Keeping Your Business and Personal Finances Separate

Keeping Your Business and Personal Finances SeparateKeeping your business and personal finances separate is a great way to avoid headaches and keep your budgets balanced. Many people make the mistake of combining their personal finances with business or work related ones, and find themselves in a world of trouble. Avoid the common pitfalls that many people make when they attempt to merge business and personal finances.

Small Business Owners

The biggest group of offenders when it comes to mixing personal and business finances is small business owners. Many people start small businesses with their personal savings, income and credit cards. This may be acceptable in the beginning and start-up stages, but as the business grows, these accounts should be kept separate. Opening a small business checking account is the best way to distinguish between personal finances and business expenses. In addition, keeping separate accounts will help you get a better financial picture of your business growth.

Corporate Professionals

When you’re taking a client out for coffee to discuss a new account, it’s often easy to simply pull out your personal credit card than to go to the trouble of using the company account. Many executives wonder why they should go to the trouble of filling out expense reports and saving receipts when they can simply whip out their credit card and pay for the charges themselves.

Most companies have strict policies against mixing personal and company finances, and for good reason. For one thing, it is difficult to reimburse an employee for charges made on his personal account without arousing suspicion. Using personal finances to cover business expenses can cause legal headaches for the company if you are ever fired and decide to sue them for the money you have spent. It can also send up red flags for auditors and accountants who manage the company’s finances.

If you need to make a purchase for business, use your company credit card or expense account and keep all receipts. Even if the purchase is small, never use your personal funds for company expenses.

Academic Professionals

Teachers are notorious for mixing personal and business finances. They are often tasked with teaching their students with limited materials, so they dip into their own money to purchase supplies for their classrooms. Often they are not reimbursed for these purchases. This can create headaches for the teacher at tax time when they may want to claim tax credit for the money spent. In order to avoid confusion, keep a detailed listing of all supplies you spent for educational purposes and make copies of the receipts.

Non-Profit Business Professionals

Professionals who work for non-profit organizations have to be especially careful about mixing company and personal money. Non-profits accept public donations and enjoy certain tax breaks. In return, they have to follow stringent guidelines that govern how the business is run. Their financials are transparent, and each penny spent must be accounted for. Using company money for personal expenses or vice versa is a serious violation of the rules that non-profits are required to follow. Some executives have even been sued for breaching this rule. Keep a separate account for business expenses and never dip into it for personal reasons.

Government Employees

Social workers, police officers and administrators are just some of the few government employees that have to worry about keeping business and personal accounts separate. Using government money for personal expenses can land you in legal hot water. Many government employees have been fined and even jailed for misusing public funds. Even an accidental breach can spell trouble. Keep your personal expenses separate and ask for reimbursement for any supplies your job does not cover. It’s best to cover all of the bases and protect yourself from liability.

Keeping your personal finances separate from your business ones is essential to keeping out of trouble in the workplace and in business. Maintaining separate accounts can also save headaches during tax time. Take steps to create accounts for all of your financial needs.

How To Build An Attention Grabbing Resume

With the job market in its current state, impressing a potential employer and securing a job is as hard as ever. Potential employees will have to be on their toes to make sure they come out on top. In most cases, the first thing an employer will look at when reviewing potential candidates for a job are resumes; a good way to stand out above the rest is to have a resume that grabs the attention of anyone who reads it, no matter what the job field.

Fortunately, putting together a well written and attention grabbing resume can be done with some attention to detail. When putting together a resume, try to remember that the person reading it will have seen a million others and will be looking for a resume that stands out and catches their eye.

  • Don’t “information stuff:” When an employer scans over your resume, they’re going to be looking for specific skill sets or experiences. There’s no reason to stuff irrelevant nonsense into your resume; list skills and experiences that are relevant for the job that you are applying to.
  • Have a clear objective: One of the best ways to catch the attention of the person reading your resume is to start with a clear objective. A good objective is one that clearly lists your goals and the direction you’re looking to head. Be careful, the objective needs to be specific; vague objectives can do more harm than good.
  • One page resumes are best: Going back to the aforementioned tip of not “information stuffing,” the most eye catching resumes are the ones that are only a page long. It’s not that you should skimp on work experiences and skills, however, your resume should be concise and to the point.
  • Word usage: Another way to make your resume to stand out is to choose your word usage carefully. For example, strong action verbs will often make a resume stand out. The trick is to use an active and not passive voice. For example, instead of saying “The animals were taken care of by me” use “Took care of animals.” Although it may seem small, using the right words when putting together your resume can turn a dull resume into a sharp one.
  • Make it look nice: There’s nothing worse than a disorganized, messy looking resume. Put together your resume with organization and your audience in mind. As earlier stated, start your resume with a clear objective that will grab the attention of the reader. Organizing your resume in a logical and organized way could at least land you an interview. Furthermore, be sure to use a font that’s easy to read in addition to using correct formatting.

It’s Not Too Late To Reconsider Your Career Path

Most men spend the bulk of their lives working jobs. Some men enjoy what they do while others would prefer doing something else. Whether or not you enjoy your job can have a major impact on your health. It can also affect relationships with your loved ones, such as your spouse and children. You may also be in a situation where you lost your job in your 40s, 50s or even 60s and need to find another job. Whatever the case, you may at some point inevitably face a career change. And it doesn’t need to be the end of the world. It is also never too late to make a career change for the better.

