Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Tax Help for Thrive Life Consultants

As a Thrive Life consultant one of my major stumbling blocks is taxes.  How do I handle money and what can I deduct.  After a couple of years and an excellent accountant, I have figured out a system that works for me. 

Here is what I do:

  • I use an Excel Spreadsheet to track my income and expenses all year.  This auto calculates my income and expenses for the year.  
  • Each month I keep an envelope in my purse to keep receipts in.  Then at the end of the month I enter all the info from the receipts into my Excel Spreadsheet. 
  • Then at the end of the year I look back through and add anything I missed.
  • At tax time I take it all to my accountant. 

Today I wanted to share the spreadsheet I use.   It is kind of tricky to share an Excel Spreadsheet online (at least it was tricky for me). 

 So be sure to read the instructions.

  •  This spreadsheet is an Excel document.  You must have Excel on your computer to make it work. 
  • This spreadsheet is shared using Google Drive, BUT before you can do anything with it you MUST download it to your computer. 
  • To download the Excel file click on this link.   That will open the document in your web browser. 
It should look like this:

  • Next click on the download arrow in the top right corner.   This will open a window asking you if you want to open in Excel or save.  Please select “Save File”  the choose where you want to save it.  

  • To open the Excel document.  Find it on your computer and click on it.  You are now ready to record all of your info.
Note for Excel Newbies:

This excel file has a worksheet for each month. This is where you enter your data.

You can see those worksheets across the bottom of the window.  They are labeled by month.    Just click on the worksheet tab for January and enter all of the January information.  It will then automatically add and show up on the totals page.

If you are looking for the link to the Excel Spreadsheet.  Click HERE

Here are a few things you might want to make sure you are including:
·         Your consultant URL
·         Your consultant Q—ONLY if you use it to buy things for your business.  If you are using it for personal use then it doesn’t count.
·         Convention Registrations and Expenses
·         Your consultant kit.
·         If you have a dedicated home office that is 100% used for your business then you will need to keep track of monthly utilities, home owners insurance as a portion of them may be able to be deducted.  You will also need to know the square feet of the home office.

I am NOT a tax professional please contact one if you have questions about your personal tax situation. 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

How To Use Thrive Life Butter Powder

My husband and I are serious about having a stash of food for emergencies, we aren’t hard core preppers but we are more prepared than the average family.  We are always interested in finding pantry staples designed to have a long shelf life. One product that we’ve been very happy to find is Butter Powder.  

Butterpowder is made from actual butter, nonfat milk solids, sodium caseinate (milk protein) and disodium phosphate (an anti-caking additive).  

To bring butter powder back to life you stir in the powder with water.   The result is a thick spread-like product.  Its consistency is a lot like tub margarine.  The shelf life is the real winner.   For sealed cans the optimal shelf life is 5 years.  Once opened it is 9 months.   Butter powder can be used in baked goods, on toast, in mixes and as a topping for movie-theater-like popcorn.
Butter powder can be a little tricky to use.  You don’t use it the same way you would fresh butter.    I’ve been cooking with butter powder for about 4 years and I want to share with you what I’ve learned.  

Powdered Butter Basics

  •  If the recipe calls for butter to be “creamed” with sugar as it does in many cookies recipes, add the butter powder sugar and water (just the water to rehydrate the butter) and cream that.  This takes longer than you think it should.   You need to leave the mixer running until the mixture is really creamed not just mixed.  
  • If the recipe calls for butter to be “cut in” as it does in many biscuit recipes.  Just stir the butter powder into the dry ingredients with a whisk then add the water to rehydrate with the wet ingredients.
  • Butter powder does not fry or sauté well.
  • The shelf life of butter powder is short.  For sealed cans the optimal shelf life is 5 years.  Once opened it is 9 months. 

These are the measurement I use when working with powdered butter.  I do not use the instructions on the can. 

Amount of butter needed
Amount of Butter powder
Amount of water
½ c.
3/4 c.
3 T.
1 cup
1 ½ cup
6 Tablespoons
2 cups
3  cups
¾   cup

How to Use Butter Powder to Make Honey Butter for Your Toast


Honey Butter
1 ¼ cup butter powder
1 cup honey
¼ c water
1 c powder sugar
1 t vanilla

Using wire whisk or Kitchen Aid beat ingredients until creamy.

 -Try on coconut pancakes
2 C honey
¾ c butter powder
½ c coconut chopped
1 tsp. coconut extract
2 to 4 TBSP water

Using wire whisk or Kitchen Aid beat ingredients until creamy.

Raspberry Butter

-Try on fresh rolls or waffles
½ c butter powder
1 Tbsp. sugar
½ c freeze dried raspberries
2 TBSP  water

Using wire whisk or Kitchen Aid beat ingredients until creamy.

Try as a filling for stuffed French toast or Crepes
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
¼ cup butter powder
½ c powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
¼ tsp. cinnamon
2 TBSP water

Using wire whisk or Kitchen Aid beat ingredients until creamy.

My Favorite Butter Powder Recipes

This post talks about baking with powdered butter.

This post talks about using 1/2 fresh butter and 1/2 powdered butter. 

This post talks about using powdered butter in a white sauce AND making mixes using powdered butter.