Money Monday

Happy Money Monday! Keep Staying Ahead Of It

Happy Money Monday!

Another Monday, another chance to stay ahead of it. As painful as it may be, stay ahead of it today by paying a bill. Maybe two. Pay an invoice. Send an invoice. Be kind in your correspondence. Have faith in others and feed them encouragement. Your team will stay strong with you clear headed and hopeful.

Push through it. You got this.

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Happy Money Monday: Stay Ahead Of It

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Happy Money Monday!

Simple tip for you this Monday - because you are going to kick booty this week:

Stay ahead of what you need to pay, or be paid.

If you owe someone a bill right now, go ahead and pay it. We've all been there. Even the small amounts. Just pay them, and get that bill off of someone else's to do list. You'll feel much better.

If someone owes you a bill, send them a kindly reminder. Or if you use Quickbooks, have Quickbooks auto-email them the bill again.

If someone owes you for work, but you haven't invoiced them yet, invoice them today! Don't worry if you feel that it's been too long. You did a great job for them, now just bill for it.

If you need help keeping track of everything, download Tin Shingle's Expenses + Income Tracker spreadsheet. It's a place to put the bills for your brain. You could use apps and software for this, but sometimes a simple spreadsheet suffices.

If you need a better place to track your client work, download Tin Shingle's Client Project Time Tracker. Easily know what projects are complete and open.

Happy Money Monday! 5 Tricks To Get Paid Quickly + New Client Work

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Happy First Money Monday of the New Year!

Keeping up the momentum from 2018, we are going to glide into 2019 with that same bit of enthusiasm and positive thought for what will happen. Making that easier on you is getting paid, getting paid faster, and greenlighting more new projects. If you provide a service to people, you know you are the Hustler In Chief, and you are in charge of bringing in new work, getting paid for that work, and nurturing a family of happy clients - clients you picked by putting out there the type of people and projects that are good fits for your business - and then treating them well.

Keeping an eye on the positive, here’s how you’re going to get paid faster this year, and how you’re going to greenlight more new work - without compromising your price. I’m a pay up front kind of girl. None of us have time to chase rainbows and payments anywhere after 10 days - so the whole 60 or 90 day terms thing is a thing of the past for you. Who can live on that?

Offer Payment Plans

Thanks to payment subscription services from Recurly, Paypal (haven’t tried Squarespace’s yet, so can’t vouch for it) and even perhaps your own merchant bank, you could offer payment plans on larger projects that might make it easier for a client to pay. Consider offering incentives to your client to pay in full, or on a tighter schedule. If you do a payment schedule, like 50% up front, and 25% at Point A and the final 25% at Point B, be sure to kindly stop the work if the payment doesn’t arrive on schedule.
PRO: When using an automated payment plan subscription service, the payments come in on time, automated. No more billing and chasing payments.
CON: If the business goes out of business, your payments might end. Be sure you structure a timeline that is not too long. This is also difficult if you have to pay sub-contractors who do not wish to be paid on payment plans. Have enough cash on hand to make payroll and pay your contractors their bills.

Monthly Retainers

Monthly retainers are dreamy for some, and if you have a client ready to commit, this can be good for both of you. The client knows what to budget each month, and you know how much work to put in. Just be sure to keep track of the time your team is spending on each client. If you begin to put more time in than budgeted, you should kindly bring this up with your client and revisit the budget, or the scope of work.
RECOMMENDED: Present a Status Report at the end of each month to let your client know what you did for them.

Pre-Paid Project Packages

There’s nothing worse than chasing payment for a flyer design. It’s only $30, gah! This is where Pre-Paid Project Packages come in handy. Either estimate spot-on how much a smaller job will cost and bill that amount, or if the client sends in little jobs over the course of the month or couple months, then encourage them to pre-purchase a package of time (discount it if you want), and credit your work to that. Deliver a Status Report to them to let them know how their time is being spent, and how much time is left. Our number for a small job is $2,000. Anything under that gets paid in full before the job starts.

