Working On Your First Spreadsheet
How to Start in an Online Business
Phase 2 – Step 7
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Now, you will begin Working On Your First Spreadsheet, since you have it properly Formatted. Without a doubt, completing this 1st Spreadsheet: Business Startup Expenses, will be the hardest and the most time-consuming of all the Spreadsheets that you will create. Depending on your individual Home Office Setup, you may not even complete it during one sitting, but that’s OK. You just need to take it a step at a time until it is finished. There is a lot to it, so hang in there. I will walk you through it, step-by-step. When you get this first one done, the rest will be a piece of cake.
I am assuming that by this point, you have your Home Office all set up. If that is not the case, then you should complete that task before proceeding. Paint your walls if you need to, change receptacles, switches, light fixtures, and put in some new flooring if required. Add any necessary shelving. Then, arrange all of your furniture, wall hangings and other decorations so that you are very comfortable in there. Install your computer(s), printers, and monitors and hook up your internet connection. Neatly store all of your computer supplies and general office supplies, and zip tie all of your computer cords neatly. Purchase any additional items needed.
Also, complete any necessary setup for your Hard Copies Filing Cabinet and Files. When you have completed your Home Office Setup, take a few moments to look around and enjoy your accomplishment. This is how it should look at the end of every work week. Stay Organized!
So, let’s get started….
General Completion Guidelines
You will begin completing this Spreadsheet by working on each Category or Sub-Heading, one at a time, listing all of the Items applicable to that area, then, double-checking to make sure that everything applicable has been entered, before moving on to the next section.
Information outlining which types of Items are to be listed in each Category are listed below. Listing Items in the appropriate areas are important, since some of the information will be used to help complete other Spreadsheets.
Here are some Guidelines that will apply to all areas:
1. Leave a blank Row:
- between each Category or Sub-Heading and Column Headings.
- between each Column Heading and the first item entered.
- between the last item entered in a Category or Sub-Heading and the Sub-Total Row.
If necessary, you can add additional Rows or delete Rows as required, to end up with only one blank Row between your last listed item in a section and that section’s Sub-Total whenever possible.
2. Leave (3) blank Rows between each Sub-Total and the next Category or Sub-Heading.
Double-check to make sure that you have listed all Items that apply to each section before moving on to the next. Also, be careful not to duplicate any Items.
If you are listing multiple Items of a certain type, such as, multiple computers or printers, you need to identify each one by model number, make, or some other easy identification method, such as numerically (1, 2, etc.)
Add Ups – Direct Expenses
The first area that you will work on is the Direct Repair Expenses section in Column ‘E’ under: Add Up Items. Column ‘E’ is more of a worksheet area. In this area, you will be listing the items that apply to each specific section, totaling them up, and then copying those Sub-Totals into designated Cells in Column ‘A’.
Here are the specifics for this first section:
Go to Column ‘E’: Add Up Items and the first Sub-Heading: Direct Repair Expenses.
In this area, list all of the Direct Repair Expenses for your Home Office. These will be all of your remodeling Expenses for your Home Office, such as: plaster, primer, paint, new flooring, molding, ceiling light and/or fan, mounted shelving, electric, light switches, receptacles and covers, internet hook-up costs, etc. Also include any applicable contractor fees and permit fees. Remember to list only Repairs, not work that would increase the value of your home.
(Do not include any furniture in this area, only items that are permanently affixed to walls, ceiling, and floor.)
Add Ups – Indirect Expenses
Continuing in Column ‘E’, go to your Sub-Heading: Indirect Repair Expenses.
List all of the Indirect Repair Expenses that apply to whole home Repairs that are only partially deductible as a Home Office Expense. These will be items like: heating and/or air-conditioning Repairs, exterior home painting or siding Repairs, gutters, soffit & fascia Repairs, landscaping Repairs, etc. Remember to list only Repairs, not work that would increase the value of your home.
These will only apply if the work was performed just prior to you setting up your Home Office, usually within 2 or 3 months. (Your Business Startup Date should be the first day of the earliest Repair Start Date.)
You will come back to complete the other sections in Column ‘E’ after completing the sections in Column ‘A’.
Now, go to Column ‘A’: Equipment.
Then, in Column ‘B’, under ‘Items’, begin listing all of the Equipment in your Home Office. List all of your electrically or battery operated items, such as: computers, printers, surge bars, software, electric pencil sharpener, radio, CD player, calculators, fax machine, etc.
