So you’ve setup and your travel blog and started to make an income. One way working bloggers can save money is to do their own accounts. This can be a daunting idea for anyone starting out. I’m going to highlight some accounting tips for travel bloggers to help save time and money.
Whether you’re a part time or full time blogger as you soon as you start earning money, you’ll need to start keeping accounts, to help you with your tax payments. Getting on top of this early will make life a lot easier when the time comes to submit your accounts.
There are a few reasons why doing your own accounts is useful and important for your business. The following is some of my tips and tricks to make the whole process easier.
Let’s get started with my Accounting Tips For Travel Bloggers!
#1. Know If You’re Profitable
It’s really important to see if you’re actually making a profit. Keeping a simple profit and loss Statement will help you identify whether you’re making a profit or not. You can keep an eye on it annually, semi-annually, quarterly, or monthly.
I remember when I reviewed my first accounts. I’d made a profit but in reality, I had a long way to go. I’d spent money on advertising, courses, website costs and much more. In the end, I’d made a profit, even if it was only a small amount.
I had a lot people following me on social media which was cool, but it was obvious I wasn’t monetising that following. Once I saw my figures, I stopped and changed the focus of my marketing to a few specific things that worked, put more of my budget towards them.
#2. Work Efficiently
Seeing all of your expenses laid out in front of you can really help you identify where you can reduce costs. It was obvious I wasted a lot of money on things I didn’t need or use for my business. If I’d paid closer attention to what was making me money right at the start, my business would have had a much better start.
When you start working for yourself, you have to pay your own tax. There’s no more employer to do it all for you. Seeing your profits will help you calculate how much you should be putting away for the tax payments later on.
It’s a great idea to put a certain percentage of your earnings away as you go along. As a rule of thumb, you should be saving a minimum of 10% of your profits each month.
#4. Don’t Put it Off
I made this mistake when I started out. I left it too long and had to play catch up, going through every transaction I’d made over the previous two years. Easily the the most mind numbing task I’ve endured. Trust me on this, get onto your accounts as soon as you can. You can thank me later!
Ok, here’s the good news. Setting up your accounts can be easy!
There are plenty of different accounting programs online that you can use yourself. I personally use and can wholly recommend Xero accounting software (www.xero.com). It’s super easy to use! They’re also offering a 30 day free trial, so you can try them out.
When you start your trial, you connect your bank accounts to import your statements from the date you first started your business. You then assign codes to each transaction. The software remembers which codes you use for each transaction and matches them up automatically going forward. If you have lots of of repeat transactions, this feature saves you a lot of time!
So now you’re setup, put some time aside once a month or so to log in and reconcile all of your transactions (tell Xero whatever that purchase was, or where that payment came from) so everything’s accounted for. It’s super quick and easy. You can even do this on your phone. A great feature for bloggers always on the move!
With regular maintenance, you can keep a check on the health of your business very quickly. You’ll very quickly realise how and where to make some tweaks to improve your business and costs.
Doing your own accounts will save you a lot of time and money. If you’re just starting out and don’t have a lot of transactions yet, a simple Excel spreadsheet is a good way to keep track of your income and expenses. Once you are ready, you can easily transfer that sheet into Xero.
Hopefully you’ve fond some of my accounting tips for travel bloggers helpful. Get your accounts sorted early and you’ll find it much easier when the time comes to submit your accounts.
Editor’s note: I personally use Xero, which is why I recommend it. All opinions are my own. I am sure there are many great accounting programs out there but Xero is my program of choice – Makai Macdonald.