Credit Card Billing - Bye Bye Check

All of these recommendations are based on the fact that you accept credit cards. Getting paid via credit card is much faster. If you don’t like the credit card fee, simply build this into your overall cost of services. Credit card payments will be difficult with corporate clients. But you could try. Unless your payment amount is just too high to justify the credit card fee. Consider Direct Deposit, and offer a (tiny) discount.

Pay After The Work Is Done

This is the traditional way of getting paid - billing after the work is done. This can also be where the race is on for chasing that payment. You may want to consider nixing this, or only offering to clients with “Good Credit History” with you. I’m not talking Dun & Bradstreet or Transunion. I’m talking Good Credit History with YOU. Do they pay quickly and on time? If so, they can remain in the Pay After The Work Is Done crowd.

Tin Shingle's Easy To Use Expenses & Income Tracking Template

Party! Expenses & Income Tracking Made Easy

Just in time for your last Money Monday of the year, we have designed for you Tin Shingle's exclusive Expenses & Income Tracking Template spreadsheet. Anyone can use this spreadsheet no matter what your industry. It is a perfect bridge to keeping track of your finances, but not committing to an accounting software like Quickbooks or smart financial app like Mint just yet.

Even if you do use Quickbooks for your business bookkeeping, yet need something to track your personal finances that you may share with a life partner or spouse, this template is for you.

Perks Of This Template

  • At-A-Glance Worksheet Tabs
    Bank Registers
    Balances on Bills
    Work Expenses
    Personal Household Expenses
    Client Payments Received

  • Partner or Spouse Planning
    If you live with someone and are sharing expenses and a financial life, there is a simple way for you to update what cash is in each of your bank accounts, and what is earmarked to clear for spending.

  • Private - Not Connected To Banks or Passwords
    This is an Excel spreadsheet that is not connected or synced with your bank accounts. There are apps where you can do that (like Mint or QuickBooks).

  • Lifetime Access.
    If you have already purchased this Template, you have instant and free access to updates made to the file. Just log in and download!

  • Free for Members of Tin Shingle.
    If you're an All Access Pass Member of Tin Shingle, this is also free for you!

Alright, Monday, What You Got For Me?

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Hello and Happy Monday!

Mondays can be deliveries of good news in the form of people following up from outreach you did during the previous week. If you've been building upon your foundation of outreach, then opportunities begin to trickle in to you - which is always the dream. To help you continue to create your own luck, we have some tips for you:

Here's How You're Going To Have A Great Monday

  • Don't Rely On Your Brain
    Make your lists. Have paper in your bag or pocket, and/or your Notes or Calendar app open on your phone. The biggest trap to losing control of a Monday is thinking you know what you need to do, but forgetting the most important parts. Stick to your list. It's your boss.

  • Send That Invoice!
    This has been a re-emerging theme - people who do good work for people, then procrastinate sending the invoice, and then throwing the invoice out the window all together, fearing it too late. It's not! Send the invoice with a smile.

  • Reach Out To That Store aka Wholesale Account
    You need a new account, and now is a good time to reach out. You may close the deal in the new year, or possibly if you're local, the store wants the inventory now if they are having a good holiday season.

  • Do Fitness
    If it's stretching in the middle of the day, a quick set of pushups in the middle of your office, or walking to the grocery store. Move around! Get that blood moving and those those endorphins pumping. A fun stretch to do is the Back Stroke: move your arms in backward circles while sitting down or standing up.

  • Pitch Someone Who Would Be A Great Fit
    If you sell sponsorships, for a university or a foundation or anything, think of a company or individual who would be a great fit to sponsor what you do, and reach out to them. Feel the enthusiasm you see in the partnership, and let that enthusiasm come out in your email to them.

And, Happy Last Night of Hanukkah! Today is going to be a great day, even if you're snowed in down South. Today is Motivation Monday pretty much everywhere, but at Tin Shingle, it's also Money Monday. Go out there and make some. You can do it!

