Monthly Archives: July 2014

eMeals: Back to school lunches for kids

school lunch

The sound of the school bell ringing will soon be a normal part of your child’s day. Whether your child is 4 or 14, adjusting to school is never easy. This transition can be softened with the help of one of my favorite organizational tools, eMeals! eMeals provides you simple breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even dessert meal plans to help you easily and effectively plan meals for your family.

One of the new favorites is their kid-friendly meal plan. Each meal plan comes with a ready-made shopping list to help you get through the grocery store in no time flat! Sign up for eMeals now and you can get 2 bonuses:
1. 20% off with the code SCHOOL
2. A FREE Back to School Survival Guide filled with fun back to school recipes including 3 Power Breakfast Recipes, 2 Lunch Box Recipes, 2 Weeknight Dinners, 2 After School Snacks, and 1 Yummy Dessert!

Here is an example of one of the recipes from the Back to School kit to enjoy with your kids.

Turkey-Bacon Tortilla Roll-Ups:
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 5 mins
Total: 15 mins

8 slices bacon
Mayonnaise
1 (8-oz) package store-bought guacamole
4 (8-inch) flour tortillas
1/4 lb thinly sliced deli turkey
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (or any shredded cheese)
1 cup shredded iceberg lettuce (optional)

Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium
heat until crisp; drain. Spread a thin layer of
mayonnaise and guacamole over each tortilla.
Layer turkey, bacon and cheese on each
tortilla. Add lettuce, if desired. Roll up tortillas,
and cut in half. Makes 4 servings.

Save $10 off $40 purchase at Target, ends August 2

Target

Get in on the money savings at Target! Now through August 2, 2014, you can order a $40 purchase online and receive $10 off! If you use your Target card, you will also save an additional 5%.

You must choose in-store pickup (which is free!), and each guest is limited on the amount of times that they can take advantage of the savings. Visit Target’s website for full details.

Your budget tells you what you can’t afford, but doesn’t stop you from buying it

Budget1

Take control of your finances. It all starts with a budget: knowing how much your have coming in each month, and how much you are paying out. But just knowing your financial situation is not enough. You have to actually take steps to ensure that you are paying down the bills that you want to get rid of or not overspending and creating more bills.

Simple things to do to cut down on overspending:
So, instead of eating out for lunch everyday at work, you pack a lunch and take with you. Maybe that means not buying some new shoes that you really didn’t need anyways (even if they are on sale!). Perhaps that even means giving up your fitness club membership and working out at home. And this may sound obvious, but don’t go shopping with money that you don’t have; in other words, do go to the mall just because you are bored. Living within your means, sometimes means giving up the things you want, for the things that you need.

So how can you stick to a budget and not feel totally strapped? Make sure to budget in a little fun money each month. For example, if you budget in $100 of spending cash, then you are allowing yourself to spend money on something that is not in your budget without feeling guilty, and still work toward achieving your goals.

Ba-cchini Bread: The Best Banana-Zucchini Bread You’ve Ever Tasted

Soooo delicious!

Soooo delicious!

Ba-cchini bread. That is what my kids started calling the banana-zucchini bread that I make. In their effort to shorten the title, it really comes out sounding like “bikini.” While this recipe is delicious, and of course, money savvy (you can make two loaves of this delicious bread for about what it costs to buy one slice of this type of specialty bread at a bakery or coffee shop!), I can definitely say that it is NOT good for your get-into-a-bikini diet! But hey, we all need a little bit of decadence now and then, right?

I can honestly say that this recipe makes the most moist, delicious banana zucchini bread that you’ve ever tasted! Good as muffins or in loaves, just adjust your cook time.

Ba-cchini Bread

  • Servings: 24 muffins or 2 loaves
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 c. oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 1 c. grated zucchini
  • 1 c. mashed bananas
  • 2 1/2-3 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 walnuts or raisins *optional *

Cream together eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar. Sift together dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and then add the grated zucchini and mashed bananas. Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown.

Loaves of bread: Pour into 2 prepared (greased and floured) loaf pans and bake at 350 degrees for 45 min -1 hour.
Muffins: Fill muffin cups 2/3 of the way up. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 25 minutes.

Baking Tip: To make sure muffins or loaves of bread are done in the center, stick a toothpick in. Bread is ready when it comes out clean (no batter on toothpick)

5 Things to Know When Starting a Business

5 Things to Know When Starting a Business | Money Savvy Living

 

Being a business owner and working for yourself has many rewards… and many risks. While the thought of not having to punch a clock for someone else is exciting to you, competition in the marketplace and inconsistent income streams can be substantial challenges for any new business. If you have been thinking about starting your own business, there are five things that you should consider before taking the plunge.

 

1) Initial Investment—Do you have enough money set aside to live off of while you get your business up and running? Or will you be continuing to work your current job while starting a side business? Depending on the type of business that you choose, you could have little or no start-up costs. For instance, taking a hobby, such as photography, and turning it into a side business would not require a huge initial investment.

 

2) Business type—What service will your business provide? What product will you sell? Will your business primarily exist online, such as an e-commerce store, or will your business primarily operate through a brick-and-mortar storefront, such as a medical supply store or beauty salon?

Certified Public Accountant, former IRS agent, and author of Outsmarting the System: Lower Your Taxes, Control Your Future, and Reach Financial Freedom, Anthony Campidonica, offers the following advice to clients regarding the tax implications of starting a side business:

 

3) Tax Benefits—A side business can present you with favorable tax opportunities. Business owners are allowed to convert personal expenses into legal business deductions if those expenses are considered ordinary and necessary expenses related to the operation of the business activity. These expenses include, but are not limited to, cell phone bills, computer, and meals and entertainment.

 

4) Tax Obligations—As a self-employed individual, you are generally required to pay quarterly estimated taxes for your self-employment tax and income tax.

  • Self-Employment Tax – Self-employment tax (SE tax) consists of Social Security and Medicare tax. It is similar to the Social Security and Medicare taxes withheld from the pay of most employees. You are generally liable for SE tax if you had net earnings from self-employment of $400 or more. Self-employment tax is a percentage of your net earnings from self-employment. Net earnings are calculated as the gross income you derived from your business less ordinary and necessary business expenses.
  • Income Tax – You are required to pay income tax, which is in addition to the SE tax, on your net earnings from self-employment. This is a tax imposed on your income from your business, which is determined by applying a rate to the net earnings.
  • Quarterly Payments – Because you do not have an employer withholding Social Security and Medicare taxes, and income tax for you on your earnings, you make estimated payments to pay these taxes. Speak to a tax professional or use the worksheet in Form 1040-ES, Estimated Tax for Individuals to find out if you are required to file quarterly estimated tax payments and if so, the amount of the taxes.

 

5) Recordkeeping—Typically, taxpayers who are the most organized with their records pay the least amount of taxes because they are able to fully and accurately account for their income and expenses. Learning how to properly substantiate your expenses can save you both time and money. There are many software programs that can help you maintain your records in an orderly and consistent manner.

 

*The advice shared in this article is for informational purposes only. Before starting a business, you should talk to a tax professional and fully research the tax implications and/or tax obligations that come with it for your specific situation.