Is Your Business Set Up To Receive Money, Honey?

Featured Photo by: Pixabay from Pexels

Last summer, God blessed me to become a solopreneur and while it was liberating to finally get my business off the ground. The blazing trails to making my first 6 figures (Yes, I’m a big dreamer!) have been filled with rocks, turbulence, and strong winds to say the least. Being a business owner is hard work, and that’s saying it lightly. There are a lot of things that you have to do to get your business UP off the ground and running. Now, I have to be honest, you’re not going to have every “i” dotted and every “t” crossed when you open up for business. Most things you’ll learn as you go – but the basics should already be set in stone.

And one of those “basic” things is…….drumroll, please……taking payments! Yessss, now that you’re open for business this is one of the “main” things on your to-do-list that you should have figured out. However, you’ll be surprised that most businesses “DON’T!!” I know, I see your shocked face and trust me – I’m quite a bit shocked myself!

Things we’re not taking out time to implement today, Is Business Lost Tomorrow!

Roshonda N. Blackmon

So, you might ask – Well, what sort of payment system should be set up? I mean, taking cash is good enough, right? And while I’m so inclined to say yes, I have to give you a hard nod in the NO direction. With technology being as BOOMING as it is, I would suggest that every business owner (whether you’re brick and mortar or doing it from the house) you need more than ONE payment system set up to get your hard-earned dough.

After all – you put in the work to get your baby up and running and the last thing you want or need, is to lose money in the process. As Sweet Brown states:

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And you’re right Sweet, nobody has time for that, not even you Business Parent!! So, I’m going to give you 3 suggested payment options that you should have, just in case your ideal client – Doesn’t have CASH on hand.

#1 PAYPAL

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PayPal – Available at the Playstore of Apple store

I absolutely love PayPal and had it set-up for my business before it even got off the ground. PayPal allows you to send invoices to your clients and you can also set up recurring invoices for bigger jobs. Let’s say a project of yours cost $500 and the client doesn’t have all the money at once ( I would suggest always getting a down payment on anything) you can set up your invoices to be sent to them at certain times.

Such as the 1st, 15th or the 30th of the month – this way you don’t have to get into your computer every time and send it manually. PayPal can do it for you! You can also set up taxes and it let’s you create a drop-down list for your most popular services, so that way you’re not inputting the same information every time. Be aware that PayPal does charge taxes for money that comes in, so if you’re charging $15.00 for something – just know that it will take a percentage of it. If your client does pay the invoice, you can ask that they take care of the tax on their end before sending it back. You can also download PayPal for your phone as well, which makes it even simpler.

#2 SQUARE

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Square Reader – Available at the Playstore or Apple Store

Square is a card read that allows you to take credit and debit card payments on the spot. I’ve seen business parents use this system whether they had a brick and mortar or if they’re running their business out of their house. I love square as well – it came in handy when I did a vendor event last year selling my book “Billy Wolf & The Kids of Heavenly Hills Elementary”

Not everyone had cash on hand, so it was nice to be able to pull out my square reader and take a payment instead. With square (which you can download through the playstore on Android or the Apple store for iPhone) you’ll also be able to setup an invoice for your most popular or frequently purchased items. Click on it, put in the amount of the item and ask the client to swipe! and Viola, there your money is – going straight to your bank account! (Of course this depends on how you set it up) You can also send your client a receipt on the spot after they sign for their purchase. And to put a little more cherry on top, if you download the square reader app, you can sign up to get the reader for FREE!!

#3 CASH APP

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Cashapp – Available at the Playstore or Apple Store

Okay, so out of the 3. Cashapp is my all time favorite, I love easy and with cashapp, it’s just that! Once you download it on your phone and set-up your back account information, you’re ready to rock-and-roll! especially if your client has cashapp as well. You can even get your very own Visa/Debit card specifically for the app.

