Wednesday, 22 March 2017

7 things to make your tax return easy to complete.

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Tax returns are not everyone's cup of tea, they are time consuming, stressful and really require good book keeping to ensure all is in order. 

My top 7 tips for a stress free tax return are:

1. If it is your first time as a self employed person, then make sure you register in plenty of time as it takes a few weeks to set things up with HMRC.

2. Have a folder with a section for each month where you keep your receipts, annotate details of expenses and tally them up on a monthly basis. I also take photos of my receipts and up load them in a folder called receipts on my computer.

3. Create a separate folder on your computer for your tax return for each year so that all your yearly Tax return documents are saved in one place.

4. Create spread sheet (1) on the computer call it "Earnings", I find Excel a good programme to use. Have a column for each month and record your earnings. Tally them at the end of each month.

4. Create a second spread sheet (2) and call it "Expenses", create a column for each month and record your expenses.Tally them at the end of each month.

5. Create a third spread sheet (3) and call it "Invoices" in this sheet keep a record of all your invoices, who they were sent to, date they were sent, and the date you were paid. Tally them at the end of each month.

6.  Keep your spread sheets updated regularly so that you do not forget any thing. At the end of your tax year all you need to do is add each months details to get your yearly tax expenses and earnings.

7.  Do not procrastinate over tax matters if you update regularly there will not be a last minute panic.

Many people employ an accountant to do all the hard work but bear in mind that accountants are not super human and they can only help you as much as you help your self. If you keep good records then all you need to do at the end of the year is to pass all the details to your accountant for them to do your tax return. There are many accountancy companies that will do your tax return for you, one particular company that offers this service is Brighton accountants Plummer Parsons. It's always a good idea to chat to your accountant, they will offer you lots of good advise and help to make your life easy. Some accountants even offer ready made templates for you to record your income and expenses.

Finally remember that you must put aside some of your income on a monthly basis to pay the tax man, otherwise you will be in a big shock when the bill comes!!

*collaborative post

Thursday, 16 March 2017

10 essentials to pack in your carry on airline bag.

In February I finally achieved my dream of travelling around Rajasthan India. It was the most amazing experience and I am going to share my journey through a series of blog posts. What I learnt is that to enjoy your trip, travel light and be organised. In this post I am going to share 10 essentials that one should make sure you carry in your airline bag.
I highly recommend that you choose your carry on hand luggage that is practical light weight and fits within the airline size guide.

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Choose a lightweight trolley bag or backpack. I would advise to pack light and only carry basic essentials, its often very tempting to take unnecessary items that just adds weight, the less you have to carry the more relaxed you will be.

My top 10 tips are:

1. Carry a small cross over handbag to hold important documents such as passports, tickets, phone and money. This will enable you to have your most important possessions on person at all times. Some airlines only allow one piece of hand luggage you can easily pop your crossover bag in your trolley bag whilst going through security checks and then you can remove it and carry on person.

2. Keep a paper list of emergency contacts, photocopies of passports and important documents such as insurance details in case you lose your phone or important documents. 

3. Keep pens and small notebook you may be required to fill in a customs form on the aircraft before landing.

4. Pack a book or tablet to keep you occupied.

5. Pack a light weight jacket, pasmina or shawl as it can be rather cold on an aeroplane and I would highly recommend flight socks also  as they will stop you getting swollen ankles.

6. Carry a portable battery pack and chargers and headphones. If you find having a pillow useful take with you the inflated one that can be deflated for easy storing.

7. Pack some energy snacks such as cereal bars in case of delays and some boiled sweets to suck in case your ears pop during takeoff and landing.

8. Pack paracetamol, ibuprofen, hand sanitiser (make sure not bigger than 100 ml), tissues and antibacterial wipes.

9. Lightweight change of clothing for long haul flights; t shirt, trousers, under cloths and socks. ( I always carry a toothbrush, spare pair of glasses too.)

10. Last but not least I always purchase a bottle of water to take onto the aircraft with me once I have checked in. It is very important to keep hydrated when travelling.

I find that having these items in my carry on really useful and it makes travelling comfortable knowing I have all my basic essentials with me. Also don't forget to weigh your hand luggage prior to leaving home to make sure it is within the weight allowed for the airline you are travelling with.

When travelling are there any items that you find useful to carry, do let me know your tips and suggestions in the comments section.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Easter Egg Decorations

As a child I have fond memories of painting boiled eggs for Easter. We also used to dye the eggs and create marbled patterns on them. This year in the Bostik box there were some polystyrene Easter Eggs, they were perfect for decorating so Little M and I created some sparkly Easter Egg decorations. They make the perfect table centre for a Easter themed table setting.

To create these decorations you will need:

Polysterene Easter Eggs
Bostik Glue
Glitter (colour of your choice)
Polythene bag
Stick on gems

1. Using a brush spread glue all over the egg.
2. Place the glued egg into the polythene bag and sprinkle it all over with the glitter, shake the bag to cover the eggs fully. This is the easiest way to coat the eggs with glitter without getting a glittery mess every where.

3. Remove the egg from the bag and leave the glitter to dry fully.

4. Tie a decorative ribbon around the egg.

5. Stick on the gems to finish the eggs.

Being part of the Bostik 2017 bloggers with Tots100 and Merrily Crafts, I was sent some craft items in a box to create this project.


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