of course everybody knows what Black Friday is. For those that don’t, it’s the day after Thanksgiving when many companies across the country decide to have major sales of some of their products. Some companies even so go so far as to start on Thanksgiving itself, but not all that many.

What you see happening for some items is people actually leaving their house early afternoon on Thanksgiving and then waiting outside of whatever establishment has the item they want so that they can be one of the first people in there. The reason they do that is because, at a lot of these stores, the deal is only good as long as they have the product. Once they run out of the product, that particular sale is over and it leaves a lot of people disappointed.

You’re in business though. Unless your business is a restaurant that has a lot of games or an internet cafe, it’s probably not likely that you’ll be standing in line waiting to get the new Xbox or whatever product is out there. Still, looking for a deal as it applies to equipment your business might need for the next year is never a bad thing.

What you need to be doing is a little bit of research. Right now, it’s hoped that a lot of people know how much things they’re hoping to buy actually cost. It is not uncommon for some retailers to do some tricky math and offer something at a 35% discount that just three weeks earlier was that exact same price.

Of course, not all items that are needed by businesses will be on sale during shopping days like this. But there will be some things that will be on sale that businesses might need. For instance, if you need technology like computers, laptops or tablets, those will definitely be on sale. If you need items for communication like phone systems or smartphones, those types of items will be on sale. Maybe you’ll need something small like a new shredder; trust me, those will also be on sale.

It behooves the savvy owner to try to get whatever works for their business at the best price possible. It’s true that you can write all that stuff off your taxes, but it’s better to save money up front than try to beat the system by writing things off later on. Still, the smartest thing is to be diligent in your research to make sure you’re not being taken advantage of by any retailer.