This card came in handy for me when my regular bank card had issues with it’s chip. It was embarrassing holding up the grocery line while I went through the dreaded “three inserts and a swipe method!” However, having the cashapp debit card made it easier because all I did was complete the info to move cash from my bank card to the cashapp card and there you go, it did it immediately (no waiting, no holds) and no headache from me. It was a WIN-WIN! & If your client has cash app, it’ll be a win-win for you as well because you’ll get your money INSTANTLY!

We can’t expect our client to always have cash and if your business doesn’t’ have more than one payment system set up. We run the risk of not only losing money but a potential client whom now will think of your business as….well….not quite put together. Even if we do the right things, we can’t help what people will say, However – we don’t want to give them any ammunition to hold “thoughts like that” against us!

The hardest part with any of the tips above is setting it all up, but let’s not be lazy business parent, as what we don’t take out time to do today, Is money lost for us tomorrow. Remember what Sweet Brown says? Now you might say, I know about ALL these things, but in business? It’s not about what you know – but what you IMPLEMENT!

I don’t know what business you may want to start in 2020 but I pray these tips get you going in the right direction towards getting your “dollars and cents” in order!

Let’s get it right today, So we can be better business parents tomorrow!

I am not sponsored and did not receive any compensation for my statements. Every opinion above is 100% my own, based solely on my own experience with using these apps.

Valentines on A Budget – 5 Tips to Save You Money!

Valentines is officially HERE! and while today may be the BIG V-Day, most people may opt to do something small today, with a bigger celebration more than likely starting tomorrow night and on through the weekend, right??

Valentine’s is the next most popular-est holiday, outside of Christmas. As soon as Christmas is over you can almost guarantee the week or two after, stores will begin to fill up with red, pink and white balloons, bears, candies and roses galore…I mean, that’s just how it rolls.

In Honor of Black History Month >> Check This Out >> My History, Your History, Black History Facts You Might Didn’t’ Know About.

However, while Valentines is a day that everyone (well not everyone, but you get it) uses to express their undying love and affection for a significant other – it can also be extremely COSTLY! Yes, LOVE really does cost a thing, especially on V-Day.

And that alone can be a little disheartening as everyone may not have the Benjamin’s to splurge on LOVE. Therefore, I’m going to give you 5 tips of how you can keep the cost down on the world’s most LOVE filled day.

Scavenger Hunt

Valentines Day is the perfect day to tell your significant other how much you love them and while words are great – ACTIONS are better. Get some nice paper, preferably construction paper. Fold it in half and cut along the fold line to make hearts, make sure you use different colors – it just makes the activity more fun and expressive.

Image Credit: Pexels

Write nice things you love about your sweetie on each one and put them all over your living space (preferably in places you know they always go). You might want to let them know you’re doing this and tell them you’ve placed little love notes throughout the space and send them on a little hunt to find it. Or, it can be a complete surprise. You can do it while they’re sleeping, to up the ante – you can tape little pieces of chocolate on, to make the surprise even sweeter.

Handwritten Letters

I know this is a bit old-fashioned, especially with the boat loads of technology we have today. Taking out time to sit down and actually write a letter shows that you not only care but it’s the sincerest affection to give. You can write a love note to anyone; your kids, your spouse, a good friend, boyfriend, girlfriend or just to let someone know how much you appreciate them. The fact that you took out time to do it, will be the greatest gift of love and adoration shown.

Image Credit: Pexels

Plan a Date night in Your Kitchen or Dining Room

Now, I know some people may already sit down to have dinner together, but V-Day is an extra special day that causes for an extra va-voom to your dinner/meal conversation. Use your phone to create a V-Day playlist to serve as your background music. Light a couple of candles or string a couple of lights around your chandelier or alongside your wall (get those creative juices going).

Image Credit: Pexels

During your meal, don’t talk about work or any outside disturbances. Use this time to talk about each other. What made you fall in love and etc. And if you’re flying solo, no worries plan a night with the kids (no phones, no talk about work) use that time to tell them something special about themselves and etc. Just keep the talk about LOVE. If you don’t have kids, then invite some friends over and chat it up.

You also don’t have to buy any expensive dinners, cook whatever you got in the fridge or cabinets because this moment isn’t about the food but being amongst those you LOVE.

