Do you want to save money? Do you need a tool to help track your expenses and make sure that your budget is in check? Bonsai's free expense tracker template is the perfect solution for anyone who wants to keep their finances in order. It's easy, free, and has many features that will improve your financial situation. Let's take a look at how to use it.
Note: If you want to skip using an excel spreadsheet and are looking for a hands-off expense tracker to do it all for you, try Bonsai Tax. Connect your credit card as well as your bank account information and watch as your expenses are automatically categorized and tracked. The average user's tax savings are $5,600 per year! Claim your 14 day free trial here.
Now, let's get into how to use our simple expense tracking template.
The first step is to make a copy of our free expense tracker on Google Sheets. After you download the template, you will be prompted to open the document on Google Sheets or Excel.
You'll be able to add:
The dashboard of our expense tracker sheet has an instructions tab as well to help you with your expense tracking.
In this tab of the excel sheet, you'll be able to add all your spending, monthly business expenses, or where all your money went while running your company. The spreadsheet's monthly expense tracker allows you to categorize what your expenses are for and how much you spend every month.
The spreadsheet allows you to categorize what type of expenses they are and how much money is spent in that category. You can create as many categories as needed and assign an amount for the total dollar amount.
Although our template is not a budget tracker, it can give you a quick visualization of all the expenses you need to pay every month. Track your travel expenses, business meals deductions, transportation, etc.
Try to review the monthly expense tracker at the end of each month to better understand your budget.
The Schedule C tab on the sheet is pretty straightforward. Enter the date you received the funds, the merchant who paid you, the expense amount, and the Schedule C category.
Here are the IRS instructions.
Our spreadsheet has the most common categories for your Schedule C Expense Categories. You may find you need to add other categories if you receive more than the typical expense types listed on our sheet.
Most of the time, this section of the excel template will be the easiest to use and adjust for your specific company.
It is important that you copy and paste your previous year's Schedule C as well to compare it with the current year or new Schedule C. If they are too different i.e. the expense types has too much variance or the numbers don't add up, you may need to make adjustments.
Let's say in the previous year's Schedule C, you wrote off 15% of your income for meals. If the current year, your tracking shows that you wrote off 35%, it could be a red flag. The IRS uses a system to see the average spending for expenses for everyone in a particular field of work, and if your deductions are too far from the averages, it could trigger an IRS audit.
Budgeting is important for any company. Our spreadsheet has a tab to track your company's income which is especially useful to be used as a budget tracker as well. You could also download our free self-employment ledger template to track income and expenses.
By keeping a log of your earned income throughout the year, you can stay on top of the financial budgeting for your business and it's financial wellness. This section would come in handy when you actually do file your taxes as well.
The IRS requires that every business report any income, even if you do not receive a 1099 form for less than $600.
As an owner or sole proprietor, any non-W2 income must be documented and reported on your tax returns as well.
When you track your spending and expenses, you'll be able to see how much your spending fluctuates monthly as well as see where you need to store extra money.
Based on last month's expense tracker, you may find you'll need to increase your savings for this month. After all, every month is different. You could also create a personal monthly budget planner by using this sheet.
Our spreadsheet was developed with the help of a certified tax professional to cover all the bases when it comes to a tracker for tax deductions. Most expense tracker templates or free spreadsheets are not made by a CPA. As you'll see if you use the other expense sheets available, you may run into issues later during tax time. If you want to make sure you are properly ready after the 2021 tax year, download and use our printable expense tracking spreadsheet.
See for yourself why our easy tool stands apart from the other expense tracker templates. We recommend you try our self-employed tax calculator, another free tool we offer to help freelancers.
Look, nobody's finances are perfect. However, the better your budgeting and expense tracking is, the more efficient you better stay on top of your finances. By using the free expense tracker template you'll be able to plan your taxes, keep on top of your spending and give yourself a better chance at running a better business in 2021.
No more forgetting what happened last month! With this easy Google sheets tool for tracking expenses around the house or office, it's not hard to stay organized during tax season.
If you'd like help with using the template or have any general questions, we always recommend you talk to a tax professional. Since our excel spreadsheet is printable, you can easily send it over to an accountant for feedback and to check for any errors.
A verbal contract (formally called an oral contract) refers to an agreement between two parties that's made —you guessed it— verbally.
Formal contracts, like those between an employee and an employer, are typically written down. However, some professional transactions take place based on verbally agreed terms.
Freelancers are a good example of this. Often, freelancers will take on projects having agreed on the terms and payment via the phone, or an email. Unfortunately, sometimes clients don't pull through on their agreements, and hardworking freelancers can find themselves out of pocket and wondering whether a legal battle is worth all the hassle.
