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6/1/10 11:15 A

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Great suggestions! Now to get my husband to listen...

God grant me the serenity to change the things I can, to accept the things I cannot change, and the wisdom to know the difference.

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6/1/10 11:10 A

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Passing along these tips shared by Kim Komando:

"Working hard for a client doesn't mean anything without payment. So, you値l need to invoice your clients for the work you do. And a billing program can help you look more professional.
The easiest option for billing is to use a spreadsheet program. You can easily set up a time sheet in Excel. This will help you track the time you spend on a project. Then, you can create an invoice to send to clients.
You don稚 even need to come up with these forms yourself. Microsoft offers plenty of free templates on its site. You can download exactly what you need to get the job done.
If you don't have Excel, download the free OpenOffice. It includes a program called Calc. This looks like Excel 2003 and has all the same major functions.
If you use a spreadsheet, you値l need to track your invoices yourself. This can become a real chore. That痴 especially true if you work with a lot of clients. If you forget about an invoice, you might not get paid. So, you might consider other options
GnuCash is a capable, free program. But, it will take more effort to learn. It's similar to QuickBooks, which is a high-end accounting program.
GnuCash has plenty of tools for small businesses. That includes creating and tracking invoices. You can use it for all your business finances. You can even use it for personal finances, if you want.
You don't have to use desktop software. There are also free online billing systems. For example, check out the free Billing Boss.
This lets you easily create invoices and e-mail bills to clients. You can track paid and outstanding invoices. And you can link to payment services like PayPal. Clients can pay bills instantly upon receipt. You might get paid faster!
If you have an iPhone, give Timewerks: Mobile Billing a look. You can easily track time spent on a job. And it helps you create and e-mail professional-looking invoices.
You can try the limited version for free. The full version is $10. It's easy to use and affordable."

Here is what she refers to as an "Advanced personal accounting program"

"HomeBank is a powerful personal accounting program. You can manage bank and credit card accounts. Set a budget and track your spending. See trends in your spending over time. Track expenses with multiple payees. And there's quite a bit more.

This program gives you granular control over tracking every cent you have. To be honest, it might be too powerful for some. Setting everything up can be intimidating. It'll take some patience. But using it will give you a thorough understanding of your financial life."

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