Movies Anyone? – Favorite V-Day Classics

If you’re an avid follower, then you know I LOVE LOVE LOVE movies. What better way to settle in on V-Day or whenever you decide to celebrate it than with a good ole love classic and some popcorn. Listed below are a couple of my faves in no particular order…

Image Credit: Pexels
  • Valentine’s Day (2010)Julia Roberts, Ashton Kutcher, Jamie Foxx
  • Serendipity (2001)John Cusack, Kate Beckinsale
  • Pretty Woman (1990)Julia Roberts, Richard Gere
  • Love and Basketball (2000) Sanaa Lathan, Omar Epps
  • The Notebook (2004)Rachel McAdams, Ryan Gosling
  • Titanic (1997) Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet
  • An Officer & A Gentleman (1982)Richard Gere, Debra Winger
  • 50 First Dates (2004) – Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore

Spa Day – INSIDE

As a people I honestly don’t think we do enough self-care routines (I’m totally preaching to the choir on this one (AMEN!). So why not create your own spa day inside. Light some candles, turn on some soft music and create a bubble bath for one or two (wink..) You don’t even have to have those high-priced soaps that do all the special things – if you got some body wash that’ll do just fine for creating the bubble effect. Get you a glass of wine (sparkling or other) and just RELAX! And follow-up with a good skin care regimen.

Image Credit: Pexels

I know Valentine’s day may not be a big deal to some people’s world and that’s okay as it doesn’t take a holiday to show LOVE. However you choose to spend V-day, just make sure you’re showing yourself some love and/or spending time with the people you do. Time is precious and LOVE, whether a holiday or not is worth giving.

Glazed Cherry Bread
Looking for something delicious and different to whip up for V-Day? You’ll love this cherry bread recipe made with delicious maraschino cherries. To get the full recipe and view the video of how it’s made visit Tastes of Lizzy T.

Lunch and Soup – 4 Different Ways

I have a couple of questions for ya..

  • Are you on a budget? This girl definitely is!
  • Do you like Soup? Of course I do…(anything dealing with food really…haha)

So, yes…I’m on a very tight budget and I can’t or don’t I should say always have money to go and break a 20 on lunch only to have a couple of dollars left – Yesssss, food establishments make a killing off of our “lunch” dollars because they know 1 of 2 things to be true…

  1. You either left your lunch at home. -or-
  2. You were too lazy to cook.

And let me just say that I have been at the helm of both of those statements. And after going through what seemed like fifty dollars or more a week for lunch; I decided that enough was enough!

In which inspired this post >>>>> Lunch on a Budget for $20 or LESS!

With the cost of food seemingly going up every second it seems, it can be challenging to try and map out meals to bring to lunch everyday. I mean, who really wants to munch on PB&J or slurp up salty Noodles and Oodles. So, while shopping the aisles for lunch choices one day, I decided to get a couple of staple items and mix and match the ingredients for each day of the week – I even had a solution for snacks in between.

I have to be honest with you, shopping for food for lunch can be a little crazy; because you want to eat something different every day of the week and depending on your tastes buds, that can get a bit costly as well. So, listed below are a couple of things I picked up off the shelves and freezer section that lasted me all week and guess what (all of it was well under 20 dollars!!)

Here are my buys for Lunch:  Total Cost: $10.08 
  • Minute Rice – Multi Grain Medley – 2 @ 1.84 each
  • Bag of Mixed Vegetable – 1 @.57 cents
  • Green Giant Steamers Vegetable Medley/Broccoli Cheese – 2 @ 1.18 each
  • Green Giant Harvest Protein Bowl (Vegetarian) Southwest Style – 1 @ 3.47 each
Here are my buys for Snacks:  Total Cost: $8.81
  • Great Value No Sugar Added Pear Cups – 2 @ 1.43 each
  • Great Value No Sugar Added Mandarin Oranges – 1 @ 1.43 each
  • Great Value Dry Roasted & Lightly Salted Almonds – 1 Bag @ 4.52
What I had at Home:   
Sam's Choice Organic Bone Broth Chicken Total Cost: Free
  • Overall Cost: $18.89

So this is how I did it:

First, let me start with snacks. It’s 4 cups of fruit to a carton, so I had two snacks a day. A fruit cup and some almonds. I measured the almonds out according to the serving suggestion and put them in zip lock bags and took them all to work along with my fruit so I wouldn’t have to remember to take it everyday. So there were my snacks for the week. Two cups of fruit and almonds a day.

