Tuesday, August 12, 2014

3 tips for getting healthy on a budget

Being healthy is important without our health we can face many difficulties in our day to day living.   One thing I have been doing to keep healthy is exercise for several years and slowly changing bad dietary habits. A few months ago I made the decision to train for a half marathon.  I decided to share my journey with my Facebook friends to hopefully get them motivated to a healthier lifestyle. It may make a better life for them.

One thing I have noticed is how there are many things that are offered to help with weight loss and living healthier. These things can cost lots of money.  Here are 3 tips that I  have followed to keep it within a budget and not break the bank.

1)  Look for groups in your community that are coordinated  through a church , library or other organization for example in our area we have running groups that gather and it is very little cost, many times these events are free to the public.  Our local library has a walking club which is free to patrons of a community.  Be creative get a group of friends together and go for a bike ride or a walk.  Keep it consistent.  Also in the winter months there are free memberships  available in some local communities to their school gyms and pools check out your local communities. Also sign up for a 5K or other race they are available in walks or runs.  It is a great way to help donate to an organization that you are passionate about.  Be careful some 5K's or other races are not run by non-profit organizations.  I always like to support organizations that help others whenever possible and are non-profit.    Make a copy of registration form with your check and keep it for your records and keep it for tax time.  This is a good way to make a difference and get healthy at the same time.

2)  Eating Healthy does not have to cost a lot. One thing I have found extremely beneficial to healthy eating is shopping local at farmers markets, visiting locally owned produce stand or shop or local farms. There is a good choice of produce and very reasonably priced.  I also always try to buy what is in season.    Also one thing I have done is visit local health food stores for more healthy snack options.   Many times they offer items in bulk which can save you some money.   Cutting out sugary drinks, artificial sweeteners, cookies, candy, cake, salty snacks etc... will also save you a good deal of money and will help you feel better.

3)  Clothing and accessories are always a big expense.  Buy at sales.  One local store will send discount % cards and also have a sale that coincides with the discount  this is how I purchase my running/walking shoes.  Shop at the end of the season.  Also for birthday or holiday put sporting good gift cards on your list.   Always look for sales this will save you.   It does not have to cost a lot.  Also one thing that has been a great investment is my GPS watch these can be a little expensive but well worth it, shop sales, check online outlets like eBay.

These are very general.  My hope is that more and more people join in on a healthy lifestyle.  Since I have been putting my  journey out there my hope it will help at least one person to live healthier and know that it can be done on a budget and that they can also have a support system surrounding them.   It may save them from diseases that are brought on by weight and an unhealthy lifestyle.   Set the goal. journal and find a support system it can be the best thing that you do for yourself.  You can do it!!

Friday, August 8, 2014

4 reasons to hire a Certified QuickBooks Proadvisor

1)  When  you do not find your current bookkeeping system adequate  and need to learn a system that will work for you and your business , but you really want make sure you are doing everything correctly.  The advertisements tell you that QuickBooks is easy to use , but do you know the ins and outs of bookkeeping and how it works within the QuickBooks System.   This is where hiring a certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor or Advanced Quickbooks ProAdvisor can help. Depending on the level of the business the more complex the business the more skill level of a Certified Quickbooks ProAdvisor is needed so this is where you may need an Advanced Certified Quickbooks ProAdvisor.  This will help you get started with QuickBooks the right way.  

2)  You are currently a QuickBooks user but you are finding that you are having problems or things just don't look right.  This is where hiring an Advanced Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor may be necessary. There may be some advanced problems that are beyond the scope of the QuickBooks user needed to correct the problems and it may be accounting related and how it needs to be correctly done within the QuickBooks.  This does take the expertise of not just a CPA or other Accounting professional but someone who has Advanced usage of QuickBooks.  It is a winning combo to help you and there is a difference.  

3)  You are not able to keep your  QuickBooks up to date, hiring a Certified Quickbooks ProAdvisor to help you get caught up or keep you up to date in your QuickBooks can make a difference .  Generally a Certified Quickbook ProAdvisor with a bookkeeping background and a firm where CPA is on staff and available for any questions is a big plus when looking for a professional to take care of your day to day Quickbooks.  

4) You are looking to use a new functionality that is part of your Quickbooks because you find your  business is growing and you need to use some of the features that Quickbooks offers or see if this can be done within QuickBooks.   This is where an Advanced Quickbooks Proadvisor can be of great value they can help problem solve on the best way  specifically tailored to your small business. 

We find at our firm we offer a very unique combination of a Certified Quickbooks ProAdvisor and an Advanced Quickbooks ProAdvisor that is a CPA that really helps meet the needs of many that we work with on a day to day basis.  We are able to work with all the above situations, many find this to be very well worth the investment of hiring the services of a Certified Proadvisor or  Advanced Certified ProAdvisor.  

Thursday, August 7, 2014

One important task you can do that may help detect a problem with your bank & credit card accounts.

Do you reconcile your bank and credit card accounts at least monthly?

If not why not?

Did you know you can be a victim of identity theft and not even know it if you are not reconciling your bank and credit cards on at very least a monthly basis.    Many times even going as far as checking and reconciling  your accounts on a weekly basis will catch any suspicious activity quicker.   If you use a debit card it may be a good idea to check  and reconcile  it on a daily basis. Yes, I said daily,  because using a debit card puts you at more risk and more problems if someone gets that information because it directly takes funds from your checking or savings account.

What is reconciling your account entail? It is about checking your records with the banks records to make sure the account balance is correct.   It is a good idea to put some time aside for this task or if you do not have time you can have a professional help you. You may be doing it by statements that come to your home or business on a monthly basis or on line through your bank or credit card company.

Some signs that you or someone close to you may need regular help are ,you or a loved one may have piles of unopened mail, may travel frequently or be a part time resident of an area, may travel regularly for work,  paying excessive bank fees for overdrafts,  may  not be able to manage finances because of health issues, divorce or loss of a spouse , these are just a few circumstances. Also many times business owners find they do not have time for this task this is where they may need professional assistance with this task by contracting the service out with a professional bookkeeper which many times they find it is well worth the investment for this service.

What kind of professionals provide this kind of help ?
Daily Money Manager work with individuals these are trained and insured individuals that help with budgeting, bill paying, organizing finances, reconcile accounts, and much more.

Professional Bookkeepers  are well trained individuals that go beyond just data entry many times they are trained to set a business up on a system that makes their business finances  organized which in the long run saves your business money, you will usually find them in a CPA firm or in a professional accounting firm,  they generally are  members of professional organizations and insured.