This Could Be Good - A New Disability Insurance Provider from Freelancers Union Founder

Happy Money Monday!

For the creative, or the self-employed, a sick day often means no pay. Disability insurance is usually too expensive to consider. Perhaps until now...

One of the best known advocates for freelancers and self-employed people is Sara Horowitz. She is an attorney, a MacArthur Award Winner, the founder of Working Today, and the founder of the Freelancers Union which is a way for self-employed people to get health insurance before Obamacare.

Sara is now the founder of Trupo, a disability insurance provider for self-employed people.

If you break your hand, and you're a writer, you're in a pickle. If you hurt your back and you're on bed-rest and you're a wedding videographer, you're not going out on jobs.

These are real life fears that most small business owners live with and hope they never happen. Disability insurance can be hundreds of dollars a month, and you've got a payroll to make and inventory to buy.

Trupo, which is funded by venture capital firms and partially owned by the Freelancers Union (Sara says that part of the earnings from Trupo will go back to the Freelancers Union to continue their advocacy work), is setting out to pay its insured for up to 8 weeks of work at 50% the rate that would be your normal intake if you were working.

Trupo is rolling out first in Atlanta, GA. So if you're down there, sounds like you can go Beta with them. Everyone else can sign up for their newsletter here to be kept in the loop, and you can keep an eye on their progress on Instagram.

DailyWorth Online Magazine Change of Ownership - Acquired By Jean Chatzky

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Happy Money Monday!

In honor of today's Money Monday, we're updating you about the exciting news over at the online magazine, DailyWorth. Founded 10 years ago by Amanda Steinberg, it has long been the go-to source of information for women's financial needs and questions, delivered in an honest way that Normal People can understand.

We've watched the online magazine itself go through many changes, including major newsletter design changes (we watch them closely for what is working or not working, as newsletter-based websites are very effective), and changes in editors and contributing writers. They even had a paid membership of experts at one point.

The New Owner of DailyWorth, Jean Chatzky

Jean Chatzky is the new owner, and she was an early investor in DailyWorth. Jean is the Financial Editor of NBC's TODAY Show, as well as the host of her own podcast, HerMoney, and the creator of the community HerMoney private Facebook Group.

How You Can Pitch DailyWorth

Our Super Sleuther Ashley Cox 🕵 is on the case to update Tin Shingle's Super Easy Media Contacts Database (available to All Access Pass Members at Level 4), verifying new or current Media Contacts at DailyWorth who would make a great fit for your feature idea.

You'll want DailyWorth if you want to gain exposure from a wide audience of women who are looking to improve their financial lives and make smart life and business decisions.

Ideas for Why You'd Pitch DailyWorth

This is a great source for service-industry experts who are looking to gain exposure for their brands, and want to be quoted as an expert - even if you're not a financial expert. If you know how to guide someone in the right direction of making a financially smart decision, this is an outlet to pitch.

Service Industry Ideas:

  • How you have mastered writing and/or designing proposals that get accepted.
  • How to get paid - and not ignored on an invoice.
  • How you've mastered being awarded grant money.
  • How to feed your family as a self-employed person.
  • How to work from home with kids (either big kids, or little kids...pick a focus).
  • How to employ your kids and pay them through your business (usually an accountant's trick).

Ideas for People Who Sell Products

Pitch perhaps less for the actual product, and more for the financially smart side of you and decisions you've made and learned from.

  • Did you finance your business using a creative solution?
  • What was your experience working with a bank?
  • Products that have to do with managing or saving money are of course great candidates to pitch!
  • Do you advise people on how to work with non-profits, or best ones to donate to?

So many ideas. These suggestions will get you started.

How to Hook In with DailyWorth and HerMoney

You want Jean on your side! She wants to know about the great money things you are doing. And you want her advice, and that of her community of experts. Start listening and reading. This will make your pitching easier, so that we can watch or read what you have to say!


