Archive for February, 2011

Tax Help

Need help filing your tax return?

Volunteers are available in two Newton locations to assist individuals (not businesses) with their taxes.

The AARP Tax-Aide Foundation has IRS certified volunteers at the Newton Free Library every Saturday until April 16 from 1-3:30 p.m.  Free tax preparation is provided to those with incomes  less than $40,000 if single and $60,000 if married.   General questions will be answered for those in any income bracket. Help is provided on a first-come,  first-served basis.  Register upon arrival at the table near the parking lot entrance.

Tax preparation and filing assistance is also available through the Newton Senior Center.  Call 617-796-1660 to make an appointment.  Bring all your documents with you to the appointment.

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Books, Periodicals, Databases…

Susan Caulfield, Reference Librarian Extraordinaire, led us through the multiple financial education resources available through the Newton Free Library at our February Financial Literacy at the Library event.

For current books on money, credit, banking and investments, browse the New Books area in the Library under the 332 call number.

  • Personal Finance:  332.04
  • Investments:  332.632
  • Credit and Mortgages:  332.7

Our Literacy Collection has additional titles.  See the Selected Bibliography for ESL Learners on our website.

For magazines that you may borrow, see Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, Money and Smart MoneyConsumer Reports Money Advisor is available for In Library Use.  For more specialized reading,  see Barron’s, Investor’s Business Daily and Financial Times.  The Library also subscribes to the newsletters Morningstar, Value Line and Standard & Poor’s Outlook which are available at the main Reference Desk.

Two excellent databases are offered through the Newton Free Library:  Morningstar Investment Research Center and Standard & Poor’s NetAdvantage. Go to Morningstar’s Help and Education tab for information on stocks, mutual funds and portfolio building.  NetAdvantage’s Financial Education tab contains information on budgeting, loans, credit cards as well as a special section on ETF essentials.

For a list of recommended money and consumer finance websites, go to the Resources page of the Financial Literacy at the Library website.  There you will find local Community Resources, Consumer Protection information, Credit Help plus much more.

For more sites, visit the Business and Investing, Consumer and Retirement pages on the Database & Websites listing under the Reference tab on the Newton Free Library website.

Cupid’s Arrow

Valentine’s Day may be about romance, but it is also a time loved by scam artists.

The February 2011 issue of Consumer Insider, the newsletter from  the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs, warns against some popular scams that commonly occur during the holiday.

Flowers: When ordering flowers online, confirm the florist’s location and all fees before buying.  Some companies deceptively advertise as local businesses when they are actually telemarketers with no experience in the floral industry.  It is best to get a referral from someone you trust or to visit a local shop.

Ecards:  Even if it seems to come from someone you know, verify the source before opening an Ecard as it may contain a virus.

Online Dating sites:  Favored sites of computer hackers as they often are easy ways to obtain personal information.  Be particularly cautious of free sites as they have less protective monitoring.

For more consumer tips, subscribe to Consumer Insider.

Budgeting Workshop

Take advantage of this free financial management workshop offered by Money Management International on Monday evening February 7th from 5-6 pm at the Buttonwood Senior Center in New Bedford.

“Learn how to take control of your financial situation; calculate net worth; create a budget; monitor your progress; manage the flow of income and expenses; comparison shop; and protect your assets. Workbook included.”

For more information, contact David F. Magalhaes at 508-979-1500.

To register for the workshop, sign up here.