Archive for the ‘Curtis Money’ Category

How Much $$$ Should I Put Away?

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

squirrel One of the first steps in getting a handle on your finances is learning how to save money.

This is, of course, easier said than done.

Humans should take note of squirrels — who know how (and presumably why) to save some of their nuts for Winter.

Check out this short, easy to read article from the MintLife Blog:
What Gets Paid First? The Best Way to Prioritize Your Savings Plan

And this article from

For keeping track of your savings progress, there are some free (non-commercial) online tools like the FINRA Savings Calculator.

Freedom is low overhead.

Making it in Maine: Living the Good Life – a year-long, financial education program beginning in September

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

SMARTINVEST-LOGO-COLORCurtis Memorial Library has been awarded a $92,140 grant from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Investor Education Foundation and the American Library Association as part of the nationwide Smart investing@your library™ program.

The Curtis Library is pleased to continue providing community access to better financial and investor information and educational programs thanks to receiving a second grant from the Smart investing@your library™ program.

With this funding, Curtis Memorial Library will develop a community-wide financial literacy program – focused on helping individuals and families who want to learn simple strategies and skills to achieve better financial health.

The year-long series will feature a variety of practical, easy-to-implement educational tools and opportunities for people to access at the library, online and at community partner sites.

“The libraries participating in this grant program make reliable financial information and education readily accessible in their communities,” said Gerri Walsh, President of the FINRA Foundation.

“Libraries are paying close attention to their communities’ needs and aspirations, and can respond in creative, sustainable ways to help residents achieve financial goals for themselves and their families.”

About Smart Investing@Your Library

Smart investing@your library™ is a partnership between the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), a division of the American Library Association, and the FINRA Investor Education Foundation.

The program supports public libraries across the country in their efforts to meet financial education needs at the local level.


Established in 1876, the American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world.

It strives to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.

For more information, visit

finrafdn_logoFINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, is the largest independent regulator for all securities firms doing business in the United States.

FINRA is dedicated to investor protection and market integrity through effective and efficient regulation and complementary compliance and technology-based services.

FINRA touches virtually every aspect of the securities business—from registering and educating all industry participants to examining securities firms, writing rules, enforcing those rules and the federal securities laws, informing and educating the investing public, providing trade reporting and other industry utilities, and administering the largest dispute resolution forum for investors and firms.

For more information, visit

The FINRA Investor Education Foundation supports innovative research and educational projects that give underserved Americans the knowledge, skills and tools necessary for financial success throughout life.

For details about grant programs and other FINRA Foundation initiatives, visit

Living Paycheck to Paycheck?

Monday, February 9th, 2015

paydayMany middle-class Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.

If you’re one of these Americans, losing your job can be a very scary thought.

If you do lose your job, here are some suggestions to help make sure you don’t wind up in serious financial trouble.

1. Start putting together an Emergency Fund – bit by bit, dollar by dollar, until you have at least 6 months of living expenses put away.

You may want to consider selling things you own, but don’t really need, on eBay to help build your emergency fund.

eBay Web article: Another man’s Treasure! Sell your trash & clutter

TIP: You can use the Library’s public PCs to create auction listings on eBay.

2. Create or update your resume so that you can begin searching for a new job quickly.

TIP: Visit the “Jobs” Neighborhood on the 2nd floor of the Library near the Reference Desk for books on resumes, how to write a cover letter, how to prepare for a job interview, how to choose a new career, and more.

Be sure to ask a friendly Curtis Librarian for assistance!

3. Start your own side business – New books on entrepreneurship / home businesses are being added to the Curtis Money collection every month.

TIP: “The Simple Dollar” website has a list of 50 Side Businesses You Can Start On Your Own.

NOTE: The Curtis Library has resources to support many types of small businesses.

I made a commitment to completely cut out drinking and anything that might hamper me from getting my mind and body together. And the floodgates of goodness have opened upon me – spiritually and financially.
— Denzel Washington

Tax Form/Instructions Duplication Binder at Reference Desk

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

IMG_1753Librarian Kate Wing has created a tax form and instruction book duplication binder.

It is at the second floor Ref desk – you can make photocopies from this book or use it for reference.

It is not available for checkout.

In it are:

  • Instructions for 1040EZ
  • Instructions for 1040
  • 1040 Schedule A form
  • 1040 Schedule 8812 (Child Tax Credit) form
  • Instructions for 8812
  • 1040 Schedule B form
  • 1040 Schedule C form
  • 1040 Schedule D form
  • Schedule EIC (Earned Income Credit)

Any other requests can be pulled up on the IRS website and printed for .10 a page.

