Is Xero good for small business?

Is Xero good for small business? Xero accounting software review

As a small business owner, I am always on the lookout for products and services that will save time and increase productivity. If I said that accounting was my favorite part of being a small business owner, well, I’d be lying. What I was looking for was service that made invoicing, balancing books, and viewing payments that were being made and received simple. Did I find it? Keep reading to find out.

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Koffie Straw Review | My New Favorite Coffee Accessory

Koffie Straw Review

Koffie Straw Review

I recently found Koffie Straw on Instagram and I was instantly intrigued! I just got mine and I wanted to do a Koffie Straw Review post. Since starting the Whole 30, I have been drinking far more coffee than usual. Part of my goal on the Whole 30 was to quit drinking sugary beverages altogether, so I plan to continue drinking coffee every day after the Whole 30 is over. Everyone knows that drinking darker colored beverages can have negative effects on your teeth. Most people also know that using plastic in hot beverages is a huge no-no, unless yo
u like leaching chemicals into your beverages. I hate using plastic with hot food or drinks, and I like buying re-usable products instead of plastic whenever possible. This is where the silicone Koffie Straw comes in.

First impression, I love the packaging. It’s so cute! Every order comes with two Koffie Straws and a little cleaning brush. I really love this because when you buy most re-usable straws they don’t come with any kind of brush to clean them. I usually have to dig into my daughters art stash to find pipe cleaners. The Koffie Straw is also dishwasher safe, which is handy for the lazy among us (me.) They are made to fit perfectly in to-go cups. The rectangle shape fits in to-go lids and they are designed so that most of the coffee won’t touch your front teeth. The straws are 7″ but I was told that they are making a longer version that will be released soon. I usually drink coffee at home out of a mug, or order a smaller coffee when I am out, so the 7″ straw is ideal for me. I have the pink straws and I love the color. I use a glass water bottle with a pink silicone sleeve, so my water bottle matches my Koffie Straw. 🙂 You can also purchase directly from their website in Navy or Plum or order Navy on Amazon.

If you’re interested in keeping your teeth whiter, while using an eco-friendly and re-usable product, I can’t recommend this enough! It’s a cute and fun product, but they are also useful. The Koffie Straw is made very well and I think that it will last quite a while. I have found that most silicone products hold up well and last forever. I sure hope that this does, because I plan to use it every day!

 

Koffie Straw Review | Where has this been all my life?? If you're a coffee drinker and worried about stains on your teeth, this product is genius!

 

 

**Note: Koffie Straw did send me a sample to try got this Koffie Straw Review. I received the item free of charge but I do not receive any type of commission if you purchase this item directly from Koffie Straw. I ONLY review products on the blog that I love and recommend!

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The New YNAB Review

The New YNAB Review

I have been wanting to do a YNAB review for quite some time. I originally purchased YNAB (or You Need A Budget) over two years ago. There were plans for a YNAB 4 review, but I realized that I should probably just make the change to “the new YNAB” and review it instead. My husband and I had been using YNAB 4 100% of the time since last May. We both have it on our Android phones and I was also using it on my desktop. This isn’t necessarily a comparison between the YNAB 4 and the new YNAB, but I am pointing out a few key differences in case I have any readers who are still using YNAB 4.

The new YNAB changes things quite a bit. With YNAB 4, everything was connected to Dropbox and there was a desktop application. In the new YNAB (I really feel like YNAB 5 would have been an easier name) everything is online and syncs within seconds. This is taking some getting used to, but overall I feel like it is a definite upgrade. So what is YNAB? YNAB is a budgeting software that uses mobile and web-based apps to track your income and spending. Using a budgeting software can be very eye opening. You can see where your money is going and begin to prioritize your spending. Budgeting software isn’t just for people who are “bad” with money (although if you are, it will certainly help!) but a great for anyone who wants to have control over their money. With YNAB, it all starts with the four rules.

