Money Monday

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


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

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 >

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
Arthritis Today
The Atlantic
Bloomberg Businessweek
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:
Fast Company
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 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.

Women Are Paying Themselves Half Their Worth


Tonight I discovered that women in business for themselves are paying themselves half of their worth. Gender pay gap be damned, we're doing it to ourselves and not even realizing it. This isn't a beat-ourselves-up-post, it's a hit-ourselves-over-the-head-and-wake-up post.

The Discovery of the Self-Imposed Pay Gap

During an event hosted at our office here at Tin Shingle in Beacon, NY for a group called Hudson Valley Women in Business, I was talking to a friend who designs high-end jewelry. And her jewelry isn't cheap. It took me three years to finally pull the trigger on a pair of her earrings. While we were talking at this event, I told to her that I'm making discoveries in an Artist's Way group I'm in that she was considering joining, and I confessed to her what I discovered in my Artist's Way journey.

I have recently made a discovery that despite what I sell not being cheap, I still don't make enough to make a salary. There I said it. Business bills get paid, but that's it. And I don't know why. No matter what the business expenses are, I make them, but not much more. Why? I'm in need of a money mindset shift.

I confessed this to my friend, and in response, she admitted that while she was coming up with pricing for a workshop series she was leading for a non-profit organization, she really struggled with the pricing. Them being a non-profit and all, and her being a super do-gooder person, she grappled with a real price. She broke down the hours it took her to prepare for the class, and then to deliver the class, and realized that her hourly rate for the workshop was actually double what she thought she should be charging. She took a deep breath, submitted the rate to the prospective client, and they didn't bat an eye. "Oh sure, that price is right in line with what we pay our other people."

My friend was shocked at their acceptance of her rate, and that she almost undercharged for her time and talent by half.

Another time years ago, I moderated a small panel at Barnard College for women in business. One of the panelists was a woman who co-founded a frozen dessert company. They made this chocolate dessert and sold it in many stores, including Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, and others. They had fleets of trucks shipping their product all over the country. They boasted that they never took a salary. None once. Why? To keep investing in their business. But why? I was stupefied.

Discovery of the Pay Discrepancy Made During The Artist's Way Journey

Last month during a Valentine making workshop, I bought (finally) a copy of The Artist's Way for $5, and committed to doing it because a friend asked for a book club around it and I accepted. I can host a book club in our office, so bring it on. It's met twice so far, and has been a really gentle, and intense experience. Love it.

The book is all about creativity as a spiritual practice, and that you can dive in and unclog. You can silence the "Censors" who tell you you can't do something. Why what you want to do is wrong or won't work. During this experience so far, I discovered (I think) that what needs unclogging for me right now is money and pricing. I've unleashed some crafting creativity in the form of furniture painting and website design, so I'm all good there. But something made me buy this book and agree to show up each week to this group of others who are showing up each week, and what has emerged for me is the money aspect. There is something wrong with how I'm earning it.

I'm Not The Cheapest Chip In Town

Never have been. Even when I sold accessories I designed and produced, I paid someone to sew them, so I built that into my pricing, and advocated that others do as well. Consulting isn't cheap either - at $175/hr, so what's the problem? Or maybe that is cheap! LOL

I'm making exactly enough to pay the business bills. That is the problem. Whatever that number is, is what I make. It's need based. There is no cushion. There is no profit margin. If the business  bills go up, the gross number goes up, but the net stays the same. That's no problem. The amount made is for the amount needed for bills at that moment. I may have issues with profit margin. It may make me uncomfortable. And that is what I need to unclog.

The Salary - Undervalued

I was approached to head up the communications effort for a large client. I don't know their budget, but let's just say that they are pretty big with a lot going on. They wanted me to put something together to create and promote their communications. To report on their business, essentially. I told them I'd need 2 writers and a designer at least, and that I'd come back with a proposal. And where do I factor into that budget, because I would not be the main writer. I would be the producer and guide of the content strategy and execution.

So I thought, Ok, if we were on staff, in their Communications Department (which they don't have), what would my own salary be? It would be $46K. How do I know? Because that's what I made at my last full time job 15 years ago. So that must be right. They'd be saving lots of money because they wouldn't pay my health insurence or any other benefits. So it's right, right?

Wrong. It's been 15 years and the work I've done to build three businesses with three websites that reach hundreds of thousands of people and has changed the lives of some, is worth something. When I was quitting my day job 15 years ago to strike out on my own as a website designer and now also a digital marketer, an editor of The Village Voice interviewed for my job. When she learned the salary, she admitted that she couldn't possibly work for a salary that low. I underestimated what I did then, at $46K, so what am I doing now? Fifteen years and a lot of experience later?

Where Do We Go From Here?

I don't know. I'm working through the money issues through The Artist's Way because I have a feeling I'm going to have to face some Censors. And then I'm going to call Galia Gichon to whip my plans into shape and take her current Accelerator program with HerCorner.

I'm embracing March Madness as getting mad about my money issues and facing them. There is no reason for this! Enough. And the change is in my hands! Our hands. We are the boss. So let's make it happen! And realize that our needs, what we "need" to earn is actually much greater, and includes Summer Camp, IRAs, cash saved for when you can't work because you go on your own family leave, and a new couch, dammit!

Photo Credit: Like this photo? It's awesome and was made available on from Ira Cvetnaya.

New Template! The Client Time Tracker Template

You're doing a great job of networking and getting the word out there, and new clients are signup up for new retainers and special projects! Life is getting busier, and you need to contain it. You'll want to stay ahead of the client work to keep those clients happy, but also to prevent anything from slipping through the cracks, as well as not working too much because you didn't realize just how much you were working for a client, and actually blew past their budgeted hours they purchased from you.