How To Be A Known Entrepreneur and Expert In Your Industry


So you want to be a go-to expert in your industry? Are you hoping to reach more people and get your message out there, building buzz for your business and your brand, but perhaps you're not sure where to begin? This Training TuneUps webinar will give you a jumpstart in the right direction.

Tin Shingle Featured in FitSmallBusiness for Managing Personal & Business Expenses

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Happy Money Monday!

For a recent article at FitSmallBusiness, the advice of Tin Shingle's owner Katie Hellmuth Martin was featured at FitSmallBusiness alongside tips from other business owners and financial professionals.

Loan Personal Money to Your Business Only When Necessary
 
From the article...

"Are you financing your business from your personal funds? You may do this only when necessary – but you have to ensure that you loan the money to your business and log this to your accounting software as a business loan. Monitor how much your business has borrowed from your personal funds, and ensure to set a strict payment timeline for your business to pay the money it owes to your personal account."

That money can add up! You want to be sure to pay yourself back. The nice thing about paying yourself back is that you have money moving back into your personal bank account that isn't marked as a salary. But don't wait too long on your repayment, or you may need to pay interest on that loan.

Be sure to check with your accountant first to make sure you are in accordance with all tax law.

Tin Shingle's Financial Templates You Will Love

EXPENSE & INCOME TRACKING TEMPLATE
Are you afraid of using a bookkeeping software like Quickbooks or Freshbooks? Fear not! Tin Shingle has designed for you something simpler using Excel. While we highly recommend for you to use Quickbooks or Freshbooks, you can take baby-steps in the meantime with our Expense & Income Tracking Template. Accountants and bookkeepers love Excel, so they will love when you send them your expenses and income in this template. Make tax time a lot easier on yourself!
Get This Template Now >


CLIENT PROJECT TIME TRACKER
Do you have a structured way of tracking time and project management for your clients? Tin Shingle built you a shortcut with our Client Project Time Tracker template. Save your brain by using this template! Your team and clients will thank you for your efficiency.
Get This Template Now >

Happy Money Monday! Here Are Money-Themed Editorial Calendars Coming Up...

Happy Money Monday!

We dedicate this Money Monday to Editorial Calendars having to do with money. What is an Editorial Calendar? It's the magazine's plan for how they are putting together their upcoming issue. This is your big chance at knowing when the coveted "Best Colleges" issue is, or "Ultimate Guide to Retirement". It's your big clue and helps you create relevant pitch ideas to email into these publications. Tin Shingle Members with the All Access Pass of Membership at Level 4 get instant access to these Editorial Calendars that Tin Shingle goes out and collects for you. Makes your research much zippier!

Maybe your business is a fit for one of these themes, and if it is, you should spin yourself up an angle and come up with a great reason why a feature on your business would fit well in these print magazines!

Coming up at Bloomberg Businessweek:

  • Focus on Security
  • Focus on Small Biz/ Pursuits: Fall Fashion
  • Double Issue: Cities
  • Problem Solvers
  • Focus on Retirement/ Pursuits: Skiing
  • Focus on Manufacturing
  • Focus on Small Biz
  • Focus on Wellness
  • Focus on Cloud/ Pursuits: Holiday Gift
  • Focus on BSchools


Coming up at Money Magazine:

  • Best Colleges + Paying for College
  • Best Places to Live
  • Ultimate Retirement Guide
  • How to Make More Money in 2019
     

Sneak Peek at Tin Shingle's Editorial Calendar Database

You too could be sifting through these database for ideas. Here's what it looks like when you're looking for what we have for a particular magazine. Upgrade now to our All Access Pass of Membership at Level 4 get instant access! You can always downgrade to Level 1 Community to stay hooked in with our private community group to chat with each other.

