with Mir Kamin
I'm a freelance writer and mother of two working from home, which theoretically means I can set my own schedule so as to best accommodate my family. In reality, "flexible hours" often equals "working too much." Yes, I'm my own boss; no, that doesn't mean life is easy. It's hard to leave the office when you live there. But I love what I do and feel very lucky. And not just because I get paid to work in my pajamas.
To learn more about Mir, check out her profile on Work It, Mom! or visit her blog at http://www.wouldashoulda.com/
True to my word, I’ve begun my endeavor of making 2008 better organized, financially. After careful consideration (and reviewing all of your thoughtful input on this post where I commenced freaking out over my bookkeeping), I took a deep breath and bought myself a copy of Quicken for the Mac. I know. It seems to stupid, that I wasn’t tracking things properly, before. And Quicken really does everything I need it to.
At least, I think it does. I am still somewhat Quicken-challenged. But this morning I set up my business account and after just an hour or so I was finally able to enter an invoice I’d sent out and set it as a pending payment. I think. (Greater financial organization, now with bonus feelings of inadequacy!)
I’m still sort of reeling from our time away from home and my disrupted work schedule of the last couple of weeks. It was (is) very tempting to spend today solely catching up on my contracted workload, and putting off this accounting stuff for another time. But I’m taking the time to do this because I know that if I don’t make it a priority, I’ll find myself once again wondering who paid me and when, and how much I owe in taxes, and the next thing you know I’m sitting in the corner with my checkbook and a bag of cookies, weeping into my Oreos. That’s not good.
And as corny as I know this is going to sound, there is a tremendous sense of freedom in getting this stuff set up. As “easy” as it is to keep sloppy records (or no records), the trade-off amount of stress is ridiculous. Just entering that first invoice of 2008 and knowing that I’m tracking it properly allows me to breathe a little easier.
I’m sending off my 2007 taxes to the IRS today, too. (The hope is that by sending a lump sum payment as my “estimated 4th quarter payment” they may skip the penalty for not having paid quarterly all year. And failing that, I shall write them a nice letter explaining that I was too stupid to understand my obligation to pay quarterly. Also, I will offer to share my Oreos. And if none of that works, I shall pay the penalty and consider myself duly chastened, and wiser for the future.) Moving forward, I’ve already set up a separate account into which I will deposit 30% of my earnings each month, and I’ve even set up an automatic reminder to alert me when my quarterly payments are coming due.
Geppetto, I think I’ve become a real freelancer.
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