The new YNAB budgeting software review. I have been using this software for almost three years, and it's perfect for our budgeting needs!

THE RULES:

Rule 1: Give every dollar a job

This is just the basic idea that every dollar you earn should be allocated to a certain purpose.

Rule 2: Embrace your true expenses (formerly save for a rainy day.)

The idea of rule 2 is to realize that the large, less frequent expenses should be budgeted for on a regular basis. An example would be paying insurance premiums every 6 months. Instead of being hit with a $600 payment, you can budget $100 per month. Breaking up larger expenses over time makes life easier because when they arrive, you are 100% prepared. Another example would be saving for Christmas (it comes every year and shouldn’t be a shock!), vacations, taxes, etc.

Rule 3: Roll with the punches

This rule is my personal favorite! Rolling with the punches simply means that life happens, budgeting mistakes happen, things come up, and that’s 100% okay. You may overspend in certain categories and it is just fine to move money from other categories. Expecting for things to come up and rolling with the punches helps allows you to be flexible while maintaining your true goals.

Rule 4: Age your money (formerly live on last month’s income)

A very interesting feature of The New YNAB is being able to see my “old” your money is. Formerly YNAB wanted us to live on last months income, creating a buffer and breaking the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle that the majority of American’s are stuck on. Aging your money is the same concept, ideally you want your money to be older than 30 days, meaning you are living on income from at least one month prior.

The new YNAB budgeting software review. I have been using this software for almost three years, and it's perfect for our budgeting needs!

THE BASICS:

YNAB is accessed via either the web-based YNAB or on an iOS or Android device. The ability to allocate funds, set goals, view statistics and other detailed information is only available on the web-based app. I just discovered that you can actually move money from your “to budget” category into other categories from the mobile app. However, it’s much quicker easier to do from the web-based app. The iOS and Android app allows users to add transactions for both income received and money that has been spent. Both the web-based and mobile apps are very user-friendly. Even if you aren’t a very tech-savvy person, it isn’t hard to figure out how to use either one. YNAB also has dozens of videos on their Youtube channel with helpful information and easy to follow set-up and how-to-use tutorials.

Free Trial

YNAB has a free 34-day trial, and the set-up is almost fool-proof. YNAB will walk you through all of the set up steps, and teach you exactly how to use it right in the app. If you’re still confused, you can always check out the YouTube channel, I have found it extremely helpful. YNAB allows you to seamlessly use multiple devices, even if you are using them at the same time. Transactions entered into the web-based app are automatic, and transactions entered through the mobile app take 60 seconds or less.

Another feature that I love with the new YNAB is the ability to set goals. Let’s say you want to spend a certain amount on Christmas, a vacation, a wedding, etc. Setting a goal will allow you to see how close you are to your goal, and it also tells you how quickly you will reach the goal if you save a certain amount every month. While this isn’t a necessary feature, I will like it’s really nice, especially if you hate math. 🙂

Overall, I have had a very positive experience with YNAB. My husband uses the mobile app, and I handle most of the web-based budgeting. This works for us because he isn’t interested in the nerdy numbers part of it. He likes that the app is simple to use. If you budgeting with someone else, it’s important that they are on board. I think that YNAB makes it easier since it is so simple to use.

Extra YNAB Features That I Love:

The YNAB blog: There are so many helpful articles on the blog and it is updated regularly!

WhiteBoard Wednesdays: This is my FAVORITE extra YNAB feature. I love watching the Whiteboard Wednesday videos on YouTube.

YNAB also has a forum, I haven’t used it but it seems like a lot of people use it regularly and love it.

Things that could be improved:

Initially I wasn’t sure about YNAB switching to a subscription service, but I have come around. I feel like it has allowed YNAB to grow and updates are put out quickly. Personally, I have never had any issues, but I have heard that YNAB customer service has really improved. I had heard complaints about it in the past, but I have heard nothing but positives lately. I also enjoy the interaction that I see on Facebook.