Every week, Tin Shingle adds new Editorial Calendars and updates names in the Media Contact Database. Here's what happened lately:

New Editorial Calendars:

Natural Solutions
First for Women
Health
Arthritis Today
The Atlantic
Bloomberg Businessweek
Paste
Fortune
GQ
Inc
Men's Journal
Vanity Fair

Updated Media Contacts:

Having names of writers and editors at your fingertips makes your research that much easier. These are available to Tin Shingle Members with the All Access Pass of Membership at Level 4:
Glamour
Fast Company
Fortune
Inc.
Elle
Fortune Magazine
Men's Journal
...and others

The Case of the $5 Etsy Earring and the Joy of the Sale

Photo Credit:  Tekniska Museet

Photo Credit: Tekniska Museet

There's an epidemic in pricing in women's work that I became aware of when I first started selling accessories under my design label 15 years ago: designers of beautifully made hand-crafted jewelry were selling it for $5, thus not paying themselves to make the jewelry, and maybe not even covering the cost of the materials. My accessories were sewn, and I lacked the patience to sit at a sewing machine to make them over and over again, so I always paid someone to make them, which I then sold on the website that I built myself. Designers selling on Etsy, at that time, had such low pricing, that my products wouldn't stand a chance.

Correction: I designed the website myself, and I paid a programmer to build it because I wanted it to look just so, and I couldn't code for websites at that level. That programmer has since become my long-time programming partner when I quit my day job to design and produce websites, so paying him was always part of the equation in any client work I won or accepted. Which is how I lost jobs on price, and even had friends get offended when I quoted them a price to build their websites if they struck out in their own business. This was in the days before DIY website platforms like Squarespace or Wix. Some friends expected me to give them my work, aka not charge my usual rate, and I couldn't because I had to pay someone to build it. It was guilt that I worked through over time.

Freebies and Indentured Designers

Designers around me could build all of their own stuff. Jewelry. Jackets. Websites. So they paid no one, and didn't factor this cost into their pricing. My accessories were priced higher than everyone else's. My checkbook cover retailed at $25. My jewelry pouch with 5 pockets, 3 earring straps and 2 ring loops was $65. A woman who I sought SEO advice from when I first launched my website suggested that SEO wasn't my problem, that it was my pricing. She herself, she told me, could make that jewelry pouch herself, and saw it usually retailing for $10 on the Internet.

Lots of the website SEO (aka Google) traffic I got, actually, was for patterns to make the products I designed. I can't follow a pattern, nor can I make one, so these searchers on Google could have fun looking for the pattern that I paid a woman stitcher to develop, as I wasn't about to just post it as a PDF on my website for anyone to copy. Even though posting a free pattern PDF is a great SEO trick because so many people search for it. Instead, to attract the people looking for freebies via SEO, I designed free desktop wallpaper, which did result in a commissioned piece once by a woman who wanted an illustration of high heels and bicycles. It was a flattering assignment, and I think I charged $75 for it.

Later on, after buying advertising with a reputable blog I followed, and getting subsequent PR for the exposure, my designs began to sell.The checkbook covers, and subsequent products like my "sexy sleepmask for travel" did sell on the Internet. Turns out, SEO and pricing wasn't my problem. Getting enough of the right people to my website was the problem. People who Googled "sexy sleepmasks for travel" bought the sleepmasks, and even a celebrity found it that way and bought one for his then girlfriend who he's now married to.

"You Don't Have To Work - I Can Support Us"

During my Morning Pages for my Artist's Way journey, a phrase bubbled to the surface that my very supportive husband spoke to me when we were engaged. I remember clearly where I was standing in our apartment, next to which living room piece of furniture. He said: "You realize that you don't need to work, and that I can support us. I want you to know that."

To many people, that statement is a gift. To a person feeling trapped in their job who really wants to paint and eventually sell their art, or to write and sell their book, this statement is a major support system to help make that happen. To me, it had the opposite effect. It was spoken in love and support, but tripped a money-earning blockage wire.

At that point, I paid for my own apartment on the 9th floor of a building in New York City. I proudly paid for it by my self - $1,750/month - and all of my bills. I had an ING savings account back then, and actively logged into my IRA account to fiddle with the investment settings - and even contributed to it! I was saving, I was working, and I had a plan.

