Archive for the ‘Curtis Money’ Category

8 Ways Curtis Can Save You Money

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

IMG_06141. “Subscribe” to Curtis. You can cancel your subscriptions. Come to Curtis to read the current issues of your favorite magazines. Don’t forget you can check-out many back issues and take them home. You can also access online periodical (magazine) databases through MARVEL!. (Need help? Ask a Curtis Librarian).

2. Joining a Curtis book group is a cost-free way of meeting people and broadening your mind.

3. Peruse the Curtis Kids Calendar for free programs to keep babies and toddlers amused and stimulated through activities such as singing songs, finger fun and storytelling. There are free, stimulating, mega-fun programs for teens as well.

4. Watch DVDs and listen to Music CDs at no cost.

5. Digital downloads are free with your Curtis library card – Download e-books, audiobooks and movies.

6. Use the library’s wi-fi instead of paying for expensive home Internet service.

7. Googling from home can be overly time consuming and counterproductive. Curtis’ professional reference librarians are the best search engine. They are super-sleuths at helping you find information on just about any topic you can imagine.

8. Attend one of Curtis’ community events such as our recent How-To Festival.

Libraries are our friends.
― Neil Gaiman

Energy Savers Guide: Tips on Saving Money and Energy at Home

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

save-energy-and-money-at-homeFrom energy.gov:

Easy low-cost and no-cost ways to save energy.

  • Install a programmable thermostat to lower utility bills and manage your heating and cooling systems efficiently.
  • Air dry dishes instead of using your dishwasher’s drying cycle.
  • Turn things off when you are not in the room such as lights, TVs, entertainment systems, and your computer and monitor.
  • Plug home electronics, such as TVs and DVD players, into power strips; turn the power strips off when the equipment is not in use — TVs and DVDs in standby mode still use several watts of power.
  • Lower the thermostat on your water heater to 120°F.
  • Take short showers instead of baths and use low-flow showerheads for additional energy savings.
  • Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes.
  • Air dry clothes.
  • Check to see that windows and doors are closed when heating or cooling your home.
  • Drive sensibly; aggressive driving such as speeding, and rapid acceleration and braking, wastes fuel.
  • Look for the ENERGY STAR™ label on light bulbs, home appliances, electronics, and other products. ENERGY STAR products meet strict efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy.

A simple fact that is hard to learn is that the time to save money is when you have some.
- Joe Moore

Tips for Change E-Book

Monday, March 17th, 2014

April is Financial Literacy Month and it’s rapidly approaching!

Download the e-book to read tips submitted by financially savvy consumers.

mmi_ebook

I’m living so far beyond my income that we may almost be said to be living apart.”
― E.E. Cummings

Your 30 Step Path to Financial Wellness

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

Financial Literacy MonthFree Personal Finance Resources from Money Management International.

The first and most important step in developing and following a financial plan is to examine your attitudes about money. Are you ready to accept responsibility for changing your financial situation? Do you believe that you can and will change the way you make financial decisions? Can you identify at least one benefit you hope to gain by changing your money management behavior?

Download the free Financial Literacy Month e-book

A wise person should have money in their head, but not in their heart.
– Jonathan Swift

To Your Credit: Online Video Series

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

Based on the FDIC’s Money Smart Financial Education Series – These videos were produced by the Apache Junction Public Library, AZ and made possible by a grant from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation through Smart investing@your library®, a partnership with the American Library Association.

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Money won’t create success, the freedom to make it will.
– Nelson Mandella

Five Dos and Don’ts That Can Help You Achieve Greater Financial Security

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

adobe-blueprint-pdf-symbol-iconWith the unemployment rate slowly falling, many Americans are facing a healthier job market and trying to get their financial lives back on track.

Drawing on the findings of the FINRA Investor Education Foundation’s National Financial Capability Study of more than 25,000 Americans, the FINRA Foundation has developed five tips to help consumers both manage their day-to-day financial challenges and build a brighter financial future in 2014.

Free PDF download:

>>> Five Dos and Don’ts Investor Checklist

I try not to borrow, first you borrow then you beg.
― Ernest Hemingway

Money Matters: Online Video Series

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

Based on the FDIC’s Money Smart Financial Education Series – These videos were produced by the Apache Junction Public Library, AZ and made possible by a grant from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation through Smart investing@your library®, a partnership with the American Library Association.

If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to.
– Dorothy Parker

Help With Maine Property Tax Fairness Credit

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

cartoonAs you may already know, AARP “Tax-Aide” volunteers are standing by here at Curtis to help you with your Federal and State Tax Returns.

But did you also know that you can get help getting your Maine Property Tax Assistance Credit?

