Mashable: 10 Ways Personal Branding Can Save You From Getting Fired

Excellent list of tips from Mashable about how personal branding can help you keep your job – particularly useful in a rough economy such as this…

  1. Become an invaluable asset to your colleagues, professional network & clients
  2. Position yourself as the go-to-person for a specific skill
  3. Gain self-confidence and rise to the occasion
  4. Focus on social equity, not just monetary equity
  5. Build contact lists before you need them
  6. Go on a branding spree by advertising it everywhere
  7. Make your brand so visible that people can’t avoid seeing you
  8. Become so remarkable that complete strangers talk about you
  9. Be a content producer, not just a consumer
  10. Have an “endorsement mindset”

You can read the full details over at Mashable via this link: 10 Ways Personal Branding Can Save You From Getting Fired.

The Simple Dollar: 100 Things to Do During a Money Free Weekend

This is excellent advice, and good fun, at that! About a year ago, I offered up the idea of the money-free weekend:

For the last few months, my wife and I have been doing something every other weekend or so that we call a “money free” weekend, in an effort to live more frugally. It’s actually quite fun – here’s how we do it. We are not allowed to spend any money on anything, no matter what. In other words, we can’t make a run to the store to buy food, we can’t spend money on any sort of entertainment, and so on. Since we often do our grocery shopping on Saturdays, on a “money free” weekend, we delay it to Monday or Tuesday. We can use our utilities, but no extra expenses on these utilities. No renting movies on cable, no text messages that aren’t already covered by our cell phone plan, and so on.

I followed this up with fifteen things to do during such a weekend, fifteen more things to do, and fifteen deeply fulfilling things to do during such a weekend. Since then, lots of people have sent me ideas for activities for money-free weekends, plus we’ve uncovered a bunch of our own. At the same time, many readers have asked for a master list of all of these ideas. So, here we go – one hundred fun ways to spend a money free weekend. The list below includes the first forty-five (with duplicates removed), plus about sixty new ones. Print this off and use it as a checklist or a thumbnail guide for your own money-free weekend. Please note that everyone’s interests are different – you probably won’t find everything on this list fun and neither will someone else, but the two lists won’t overlap (I can think of countless things other people find fun that I find utterly dreadful). Anyway, here goes! (continued at The Simple Dollar)

TurboTax Info: If You Used Santa Barbara Bank & Trust To Get Your 2007 Tax Refund (in regard to your Economic Stimulus check)

Info from

Why did it take TurboTax take awhile to explain that payment methods would affect how and when rebates arrive?

The law creating the tax rebates, the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008, was signed by President Bush on Feb. 13. As soon as details of the act emerged and could be verified, TurboTax updated customer articles about the rebates. The updates pointed out that customers using the payment method with Santa Barbara Bank & Trust could receive their rebates by mail rather than by direct deposit.

It was not until mid-March, however, that the IRS announced the rebate payment schedule. The schedule showed that rebates would be mailed in order of the last two digits of taxpayers’ Social Security numbers — BUT that direct-deposit recipients would get theirs first.

…So, if they knew about this in mid-March, why were the e-mail notices sent out MAY 16?

2008 Economic Stimulus Check Timeline (By Mail)

For those of you searching for just the timeline, here it is.

(Sorry for the picture instead of a text table, I  took a screenshot of this information from an e-mail.)


Please note, that if you chose to have your filing fees automatically deducted from your refund (ala TurboTax) instead of paying for them out of pocket, or filing in another manner, your check will be mailed to you on a date according to the schedule above, not direct-deposited into your bank account.

Updated: TurboTax, IRS, and the late Stimulus Check Issue…

Edit: Bob Meighan, the VP of TurboTax left a comment on this post below, which has caused me to retract my rant about never using TurboTax again: (Link to comment.)

Bob addressed the issue of the late e-mail communication, as well as the fact that this delay affected “affected not only TurboTax customers, but all taxpayers who used a bank product to pay their fees … It would not have mattered if you used a competitor’s product, went to a franchise or a tax professional. This affected all players in this business.”

The comment above Bob’s, by “g” also listed a blog article which further clarifies this issue:

This blog, by a reputable tax lawyer, claims the IRS did not anticipate the number of people that were going to use electronic filing software, that they did not get enough notice about the package details to work it out, so the IRS became overwhelmed.

And, per Bob’s request, I’ve reviewed the articles he sent me in the broadcast e-mail, and I’ll post them here for you to review as well:

Other sources for current information on the rebate program are.

For more information on TurboTax and rebates, please visit

I’m leaving the original rant below as a reference point, but please note that this issue has been addressed by TurboTax. Thanks for reading!