Freebie Corner: Free pizza at Sbarro & 1 yr. subscription to Ladies Home Journal

Published: Saturday, January 12, 2013 @ 3:38 PM
Updated: Saturday, January 12, 2013 @ 3:38 PM

My favorite offer this week is the window cord retro safety kit. Just about everyone has blinds or shades of some kind in their home. This kit will help make the cords safer if children are near them and some of the available kits fix up to 4 windows.

If you have a young/teenage girl in your house she will love the free bracelet available this week. For yourself, grab a free slice of pizza on the 15th at Sbarro's. You can also get a free one year magazine subscription to Ladies Home Journal!

Freebie #1: Get a free Kotex "Generation Know Bracelet" by filling in the form.

Freebie #2: Innovative Skin Restorative Eye Complex is offering samples on their site.

Freebie #3: Free Pet Emergency Window Decal - Offer open to those who live in an ASG service area - DC, MA, MD, NC, NJ, OK, PA, TX only. Fill in the form to get the window decal.

Freebie #4:
Free Window Cord Retro Safety Kit - Click on "Order Free Retrofit Safety Kits" at the bottom left of the page. Find what you have hanging in your windows in the list (shades, blinds, etc. - note: there is a kit for blinds made before 1995 and another kit for blinds made after 1995). Some kits are enough for 4 blinds - please read all info for each kit. Check the "Order" box and enter quanity. Check out by clicking "Go" on the top right of the page.

Freebie #5:
Free 1 Year Subscription to Ladies Home Journal - Fill in the form to get your subscription. As with all magazine freebies, near the end of your free subscription you will receive an invoice to renew your subscription. Just write "cancel subscription" on the invoice and mail it back.

Freebie # 6: Free Vplenish Vitamin Powder Sample - Get started by choosing "Home" or "Business" under "Request Info and Sample" on the right of the page.

Freebie #7: Free Skinny Slice at Sbarro's, January 15th - "Like" them on Facebook and click "Get Coupon" to print. Coupon valid January 15th only.

Freebie #8: Free Lipton Black Tea Sample - "Like" them on Facebook and fill in the form.

Jackie lives in Seattle, her blog is Free Hot Samples. Where there are hundreds of freebies and deals up for grabs.


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IRS Service Centers

Published: Thursday, October 28, 2010 @ 11:13 AM
Updated: Thursday, October 28, 2010 @ 11:13 AM

Below are the addresses and telephone numbers for Service Centers to be used by Private Delivery Services - DHL, FedEx or UPS.


Austin - Internal Revenue Submission Processing Center  3651 S IH35,
 Austin TX 78741
Cincinnati - Internal Revenue Submission Processing Center   201 West Rivercenter Blvd.,
 Covington, KY 41011
Fresno - Internal Revenue Submission Processing Center  5045 East Butler Avenue,
 Fresno, CA 93727
Kansas City - Internal Revenue Submission Processing Center  333 W. Pershing,
 Kansas City, MO 64108
Ogden - Internal Revenue Submission Processing Center  1973 Rulon White Blvd.
 Ogden, UT 84201







If you need tax assistance for other matters, please call the IRS toll-free at  1-800-829-1040, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. your local time.

64K Ohioans forfeit health discounts

Published: Tuesday, October 04, 2016 @ 10:08 AM
Updated: Tuesday, October 04, 2016 @ 10:08 AM

Tens of thousands of Ohioans could be missing out on discounted health plans by not shopping for coverage in the federal health insurance marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act, according to a new government report.

More than 80 percent of marketplace shoppers in Ohio and the rest of the country were eligible for financial assistance this year in the form of tax credits that cover a substantial share of premium costs. In addition, many marketplace customers qualified for premium subsidies and cost-sharing reduction subsidies that lower out-of-pocket costs for deductibles, copays, and coinsurance.

But the subsidies are only available to consumers shopping in state or federally-run marketplaces, and about 64,000 Ohioans who currently purchase health coverage on their own outside of the marketplace could be eligible for tax credits, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reported Tuesday.

Nationally, the report found that 2.5 million Americans who currently do not purchase health plans in the marketplace may qualify for tax credits, available to customers with incomes are between 100 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty level, or about $100,000 for a family of four. The lower your income, the higher the subsidy.

“More than 9 million Americans already receive financial assistance through the Health Insurance Marketplace to help keep coverage affordable, but today’s data show millions more Americans could benefit,” said HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell. “Marketplace consumers who qualify for financial assistance usually have the option to buy coverage with a premium of less than $75 per month.”

In Ohio, residents can access the state’s federally-facilitated marketplace at to review their options. Open enrollment for 2017 coverage begins Nov. 1, and lasts through the end of the year.

