Last Minute Tax Moves for 2017

Last Minute Tax Moves for 2017

Running a Business, Taxes
Did you know there are still some things you can do to reduce your 2017 taxes? You’ve missed most tax savings opportunities since they tend to have to happen within the calendar year. However, there are a couple that you can still do… and even an extra two available to you as a business owner! One really important note: I’m not a CPA and if you’re looking for specific tax advice you should talk to a CPA. I’ve sent folks to Ernest Jones before and he knows his Twitch… check him out. Additionally, you could check out our article on taxes here. Traditional IRA + HSA First, assuming your return shows under $72k Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) single ($119k married) you can get a tax deduction for contributing to…
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Mental accounting

Mental accounting

Personal Finances, Running a Business
Mental Accounting We’re continuing our discussion on way to trick yourself into making smarter money moves. I think in particular the method we’re talking about today, mental accounting, can work really well for streamers. What is mental accounting? Mental accounting describes an interesting way that humans think. When we’re looking at some resource that we possess we tend to assign it to a specific category. Picture it like you’re saying that you only use the money in one particular account for one purpose and no other. Perhaps you have certain nicer things you keep to use only when you have company, like a nice bottle of wine. Just remember: mental accounting is assigning a resource to a specific purpose that isn’t necessarily its only purpose. When can it be bad?…
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Bet on Yourself for Accountability

Bet on Yourself for Accountability

Galen's musings, Personal Finances, Running a Business
I came across a really interesting personal accountability tactic while reading the book Nudge, a book with strong behavioral finance implications. If you’ve not read it before, I think it’s pretty interesting. Anyways, the basic idea is that you set up a meaningful bet that you will do something. That way, you are in control of the outcome. This could be an awesome tactic that helps you improve your stream’s consistency or your business’s operations. The book’s examples The author is a professor and part of his work involves mentoring PhD students during their thesis. His students have a strong financial incentive to finish their thesis as soon as possible because it leads to a promotion, increased pay, and increased benefits. However, one of the main ideas in the book is…
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The Employer Identification Number for Streamers

The Employer Identification Number for Streamers

Running a Business
Hey folks, this is a hopefully quick article. Today we’re going to cover the Employer Identification Number (EIN) and when/why you might need it. This is one of those random business-y things that may or may not apply to you. Since generally streamers aren’t like restaurants with their staffing needs the requirement to get an EIN is a little gray. However, it’s really good to have looked at it and decided that it doesn’t apply instead of never having heard of it. I can tell already that this is going to be one of those boring articles that someone reads when they google EIN and streamer and not something people are drawn to because of the exhilarating title. What is the EIN? The EIN functions a lot like your Social…
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Top 7 mistakes streamers make with their business and personal finances

Top 7 mistakes streamers make with their business and personal finances

Personal Finances, Running a Business, Taxes
We’re all human. Humans make mistakes. Therefore, we all make mistakes. As you can see, I took logic in college. Don’t worry though, you can recover from (and maybe even prevent) mistakes. Here are the top mistakes I see streamers making in their business and personal finances. If it’ll make you feel better as you read it, everyone makes the personal finance mistakes and most business owners, regardless of industry, make the business mistakes. Business Mistakes Not separating business and personal accounts. If you’re running a business you’ll make your life worlds easier by keeping it separate from your personal finances. They are of course tied together but they are separate in important ways. First, you pay taxes on what the business earns, less what it spent to earn that…
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How a planner can help streamers and viewers

How a planner can help streamers and viewers

Galen's musings, Personal Finances, Running a Business
First, I will fully admit that this article’s a bit more self-serving than the others I’ve written. After all, it’s telling you why working with a planner like me is good for you! Regardless, you should read to the end. I started my business because I believe working with a planner can make Twitch a better place for broadcasters and viewers. The better you’re doing financially the more comfortable and confident you’ll be and that shines through when you’re live. I believe that having a planner is important enough that my wife and I hire someone to do our planning. The outside perspective really, really helps. You want someone who is a fee only fiduciary- make sure you ask! Everyone First, we figure out what you want to do in…
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How and why to set up a payroll.

How and why to set up a payroll.

Personal Finances, Running a Business, Taxes
Previously we’ve covered how you can potentially save money on taxes by incorporating your stream as an S-corporation. Please read up on it as there are some rules you need to make sure you’re following to actually get the tax benefit.  The core concept to remember is that you wear two hats in your business. One is the owner who is responsible for making business decisions. The other is the employee who is actually providing the labor the business needs to earn income. That employee is paid via a payroll. One word of warning: This advice is based on the assumption that you're organized as an S-corporation and the only employees of the business are also owners. If your business has non-owner employees payroll gets significantly more complicated. A second…
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How to decide if an event is worth it

How to decide if an event is worth it

Running a Business
How do you know if it’s worth it to go to an event as a streamer? After all, unless you’re a big time IRL streamer you’re taking time away from your core value proposition. While you’re at an event you’re not live. We’ll look at two different scenarios. In the first you’re not getting paid to go to the event and in the second you are getting paid. A lot of the considerations are the same but I think it’s still valuable to go over both. Going for free While of course it would be nice to get paid it can also make a ton of sense to go to events on your own dime. You could meet other influencers, sponsors, fans, and game companies. Basically, you can network. A…
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What’s a joint venture?

What’s a joint venture?

Running a Business
What’s a joint venture and why should you care? Have you ever had an awesome idea that you couldn’t implement on your own? Sometimes it’s because you lack a particular skill, sometimes it’s because you’re short on cash, or sometimes you just need someone else to help get it done in time. Heck, it could be worth it to do a project with someone because of their connections and how much easier that will make the project. I think we’ve all had those ideas. How do you set up something where you can complete that project without forever tying yourself to a potential partner? Your answer may be a joint venture. Fine, what’s a joint venture? [caption id="attachment_849" align="aligncenter" width="480"] Not this kind of joint. At least not necessarily.[/caption] A…
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