The first step in making a career change is self assessment, according to Quintessential Careers. You must assess you skills as well as what you enjoy doing. For example, you may decide you want to start your own business, particularly if you have many years experience working a job in a specific industry. Another option is turning your avocation or hobby into a job, or promoting a product in which you are extremely interested. However, make sure the product has broad appeal within the particular target market you choose. There are certain tests you can take online to help you assess your skills, similar to the tests you took in school. These will help get you started. If you plan to start a business, study how other people in your desired profession got started. Attend seminars about a particular business opportunity like real estate investment if that is what you like. You also need to determine how you will finance your business, including savings, bank loans or incorporation, which enables you to sell shares of stock.

For those who prefer to play it safe and get a job, start by creating a resume. Make sure you fully outline all skills and past experience. Spend some time rehashing what responsibilities you had on previous jobs. Highlight those skills that will be necessary for your new career. It is not just enough to explain how effective you manage, sell or market new products. Give specific examples within the context of your resume. Briefly explain key projects you were involved in, then include specific results. For example, if you increased sales by 10 percent per year as an outside sales rep, put it in your resume.

Search for you new career on various online sites like Monster.com, Simplyhired.com and Careerbuilder.com. Some of these sites allow you to post resumes, which interested parties may see. They can then contact you when you include your personal information on the site. However, the best place to start your new job search is through networking. Contact old business associates, clients or suppliers. Also, let all friends and relatives know you are looking for a position. You never know who may know your next boss. But make sure everyone understands the type of position you are seeking.

Another option is joining professional associations. For example, joint the American Marketing Association if you want a marketing job. Get to know people before you start bombarding people with your, “I’m looking for a job” speeches. Exchange business cards with other members. Reciprocate and tell others you will apprise them of any job openings. A search firm is another place you can resource for jobs. You may need to brush up on your interview skills. Many search firms perform many different services, including resume design, interview coaching and helping you find jobs. Many of these firms will tape your mock interview sessions. This allows you to pinpoint your weaknesses: Voice, posture, hesitation while answering questions, or whatever.

How to Effectively Use Social Media In Your Job Search

In today’s ultra-competitive job market, it is very important to use all advantages available and make one’s self stand out from the other applicants. Social media and networking can a very useful tool in locating a job or promoting a resume, but if used incorrectly, it can be quite detrimental. By harnessing your own personal social network, you can find a great job by bringing the information to your door instead of searching out for it.

Websites like FaceBook and LinkedIn are excellent ways to let your friends, families and professional connections know that you are searching for a job. Using a site like this to spam everyone in your contact listing with requests for a job will not build goodwill or promote references or referrals. However, by reaching out on an individual basis to selected contacts can yield positive results. When sending these emails or making phone calls, it is important to recognize that you are asking someone to use their time and energy to help you find a job and they deserve a personalized contact instead of a mass message. Though re-connecting with someone to let them know you are on the market can be helpful, it is much more effective to ask for specific information. For instance, examine your network to see if there is anyone who works in your field or for a company you would like to work for and reach out to them for information about any opportunities they are aware of. You can also use a social network to build connections with new people. A friend of a friend may be the best introduction you can receive when that person has a well-suited opportunity.

Some job-seekers have also found success by making their resume or a version of their resume available for public viewing on their social networking site profile. This will allow acquaintances who are interested in possibly referring them for a position, but would like to know more learn this information without needing to specifically request it. By posting this information, it will also indicate that you are open and accepting of offers and referrals.

Finally, all corporate HR departments and recruiters will search the internet for information about potential candidates. That means that if your FaceBook wall is full of complaints about a current or former employer, this social network could be extremely damaging. This is doubly true if your search is beginning on a social network, since potential employers may have access to more information than a typical public user. This is yet another reason that it is always a good idea to only share things on the internet that you would not mind if everyone you knew found out.

Build Wealth to Build a Bright Future

Everyone knows the saying “Money can’t buy happiness,” although true, having money and building wealth can at least put you one step closer to the happiness you seek. Building wealth doesn’t mean that you’re a greedy, money obsessed individual, it can be as simple as planning your financial future. Although society seems to get stuck in a “right now” frame of mind, the future is constantly approaching and ensuring your financial future will help you lead the life you want to lead; regardless of what that life might be.

Unfortunately, there’s no secret or simple way to build wealth; building wealth takes self discipline, problem solving skills, and a lot of hard work. That being said, no matter what your situation, career field, or age, there’s no reason that you can’t start building wealth as soon as right now. Building wealth isn’t a “get rich fast” scheme, in fact, it’s quite the opposite. Building wealth may take years, but will certainly pay off in the end.

Wealth Building Tips:

1) Only Spend as Much as You Make:
Acquiring debt is not factored into building wealth. Credit cards and other schemes certainly be tempting, but in the long run they can leave with your bills, debt, and a lot of stress. Instead of spending money you don’t have, only spend what you have; although it may be hard, it will save you money and stress.

2) Watch Out for Interest:
If you do have any bills or credit cards, pay close attention to interest rates. There’s no faster way to lose than your money than by high interest rates. If you absolutely have to have a credit card, try to find one with the lowest interest rate possible.

3) Set Goals and Have Discipline:
One of the most important aspects of building wealth is to have a goal and stick to it. If you don’t know where you want to go, you’ll never get there; set a financial goal and track your progress. If something goes astray, you’ll at least know where you’ve gone wrong. To ensure that you meet your financial goals, it can also be helpful to prioritize to avoid getting thrown off track.

4) Own Your Home:
There’s a common misconception that owning your own home is more expansive than renting or leasing. Home owners are able to deduct mortgage interest and real estate tax. Not only that, but home owners build up equity that eventually turns into savings.

5) Smartly Invest:
If you ever want to build wealth, you have to do a little investing. For example, investing in the right stocks is an excellent way to begin building wealth, however, be sure to choose reliable and profitable stocks to avoid loosing money.