Credit 101: Helping Make Sense of Good Credit

Credit 101 is a part of the Future Cents project.  Teens and adults are invited to learn more about establishing and repairing their credit score.  It is all about the number!  Learn what the number is.  How to protect your score and more!  Credit 101 will be held at the Cultural Center Boardroom next door to the Central Library.  Mrs. Shiela Dalcoe will present from 6:30 to 7:00 and leave time for questions.
 
You may register by contacting Martha Larson (373-4559).  For more financial information and details about Future Cents visit www.myfuturecents.com.

Raising Money Smart Kids

How well adjusted are our children when it comes to money?  Statistics show that young people are buying more and accumulating more debt than ever before.  Future Cents is a grant funded project that will help youth and their parents learn budgeting, checking, saving, investing and more.  The goal of Future Cents is to help youngsters develop good money skills.  Too often older teens get a first  job or obtain student loans for college and they have little knowledge of managing their money as they become adults.

The website myfuturecents.com provides details on programming and resources to help teens and adults learn more about financial responsibility.  The programming begins June 12 with 2 sessions: Credit 101 for teens and Understanding Your Credit Report for Adults.  As Future Cents develops we hope to build a program that is attractive to teens and provides them with the skills to become independent and responsible adults.  This project will run through December 2011 so you will see more as resources and programs are added. 

Community involvement is key for the success of this program.  I am pleased to announce that the Black Achievers group at the Hayes-Taylor YMCA will work hard this summer to learn the skills that the Future Cents curriculum offers and go out to mentor younger kids in learning good money habits.  This is just one way that the community is coming together to make Future Cents a success for young people.

Electronic Tax Filing at Greensboro Public Library Locations

If you have a Greensboro Public Library card and want to file your taxes online, you can do so at any library location.  Websites which provide free or low-cost filing for NC returns and IRS returns are shown with requirements and links at the N. C. Department of Revenue e-file requirements link.  Websites which provide free IRS return filing (including those at the link above) and free or fee-based NC return filing can be found at a link maintained by the IRS – 2010 Free File.  Taxpayers can sign on to public computers at any library location with their library card numbers.  Prints are 10 cents each and can be made with a print card.  The card costs $1.00, comes with 10 prints value, and can be reloaded with more value as it is used.

NC Tax Form Access at Greensboro Public Library Locations

In an effort to reduce cost and encourage electronic filing, the N. C. Department of Revenue will not provide tax forms or instruction booklets to libraries and post offices for give-away to the public this year.  Taxpayers with Greensboro Public Library cards can sign on to a public-use computer at a library location and download and print out NC tax forms and instruction booklets at the N. C. Department of Revenue download site.  At library locations, printouts cost 10 cents each.  They are made with a print card.  The card costs $1.00 and comes with 10 prints value on it.  More value can be added to the card as it is used.   If a taxpayer prefers to order forms online instead of printing them out, he/she can do so at another link available-the N. C. Department of Revenue order site.  Forms ordered in this way are free.

IRS Tax Forms at Greensboro Public Library locations

IRS tax forms are available at Greensboro Public Library locations in a number of ways.  Free copies of the following forms can be picked up at any library location:  1040 forms, 1040 instructions, 1040A forms, 1040A instructions, 1040EZ forms, 1040EZ instructions, schedule 2441, schedule 2441 instructions, schedule R, schedule R instructions, schedule A, schedule B, schedule EIC, schedule L, schedule M, and form 4868. 

Some other IRS forms can be photocopied from a reproducible tax forms notebook provided by the IRS.  The price per photocopy is 15 cents with coins or 10 cents with a copy/print  card.  Still other forms can be printed out from the IRS website.   Prints are 10 cents each and are made with a copy/print card.  The card costs $1.00, has 10 prints value on it, and can have more money added as the first 1o prints value is used.   Library card holders can sign on to a public computer with Internet access with their library card number.

N.C. Unemployment Down Slightly in November

The News & Record reported today that North Carolina’s jobless rate dropped .1% in November to 10.8%.

The same report includes a forecast from UNC-Charlotte economist John Connaughton.  Unfortunately, Connaughton is decidedly downbeat, for he sees little likelihood of a vigorous economic expansion in the near term owing especially to damage suffered by the financial sector and the resulting credit squeeze.

Please remember to check out Greensboro Public Library’s job links if you’re actively searching for work.

NC Unemployment Down a Bit; Other States See Record Highs

The News and Record reports today that North Carolina’s unemployment rate in August was at 10.8%, a tenth of a percent lower than July’s statewide rate.

Meanwhile, CNBC reports that unemployment rates in some other states are reaching record highs:  these were California (12.2%), Nevada (13.2%), and Rhode Island (12.8%).  Michigan continues to lead the nation with a jobless rate of 15.2%.