For example, the 1040 EZ is 43 pages ($4.30 to copy/print the whole thing) and the 1040 is 110 pages ($11.00).

2015 tax forms

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

tax-formsThe 1040, 1040A and 1040EZ forms have arrived.

You can find these forms directly across from the Lending Services desk in the Lobby.

NOTE: The library has IRS forms for you to take, not their publications.

Forms & publications are available on the IRS’s website:

Alternatively, you can explore your E-File Options:

Curtis is also hosting tax filing assistance from the AARP Foundation – This is a free service to taxpayers with low and moderate income, with special attention to those 60 and older.

You can call the Reference Desk at 725-5242 ext. 510 to make an appointment.

AARP Tax help Appointments

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

aarptax1 001Free Tax help begins Monday, February 2nd at the Curtis Library.

Your tax return will be filed electronically. You will not need to bring any tax forms.


Mondays 10AM – 2PM
Wednesdays 3:30PM – 7:30PM
Fridays 12:30PM – 4:30PM


2nd floor of the Library near the Reference Desk.

What You Need to Bring

1. Copies of last year’s tax returns
2. Driver’s License or other photo ID
3. Social Security Card, or form from Social Security Administration for each person listed on the return.

Call to Make an Appointment

Call the Library Reference Desk at 725-5242 ext. 510

Dave Ramsey – Baby Step 1 “Small Emergency Fund”

Monday, January 12th, 2015

Dave Ramsey establishes a starting point in a financial fitness program – quickly save $1,000 cash in a starter, beginner emergency fund.

Curtis has Dave Ramsey’s books and audiobooks. Click here for availability.

Remember – It is going to rain. You need a rainy day fund.
— Dave Ramsey

Tax Forms Update

Monday, January 12th, 2015

tax formsThese are the tax forms and publications that we expect to have available at the Curtis Library (plan to see them towards the end of January):

– Forms 1040, 1040A and 1040EZ
– Publication 17, one reference copy for each participant (Taxpayers
will be able to access Publication 17 in English and Spanish online from and, new this year, it will also be available as a free e-Pub for downloading from and viewing on most e-Readers and other
mobile devices.)
– Publication 4604 (EN/SP), Use the Web for IRS Tax Products &
– Publication 1132, Reproducible Copies of Federal Tax Forms and
– The TFOP Poster Package which includes:

o Publication 1169, Need Tax Help?

o Publication 1258, Where Should I Send This?

o Publication 1309, Tax Forms This Way Publication

o Publication 1725, If The Form Fits…Use It

These can be ordered by visiting this page.

– <> – to view and download
– <> – to order tax
products to be delivered by mail
– 1-800-829-3676 – to order tax products to be delivered by mail

Death, taxes and childbirth! There’s never any convenient time for any of them.
― Margaret Mitchell, Gone with the Wind

7 Things You Can Do When You’re Unemployed

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

Just been made unemployed and no idea what to do next?

If so, here are some suggestions for you…

1. Apply for Maine Unemployment Benefits


Curtis offers professionally maintained Public PCs with high-speed Internet.

2. Create or update your resume

Visit Curtis’ Job Search Neighborhood for books on how to write resumes and cover letters.

The library’s public PCs have Microsoft Word which you can use to create and edit your resume and cover letters.

Need help saving your documents? Ask a Curtis Staff Member.

Curtis Money Books

3. Search for a new job

Curtis’ Job Search Neighborhood has books on:

  • how to prepare for a job interview
  • job searching
  • how to change careers

Use the Library’s Job Search page to get started.

You may also wish to consider registering with a Temporary Staffing Agency.

4. Get some new skills / Sharpen your existing skills

– Curtis has books on how to do most anything (search the Library Catalog and/or ask a Curtis Librarian)

– Flip through the computer help books within the Science & Technology Neighborhood
Need help? Reference Librarians are standing by to assist you

– Your Curtis Library Card gives you free access to the Learning Express Library which offers unlimited, 24/7 access to targeted skill–building interactive courses in many subjects which can be most valuable to today’s job seekers. Click here to learn more about the Learning Express Library.

– Attend Curtis’ Tech Meetups (check the library’s calendar of events or ask a Curtis Librarian)

Merrymeeting Adult Education offers adult education courses in five categories.

5. Volunteer

There are volunteer opportunities available right here at Curtis Library.

Read Volunteer Coordinator Jessica Flaherty’s blog post on Volunteering as a Pathway to Employment.

6. Start your own business

You can start a home (or library-based) business with little or no money.

