Tracking business expenses is often something we like to push to the side. We know we should do it, and certainly make sure to do it for the big price tag items. But what about all those little things we spend money on each year that end up adding up?! If you think about all the things you spend money on, you’ll quickly realize they will probably end up costing a lot more than you might have thought.
If you’re anything like me you probably get the receipt, stuff it in your bag and think to yourself “ok... put it in your bag...when you get home make sure to add it to the big box of receipts…like you’re supposed to...this time don’t forget to do it!” I mean could that be any easier? Somehow those little things end up getting lost in my bag and never end up where they should.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO TRACK RECEIPTS AS A BUSINESS OWNER?
You’re probably losing thousands of dollars each year. Without those receipts, you can’t write them off as expenses at the end of the year. You should keep all receipts somewhere safe, this way you can deduct as much as possible at the end of the year. Remember - every dollar counts! Also, don’t forget that you should be keeping ALL receipts for at least three years. This way if the IRS ever wants to take a closer look you have what you need.
WHAT’S THE EASIEST WAY TO TRACK ALL RECEIPTS?
Since my whole giant box of receipts wasn’t a good system my husband built me a simple receipt tracker to use. It’s FREE to use for anyone that needs a very simple, convenient way of tracking those receipts. When someone hands you one, take out your phone, take a quick picture of it and upload it to the receipt tracker online. Then you're done! You never have to think about it again.
For those of you who are new to becoming strict about tracking all your expenses here’s a quick list of receipts you should be keeping track of:
GEAR Camera bodies, lenses, camera bags, laptops, desktops, any of those big-ticket items that you use for your business.
PROPS If you're a photographer then you probably have a prop shopping problem. All those beautiful props are deductions at the end of the year.
SOFTWARE Anytime you pay for Photoshop, Lightroom, or any other software.
SUBSCRIPTIONS Any subscriptions.
WORKSHOPS Any education or workshop you take are deductions - make sure to track those too.
GAS/MILAGE Traveling for work? Keep track of your mileage/gas. Big trips where you have to travel, or little in town trips when you run work errands.
HOTEL STAYS Need to stay somewhere overnight for work? If you’re a wedding photographer you probably have to do this multiple times a month, be sure to track those hotel stays.
RESTAURANTS Meeting a client to go over their session? Track those receipts.
SUPPLIES Any supplies you need for office or studio.
PRODUCTS Prints, albums, canvases...etc.
FURNITURE Need a new office chair? Yep, deduction! Anything in your office or studio should are items you can write off at the end of the year.
MARKETING & ADVERTISING All a tax write off at the end of the year.
READY TO START TRACKING THOSE RECEIPTS?
Head on over to RECEIPT TRACKER and register. You’ll get your login info and then will be ready to track your receipts. If you know someone who is looking for something easy to use that is free be sure to share this with them. Remember - this is a simple receipt tracker. All you have to do is take a picture of it, upload it and then never worry about it again!
NOW IT’S YOUR TURN: Do you have a special way of tracking receipts? What’s worked for you? I’m curious to see how many people did what I did and just stuff them into a big box.
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