1. Improve Your Graphic Designing Talents While Having Fun!...

Are you a graphic designer looking to improve your designing talents? The best way to do this is to become more social. Socializing with the right people can lead to great opportunities. So don’t be afraid to jump out there, just do it! Here are some common ways that you can achieve this and have fun while doing so. Socialize with Other Graphic Designers Meeting and socializing with other graphic designers is a great way to start improving your talent because with this type of socializing you could build strong relationships. And these relationships can connect you to amazing resources, mentors, and an overall support system that will definitely help when you set up shop on your own. But keep in mind things don’t always have to be about business, take time to learn the designers personality, chat from time to time, and build a friendship. You never know where these relationships with other designers will lead. You could end up getting your next biggest client from one, you could possible end up doing a joint venture, or they could even want to go into business together with you. You just never know. Join Graphic Designing Forums Forums are a great way to socialize with other graphic designers as well as display your artwork and find projects. You can also enhance your talent by allowing forum members to critique your designs. Now as a designer, especially if you are...

2. Designing a Budget That Works...

I’ll warn you, this will take some time and effort, but a budget is, by far, the easiest and quickest way to gain control of your finances and to really “see” where you are and where you can be, financially speaking. A good budget is not constraining except in the case of overspending. It’s a structure, within which you can work to control your expenses and eliminate panic by planning ahead for things like annual property taxes or replacing tires. A budget helps, not hinders. Budgets are, or should be, very individualized. No one has the exact same set of circumstances that you do, so to make a budget work for you, start with your own figures. Gather up as much spending history as you can find for a full year if possible. Include grocery receipts or checks written for groceries, utility bills, credit card statements, tax records, insurance and other recurring payments, mortgage payments and any other bills you pay. Now to the work: You’ll need paper, pencil, a calculator, a couple of hours and some patience. Start by going through your records and as you come across a category like clothing or hair cuts, make a column for it. Try to cover everything you can now, but you can add more later. A good budget is a work in progress, so when you make a decision, it isn’t written in stone. You can always adjust, elminate or...

3. Drafter, Designer, Engineer, Technical Writer, Author...

I remember reading somewhere many years ago that most people have at least five careers throughout their lifetime. I think I’m beginning my 5th career: Drafter, Designer, Engineer, Technical Writer, and now possibly Author. I make a distinction between Technical Writer and Author, because technical writing is usually a ‘work-for-hire’; the writer seldom gets a ‘by line’ and, as a work-for-hire does not get to keep ownership rights. Whereas, an Author can write on subjects of their choosing and can retain their ownership rights. As a Drafter, I was a woman in a field that at the time was almost exclusively that of men. Hence, the name ‘draftsman’, which somewhere along in the late ’60’s or maybe ’70’s was changed to the more politically correct ‘Drafter’. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t a ‘women’s libber’. I just wanted to do the type of work that I found interesting… and it also paid well. I figured if ‘the guys’ didn’t like it, they could just grow up. The world was changing and they’d better jump on-board or be left behind. After my first job as a drafter, I removed the word ‘typing’ from my resume. If I didn’t know how to type, then no one would ask me to type! That allowed me to do the job that I was hired to do, which was drawing electrical and mechanical drawings, and not being the department clerk/secretary. In those days, drawings...

4. What is the Checkbox Designee on Form 1040?...

At the bottom of most recent 1040 tax returns, you will find the following question: Do you want to allow another person to discuss this return with the IRS? If you check the box as ‘yes,’ you are asked to provide the third party’s name and telephone number. In addition, they must create a 5-digit Personal Identification Number (PIN). This PIN would be used if the individual were to call the IRS. An IRS representative would verify the identity of the third party by asking them to verify their PIN. What authorization does this ‘checkbox designee’ have, and who can be authorized as your third party? The 1040 instructions indicate that this person can be a preparer, friend, family or other person. In other words, you have the latitude here to elect anyone of your choice that you would potentially like to have correspond with the IRS about that specific tax return. The checkbox designee would be available to discuss any issues that may arise with the processing of your tax return. For example, if line items were incomplete or certain required schedules were missing, the designee can answer questions for you if the IRS were to contact them. They can also call the IRS on your behalf. The designee can also call the IRS to check on the status of the return or a refund. If a payment was made to the IRS, they can inquire as to...
What is the Checkbox Designee on Form 1040?