Don’t forget the food banks

In the summer, we all tend to get busy with vacations and the kids. Many charities get forgotten in the midst of our hectic summers. Food banks are especially vulnerable in the summer. There was a story in our local paper recently that our town’s food bank is empty, as is the regional food bank.  I’ve read similar stories from all over the country.

How can you help?

First, identify your local food bank. You can generally call your Town Hall to see which organization services the food bank in your town. You may find that your town uses a regional food bank.

Buy some food. If you are a frugal shopper, you know the best places to get staples. Most food banks are looking for things like pasta, rice, beans and canned veggies. You can call your local food bank to see if there are particular needs in your area. Get your kids involved in the process to show them the value in helping others.

If you don’t have the money to donate, consider donating your time. Maybe you can help to schedule a food drive at a local grocery store or offer to help pick up others donations. Talk to groups you are associated with or your neighbors to see if you can organize a food drive. You can also offer to volunteer at the food bank, sorting donations and doing other tasks.

Even if you just donate a can or two, if we all do it, we can make a huge difference.

Updating QuickBooks for the Connecticut Sales Tax Changes

If you live in Connecticut, the sales tax rates are rising tomorrow. If you aren’t sure how to change this in QuickBooks, here’s how:

1. With your QuickBooks company file open, go to “Lists” at the top of the screen (next to “File” and “Edit”).

2. From the menu, select “Item List”. This will open a list of all of your billing items.

3. On this list, there will be an item called “Sales Tax” or something similar, with a rate of 6%. Double click on that item. In the bottom left hand corner, you will see the rate. Change the rate to the appropriate new tax rate.

If you have items or services that you sell that were previously nontaxable and now are taxable, keep that item list open. Double click on each item that you need to change. Change the tax code from nontaxable to taxable.

Use QuickBooks to calculate your payroll? Make sure to run any payroll tax updates that the system prompts you to install. The Connecticut payroll tax tables are also changes due to the increase in income tax rates.

If you have any other QuickBooks questions, please feel free to leave you comments here. If you have a specific question you do not wish to leave here, please feel free to email me at kristin at klingtocash dot com.

Picture of the week May 30

This week’s picture of the week was a no-brainer for me.  This is a picture of the flag that hangs outside our house.

As you continue to celebrate the rest of this holiday weekend, consider taking a moment to say a little prayer to thank all those who died for our freedom. Sometimes we get so caught up in the long weekend, family and events, that we forget why we have this long weekend.

Picture of the week May 21st: New arrival

I’m a little late getting up last week’s picture of the week. Friday was an extremely hectic day. I had a doctor’s appointment, a chiropractor’s appointment and a convention to go to. But in the middle of all that, we got to meet the newest member of the family.

That’s my husband, Jeff with our niece, Lily. Both Mom and Lily are doing great. She didn’t want to wake up to see us, so Jeff decided to be Jeff and pick her up anyways. She stirred for a few seconds, then realizing how warm Jeff is, fell right back to sleep.

It amazes me what a zoo the hospital was. Every three minutes someone was coming into the room to check something, clean something or give my sister-in-law some information about something. I was half expecting someone to show up with the machine that goes “BING”. It was very much a Monty Python experience.

Welcome to the world, Lily. I hope you enjoy the family as much as I do.

Manic Monday

Mondays are normally pretty crazy around here. Jeff has Mondays off so we use the day to catch up on all those things we should have done over the weekend.

We had a very hectic weekend because of Mother’s Day. Saturday afternoon we went over Jeff’s parent’s house. We brought filet from Stew Leondard’s. We paid $8.99 a lb for it this week. For less than the price of a steak dinner for two, we had a steak dinner for seven! I even made some bread from my favorite new book. The bread was very well received, which made me quite happy. I’m pretty sure I know what everyone is getting for Christmas this year.

Sunday, my sister and I and our husbands took my mom out for dinner. For Mother’s Day, we got her one of those Keurig coffee makers. She really seemed to like it so kudos to my sister for the excellent suggestion. Coordinating with siblings is a great way to get an awesome gift for a parent without breaking the bank.

Today, I’m grading papers and trying to get things finalized for the end of the semester. I’ve only got like 50 papers left to grade by tomorrow afternoon. Who needs sleep right? Just think, next fall when I’m teaching full time I’ll have twice as many papers to great. Oh joy! I do really love teaching though, so when I was offered a full-time emergency appointment, I took it. Might have to see if I can find a deal on another one of those coffee makers for my office next year!

Wow how things have changed

Last night, Jeff came home with a bag of memories from his parents house. We went through his baby book, some old art projects from when he was little and a ton of letters he wrote home when he was in the Army. As we went sifted through the letters, written from 1989 to 1993, I noticed something odd. On each envelope, he had written his name and return address and his social security number. He told me he had to put that on there. I didn’t really believe him (this is the same man who signs all my birthday card “Love Jeffery W. Ingram”) until I read one of the letters he wrote home. In the letter he gave his parents his return address and stated that the address must appear exactly as he wrote it, including his social security number.

How things have changed in 20 years. Twenty years ago, the Army required your social security number on your mail. About 10 years ago, they started replacing our social security numbers with an ID number on our college IDs. Now only the last four digits are show on most correspondence. I really wish W-2’s and other tax documents would catch up with the times.

Do you ever have moments where you think “Wow, I can’t believe we did that!”?

A very personal way to help those in Haiti

The recent earthquake in Haiti has left many of us looking for a way to help. I know I am always leery about giving money to large organizations because I don’t know if my money will make it to those who really need it. A good friend of mine, Dr. Allison, very much wanted to go to Haiti to help. I found out a few days ago that a mission group she has traveled with in the past is organizing a trip to take a few doctors and nurses to Haiti to provide emergency medical care. They will also be bringing much needed medical supplies and medicine with them.

My friend, Allison, is currently raising funds to help pay for her trip and the supplies and medicine she will be bringing with her. To learn more about the great work Allison has done in the past and the current trip she is planning, you can visit her blog.

I’m glad I was able to find a way to donate where my donation will have an immediate impact on the people of Haiti. I continue to pray for them and I hope you will too.

Regards,

Kristin

Check me out on the CT Watchdog

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Starting today, I have the honor of being a contributor to the Connecticut Watchdog. This site has tons of information on a variety of topics including consumer protection, deals, organization, and entertainment. Plus, there is so much more. You don’t have to be from Connecticut to follow the site. Most of the information is nationally focused. I hope you’ll check out the site and feel free to send me feedback about your experience there. I’d love to hear it.

Happy Birthday, Kling to Cash

Birthday Cake

My baby is one year old today. I started this project on September 15, 2008 as a way to help people save more of their money. Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy on that day. People were spending more than they made and credit card debt was at record highs. The economy was slipping. The stock market was starting to decline. No one was talking about being frugal yet but it was coming. I wanted to find someway to help so I started this blog.

Look how far we’ve all come in the past year. People are cutting back and saving more money. A record number of people planted gardens this year. I’ve never seen so many with coupons at the grocery store. Frugal blogs are popping up all over the internet. I read many of them.

I’m so proud to be part of this movement and to be able to share my thoughts and tips with you. I’m humbled to see that thousands of individuals have visited my blog. I am overjoyed to see the comments here, on facebook and twitter. Together, we are making a difference.

I want to thank all of you who have found my blog in the last year. I want to thank you for reading and commenting. I look forward to another year, hopefully a little bit smoother year. I plan to share more of my tips, recipes and stories. I hope you’ll join me.

Highest regards,

Kristin at klingtocash.com