As always, please remember Greensboro Public Library’s JobSkills offerings if you’re out of work and looking for a job.

Growth Through Raving Fans Series Attracts Local Businesses

The definition is different for everyone!

The definition is different for everyone!

In early 2009 the concept for a One City One Book project for Greensboro businesses was created and the One Community, Your Business project was born.  The book chosen for the inaugural business reading project is Raving Fans.  This timely and relevant book allows business owners and key personnel to consider a new way of doing customer service and therefore promoting their business to a new level.  A series of programs has been developed to enhance this project.  The Growth Through Raving Fans Series showcases how good customer service can become great customer service that actually generates revenues for any organization.

In a collaborative effort, the four-part series began this August and will continue until the finale on October 9.  These events are helping local business men and women in their daily business practices.  Each event offers networking and an informative presentation.

Two upcoming workshops will complete the 2009 Growth Through Raving Fans Series.  All are hosted by the Chamber of Commerce and our sponsors include A.S. Web Pros; ActionCOACH; Mack Arrington, the Nussbaum Center for Entrepreneurship, and the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce.  To date, 45 people have participated in the programs and 20 books have been distributed to business men and women who are committed to sharing the book with others.

To find out how you can participate in the remaining Growth Throug Raving Fans Series you may visit: http://onecommunityyourbusiness.wordpress.com/  To borrow a Raving Fans book you may visit the Central Library or check the online catalog at www.greensborolibrary.org

Unemployment Up, But Job Losses Decline

This is just a brief post to note that nationwide unemployment rose to 9.7% in August, up from 9.4% in July.

However, monthly job losses declined to 216,000, the lowest of the year.  

Unemployment is still expected to reach at least 10% before it begins to decline.

If you’re looking for work, please remember Greensboro Public Library’s JobSkills offerings.

I Guess When “Doctor Doom” Says It’s Over, It’s Over . . . Opps, Wait a Minute!

Nouriel Roubini

Well, Nouriel Roubini, AKA “Doctor Doom,” one of the few economists to predict the financial crisis of 2007-09, really had folks on Wall Street going today when he seemed at last to be sounding a note of optimism. 

Earlier, CNBC reported Roubini had said we would begin to emerge from the recession by the end of this year and partly credited a late day stock market rally to his comments. 

But by the end of the day, CNBC was reporting Roubini had not really changed his forecast, and the latter issued the following statement:

It has been widely reported today that I have stated that the recession will be over ‘this year’ and that I have ‘improved’ my economic outlook.  Despite those reports . . . my views expressed today are no different than the views I have expressed previously.  If anything my views were taken out of context.    

Like many others, Roubini sees a very slow recovery and a continued drift upward in unemployment, as also does FED Chairman Ben Bernanke, who warned a few days ago of a “jobless recovery.”  And Roubini also thinks there remains a possibility of a double-dip recession.

Meanwhile, MSNBC’s John Schoen cautions that despite some impressive second quarter profits for Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, and others, the financial crisis is still far from over.  He quotes Stephen Roach, chairman at Morgan Stanley Asia, who thinks that “by the end of this crisis $4 trillion worth of bad assets will be written down.  Thus far financial institutions have written off, at most, half of that.  So there is plenty more to come.”     

If you’re still interested in the financial crisis and all its ramifications, Greensboro Public Library continues to pick up new titles.  A quick search of the catalog produced the following results, all published in 2009:  The Great Financial Crisis:  Causes and Consequences by John Bellamy Foster and Fred Magdoff; The Housing Boom and Bust by Thomas Sowell; Agenda for a New Economy:  From Phantom Wealth to Real Wealth by David C. Korten; A Failure of Capitalism:  The Crisis of ’08 and the Descent into Depression by Richard A. Posner; Dumb Money:  How Our Greatest Financial Minds Bankrupted the Nation by Daniel Gross; The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008 by Paul Krugman; The Wall Street Journal Guide to the End of Wall Street as We Know It:  What You Need to Know About the Greatest Financial Crisis of Our Time — and How to Survive It by Dave Kansas; The Crash of 2008 and What It Means:  The New Paradigm for Financial Markets by George Soros; Financial Shock:  A 360° Look at the Subprime Mortgage Implosion, and How to Avoid the Next Financial Crisis by Mark Zandi; Panic:  The Story of Modern Financial Insanity, edited by Michael Lewis; And Then the Roof Caved In:  How Wall Street’s Greed and Stupidity Brought Capitalism to Its Knees by David Faber (on order); and The Gods That Failed:  How Blind Faith in Markets has Cost Us Our Future by Larry Elliott and Dan Atkinson.