Wittenberg top area college in PayScale survey

Published: Wednesday, September 28, 2016 @ 11:00 AM
Updated: Wednesday, September 28, 2016 @ 11:00 AM

Best area universities by salary potential

Where the top five area schools ranked nationally in PayScale’s survey of earning potential of those who graduate with a bachelor’s degree:

91. Wittenberg University

109. Miami University

135. University of Dayton

283. Ohio State University

307. University of Cincinnati

Wittenberg University was the only area school to crack the top 100 in a national report that ranks the salaries of graduates, coming in at No. 91.

Students who graduated from Wittenberg with a bachelor’s degree could expect to make $44,000 early in their careers and $94,900 by the middle of their careers, according to PayScale, a website that highlights salaries, benefits and compensation.

Wittenberg also ranked among the top 10 business schools in the earnings category.

“We aren’t surprised that our graduates thrive in so many ways, including financially,” said Tom Kaplan, dean of the School of Communication Education. “We prepare students for a whole life, and it so happens that the combination of a Wittenberg liberal arts foundation and a strong business curriculum delivered by dedicated and accessible faculty, really does prepare our students for a great life.”

Miami University was ranked No. 109 and the University of Dayton was ranked No. 135, according to the report released this week.

Miami grads can expect to make $50,500 early in their careers and around $93,200 toward the middle of their careers (10 years-plus experience). UD grads make around $52,700 within five years of graduating and $90,200 by the middle of their careers.

The report ranked 963 colleges and universities based on the median salaries of their alumni.

Other Ohio colleges ranked included Ohio State, which was No. 283. Others: Xavier, No. 471; Central State, No. 538; Wright State, No. 616; and Cedarville University, No. 765.

Oberlin College was Ohio’s highest-ranked school at No. 47. The median mid-career pay for Oberlin graduates surveyed was $103,000.

Among 381 two-year colleges, Clark State ranked No. 108 and Sinclair came in at No. 111.

UD’s ranking came as no surprise to Jason Eckert, director of the university’s career center.

“I think our grads do well in compensation and salary,” Ekert said.

Of the UD students surveyed by PayScale, 21 percent had degrees in either science, technology, engineering or math-related fields.

While Eckert said he likes to see the university do well in such rankings, he takes them “with a grain of salt.”

Where a university ranks on lists such as PayScale’s depends on how many students and alumni are surveyed or log their information on PayScale’s website, Eckert said. PayScale said it surveyed millions of students for its salary report.

Rankings also don’t always take into account regional differences, Eckert said.

If a student gets a job in Chicago, for example, their housing and cost of living will be much higher as opposed to someone working in a smaller town whose salary might go much further.

“Reports like this are one data point but not necessarily the end-all of the value of a college education,” Eckert said.

While Wright State ranked lowe, Trey Brown, a freshman from Dayton, said he was happy to hear his college made the list.

Brown, who is studying motion pictures, said he is already thinking about getting a job after college even though his graduation day may be almost four years away.

Wright State students who graduate with a bachelor’s degree make around $45,300 at the start of their careers and $70,400 by the middle of their careers, according to the survey. Of Wright State students surveyed, 20 percent had degrees in either science, technology, engineering or math-related fields.

“It gives me a lot of hope for after I’m done with college and everything that I’ll be able to find a good job,” Brown said.

How thinking like a poker player can help you get a raise

Published: Tuesday, January 06, 2015 @ 10:02 AM
Updated: Tuesday, January 06, 2015 @ 10:02 AM

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Not everyone has a taste for poker, and people choose to not play it for a variety of reasons. Perhaps they don’t have the math skills or they just don’t understand the game. It could be they have little tolerance for risk and don’t enjoy formulating and following game strategy. Some people don’t handle losing well, so it’s best to avoid games with high stakes.

That’s fine. You don’t need to like poker. You can go your whole life without needing to play it — no one will force you to.

That doesn’t mean you can’t use the basic poker skills to your advantage. There are a lot of lessons you can learn from poker that will help you thrive personally and professionally. Rather than have you put money on the line to learn them, we decided it made more sense to ask experienced poker players to share the most valuable things they’ve learned from the game and apply them to something most people experience but many don’t enjoy doing: salary negotiation.

1. Read the Situation

When going into your boss’ office to ask for a pay raise, there are a lot of factors in play that will impact the outcome of your discussion. There are the facts — you know what skills you bring to the table, and the employer knows how much he or she can afford to pay you — and there’s not much you can do to alter those.

Here’s where the dynamics of your meeting come in. You have no control over the cards your boss is holding, but you can persuade him or her to play in your favor by delivering a convincing pitch without appearing vulnerable. Just as in poker, body language has a huge impact on someone’s perception of you and can affect the way they respond.