Introducing...The Client Time Tracker Template!

There are a bazillion project management softwares and templates out there. We've tried a few, and to be honest, are happier in Excel spreadsheets that can be accessed at the tips of our fingers via Google Docs/Drive. Sounds nerdy, but they really can be very simple, non-obtrusive, and a perfect place to contain your brain.

Recently, someone asked for "an easy, no bells and whistles client project tracker." This template is just that - an organized place to store what you're doing for a client, who on your team is doing it, your cash flow for paying your team, and future ideas for your client so that you can keep the work flowing forward smoothly.

In this template, you will find:

  • Worksheets for Each Client
    Each client is on a worksheet, and within that, is separated by project, depending on if they pay you per project or monthly retainer.
  • Time and Date for Tracking Completed Work
    What did you do when? Easily chart it in the line items. If you desire, copy/paste those line items into a Status Report you will send your client (you're sending those...right?).
  • Time Remaining for Retainers or Special Projects
    Math formulas are set up that show you how much time is left in a retainer or Special Project
  • Rates
    Different contractors may have different rates with you. Or the same contractor might have a different rate for different work completed. There's a place to track that in this template.
  • Cash Flow
    Those contractors are on it like bonnets, and have submitted invoices to you. How much money is in the bank to pay them? There's a place to track that in this template.
  • Color Coded Status Report Indicators
    We highly recommend you to send your clients monthly or project status reports. A color-coded system is in place to help you see when you've communicated or not to your client. Client Love is important!
  • Lifetime Access to Updates
    Once purchased, you get lifetime access to any updates made to the file.

GAH! No Wonder I'm So Tired and Broke - I Worked Too Much For A Client!

We've gotten this text message before from friends who don't track their time in an easy system for them to access, and they just work and work and work. #werkwerkwerk like that is no fun. When you reach the end of a project, or almost the end of it, you can inform your client, and prompt them into action for purchasing a new set of hours, or keeping their monthly retainer!

Good news! This template is free with an All Access Pass to Tin Shingle's Membership! Or you can purchase it individually and keep it in your personal selection. Any updates or enhancements made to this template are made available to you for free.

Join or upgrade to Tin Shingle's All Access Pass Level 4 Membership now and get this and all of our templates for free. Others include:

  • Expense and Income Tracking Sheet (for those afraid of bookkeeping software like Quickbooks or Freshbooks...but we recommend you using them!)
  • 2018 Content Planner
  • Media Tracking Sheet
  • SEO Tracking Sheet

March Madness : Mad About Your Money - Steps to Grow It!

It's been a heck of a winter here in the northeast, with one snow day after another, halting some businesses but not all. Some businesses rein in their spending, while others open new channels of earning. Tin Shingle is taking this month to get mad (in a good way!) about your money to spur you into action to earn more of it, grow your income, and do what you know you need to do to get it.

Series of articles exploring this:

We'll be exploring shocking ways people don't get paid, and shockingly simple ways that people do get paid. Look for these articles over the course of the month:

  • New Template Release! Client Time Tracker
  • The Art of Getting Paid: Setting Up Systems to Track Who Paid, Who Didn't, and When Your Retainer Has Completed!
  • The Art of Getting Paid: Chasing That Client Payment 'Till You See It Come In
  • The Art of Getting Paid: "We don't pay our vendors - we give them a percentage of sales."

Money Monday: e-Filing 1099s With QuickBooks Is Finally Easy!

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"Money Monday" at Tin Shingle is all about earning, spending or donating money from your business. Share your Money Monday experience or tip by submitting your idea here for consideration to be featured on Tin Shingle's blog.

Money Monday gets a gold glitter ball this week.

Every year, when prepping the books for taxes, I am so tempted to e-file the 1099s to our contract workers via QuickBooks instead of having our accountant prep them. Not that I don't love supporting another business owner! But he's going to get 3 sets of taxes to file from me, so this is chump change. The benefit, really, is the ease of use, and quickness of filing those 1099s.

QuickBooks has had an e-file 1099 option, but it's never been seamless enough for me to try. I'm error-prone, so if there is more than a 10% room for error, I abort and put it in the hands of the professionals. This year - and maybe it's just me - maybe QuickBook's platform has been the same all of these years, it's just me who grew more confident - I did it. I e-filed the 1099 through QuickBooks!

Took all of 5 minutes, after the prepping of each vendor - which consists of the following and is the same as if the 1099s were being submitted to the accountant:

  • Checking for their social or EIN number.
  • Updating their address and email.
  • Checking money totals against the actual bank transactions.

I take that back. There is one step that was new, and that was selecting the number of Accounts and Vendors that would be included in this pull for 1099s. "Accounts" means that there are different reasons that you spend money, and when you do, you select an Account to attribute how that money was spent. That part didn't take long, it was just new for me, which made me nervous, and made me remind myself not to over-create Accounts and get too nitty-gritty, but I shouldered through and selected the correct Accounts. I checked the money totals against the bank transactions, and got matches.

Once all of that was complete, QuickBooks has you review your information before entering your credit card to pay. And the price of filing is quite affordable. Not only was it pricier with my accounting firm (again, I don't mind supporting my local firm), but I didn't have to drive there to pick up and sign my approval for them to e-file (not that I mind seeing my local firm either!), and stamping them and putting them in the mail. QuickBooks puts them in the mail!

The step of filing of 1099s is often a forgotten one done at the last minute. So this is a way to help businesses not need to file extensions, and start the tax year off right!