Carrie Smith Nicholson

Hi there! My name is Carrie Smith Nicholson. I'm an executive virtual assistant, systems consultant, and business blogger. Over the past 7+ years I've worked with online biz owners and bloggers to find the best tools, apps, and systems so they can grow their business without hiring a large team and scale without stress! After paying off $14,000 of debt and quitting my accounting day job, I started this blog, carefulcents.com. I was tired of being overworked and burned out trying to chase money -- I knew there had to be a better way! Sign up to get my FREE guide and learn THE TOP 10 BUSINESS TOOLS I use to get massive amounts of stuff done!

Personal Capital Review: Best Free Budgeting App for Building Wealth

personal capital best budgeting app

Personal Capital is a new way to easily track your money and budget. So if your current budgeting software isn’t cutting it anymore, then it’s time to try something new. Maybe you’ve tried Mint but realize it doesn’t offer the wealth building features. The Trends feature is clunky and it mainly focuses on budgeting. Quicken is …

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14 Powerful Career Success Books to Read When You Need Motivation

best career success books

This post is constantly being updated with the best career books so you can find your passion. It’s tough staying motivated as a business owner. There are literally thousands of things that need to be done every day and tons of advice you could take action on. How do you know which ones are the best …

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Working With Brands: How to Earn Thousands as a Brand Ambassador

be a brand influencer

In 2015 I started working with brands directly. My goal was to secure sponsorship and brand ambassador deals! I decided that I prefer to earn money through this blog instead of solely selling products to my community. In the past I offered services via a membership workshop library as well as online courses, but those …

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Creating a Mobile Office: How to Work From Anywhere (free checklist!)

asana task management

In October 2015 my husband and I packed up the last of our belongings, and began the two-day drive from our home in TX to our new apartment in Colorado. Whether you do it yourself, or hire long distance movers, moving across the country is a completely life-altering, productivity-hindering, put-a-wrench-in-your-health-and-sanity experience. To help overcome this crazy …

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Freelance Invoicing Tips: Use FreshBooks to Get Invoices Paid Faster

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As a small business owner, you know the importance of getting paid. It’s a key aspect of increasing cash flow and ensuring you keep food on the table for your family. But managing invoices can be a pain. I mean, who wants to spend time on admin tasks like creating and sending invoices? Not me! And then …

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7 Business Expenses You Pay Out of Pocket When You’re Self-Employed

business expenses

There are tons of misconceptions about being a freelancer: you can wake up whenever you want, never have to shower or get dressed, and can watch TV or Netflix all day. While these things are true to some extent (you can wear yoga pants all day!), the downside to having all this freedom is that …

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8 Options for When a Freelance Client Doesn’t Pay You on Time

client who doesn't pay

When a freelance client who doesn’t pay you on time it can be very difficult. This is something I have experienced personally. And if you’re a subscriber to my weekly emails, you know that I’ve been dealing with a big client who hasn’t paid me for a blogging campaign we did together. They were 5 …

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Business Emergency Plan: How to Create a Backup Plan as a Business Owner

business emergency plan

Dealing with a business emergency is never a fun thing. But in order to deal with it successfully you have to create a plan of action. I know this because, well, something I couldn’t control happened without warning. On this exact day four years ago, I was sitting in my bedroom brainstorming names and trying …

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How to Do Your Own Taxes and Prepare for Filing [A Complete Guide]

how do to your own taxes

Learning how to do your own taxes can seem daunting, even if it is pretty straightforward. You just need to know the exact steps to take! As someone who prepped and filed taxes for small business owners for over a decade, I’ve worked out a simple process for tax season. It’s something that will save …

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How to Organize a Home Office While on a Budget (My $76 Home Office Makeover)

create digital product

In 2014 I celebrated my first full year of self-employment for my online business. During this time I made a lot of changes, flipped my schedule upside down, and finally found a daily routine that worked. The only thing that was still frustrating was my home office environment. We live in an apartment so there isn’t a …

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Tackle Your To-Do List: How to Get Back in the Work Groove After Time Off

seo client trick

You want to know how to manage your to-do list after taking time off. It’s true that it can be difficult to get back into the routine of things after being away from your desk. Anytime you add eating a lot of food, traveling, and lack of sleep into the mix, it’s nearly impossible to …

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How to Create a Mint Budget and 5 Other Steps for Getting Ahead

mint budget

Are you interested in learning how to create a Mint budget using Mint.com? This free budget planning software is something that I’ve used to manage my personal finances for several years. The only problem though is that I never quite figured out what all the little tabs and shortcuts were. It works great for creating a monthly budget of …

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Saving for Retirement: Investing in a Roth IRA When You’re Self-Employed

There are many awesome benefits to working for yourself, but there is one big pitfall compared to being an employee: saving for retirement. You don’t get the traditional benefits of having an employer match your 401(k) contributions, allowing you to get “free money”. However, just because you’re a self-employed business owner or blogger doesn’t mean you can use that …

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6 Different Kinds of Budgets For People Who Hate Budgeting

work smarter not harder

Different kinds of budgets can actually help or hurt your money. It’s true! Even if you despise budgeting, having the right kind of budget plan can help you stress less about money. I know, I know — the word “budget” is usually associated as four-letter word and prompts feelings of dread and complaining. Don’t worry, I too …

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How to Stop Being Broke and Finally Break the Cycle

investing in your business

So you’re ready to stop being broke? You hate living paycheck-to-paycheck and want to change. Well, the first step towards changing your life and gaining control of your finances is to admit you want to change, and acknowledging how much you need to change. Only you have the power to change your financial situation. When it comes …

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