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Monday, March 19, 2018

Organization Tip: Expense and Earning Logs #AuthorToolBoxBlogHop


PLEASE NOTE: I am not a tax pro. This post isn't really about taxes but keeping track of your expenses and earnings. 

With the start of a new tax year, it’s time for you to implement a good strategy to keep track of all of your expenses and earnings. This is a great way to keep you in your budget as well as organized. Even if you don't make enough for taxes, you will want to keep track of your expenses and earnings, as you never know when you'll need the info.

I have a red binder next to my desk with sheets of lined paper where I can jot down every expense, big and small, as well as my earnings, including sales and service fees I make.

In that same binder is an envelope where I store receipts.

For online receipts that I receive through email, I put them in a folder in my inbox. You can print them as they come and keep the emails for backups.
I also use PayPal for all of my writing expenses and for my editing service fees. PayPal is a great way to keep track of what you spend and earn, because PayPal does the work for you. You can use it to double-check your logs and as another source of proof if you lose the receipt email.

When it comes to expenses and tax deductions, keep a careful record of everything. No matter how small.

Here are the things I’ve put in my expense log:

-      Book event table costs
-      Books bought for events
-      Book event SWAG
-      Copyright application fees
-      Business cards, bookmarks, postcards
-      Author banner
-      Formatting fees
-      Illustrator fees
-      Editor fees
-      Website renewal fees
-      Postage/shipping supplies for mailing books (Make sure you use Media Mail)
-      eGift cards and giveaway items
-      Ads paid for
-      Award contest fees
-      Book easels for my table at events
-      Money lock box for events
-      Rolling cart for events
-      Desk and bookcases
-      Computer/laptop/devices
-      Printer ink and paper
-      Notebooks and pens
-      Internet costs
-      Mileage/Gas for traveling to events                                                                                

Anything and everything you spend as a writer/author should be added to your expense log. I like to divide my expenses into months and calculate each month’s expense. Then I add those numbers together to figure out the total amount I’ve spent. I do this throughout the year.

By doing these things, you will be able to handle your budget better and be ready for taxes.

QUESTION: How do you keep track of your expenses and earnings?


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