Friday, August 22, 2014

Some Sites with Info on Printable Tax Forms

Did you know that printable tax forms are readily available to use? If you have yet to file your taxes for 2014, you can find free printable tax forms through many links online, including the IRS website.

Even if you do your taxes online, it's good to have a hard copy backup, so printable forms are a plus. The IRS recommends that everyone keep copies of their own tax records. I know that personally I try to maintain both digital and print records just in case.

Another resource about printable tax forms for the current year is this Facebook page called, you guessed it, Printable IRS 2014 Federal Tax Forms. The page has links to various forms as well as different articles with tax-related information.

I always say that the IRS website is the best resource for tax-related forms and information, but it can also be enlightening to gather the perspectives of other people when looking at your options for filing, record-keeping, and more. There are countless issues to think about when it comes to taxes!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Meet Michael A. Fabiano of Blog.Retrospective.ly

Michael A. Fabiano is the editor in chief of Blog.Retrospective.ly. The site allows people to write and share retrospectives which follow the format of "1.) What went well? 2.) What went poorly? 3.) What could I do better next time?".

1. What inspired the creation of Retrospective.ly?

We've always been very interested in people's stories, experiences, achievements, etc. We'd been thinking for a while, trying to determine a way to transform that interest and passion into something tangible that would improve people's lives--Retrospective.ly is the embodiment of our passion.

2. What is the origin of the three questions that people use to structure the retrospectives they post on your site?

They are based on agile software methodology. The retrospective is a meeting held at the end of each phase of a project-- its purpose is to look back at the work the team did and identify what went well, what went poorly, and what the team is going to do to improve in the next phase.

3. Can people include images to illustrate their retrospectives, or are the posts meant to be text only?

People are welcome to include an image, as long as it is high resolution. For posters who do not include images, we will look for a header image that fits with the content of their retrospective.

4. Are there privacy settings for the content that people post to your site, or is everything available publicly?

All content is available publicly once it is reviewed by our editorial staff.

5. What are some of the topics people have written about so far on Retrospective.ly, and what topics do you hope to see appear on the site over time?

We’ve had posts on a variety of topics: conferences, military services, athletic careers, etc. We welcome posts of any topic and are hoping to have a breadth of experiences and viewpoints on our blog.

Thanks, Michael!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Kelly Le Brock Takes Action for National Hunger Action Month

Did you know that September is National Hunger Action Month? Actress and model Kelly Le Brock (I know you remember her in The Woman in Red and Weird Science) is busy with a project that both helps food banks across the country and helps families eat in a healthier way.

The project is a collaboration with foodtweeks™, a mobile app that you download for your Android or iPhone. The idea of the app is that it suggests tweaks to help you adjust your diet in little ways that add up to big reductions in calories. The cool part is that foodtweeks™ donates the same amount of calories you save to food banks across the US.

When you set up your free account and use the promo code KELLYLEBROCK, foodtweeks™ will double your donations. Kelly Le Brock is also doing some special social media campaigns where you can add even more to your donations. Check out her Pinterest page as well as Instagram. Kelly will be using hashtags such as #healthycooking and #foodtweeks4foodbanks and #hungeractionmonth. Keep an eye out on Facebook and Twitter as well.

Kelly will be doing public service announcements and other publicity throughout September to promote National Hunger Action Month and increase awareness of the needs of our food banks. In her off-screen life, Kelly has been a rancher for the past ten years and raises her own food for her family. She hopes to promote healthy eating choices through her work with foodtweeks™.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Guest Post from UCS, a Logistics and Courier Service

The following is a guest post provided by UCS, a logistics and courier service based in the UK.

Tips to Help You Find the Right International Courier

When sending parcels abroad to another country, it is important to work with a courier service that is reliable. There are a number of international courier companies that can be found both online or a physical location that offer such services to clients across the globe. Although majority of these courier companies seem genuine and are likely to deliver goods without any hassle, it is important to make sure that they will deliver as promised. To ensure that the courier service you have chosen is the best one to work with, there are certain factors that need to be carefully considered.

Factors to consider when selecting an international courier

Courier services that display the following characteristics in terms of the services they offer are the right ones to work with when looking for a company that delivers goods to international destinations.

Affordability

In most cases, the logistics surrounding the delivery of goods to international destinations makes the services offered by courier companies a bit expensive. However, it is important to work with couriers whose rates are cheaper so that your overall expenses go lower while the service offered still remains top notch. Furthermore, the personnel of the company should be able to advise you on the best way to cut costs and still have your parcel delivered on time.

Consistency

An international courier company that has a reputation of reliability and timely delivery of goods is one that should rank the highest on your list. Companies that have built their services over time and are known to be prompt will deliver goods safely and within the agreed time frame. Even in cases where there might be a delay, as may sometimes happen with international travel, the company should take full responsibility and do their best to have the goods delivered within the shortest time possible.

Online tracking

Ensure that the courier company has a website and a service that allows you to keep track of your goods as they move from one location to another. The tracking service using a company's website is quite convenient as it allows you to know exactly where your goods are at any given time without having to communicate with the company office. Also, you will quickly notice any delays in delivery when tracking the parcels online.

Customer service

Couriers that deliver goods across the globe should always have a contact person that customers can reach at all times. It is advisable to work with companies that have a customer service team that is excellent at what they do and are able to handle many inquires while giving tangible solutions. In addition, they should be easily reached day or night and address every inquiry made.

All in all, international courier services are very convenient and with proper background research on the company, you are likely to get very good service from them. You can also take advantage of any discount promotions being offered by couriers to help save costs when sending parcels to various international destinations.

Meet Andrew, Entrepreneur and Author

When Andrew was 15, he started searching for a way to become wealthy. Now, he's 35 and ready to retire--yet he still has the itch to continue pursuing different business opportunities and write about them.

Learn about Andrew's business experiences on his website, http://www.mycashlifestyle.com/, and check out his PDF guide to making money by doing maintenance and cleanup for bank foreclosed properties.

1. What is an REO foreclosure?

REO (Real-Estate Owned) is what the property is called after a bank forecloses and is unable to sell the property at auction--usually because the mortgage on the property is higher than the market value of the property. They still have it on the books as an asset and will try to sell it in the future.

2. How did you first get the idea to start doing cleanup tasks at foreclosed properties?

It was an opportunity I heard about and thought it'd be easier to get started than some of the other ventures I was looking into.

3. What kind of legwork does someone need to do before they can approach a bank and start working in this field?

Much like setting up another business, it involves registering the name (or incorporating), getting liability insurance, and setting up a bank account to separate personal finances from business finances.

4. What are some of the specific job tasks that are needed for foreclosed properties?

Each house is different, but you can really think of it as anything any house might need: locks changed, grass cut, windows boarded, pool closed and boarded, and trash taken out, just to name a few.

5. Why did you decide to write your REO Guide?

When I started REO, I found a few forums and some people who would answer a question or two, but I was pretty lost because I had no idea how the industry worked or what to expect. I wrote my REO Guide so people could get an introduction to the basics and some resources for making that start easier. I also offer one on one consulting to those that need additional help getting started.

Thanks, Andrew!