And then there was lunch. So for lunch, it was pretty easy. 1st Day: I had a cup of rice medley and some steamed veggies. 2nd Day: I had the steamed veggies with some chicken bone broth ( I made it like a soup). 3rd Day: I had the broccoli cheese and rice medley. 4th Day: I had the rice medley and the bone broth. 5th Day: I changed it up and brought in the Green Giant protein bowl, which was very delicious by the way, see below….

Green Giant Harvest Protein Bowl – Southwest Style

So, as you can see – lunch was not only cost efficient but different as I didn’t feel like I was eating the same thing every day……ever felt that way about a salad?? Any-who, the key to making this work is making sure you choose what it is you want to eat for the whole week. For instance, I knew that I wanted veggies – the only thing I needed to do next was find a partner to go with them and once I did….everything else was simple.

Don’t forget to incorporate items you may have at home, so another suggestion I would make is to check your cupboards before you go shopping. That frozen broccoli that’s been in the freezer for a month, could be paired with something delicious.

Think of things that you can use multiple times throughout the week without breaking the bank and going to the store everyday for items to eat (I’m still working on this feat for dinner as I do this currently). Don’t look at me like that, I’m a work in progress – say a prayer for me…lol.

Well, I hope your lunch time can now be an adventurous one. Oh and psssstttt, by the way, don’t be afraid to shop the yellow tags. I got some soup on sale last week at Wal-Mart for $.86 cents that usually run $2.87 cents. Now you may want to hurry and eat it up, because I mean, they put yellow tags on items for a reason, right???? rightttttttt…..but it can also save you loads off your pocket, especially for LUNCH!

Below is one of the creations with the products I purchased up top:

BON APPETITE!!

Back to School Money Safety – How your Credit Card Can Work for You & Not Against You

Recently, I was contacted by a site called Credit Cards (a.k.a creditcard.com) who reached out to me in lieu of a post, posted  a couple of weeks ago entitled “Back to School Savings” – since July was “BTS” (Back To School Prep) for me and every other parent in the U.S. I thought I’d offer a couple of saving tips, affirmations to get my and other kids (as well as parents) off to a good start and end it up by detailing some “family” time/fun outings that parents can do with the kiddos before school starts back (in which were suggestions by my own rambunctious two! =)

Continue reading “Back to School Money Safety – How your Credit Card Can Work for You & Not Against You”

Back To School – OH NO!, Savings – OH YESSSS!!

photo credit above: bing/backtoschool

I’ve never been the parent that school shopped early for my kids – I was the one, just like millions of other parents, fighting the long lines and busting through the aisles trying to purchase every item on their school list. We all know (for those of us that have kids) how that time of year is – It’s almost like Christmas shopping except this occurrence happens months earlier when the weather is dreadfully hot.

Seemingly, I always succumbed myself to this madness every single year. In 2016 I vowed that I would take a different approach the following year; but then again, I said that every year and still somehow found myself caught up in the masses of bogard shopping my way through the crowded stores and congested aisles.

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photo credit: http://stephie5741.blogspot.com

So, last year (2017) I remembered what I told myself that previous year and decided to break the “back to school” segments down. I had to come up with a way to do school shopping a little bit smarter without breaking the bank all at once, it was then that I decided to do my son and daughters school shopping by my pay period schedule. Whether you get paid once a week, every two weeks, twice a month or once a month – I came to the conclusion that back to school shopping had to be done strategically, especially if I wanted to save a little money.