When we got married, our joint returns unexpectedly bumped us into a higher tax bracket and we owed bunches of money in taxes because the quarterly estimates that I sent in each quarter were too low. The big tax return disappeared that year. They didn't factor in our joint filing which showed a lot of income.

I'm now on a payroll for myself, so that I don't have to send in quarterly taxes, but that "salary" is a pretty silly number, and is technically "poverty level" - I was told later by a banker who was considering me for a mortgage in 2008. Turns out $12,000/year is not impressive to a bank, even when you can write off most of your small NYC apartment because you work from it. He didn't care about the gross, which was $46,000, a number I was proud of and was the same number as the salary from the job I'd quit that year.

But the net, or my "Owner's Draws," led that banker to stop returning my emails. This is why I don't barter. The bank doesn't care how many massages you got in exchange for work.

Work as Choice - "You Don't Need To Work"

So what's with that phrase? Here is the discovery. When he said that, I was pretty jolted. I loved working. When you work for yourself, you usually love what you do. Being financially independent was a top priority for me. When presented with this statement, working became a choice. I don't have to work, but I wanted to work.

When I had my first child, all of my work income plummeted. Client work became very different. I wasn't emotionally ready for childcare, and everything changed. One afternoon I sunk to the floor of my kitchen, giving up, wanting to cry (ok, I probably was crying), and was encouraged by someone trying to help to "let it go...admit what you can and cannot do." But I didn't want to give up. I had visions and wanted to make them happen. I had ideas! A silly phrase a boyfriend once thought I was cute for saying.

Fast forward to now, and I have admitted to what I cannot do, and that means hiring people to work with me. I'm not giving up, and I'm making enough to pay them. But I'm not making enough to pay myself - no matter what the gross is. It's like a sliding scale of nothing. It's weird! The problem is in the profit margin, and not in the simple act of working and earning money.

Working in Secret - A Shadow Worker

After after my second child was born, I was digging out of that stuff, and was on the road to recovery when I learned I was pregnant with my third child.  The reason I plummeted was because working became a choice. A choice I felt that I was making over my children. So I didn't want to choose it over my children, so I only did it in secret. At night. When they were sleeping during naps. In the car at Target if they fell into a car nap. I have inverters in the car so that I can plug in my computer. I don't work from the car on road trips anymore because truth be told, my husband wants to talk to me, and now that the kids are in my life, they'd like to talk to me too - and be given snacks. But I do still plan for car naps in parking lots.

Sophie's Choice - Work or Children?

In my Morning Pages, I explored the phrase "You don't need to work - I can provide for us." What happened? When I was "working," which for me was both being creative and earning money, I was choosing to not be with my family - a Sophie's Choice syndrome (for those not familiar with the heartbreaking movie/concept, see here). This explained why I did a lot of work in the bathroom while on family trips. Secret. When visiting my husband's family, prior to kids, I actually did carve out time to sit at Panera, but that was when I had a retainer with a client, and had deadlines to produce for them. It felt justified. It wasn't my work, it was client work.
PS: This is beginnings of the cobbler dilemma for service providers who don't nurture their own businesses, only those of their clients, but that's a different article.

The Need to Work

So if we had all of the money in the world, and I didn't need the money and I didn't need to "work", would I still want to leave the house and "create?" I would! I would still want to leave and buy fabric. Or leave the house and draw something. Or leave the house to - let's be honest - go to a fitness class (this is a very hard thing to do! will the children be alright? will my husband feed them or will they waste away into TV and chips on the floor? truth: they will be fine - even with chips on the floor and ants in pursuit). Or close my door and cut fabric and sew something. But, I'd still be choosing my need to create or leave the house over my family, and that felt wrong.

Sure I could sew with my daughter, but she actually wants to work the machine. My son also. So I'm not pressing the pedal of the sewing machine, I'm enabling their experience of the sewing machine, which is awesome, but I'm not actually getting to make what I want to make. I want to help them and enlighten them, but you get the picture. Sophie's Choice.