(The Circuitbreaker Program has been replaced by a refundable Property Tax Fairness Credit that can be claimed on the Maine Individual Income Tax Form – http://www.maine.gov/revenue/taxrelief/tnr.htm)

NOTE: You can if you wish get help with only filling out and filing the form for the Property Tax Fairness Credit.

Call the Curtis Reference Desk at 725-5242 ext. 510 to make an appointment.

There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him.
― Robert A. Heinlein, The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress

Get Help With Your Tax Return

Monday, February 10th, 2014

aarp-tax-helpAARP Tax Prep appointments:

- Mondays 10:30 am – 2:30 pm

- Wednesday afternoons 3:30 – 7:30 pm

- Fridays 12:30 – 3:30 pm

AARP “Tax-Aide” volunteers are ready to help prepare federal and state income tax returns. This free service is sponsored by the IRS and the AARP Foundation.

Tax-Aide counselors are trained, tested and certified each year. Appointments are made at the reference desk (x510).

What You’ll Need to Bring

1. Driver’s License or other photo ID

2. Social Security Card or another form from the Social Security Administration for every person on the return. They can’t do the taxes without it

3. Last year’s tax returns + W2 and 1099 forms

Get or Replace a Social Security Card

Application Form

How to replace a Social Security Card for an adult:
Replace a Social Security Card for an Adult

Local Social Security office in Portland:

550 Forest Ave
Portland, ME 04101
(207) 771-2851

MAP

7 Reasons to Visit (and Revisit) the Curtis Library

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

1. A rainbow of reading for all ages

cooking and entertaining neighborhood - 2nd floor

cooking and entertaining neighborhood – 2nd floor

At Curtis, readers will be pleased to find the New Books Room, the Best Seller Express, the large print collection, monthly themes such as “Royal Reads” and “O Canada Mysteries,” and Book “Neighborhoods” such as “Biographies” and “Crafts & Hobbies.”

But did you know many popular e-books can be checked out as well? The best part of that technology? No need to return so no risk of late fees. You can borrow ereaders from Curtis as well. But, you need to return those.

2. Wi-Free

Curtis offers free high-speed wifi. Public computers connected to Networked Printers are available as well. Whether you're job seeking or catching up with old friends, this is a great option to save money on the cost of monthly Internet access.

Curtis offer software and other resources to help patrons create resumes and other employment materials.

3. Research

Another cool part is that you can often avoid many pay walls for databases like Ancestry.com, HeritageQuest, MARVEL! and LearningExpress.

4. That's entertainment

Curtis members (i.e. Library card holders) can download ebooks, audiobooks and movies for free. You can also borrow CDs from the library’s varied and extensive music collection.

Safety Last - Criterion Collection DVD

Safety Last – Criterion Collection DVD

Peruse the DVD section of Curtis and you might be surprised by what you find. Curtis buys the latest popular releases, classic films, international films and notable films from the Criterion Collection.

Take the Library Art Walk: Curtis has an extensive collection of paintings, textiles, historical maps & photos, rugs, and statues.

5. Staying for the course

Classes at Curtis include everything from crafting "make and takes" to tech meetup "appy hours" to Cornerstones of Science presentations to food lit discussions. Local organizations and educational institutions such as the Midcoast Senior College frequently hold lively multimedia presentations at Curtis.

(Follow Curtis on Twitter to be notified of such events.)

staying-for-the-course

Craft Meetup: Folded Book Pages

6. Social network

Curtis offers numerous weekly events for young children and their caregivers such as “Finger Fun With Miss Teresa,” “Time for Twos” and the “Musical Toddler Gathering.” It's a chance for new parents to introduce their babies to reading and to other families.

Programs designed for teens such as “NERF Turf” and the “Chocolate Fest” are also becoming increasingly popular.

Nearly half of library users brought their child to a class or other event, according to a Library Services in a Digital Age survey.

Book clubs are another way to meet other readers and socialize. Curtis offers the Monday Afternoon Book Group and the Just Desserts Mystery Discussion Group.

7. Peace & Quiet

Study rooms are a great option if you're a teen working on a group project or someone who just needs some time to enjoy the sound of silence. Rooms used for quiet study and tutoring are located on the 2nd floor of the library near the Reference Desk.

What is your favorite part of your library? Visit our Facebook page and let us know.