David Daneshgar, a former professional poker player who won an event at the 2008 World Series of Poker, said everything from posture to breathing patterns can have a huge impact in how seriously you’re taken by the person across the table.

“Act genuine and normal,” Daneshgar said. “I wouldn’t come off too cocky — people in poker with a bad hand would overcompensate with action.”

2. Get Comfortable With an Uncomfortable Situation

The stakes can be high when asking for a raise. For some people, it may mean the difference between paying off debt or having to make tough personal budget cuts. No matter how badly you want to win, you have to understand that you may not and be willing to accept that. Negotiating for a raise may be extremely stressful, but you can’t let your emotions derail your game plan. If you’ve given your strategy a lot of thought and believe you’ve come up with the best course of action you can think of, stick to it, even when things aren’t going well. Desperation won’t win you anything.

“One of the things in poker is, ‘don’t reveal your hand till it’s time’,” said John Rogers, an amateur poker player who has used his 12 years of experience to guide him through the tough stages of entrepreneurship. One of the most common things Rogers sees among new players is a tendency to hold their cards too high or have to look back at their hand frequently, allowing other players to pounce on that vulnerability.

3. Learn to Make Quick Decisions

In poker, quick decision-making indicates you know what you’re doing, Daneshgar said. Don’t mistake immediate action for impulsiveness, because making good decisions requires a lot of thought — just make sure you’re done thinking before you head into negotiations.

It requires a lot of prep work. Daneshgar said poker players run through the scenarios in their minds, knowing exactly what they’ll do in any given situation. A slow response indicates unpreparedness. If you’re asking to receive a larger paycheck, your boss should rightly expect you to have given your request a lot of thought and be able to stand behind everything you’re asking for.

“If they’re thinking on the spot, they haven’t thought it through,” Daneshgar said. To get what you want out of a negotiation, you need to know what you want before the back-and-forth even starts. Even if the situation doesn’t end up the way you would have liked it to, you can reflect on it knowing you did everything you could to have it play in your favor, and you can’t always win.

4. Assess the Risks Associated With Each Scenario

If you play poker, you will lose a lot. When you ask for changes to your compensation, you may not get everything you want. When deciding how to proceed through salary negotiations, decide what’s worth fighting for,based on how much you have to lose if you don’t get it.

This is a process we do daily. If you’re driving to a meeting and the traffic light turns yellow, you’re quickly assessing the risk of the situation: “I’ll definitely get in trouble if I’m late for this meeting, but there’s a good chance I won’t get a ticket if the light turns red as I pass through the intersection,” you think, as you press down on the gas pedal.

If you submit a long list of demands to your supervisor, there’s a very good chance he or she will deny some of them. On the flip side, you’re likely to get what you ask for if you’re requesting something very small — but is that really what you want? You have to know when — and if — you’re willing to walk away. Daneshgar gave an example: If he asks for nothing, his employer will certainly keep him around. If he asks for a $20,000 raise (a massive raise, in this scenario), he risks offending his employer, damaging his relationship with his boss or getting fired. Given those options, he’ll ask for something in between, knowing it’s not worth it to him to risk his job or settle for no raise.

5. Leave Emotions Out of It

Even with all the preparation you’ve put into asking for a raise, no matter how well you think you can read the temperature of your meeting, it’s possible the situation will not go at all the way you want it to. If nothing else, you want to walk away feeling good about the way you handled yourself and confident in your ability to learn from the experience.

“If you change your strategy because of emotional response, that’s a flaw, that’s a crack in the game,” Rogers said. In poker, it’s called tilt — allowing one hand to affect the way you play the next.

“In poker here’s the reality: If you lose a hand for $50,000 and you can’t let that go by and play another game, you’re going to lose a lot of money,” Daneshgar said. Getting emotional when you don’t get what you want in the workplace could translate into a loss of respect or credibility, which severely hampers your ability to succeed. If you don’t get what you asked for the first time, don’t let disappointment filter into your work. If you keep doing a good job and prove your value to the company, you have a much better chance of getting what you want the next time you have an opportunity to ask.

These skills are extremely useful in many career-related situations, not just asking for a raise. Both Rogers and Daneshgar used what they learned in poker to start their own businesses — Rogers is creating a digital poker table called Nucleus, and Daneshgar started online floral business — and they say their ability to mitigate risk and take emotions out of their decisions have helped them succeed.

Such attitudes are extremely helpful in the world of personal finance, because things often don’t go the way you’d like them to (think home price negotiations). Planning is crucial to any kind of financial success, and as frustrating as failure can be, minimizing the amount of emotion you let dictate your decisions is likely to help you reach your goals.

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