Most professionals have traits that they simply can't leave at work. This is very true for most bookkeepers. A highly effective bookkeeper usually has habits that make them successful while out in the field as well as at home. I've always assumed a professional gardener is really good at keeping their yard looking beautiful and I've also assumed that auto mechanics never have car issues since they know what preventative steps need to be taken in order to keep their vehicle in tip top shape. As a bookkeeper, I've noticed a handful of things that I feel I excel at in my personal life and I feel it is directly tied to my professional bookkeeping career.
Reconciling Your Sock Drawer
Nothing is more frustrating when you put your laundry away and find socks that don't match up. It makes sense that each load should have both pairs of socks in it, but there might be some external factors that need to be considered. This is much like reconciling your checking account and not knowing why the bank balance doesn't match the book balance. All you have to do is look around and find the transactions that haven't cleared yet, much like looking around your room and finding socks that haven't be cleaned yet. Maybe your kid or cat pulled some clothes out of the laundry bin and threw them under the bed. Either way, having a level head allows you to realize the answer might be right in front of you if a little extra attention is paid to the task at hand.
Opening a kitchen cabinet and having Tupperware fall out is embarrassing when hosting a fancy dinner party. The same goes for opening your books to investors and having everything be a mess. Crow-barring transactions into QuickBooks and not spending the time entering the individual details within each transaction is like throwing all your Tupperware into a cabinet and forcing the doors closed. Spend the extra few minutes entering in payroll detail into the checks that cleared the bank so you have the gross details and not just the net. That way, your books are always investor ready and you won't have to worry about being embarrassed when you try to scale your business.
Saving Money For Down The Road
What's better than sitting down with your financial advisor and looking over your IRA, 401(k), or other retirement plans at year end and realizing your savings do add up? I often have a laugh at people that complain about not being able to save money but then I watch them drive away in a car with $3,000 rims. Same goes with small business owners, some get it and plan for a downturn in the economy and plan ahead while others won't stay afloat more than a few months due to costly spending habits. A successful small business owner should be aware of certain estate plans that can truly benefit them in case of an unfortunate accident in the future, these plans don't just apply to individuals like most people think.
Saving Money On Groceries & Gas
I'm a hell of a couponer, I may not look like it, but I am. If my local grocery store were to call
in the top 50 couponers, it would be 49 old ladies and me. Buying what's on sale, analyzing the cost per units, and buying the quantity that will result in the best deals before it expires is a sure fire way to save as much as possible and leave some money in your bank account. Most grocery stores offer incentives to buy their groceries and save on gas by the gallon. Granted, they may build some of this into the cost of their products there is one way you can come out on top on this, gift cards. Our store is next to a Home Depot and often offers 2x or 4x fuel rewards when buying gifts cards. Buying a gift card for the HD and using it instead of cash saves a ton of money on gas. A $150 gift card at 4x fuel rewards saves over $10 on an 18 gallon fill up. No brainer. This is much like a small business using a credit card instead of a debit card and reaping the benefits of all those accumulated points. Know your expenses and plan ahead. Next thing you know you might be taking a nice vacation on all those credit card reward points.
If you are reading this article and shaking your head in agreement, please reach out as you may be great fit with us at SLC Bookkeeping and you might make a great employee. If you are reading this and think this all sounds foolish, reach out and we can help you with your personal spending habits or your small business's books and show you that a few adjustments to your habits can result in great financial gains.