I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.
― Jorge Luis Borges

Tax Forms Update

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

Update 2/4/14

Forms and instruction books for 1040, 1040A, and 1040EZ have arrived.
1040s

Update 1/29/14

1040 A & 1040 EZ instructions only are here.

Update 1/23/14

The following 2013 Federal tax forms, schedules and publications are available in the Curtis Lobby:

Forms

  • 2106 – Employee Business Expenses
  • 3903 – Moving Expenses
  • 4652 – Depreciation and Amortization
  • 5695 – Residential Energy Credits
  • 8829 – Expenses for Business Use of Your Home
  • 8863 – Education Credits

Schedules

  • Schedule C-EZ – Net Profit From Business
  • Schedule R – Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled
  • Schedule SE – to figure the tax due on net earnings from self-employ-
    ment

Publications

  • 334 – Tax Guide for. Small Business
  • 501 – Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information
  • 529 – Miscellaneous Deductions
  • 936 – Home Mortgage Interest Deduction
  • 596 – Earned Income Credit (EIC)

download_tax_form_icon

1040, 1040A and 1040EZ

Instruction booklets (1040, 1040A and 1040EZ) – expect receipt by mid February. Some freight deliveries may go through late February

Maine Tax Forms

Maine state tax forms will not be available for pickup at Curtis (or anywhere else). Maine state tax forms may be downloaded from the Maine Revenue Services website.

To request printed tax forms, call 207-624-7894 or write to:

PO Box 9107
Augusta, ME 04332-9107

Help Downloading Tax Forms

Many IRS tax forms and publications can be downloaded from the IRS.gov website and printed at Curtis for $.10 per page.

If you need help, ask a Curtis librarian.

Here is my principle: Taxes shall be levied according to ability to pay. That is the only American principle.
—Franklin D. Roosevelt

Two-Part Program on Identity Theft

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

Based on the FDIC’s Money Smart Financial Education Series – These videos were produced by the Apache Junction Public Library, AZ and made possible by a grant from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation through Smart investing@your library®, a partnership with the American Library Association.

It is a good thing to learn caution from the misfortunes of others.
–Publilius Syrus

IRS form 1099 CAUTION!

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

Form-1099The form that appears as a PDF on the IRS website is there only for informational purposes! You cannot use this form for reporting purposes.

Here is what the IRS website says about Form 1099:

“This form is provided for informational purposes only. Copy A appears in red, similar to the official IRS form. Do not file copy A downloaded from this website. The official printed version of this IRS form is scannable, but the online version of it, printed from this website, is not. A penalty may be imposed for filing forms that can’t be scanned.”

You need to obtain the form either from

  • an IRS office
  • your local office supply store
  • 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676)

New Program to Help with Rent and Property Taxes

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

property-taxesThe Property Tax Fairness Credit went into effect on January 1, 2014 and replaces the “Circuitbreaker” Property Tax and Rent Refund, and should be filed through the State of Maine taxes, even if you don’t normally file for taxes.

When completing your taxes this year, you should be aware that you may be eligible for a credit of up to $300 if you are 69 or younger and up to $400 if you are over the age of 70.

  • Due to stricter eligibility limits, many fewer people will get help with their property taxes or rent.
  • The credit is “refundable.” This means that you can get the help, even if you owe nothing in taxes (or owe less than the amount of the credit).

There are four eligibility requirements for the program:

  1. Were Maine residents during any part of the tax year;
  2. Owned or rented a home in Maine during any part of the tax year and lived in that home during the year;
  3. Had Maine adjusted gross income of not more than $40,000; and;
  4. Paid property tax on a home in Maine during the tax year that was more than 10% of Maine adjusted gross income or paid rent to live in a home or apartment in Maine during the tax year that was more than 40% of Maine adjusted gross income.

How does someone apply for the refundable credit?

To claim the credit, an applicant must file the 2013 Form 1040ME and the Property Tax Fairness Credit Worksheet.

Form 1040ME

Forms can be downloaded from the Maine Revenue Services web site at http://www.maine.gov/revenue/forms or by calling 207-624-7894 to request that a form be mailed.

Free Tax Help at the Curtis Library

Free Tax preparation assistance through AARP volunteers will be available at the Curtis Library beginning February 3 and we are currently taking appointments.

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

Help for Job Searchers

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

job-search-neighborhood

Job Search Neighborhood

If a person is unemployed they have two options:

1. Keep searching for work.

2. Hire themselves by starting their own business (which we will cover how to do in upcoming Curtis Money posts).

Curtis supports job seekers with a plethora of resources.

Curtis’ Job Search Neighborhood

On the second floor of the library, we have:

  • Professionally maintained, high-speed Internet connected PCs for online job searching.
  • A collection of up-to-date books on all aspects of job searching including how to create a resume, job interviews, cover letters, et al.
  • Software for creating resumes and cover letters (Curtis staff members will be standing by to assist)
  • A black & white network printer for printing resumes and cover letters ($.10 per page)
  • One-on-one assistance from professional librarians with the technical and non-technical aspects of 21st century job searching

Every new day is another chance to change your life.
—Anonymous