If multiple types of an item are present, say, multiple computers for instance, then you need to identify each by type, serial number, or simply by calling them #1, #2, etc.
(Do not include any accessories in this section, like, headphones, cords, flash drives, paper, printer ink, blank CDs or DVDs, etc. These will be listed under Misc. Computer Supplies.)
Computer Supplies & Office Supplies
Staying in Column ‘A’, go to the Sub-Heading: Computer Supplies & Office Supplies.
Then, in Column ‘B’, under ‘Items’, begin listing all of the Supplies found in your Home Office. These will include items like: scotch tape dispenser, letter opener, file folders and dividers, etc. Generally, any supplies that might have a life expectancy of more than a year. Do not list items, like: paper clips, pens, pencils, tape, paper, postage, etc. These will be listed under Misc. Office Supplies in Column ‘E’.
Once you have listed all of the appropriate Supplies in this area, add or delete Rows so that the following two Items are your last entries in this section: ‘misc. computer supplies’, followed by, ‘misc. office supplies’. You will be Keying in the Sub-Total amounts for these from Column ‘E’ once they have been computed.
Misc. Computer Supplies
Go back to Column ‘E’, and the Sub-Heading: Misc. Computer Supplies.
List all of your miscellaneous computer related accessories, such as: spare cords (not ones hooked up to any computers or printers), printer ink, flash drives, headphones, spare mice and pads, paper, printer ink, etc. Generally, any computer related items with a 1 year or less Life Expectancy.
Do not include: software, cords and mice hooked up to computers, surge bars, etc. These will be listed under ‘Equipment’ in Column ‘B’.
Misc. Office Supplies
Staying in Column ‘E’, go to the Sub-Heading: Misc. Office Supplies.
List all of the Items that apply to this area, such as: paper clips, pens, pencils, tape, paper, postage, etc. All Items with a Life Expectancy of 1 year or less.
Furniture & Fixtures
Now, back to Column ‘A’ to the section: Furniture & Fixtures.
In Column ‘B’, under ‘Items’, list all of the Items in your Home Office that apply to this Category, such as: computer desks, chairs, lamps, ceiling fans, book shelves, cabinets, etc. Once all of the main Items have been listed, then, list any other smaller Items, such as: drapery and any decorations.
Continuing in Column ‘A’, go to the next section: Vehicle(s).
This is where you will list the Vehicles you use for your business, to pick up Office Supplies or for picking up Office Repair Supplies, etc. Even if you only use these Vehicle(s) part-time for your business and other times for personal use, you will still be able to deduct the Business Use portion.
If you use multiple Vehicles for your business, you will list them separately in this section. Describe them by year, make, & model. List your Vehicles and their related Expenses as follows:
- Under ‘Items’ in Column ‘B’, Key in the identity of your 1st Vehicle.
- Next line, Key in: license plates and vehicle sticker
- Next line: fuel (This will only be your initial full tank.).
- Next line: insurance (This will only be your first payment whether it is monthly, 6 mo., or annual).
- Next line: maintenance (Only include this line if there is any initial Vehicle Maintenance involved when you first put this Vehicle into service for your business).
- Next line: repairs (Only include this line if there is any initial Vehicle Repairs involved when you first put this Vehicle into service for your business).
- Leave 2 blank Rows, and then repeat the process for the next Vehicle, using the same Expenses.
- If necessary, you can add additional Rows or delete Rows as required, to end up with only one blank Row between your last listed item and Sub-Total.
Other Expenses Section
Once your Vehicle(s) Section has been completed, skip down to the next Category titled: Other Expenses. This area will be used for additional Items used for your business that might not be kept in your Home Office. These might be Items like: a laptop, camera, business smart-phone, your domain name, business cards, state and local business licenses, first month’s fee to join Wealthy Affiliate Premium etc.
List these Expenses as follows:
Under ‘Items’ in Column ‘B’, Key in each of these Other Expenses.
Double-check that you have accounted for all Expenses that apply.
If necessary, you can add additional Rows or delete Rows as required, to end up with only one blank Row between your last listed item and Sub-Total.
Please leave a Comment or ask a Question in the Comments section below.
When you are ready, continue on to the next post, where you will be adding in your ‘Costs’ and ‘Life Expectancy’ for each Item. See my next Post: Completing Your First Spreadsheet – Phase 2 – Step 7