We can’t all look like Wonder Woman, but we can take charge of our finances and future.
Tax filing season for the year ending in February 2021 is open. If you receive a salary and have been working from home because of COVID-19, you can claim your home-office costs. Self-employed people have been doing this for years, but as a salaried employee, you would need to have worked from home for more than six months of the tax year. There are a few other provisos: The space where you work must be used exclusively as an office and not anything else (so working at your dining room table doesn’t count!) and
the bulk of your duties are performed from this office (you’re not travelling or working at your client’s office most of the day). If you work for an employer, you will need to submit your contract and a letter from your employer. Your home-office tax deduction can include a wide range of expenses (some on a pro rata basis), including rent or interest on your bond, electricity, rates, maintenance, cleaning, telephone and internet, and stationery and equipment. If you’re not sure how you’ll benefit, visit taxtim.com for some easy home-office expenses calculators to see how much tax you can save.
THAT SWEET RIDE
What is a superhero without a really cool car, right? But don’t fall into the trap of overspending. A car depreciates every day. Consider car financing of R150 000 at 8.5% interest payable over 60 months. It will cost you R3 077/pm. Financing of R200 000 will set you back R4 103/pm, a whopping R1 000 a month more – cash you could be investing. Plus there will be higher insurance costs for a pricier car. If you opted for the cheaper one and invested that R1 000 a month, you could have R70 000 or more in your pocket at the end of five years, depending on your investment return. Imagine how handy that would be? Download the cars.co.za app for a finance calculator and crunch the numbers.
MUST HAVE… MUST WAIT
if you’re shopping and spot a ‘must-have’ item, do you close your eyes and go for it? Buying on impulse can feel so gratifying, but it can wreak havoc on your budget. Try this next time: If you are tempted to impulse buy, put it down and promise yourself that you will come back the next day. The euphoria will start fading when you walk out the shop and 99% of the time, you won’t be back!
If money is too tight to mention, start moving! A profitable side hustle can generate much-needed cash, and it’s always clever to have more than one income stream. But remember – your side hustle shouldn’t take up too much of your spare time and it must be profitable. There are tons of ideas around…
✣ Sell your skills. This can include typing, transcribing, social media management, writing, proofreading, or basic accounting or payroll services. Download the Fiverr or Upwork apps, or register on jobvine.co.za and get connected with people looking for your services.
✣ Do some side selling. This works well if you have a large network, or work with many people. Think about Honey Jewellery, Avon, Justine, Watkins and Valeur, to name a few.
✣ If you can teach others, consider being a part-time tutor. Register on superprof.co.za and start earning.
✣ If you’re creative, use this skill. There is a great demand for vintage and craft items that include scented candles or soaps, home decor, art, bags and clothing. Sell on etsy.com, a site dedicated to selling crafted items, or on their easy-to-use app.