For example, you can create your own product (digital or physical) and sell it; sell existing products; sell your services as a tutor, music teacher, consultant, landscaper, painter and so forth.

Whichever business you decide to start, Curtis has valuable resources for you.

7. Stay Positive and Productive!

It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.

– Albert Einstein

Video: 50 Home Business Ideas

Monday, January 5th, 2015

These are, of course, just ideas.

Many will not be for you…

But some may give you ideas for businesses you can start.

And, you may already possess the necessary skills for some of these home business ideas…

Remember that Curtis has many resources to support business owners and entrepreneurs such as:

– computers with Microsoft Office
– computer help books
Learning Express Library
– print & digital business resources
– wi-fi
– tutoring rooms
– and of course professional Librarians

Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.
– Jim Rohn

2014 Maine 1040ME Individual Income Tax Booklet and Form

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

How do I get a Maine individual income tax booklet and a form?

  • Booklets and forms are available for download from the Maine Revenue Services website at
  • Individual taxpayers who would like to have a booklet mailed directly to them may:
    • Order on-line using the Maine Revenue Services Electronic Request form at, or
    • Call the forms line at 207-624-7894 (leave your name and mailing address), or
    • Write to Maine Revenue Services, PO Box 9107, Augusta, Maine, 04332-9107.

Maine FastFile

Electronic filing and payment services

More than 80% of the Maine individual income tax returns filed each year are now filed using Maine Fastfile. It’s fast, easy and no paper forms are needed.

Maine I-File
Maine E-File
Maine EZ-Pay
I-File Logo Maine efile logo Maine EZPAY Logo

Visit for more information.

Small Business Licenses and Permits

Monday, December 29th, 2014

If you are interested in starting a business in Maine, you will need to find out which License(s) & Permit(s), if any, you need for that type of business.

Maine’s Department of Economic & Community Development has an online tool that can help you determine licensure/permitting requirements.

Simply select the type of business you are interested in starting (such as “Bridal Consultant”):


And answer the questions…


Click here to begin.

NOTE: The Guide to starting a business in Maine is a secure, state of Maine government website.


You can contact the Department of Economic & Community Development weekdays between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. eastern time by calling (toll-free) 1-800-872-3838

You can also e-mail at

The value of an idea lies in the using of it.
— Thomas Edison, General Electric Co-founder

What is a Business Plan?

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

business plan writingAccording the US Small Business Administration, A business plan is an essential roadmap for business success.

This living document generally projects 3-5 years ahead and outlines the route a company intends to take to grow revenues.


This sounds like a pretty intimidating document to write — but there are books in the “Curtis Money Neighborhood” that can walk you through the process of writing your own business plan.

Click here to see them.

Here is a sample business plan for a sole proprietorship business: Sample-Service-Business-Plan.pdf.

As for what to write your Business Plan on (and with), Curtis’ Public PCs are all equipped with Microsoft Office.

Need help saving your business plan document? Just ask for help at the Reference Desk.

This short video describes how and why to write a business plan, using SBA’s free tool at

If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.
― Yogi Berra

Starting Your Own Business…

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

If you are lucky enough to be employed but are, in fact, one paycheck or two away from being homeless, you may want to consider two things:

1. Growing an emergency fund.

2. Starting your own home (or library-based) business.

If you are interested in starting your own business but don’t know where to begin, browse the books in the "Start Your Own Business" section which are within the Curtis Money Neighborhood located near the Reference Desk.



“Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”
– Winston Churchill

10 Reasons Why a Library-Based Business is Preferable to a Home-Based Business

Friday, December 12th, 2014

Curtis LibrariansThinking of starting a home-based business?

Instead why not use the Curtis Library as your base of operations?

Advantages of operating a library-based business as opposed to a home-based business.

1. You don’t have to pay for office furniture.

2. You don’t have to own a computer.

3. You don’t have to pay for Internet.

4. You don’t have to clutter your domestic domicile with office furniture and computer equipment.

5. You don’t have to own a printer, a copier or a fax machine, although (as we will explore in future Curtis Money blog posts) it may be very easy for you to run a paperless business.

6. Curtis’ extensive business and financial resources are within easy reach.

hardware7. Reference librarians are close at hand.

8. There are other people around (working home alone can cause one to feel isolated).

On the other hand there are also quiet zones with comfy chairs which are ideal for reading, collecting your thoughts and quiet contemplation.

9. Curtis offers are private study rooms which you can use for focused work, “Skyping,” and meeting with business associates and customers.

10. Curtis is open 62 hours a week and rarely loses power.