A Little Time for Gratitude

Every year about this time, when the leaves change and the weather cools, I think about the Thanksgiving holiday. And then my thoughts turn to gratitude and the simple act of writing down the things for which I’m grateful.

There’s no shortage of “gratitude journals” in bookstores and even quite a few online apps, some with inspirational quotes to keep us focused on the things in life for which we’re truly thankful. For most of us, a simple spiral notebook works just fine.

If you’ve tried keeping a gratitude journal and failed, here are a few tips to reinvigorate the effort and keep you racking up those psychological rewards, compliments of The Greater Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life

  1. Don’t just write a list of things that you’re grateful for and expect miracles. Make a conscious decision to become happier and more grateful.
  2. Elaborate. Write about fewer things, but dig deeper into them.
  3. Get personal. Writing about being grateful for a person may have more impact that writing about gratefulness for a thing (like blue skies!).
  4. What if? Writing about what if your life wasn’t blessed with something or someone takes more courage than writing about obvious blessings. The greater effort can provide a great reward.
  5. Write less. If you write daily, take a break. Try writing only once or twice a week for awhile and see if the emotional benefits have a greater happiness payout. Studies show that they do—so it’s worth a try.

The point of keeping a gratitude journal is to help us to pay more attention to the good things in life and never to take them for granted. It can help us call on those good feelings of happiness in the bad times, when we need them most. Good journalling!

Trick or Treat with Bookkeeping

October is a spooky month. Tax planning mistakes can be pretty scary too. Here are a few mistakes we advise our clients to never make…

Get a refund check from the IRS. Why let Uncle Sam sit on your cash? Claim just the right amount and earn interest yourself on the money you make, or invest it back into the business.

Not keeping those small business-related receipts. They add up and may mean a larger deduction that can lower your overall taxable income. It also helps to keep a spending journal.

Irregular paychecks to yourself. If you pay yourself a livable wage one year, then a huge amount the next year, you may be surprised when the IRS comes looking for a good reason. Why trigger an audit?

Dipping into the Social Security jar. Business owners are required by the IRS to withhold money for things like Social Security. Borrowing from this jar can land owners in a serious pickle.

Naming an employee an independent contractor. It’s tempting, because you don’t pay the employer’s portion of Medicare, Social Security, and unemployment tax. Don’t even think of it unless you want to temp the IRS with a 100% penalty for trying to deceive the government.

The U.S. Tax Code is complex and challenging. It’s always changing. Let DLMM keep up with the latest changes and help you keep your books in good order. When Halloween comes around, at least at the office you won’t be spooked by the bogieman. Already a client? Thank you for your business, and be sure to forward this on to a business owner you know who might be able to use our expertise. Happy Halloween!