I set out to come up with a plan; I get paid twice a month so therefore I laid out what I would purchase each pay period (starting in July), by the time August rolled around I had purchased everything the kids needed to go back to school; including their school supplies!!!! I was so excited and proud of myself for thinking smart this go round – while other parents were in the stores, scrambling for supplies. I was at ease because I planned my work and worked my plan.

Beginning with July’s first check, I bought the kids some shoes – the next check I purchased their school clothes, in which my two have to wear uniforms – so, thanks to one of my best friends advice, Old Navy has now become my one stop shop for that, check them out as they have good deals on uniforms. school listWith August’s Check, I purchased their school supplies in which you don’t have to wait until local stores such as Wal-Mart puts out the big box that contains the various school supply list for your child’s school.  You can get that list early, by visiting the school’s website– most times, they’ll have the lists posted in July or early August, that way you can get a head start on beating the crowd and shopping early because trust me, the stores will be putting out those items real soon. If they can put Valentine’s Day items out in late December, early January – you can bet, those school supplies will be out as well.

I used to order my kids backpacks, but after having a couple of “epic fails” with that – I started going to stores such as Staples and/or Wal-Mart to purchase those, the backpacks are usually purchased when I buy their shoes. I usually don’t mind spending extra dollars on  a backpack because I like for them to last “ALL” year – but even in that case, I still have had to either find myself stitching them up or buying a new one before year end…..SMH, and she lets out a very slow sigh.…

deep sigh

If you can’t afford to purchase supplies (I’ve definitely been there) then you might want to check your community  website or the local papers in which you’ll find churches and/or organizations whom have back to school rallies in which they give away backpacks and school supplies to children in need. You can also check those same sites to see how you can donate items to those same organizations to help children going back to school or maybe even hold your own “Back to School Drive” to collect supplies and give them to a local school; I know the teachers will be thrilled to receive them as well as the students.

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** “A Word to the Wise Moment” **

If you can, maybe a month or two after school starts – this would also be a good time to buy a couple of extra folders, notebook paper, pencils, pens, glue sticks and etc. because if your kids are anything like mines? They go through those first round of items quick – next thing I know, I’m getting told “Mama, I need more paper, lead and etc. for my classes” and I’m looking like, did I just buy you a bunch of stuff?, which was in August and they’re telling me in February, I knew it wouldn’t last long – I just hate going out buying extra stuff, I know – lazy me. So, pick up some extra items either now or later to spare them the talk and you the headache.

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While kids may have going back to school right now on the backburner of their minds; us parents and/or caregivers can use this time to take our savings game to another level. Maybe you already do the tips I suggested above and just want to know where to go for the savings, well let me help you out with that.

Listed below are some back to school sites/savings that hopefully will help you spend less and/or save more for your Elementary, Middle School, High School or University student:

Backpacks You Say?

Right now you can order a back pack from Wish, one of our church members just ordered one recently. It took a week to come back and she said that it was not only in good condition but a good size as well, so check them out. (You have to sign up with them in order to see the deals, but it’s worth giving it a shot)

Who Loves Coupons, Raise Your Hand!

I’m not a huge couponer, okay let me be honest – I hate coupons (please don’t judge me). I just forget them every time I go to the store; I’m the girl that uses the coupons on the frozen meals that says “Save 1.00 right now on this product!” and that’s the only time I really use coupons (true confession) However, there are quite a few people who use them religiously, so this part is for you! Here’s a link to get those back to school savings for the kiddos – Back to School Coupons – Right Here!

Not a Couponer?, Well Maybe this will Help!

Now, while I may not be very coupon saavy, A girl do love a good deal! So, for everything else you may need, including when the tax free weekend will happen in your state, you can check out the sites below and begin to save, save, save! – Just click on this link – Give me the Deals!

Well, as we continue to enjoy the summer and for us parents (secretly count down the days to Back to School happiness) hopefully this post helps you to spend less coins than you did last year. Because savings of any kind when you have children is an

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Roshonda N. Blackmon

Creator of A Blog, A Magazine. It’s JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager

 

 

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