New Jersey: The Garden State. It’s the state that is home to rocker Jon Bon Jovi, it’s the state that was the subject of fierce fighting in the American Revolution. It’s the state with a glorious Atlantic coastline and a proud and vibrant attitude to life. Moreover, its motto is ‘Liberty and Prosperity’…but you may not feel that you are getting your share of the prosperity if you happen to be a single mom.
Life can be a bit tough for single moms, ands cash…or at least enough of it to look after your family the way you want to…can be hard to come by. Luckily, if you live in New Jersey you can find quite a few programs that are waiting to help you. Just check out the information and the links below. All it takes is a click of the mouse!
You should also take a good look at the TANF program in New Jersey. TANF is Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and offers help with finance, childcare and other areas that may be concerning you. If you are deemed eligible you can get this aid for up to 60 months…but it is a lifetime limit, so use it wisely!
It is also possible that you might also be considering getting a Payday Loan, if you run out of cash before the end of each month. Payday Loans are short term loans designed to get you through to your next wage packet or benefit payment…but they can come at a price if you aren’t careful. Some have very high interest rates, and others impose big fines for late repayments. At the very least, make sure that the loan you take out has a reasonable interest rate and that you can meet all the repayment terms. Try to find a grant instead of a loan if at all possible. Remember, unlike loans, grants don’t have to be repaid!
Assistance with food
As a mom, you know that getting nutritious, healthy food into your kids is one of the most important things you need to do each day. You want to stock your cupboards with fresh vegetables, fruits, eggs, cheese and milk so your kids will grow strong and healthy. But, as these kind of foods can be expensive, how do you make your low budget stretch far enough?
New Jersey has a program called SNAP…although you may hear it referred to by its old name of the Food Stamps program. It’s all the same, it’s just been modernised so that eligible people are given an electronic swipe card instead of paper vouchers. This card is used in participating grocery stores across the state as payment of part payment for food. You can’t buy things like alcohol or cigarettes with it, but most food stuffs and even seeds for growing veggies in the garden are OK.
If you can’t get help through SNAP, you might find that WIC (Women, Infants and Children) can assist you with nutrition. You need to have children who are under five years of age, be pregnant or breastfeeding to apply.
Look too at New Jersey’s food banks. Donated foods are offered to needy families, as part of the Feeding America initiative.
Assistance with childcare
This is the dilemma that faces all single moms every day. You have to earn money, so you must go to work. But, to in order to go to work, you have to first find and then pay for, child care. What’s more, you want to be sure that that childcare is reliable, welcoming for your child and provides a high standard of care.
Many single moms find that the costs of childcare mean that they have very little left over from their wage packets at the end of each month.
Clearly, if this is the case for you, you need help from the state. And, in New Jersey, this is where to find it.
If you find, however, that you don’t qualify for help through that program, don’t give up hope. There may be other ways of finding affordable child care. Try some of these ideas:
Sometimes churches or other religious groups have child care on offer to their members, while there might also be other community groups in your neighborhood that can help. Some enlightened employers offer subsidies towards child care for employees’ children, or even run crèches. If none of these are possible for you, why not get together with other single moms and set up your own group? You can share the childcare if you work different shifts, or pay a little each to one mom to stay home and care for the kids.
Assistance with healthcare
Worrying about how to afford healthcare for yourself and your children can be enough to make you ill! Policies are so expensive and there seems to be no way you can afford proper cover. Kids need lots of routine care as well as accidents and illness cover, and if you are pregnant or have recently given birth you will need access to medical services yourself.
If you have a low income, you should take a look at Medicaid. The Medicaid program is in operation across America, and it offers routine care and well as emergency care for low income families. See if you are eligible for Medicaid here:
New Jersey also offers help for families to find medical care.
Assistance with housing
Wherever you live in New Jersey, you need a safe, cosy home in which to raise your family. However, no doubt you’ll have found that safe, cosy homes aren’t always easy to find, much less to pay for.
Whether it’s assistance with the rent of a mortgage that you need, or if you need help to find suitable housing, this is what to do. New Jersey’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development has a housing assistance program to help.
New Jersey also offers assistance with the payment of those scary utility bills…so there’s no need to shiver through another winter ever.
Assistance with education
It might be you who needs to go back to college to get qualified for a better job, or it might be your kids who are off to school…but either way you are going to need help to pay the education fees. The good news is that, when if comes to education, there’s a lot of help out there to be had.
Begin with a look at your eligibility for FAFSA. FAFSA stands for ‘Free Application for Federal Student Aid’, and this is what you need to apply for to get started. The link below gives you information, lets you download the forms you need to apply and gives you the school codes for New Jersey. Help is also available (if you need it) to fill in the forms correctly, so don’t be afraid to ask.
Also, it could be good to know that if you are interested in doing a professional course like nursing, extra help is likely to be available.
There are other ways of getting help with the expense of education as well. These can range from individual or specific to college scholarships to sponsorship from an employer or other individual.
If you or your children have disabilities of long term illnesses, there are probably grants for you. Cancer sufferers can get extra help in most cases. Check it out on the internet, as many special needs awards in cases like these are made across the US every year. Perhaps your church or other religious group might offer help in the form of a grant or a loan? Just ask! If your kids are talented in sports, academic subjects or even in helping out in the community there may be scholarships on offer for them too.
Assistance with transportation
Supposing you have a car, can you afford to run it? If maintaining and running the car is tough, what you need to do is car share with a group of local moms. If you share the driving and the costs the whole thing gets easier!
Non rural moms, that is, those who live in the cities of New Jersey, will find plenty of access to good and affordable public transport.
With all this help on offer, single moms in New Jersey should find life a little easier from now on!