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Help with Unemployment, Jobs and Training

October 2nd, 2014

Help-with-Unemployment-Jobs-and-TrainingYou can use the resources at Curtis to get help with your job search and supporting yourself and your family if you’ve lost your job.

Find a Job

The Job Search Neighborhood is located on the second floor of the Curtis Library near the Reference Desk.

The "neighborhood" features:

  • Dedicated Jobs computers where you can search for a job and create a cover letter & resume
  • Job Related Print Resources (how to create a resume, how to prepare for a job interview, how to write a cover letter, how to change careers and more)
  • One-on-one help to establish e-mail accounts and introduce resume software (by appointment 725-5242 ext. 510).

Apply for Unemployment Benefits

You can file an unemployment claim through the State of Maine Department of Labor website.

This can be done on any of the Library's Public PCs.

Library staff members can provide some assistance with navigating and using the website.

Find Education and Training Opportunities

If you would like to learn additional skills and/or further your education to increase your chances of finding a job, there are many opportunities available for you to do so.

For example, you can sit down at any of the Public PCs and access the LearningExpress Library where you can:

- Build Your Math Skills
- Learn About a Career You Might Be Interested in Pursuing
- Prepare for an Occupation Exam
- Learn New Computer Skills
- And More!

Need Help?

As always, Curtis Librarians are standing by to assist!

Help Your Family Save Money

October 1st, 2014

You can help your family save money by remembering to do little things like turning off the lights and clipping coupons. Use the tips in the comics below to learn ways of helping your family save money every day.

NOTE: These comics are in the Portable Document Format (PDF).

You can click each image to open the How to Save Money comic in your browser. You can also right-mouse click each image and select “Save” from the pop-up menu to download the comic to your computer.

Younger Kids Teens

Source: usa.gov

10 Money Tips for Saving Money

September 22nd, 2014

piggy1. Create a budget and track where your money goes. Click here for Budget books at Curtis.

2. Don’t use a credit card unless you know you’ll have the money to pay the bill in full when it arrives.

3. Skip unhealthy snacks and save money while losing weight (If you could save $1.00 per day on snack food, that would be a saving of $30.00 by the end of one month and $360.00 at the end of one year!)

4. Your credit past is your credit future! Be aware that you can order a FREE credit report once yearly. To order, go to www.annualcreditreport.com.

5. Shop Responsibly!

Write a list before you go shopping, stick to it and use your food budget wisely (For the price of a large bag of chips and a box of cookies, you can buy a lot of apples, bananas, carrots, potatoes, peppers, and other healthier foods).

Save money by using coupons (Follow these guidelines for using coupons from choosemyplate.gov).

6. Spend your money on needs instead of wants.

A NEED is something you CANNOT do without (such as food and shelter).

A WANT is something you DO NOT HAVE to HAVE (such as a new iPhone).

7. Save your loose change – Putting aside fifty cents a day over the course of a year will allow you to save nearly 40% of a $500 emergency fund, according to AmericaSaves.org.

8. Drink water instead of Big Gulps

Soft drinks decrease your savings while increasing your waist line.

Two 20 oz. soft drinks at $1.10 each for 5 days = $572 a year.

9. Get rid of your car.

While minimizing car use can save cash, Andy Hough of Andy Hough, author of the TightFistedMiser.com blog suggests cutting out car use altogether.

Hough says public transportation, biking, and walking can work just as well.

10. Instead of paying for DVD rentals, music CDs, new books, computers, entertainment for your children and Internet at home — use the Curtis Library instead.

If saving money is wrong, I don’t want to be right!
—William Shatner

Recommended Money Help Books for the ‘Financially Shy’

September 15th, 2014

Helping you save money and pay down your debt is our goal here at Curtis Money. “Financial literacy for the rest of us” is our motto.

IMG_2251With this statement in mind, these three books have been personally selected by Curtis’ Help for the Financially Shy Librarian as they provide an easy to read and understand introduction to personal finance.

These books are also very inspiring!

Reading these books may very well help you with your motivation to be debt free with 6 months living expenses set aside.

- The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need
Personal Finance 332.024 .T629 onl 2010

- The Millionaire Next Door
Personal Finance 332.0973 .S789 mil 2010

- Financial Peace Revisited
Personal Finance 332.024 .R183 fin 2003

Seven Tricks to Stop Using Your Credit Cards

September 12th, 2014

frozen-credit-cardIf your debt is rising, it may very well be time to stop using your credit cards.

We all need food, shelter and medical treatment – and you may have to resort to paying for these things on credit.

But if you can’t afford to pay cash for non-neccessities (such as snack foods, alcohol, cigarettes, clothes, brews at Starbucks), it might be best to do without.

Without further ado, here are 7 Tricks to Stop Using Your Credit Cards to Pay for Non-Essential Items (including the dreaded impulse buys) from credit.about.com:

1. Lock them up.
The “out of sight, out of mind” approach might be the thing to work for you. Put your credit cards somewhere that takes effort to get them –in a safe, file cabinet, the bottom of the laundry. Keeping your credit cards out of your immediate reach will help control your “need” to use them. Some people even freeze their credit cards in a bowl of water so the cards are unavailable.

2. Close them.
One call to your cardholder is all it takes to inactivate your credit card. You can easily quiet a nagging desire to use your card by thinking of the embarrassment you’ll feel when the clerk says your credit card has been denied. Closing credit cards can have a negative impact on your credit score, so make sure you’re not closing a card you should be leaving open. However, it’s better to close your credit card and suffer a temporary credit setback than to go deeper into debt trying to save your credit score.

NOTE: We’ll cover how to use (and not misuse) emergency credit cards in a later Help for the Financially Shy blog post.

3. Shred them.
Office shredders work just as well on that little piece of plastic as it does on your paper. If your credit card is in pieces, there’s no way you can swipe it. Don’t have a shredder? Scissors work just as well. Cut the card up into small pieces so the credit card number can’t be guessed by identity thieves.

4. Leave them at home.
Take your credit cards out of your wallet before you go shopping. If you get the urge to buy something, you’ll either have to use cash or come back for the item once you have your credit card.

5. Shock therapy.
Have you ever thought about the amount of money you spend in interest each year? Or the length of time it will take to pay off your credit cards? Sometimes the numbers will shock you into putting your credit cards away for good. A $1,000 balance at 14% will take you 4 1/2 years to pay off if you make $25 payments each month. You’ll have paid $347.55 in interest by the time you pay off the balance.

Credit card statements now include the amount of interest you’ve paid so far this year and the amount of interest you’ll pay if you’re just making the minimum payment. You can probably name several other things you could purchase with the combined interest from all your credit cards.

6. Reward yourself.
Positive reinforcement goes a long way in building a habit. We use it with our kids and when training our pets. Why not use it with ourselves? Each week that you don’t use your credit card, treat yourself to something you like but don’t ordinarily allow yourself to indulge. Keep your treats on the inexpensive/free end of the spectrum so you don’t upset your monthly budget.

7. Old-fashioned self control.
Being able to tell yourself “no” is a skill that goes beyond using credit cards. The same self-discipline that gets you to work on time each morning can also be used to stop using your credit cards. Think twice about swiping your credit card just like you’d think twice about pressing snooze just one more time.

Source: http://credit.about.com/od/creditrepair/tp/breakthehabit.htm

Life was a lot simpler when what we honored was father and mother rather than all major credit cards.
— Robert Orben