The main differences between written and oral contracts are that the former is signed and documented, whereas the latter is solely attributed to verbal communication.
Verbal contracts are a bit of a gray area for most people unfamiliar with contract law —which is most of us, right?— due to the fact that there's no physical evidence to support the claims made by the implemented parties.
For any contract (written or verbal) to be binding, there are four major elements which need to be in place. The crucial elements of a contract are as follows:
Therefore, an oral agreement has legal validity if all of these elements are present. However, verbal contracts can be difficult to enforce in a court of law. In the next section, we take a look at how oral agreements hold up in court.
Most business professionals are wary of entering into contracts orally because they can difficult to enforce in the face of the law.
If an oral contract is brought in front of a court of law, there is increased risk of one party (or both!) lying about the initial terms of the agreement. This is problematic for the court, as there's no unbiased way to conclude the case; often, this will result in the case being disregarded. Moreover, it can be difficult to outline contract defects if it's not in writing.
That being said, there are plenty of situations where enforceable contracts do not need to be written or spoken, they're simply implied. For instance, when you buy milk from a store, you give something in exchange for something else and enter into an implied contract, in this case - money is exchanged for goods.
There are some types of contracts which must be in writing.
The Statute of Frauds is a legal statute which states that certain kinds of contracts must be executed in writing and signed by the parties involved. The Statute of Frauds has been adopted in almost all U.S states, and requires a written contract for the following purposes:
Typically, a court of law won't enforce an oral agreement in any of these circumstances under the statute. Instead, a written document is required to make the contract enforceable.
Contract law is generally doesn't favor contracts agreed upon verbally. A verbal agreement is difficult to prove, and can be used by those intent on committing fraud. For that reason, it's always best to put any agreements in writing and ensure all parties have fully understood and consented to signing.
Verbal agreements can be proven with actions in the absence of physical documentation. Any oral promise to provide the sale of goods or perform a service that you agreed to counts as a valid contract. So, when facing a court of law, what evidence can you provide to enforce a verbal agreement?
Unfortunately, without solid proof, it may be difficult to convince a court of the legality of an oral contract. Without witnesses to testify to the oral agreement taking place or other forms of evidence, oral contracts won't stand up in court. Instead, it becomes a matter of "he-said-she-said" - which legal professionals definitely don't have time for!
If you were to enter into a verbal contract, it's recommended to follow up with an email or a letter confirming the offer, the terms of the agreement , and payment conditions. The more you can document the elements of a contract, the better your chances of legally enforcing a oral contract.
Another option is to make a recording of the conversation where the agreement is verbalized. This can be used to support your claims in the absence of a written agreement. However, it's always best to gain the permission of the other involved parties before hitting record.
Fundamentally, most verbal agreements are legally valid as long as they meet all the requirements for a contract. However, if you were to go to court over one party not fulfilling the terms of the contract, proving that the interaction took place can be extremely taxing.
So, ultimately, the question is: written or verbal agreements?
Any good lawyer, contract law firm, or legal professional would advise you to make sure you formalize any professional agreement with a written agreement. Written contracts provide a secure testament to the conditions that were agreed and signed by the two parties involved. If it comes to it, a physical contract is much easier to eviden in legal circumstances.
Freelancers, in particular, should be aware of the extra security that digital contracts may provide. Many people choose to stick to executing contracts verbally because they're not sure how to write a contract, or they think writing out the contract terms is too complicated or requires expensive legal advice. However, this is no longer the case.
Today, we have a world of resources available at our fingertips. The internet is a treasure trove of invaluable information, platforms, and software that simplifies our lives. Creating, signing, and sending contracts has never been easier. What's more, you don't have to rely on a hiring a lawyer to explain all that legal jargon anymore.
There are plenty of tools available online for freelancers to use for guidance when drafting digital contracts. Tools like Bonsai provide a range of customizable, vetted contract templates for all kinds of freelance professionals. No matter what industry you're operating in, Bonsai has a professional template to offer.
A written contract makes the agreement much easier to prove the terms of the agreement in case something were to go awry. The two parties involved can rest assured that they're legal rights are protected, and the terms of the contract are sufficiently documented. Plus, it provides both parties with peace of mind to focus on the tasks at hand.
Bonsai's product suite for freelancers allows users to make contracts from scratch, or using professional templates, and sign them using an online signature maker.
With Bonsai, you can streamline and automate all of the boring back-office tasks that come with being a freelancer. From creating proposals that clients can't say no to, to sealing the deal with a professional contract - Bonsai will revolutionize the way you do business as a freelancer.
Why not secure your business today and sign up for a free trial?