The Joy of the Sale

Leaving something to create for yourself is not wrong. What I'm discovering through my Artist's Way, is that tapping into your creativity is inherent and necessary to live a sane life. However, one may feel the need to justify it with a sale. So a necklace gets priced at $5. A logo design gets priced at $50 or $350. Just so that it can sell, and the designer (or whatever industry) can say that they sold something. And then when I give my price of $3,500 (which includes paying my designer who specializes in logos and paying my producer fee for me - but still - logos are valuable even if I were to design it and involve no one), eyeballs fall out of their heads. Unless you're getting that number from an agency who has an office and people on staff, and then it becomes $10,500 and it's called "branding."

The epidemic is in the thrill of the sale - for any number - and it brings the pricing down for entire industries because people expect to pay $5 that took hours to make, and years of experience to make it special. It's the same as China pricing. Etsy pricing is China pricing. And Etsy isn't bad! It's a great platform to find wonderful things. It's the people who are pricing their things who need to up their game.

Women (might) feel that they don't "need to work" financially so won't charge, even though they do "need to work" to stay sane, and then charge nothing for their time. Women who work for themselves, but pay themselves half or nothing, and indenturing themselves.

My revelation was that money didn't factor into my guilt for leaving the house to "work" or to go create something. I was going to feel guilty anyway. The Sophie's Choice - kids/family or work? Since money didn't matter to my level of guilt, it suddenly disappeared. Of course I'm going to work! It keeps me sane, and I want the income! I want to contribute to my IRA again! Why wouldn't we want to deposit money into savings? Why wouldn't I want to pay into the mortgage? I get so excited when I do, because it's something that is very important to my own core values.

"I Didn't Go Back to Work Because It Cost the Same as Childcare."

Right - and when you do the numbers for all of the mothers work that you do - the primary care-giving - you're making about $5,000 a month. If you die, someone's going to need to come in every morning and wake the kids up, get them dressed, take them to school (or play with them if not in school yet), run to the grocery store, pay and manage all of the bills (which isn't as simple as just paying them - you may need to chase those bills and figure them out), then get the kids again, make dinner, and put them to bed. That's if you have a commuter husband like me who leaves at dawn and comes back after bedtime.

So yeah, you need that life insurance policy! Don't let your husband tell you that all is fine if you die - he'll make it work. He'll be facing a wall of expenses that he or anyone wasn't paying you before. Just searching for the child care replacement of you will take his time. This is why I have no issue with paying myself in pedicures. Or clothing purchases. Or having a life insurance policy.

"What Do You Need an LLC for?"

This phrase was another Blurt from a Time Traveler that emerged during my Morning Pages for my Artist's Way journey ("blurts" and "time travelers" are Artist's Way phrases). When I hung my shingle, I wanted to higher a lawyer to form my LLC because I'm just not that good at following directions on how to do that. This decision was questioned by someone who loves me and didn't mean anything bad by it, but couldn't see why I would need an LLC (the reasons why are a whole 'nother article...trust me...you need one if you're going to sell anything).

One reason why you need an LLC or SCorp is because you need a salary. You're not write-off. While it may be appealing to accountants or spouses to write off the expenses from your work ("we can write off your car!"), and keep your income low so as not to add to the joint filing, that must not feel very good to you as a person. It trains you not to want to earn more income, and trains you that your working amounts to expenses - negative.

Prior to 2010, the federal government sent out Social Security statements in the mail. It showed how much social security you were going to get based on your income. If you had a full time or W2 job, this is pretty clear. You're getting money back in social security. If you worked for yourself and never paid taxes, only hid them as expenses in your family tax returns, you're not getting any social security from your own earnings. You might not believe in Social Security anyway, but the concept is there - the monetary value not put into your work, is also monetary value not put into your future savings.

Pay thy self. You are not a write-off.