Laid Off Camp This Weekend (May 1-2)

A Cupcake Bromance: the malted and the salted at Baked
I will out of town this weekend, but if  I were here in NYC, I would attend Laid Off Camp.

  • A Free two-day gathering of individuals in a career transition who are looking to gain perspective, discover new passions, or reinvent their careers.
  • Educate, empower, and connect entry and mid-level digital media, advertising, publishing, technology, and financial services professionals.
  • Panels, sessions, and discussion topics include:
    • The art of interviewing, legal and accounting needs of new businesses, alternative working spaces, budgeting for the downturn, building your personal brand, affordable health insurance, implications of accepting a shorter work week, unemployment insurance, and becoming a freelancer.
    • You don’t have to unemployed to attend.

Laid Off Camp is FREE. It is Friday and Saturday (May 1-2).  RSVP. Social Networking with Entrepreneurs

    Radishes with Butter and Sea Salt
    If you are new to Keeping Nickels, I want to let you know that I have recently combined my love of food photography to blogging about business and personal finance. East post will feature a picture I have taken in the last week.

     Friday night, I attended BizNik event at In Good Company. Biznik is a social networking community for entrepreneurs.  They have groups most on the west coast in cities including Portland, SanFrancisco and Seattle.  When I arrived, I immediately ran into my friend Erica Ecker,  a home and office organizer, and it was good to catch up with her.

    Hosted by Jezra Kaye and Caroline Green, the happy hour was full of friendly people doing interesting things.

    Celia Currin is the founder of Whisper Street, which builds automatic websites.

    Stephanie Cockerl runs NextSteph, and she  is a blog designer and SEO consultant.

    Hideki Aono is a graphic and digital designer.

    Sharon Beason provides concierge servcices in Brooklyn.

    Anastasia Toom is a spiritual counselor and healer.

    Phyllis Taylor is a virtual assistant.

    And You Say New York City

    April 007

    It would seem with the high cost of living and high tax rate that New York City would be a bad place to start a business. Rubbish!  In my experience, New York is great place to be an entrepreneur. The talented people, the  business community, the high speed internet and the idea that there is something for everyone makes running a successful business possible. Here are some great resources.

    To help you get started, check out’s site.

    New York City Entrepreneur Week is April  20-24.  There will lots of events and speakers. Plus there is a contest where you can submit your business plane.

    BootupNYC is like a mashup of a business networking and a dance party. It will be Wednesday April 22 at Webster Hall.

    The Runway Project helps people get in gear and start their businesses.  Their next meetup, “Brainstorm: Get Your Idea From Napkin to Action” will be April 16 at New Work City.

    Life and Taxes! Tips and Links to Make it Through April 15.

    Bacon Wrapped Scallops
    April 15 is a week away!  Where did the time go? Here’s some tax links to help you out.

    For small businesses, filing an extension is not necessarily a bad thing.

    Avoid errors on your tax return.   IRS has a list of common errors.  Forgetting to sign your return is one of them.

    Check it twice.  HR Block offers a second look review for $29 which may ease your doubts if you plan to prepare your returns.

    Free File. Check out the IRS’ site.

    Tax Act is good to use as well and you don’t have to download any software.

    Are you kinda rich? Then you’re probably subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT).  The IRS has a guide to help you figure out if you qualify.

    Don’t believe the hype: Hiring a CPA will not guarantee that you will not get audited.

    If you absolutely positively cannot  file, then file later.

    If you know you will owe, then set up an installment agreement with the IRS.

    Web 2 Point Dough: Broke, Tax Forms, HealthCare and Zombies!

    snails and foam

    Today, I am combining my love of food photography with tips about money and taxes. I took the picture on Wednesday while out to dinner at Tailor, a restaurant in Soho. The green foam matches the blog. Yay!

    Broke: This Is Why You’re Broke is a blog that may shame you into never spending money frivolously again (or maybe not).

    Healthcare Option for the Jobless and Uninsured: Lauren from LifestylerMag tipped me off to Walgreen’s Take Care Clinics across the country.

    Understanding Tax Forms : There’s a great blog post on that gives you the skinny on tax forms and schedules.

    Zombies: Ever since I met the guys from Lost Zombies at SXSW, I pay attention whenever I see the word “zombie”. Well there’s a financial term that I know now thanks to WordSpy, “zombie banks”. Zombie banks are banks cannot lend money because its liabilities are greater than its assets, but remains in business thanks to government support. Hopefully the government can either wipe out the zombie banks or make them thrive.

    You’re Golden: Retirement Planning Prep

    Last week, a friend of mine complained that those “retirement calculators on the internet are wrong”.  Well, I am not sure if they are all incorrect, but current economic conditions,  government policy and life expectancy has changed a lot in the past five years, so maybe the calculator are not updated to reflect these factors.

    If you are seeking advice, look for a reputable Certified Financial Planner.  You need someone who will ensure that you will have enough money well into your retirement. This person should know about budgets as well as be knowledgeable about a variety of long term investment instruments, as well as the tax implications of withdrawing money from 401Ks and Roth and SEP IRAs. Your financial planner should NOT be your broker.

    Before talking with a  professional, learn a little. It’s well worth the time and $5.95 to listen to an audiobook of The Money Girl’s Guide to Retirement Planning;Successful Strategies to Help You Save and Invest for a Secure Future.