When I wrote this post, I included the fact that I was disappointed that the new YNAB did not include reports. It now does include reports, so that is no longer a problem for me.
YNAB vs. Dave Ramsey’s Every Dollar:

YNAB wins, end of story.

…wait, that wasn’t much of a comparison, was it?

Okay, so I love Dave Ramsey’s podcast and books, and I recommend them to anyone who is interested in getting on a budget and making better financial decisions. That being said, I wasn’t very happy with Every Dollar. I didn’t feel like it was easy to use, and I felt like any money that you had “before” starting to budget didn’t really have a place to go. Maybe I was just using it wrong, but I tried on three separate occasions and could never get used to it. Every Dollar IS free, but if you want to connect your bank account (which is included with YNAB) the price is about the same as just going with YNAB.

Closing Thoughts for my YNAB Review:

Whether you are brand new to budgeting or just looking for something new, I believe that YNAB could be right for you! YNAB doesn’t have much information as far as investing, but I am not even adding that to “things that could be improved” because I don’t think that everyone needs that in a budgeting app anyway. The 34 day free trial allows you to use YNAB for more than a month and see how it works. The trial is absolutely free, they don’t even require a credit card! The cost of YNAB is now $5/month or $50 for the entire year. If you aren’t currently tracking your finances, you will be able to save far more than the investment, probably in the first month! If you’d like to get your free 34 day trial, head over to You Need a Budget.

Thank you so much for reading my YNAB review! If you’ve used YNAB, or any other budgeting software, I’d love to hear about it in the comments! If you like this post, make sure to pin it for later or share it with your friends!

What's the BEST budgeting software? In my opinion, it's You Need a Budget, or YNAB. Check out my full YNAB review to find out more!

 

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House of Flynn Travel Wallet Review

photography bucket list, money saving blog, budgeting blog, healthy eating blog, whole 30 blog, bucket list blog, photography blog, live eat save simplifyIf you are a photographer, a creative, or a lover or really cute bags, you have to check out The House of Flynn! I stumbled on the House of Flynn last
year and in addition to the beautiful products I have also discovered a wonderful community.

The bought a Travel Wallet shortly after they were released. The word “wallet” is a bit of a stretch, this thing is huge! It has slots for plane tickets, passports, and everything else that you could possibly want to take on a trip! This one is genuine black leather with black plaid interior. I wasn’t sure about the interior when I ordered it, but upon arrival I decided that I do like it. The wallet has a large front pocket. I like this pocket because I can put my phone in it. I have a Galaxy Note 4, so my phone doesn’t fit in very many wallets. It seems silly, but I love the pen holder in the middle. I am always digging around in my large camera bag for a pen. There is also a small snapping pocket on the inside, which could be handy for change. The construction on this wallet is very sturdy, and I’m sure that it will last for a long time.

I have a Coach wallet that I love, so this travel wallet won’t be for every day use. My plan is to use it when I am shooting weddings, or when I am traveling. I love the idea of using this for a wedding. I usually have various pieces of paper with the wedding timeline, questionnaire, or portrait shot list. I will be able to fold them in half and put them in the front pocket for easy access. I also have an upcoming trip (I will post another blog with details in the near future) and I am excited to use this wallet for travel!

photography bucket list, money saving blog, budgeting blog, healthy eating blog, whole 30 blog, bucket list blog, photography blog, live eat save simplify
photography bucket list, money saving blog, budgeting blog, healthy eating blog, whole 30 blog, bucket list blog, photography blog, live eat save simplify

This is the travel wallet sitting on top of a 13 inch Macbook. It’s huge!

photography bucket list, money saving blog, budgeting blog, healthy eating blog, whole 30 blog, bucket list blog, photography blog, live eat save simplify

A close up of the card slot details.

 

 

This is not an affiliate link, I purchased this wallet at full price. I am simply reviewing it because I love it!

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