SingleMoms.ORG – Money, Life, and More http://www.singlemoms.org Financial Help, Career Guides, Parenting Advice and more! Wed, 07 Dec 2016 03:59:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.6.1 The Best Work From Home Jobs That Actually Pay Big http://www.singlemoms.org/best-work-home-jobs-actually-pay-big/ http://www.singlemoms.org/best-work-home-jobs-actually-pay-big/#respond Tue, 15 Nov 2016 06:25:33 +0000 http://www.singlemoms.org/?p=2112 The phrase “work-from-home” usually conjures an image of a pajama-clad person focused on his laptop while lounging on the couch. That is not always the case though – especially today when a variety of lucrative and high-powered positions are quite flexible. Work from home jobs are also more in demand because over 90% of companies […]

The post The Best Work From Home Jobs That Actually Pay Big appeared first on SingleMoms.ORG - Money, Life, and More.

]]>
best work from home jobs that actually pay

The phrase “work-from-home” usually conjures an image of a pajama-clad person focused on his laptop while lounging on the couch. That is not always the case though – especially today when a variety of lucrative and high-powered positions are quite flexible.

Work from home jobs are also more in demand because over 90% of companies have fewer than 1,000 employees and do not mind hiring someone with experience and skills to serve them from home.  It means that if the idea of hustling to a workplace everyday fascinates you little, you can always start working from home like more than 40 million Americans.

While these jobs have several benefits, especially for single mothers who have to take care of their young kids at the same time, there are some considerations too. The biggest consideration is that not all jobs available online are legit.

Knowing so many people are now interested in making money from home, many scammers have joined the interest to cash in on this growing demand.

Now, while some ‘work from home jobs’ are sort of legit, they may pay absolute peanuts. Unless you are willing to earn $5 to $10 dollars a day for 6-8 hours of work (and some people in poor countries are), you need to be selective about the type of work from home jobs you choose.

You certainly need to take your time and consider a few things before you apply for a job, but you should also know that some work-from-home jobs are quite legitimate and actually pay as much as traditional jobs, if not more.

Here are some of the best work-from-home jobs that actually pay quite well.

Survey Taker

Quite a few survey taking jobs are available, but not all of them pay that well. Still, you can earn anywhere between $1 and $50 per survey. How much money is on offer usually depends on how much time you would need to complete the survey. The job is simple – you need to answer questions about shopping trends, take an opinion poll, or review a specific product. Some companies pay you cash in return, while others give you points that you can redeem for gift cards. Pineconeresearch.com, Darwinsdata.com, and Paidviewpoint.com are some options to consider. Be sure to sign up with as many sites as you can to end up making good money in the end. Avoid signing up for sites that ask for a membership or demand your bank info or Social Security number.

Website Tester

You can earn $10-$15 working a website tester. Your job is to test websites to ensure they are intuitive and easy to navigate. Most companies provide you with specific instructions that you need to following while testing the website. It is a good idea to register with several companies and be always ready to grab any opportunity that becomes available. You have to be vigilant because these opportunities are available first come, first served. Youeye.com, Usertesting.com, and Userlytics.com are some nice sites to start with, but you should look for more because it usually takes no more than 20 minutes to test a website.

Film and Post How-To Videos

It is yet another interesting and lucrative work-from-home job for you to try. The idea is to make interesting videos and post them on popular video sites. How much you make depends on how many people end up clicking your video. You usually get $1-$2 for every 1,000 hits, but keep in mind that an interesting video can easily get more than 300,000 hits on YouTube.  Just make your video interesting, which you can do by sharing something you enjoy doing. It could be related to cooking or something else. You only need a free YouTube account and a good quality smartphone camera to get started. Once you start getting more subscribers, you are likely to make more money on a regular basis.

Corporate English Trainer

It is a perfect job for you if you are a native English speaker with some computer skills and interest in having a chat with people over the phone. With some good office experience, you can expect more than $15 an hour from this job. You may find this job even more interesting and rewarding if you are bilingual. Your clients would be students in countries like Korea, Japan, Germany, etc., where English is not their first language. You will be teaching them how to handle meetings and professional talks. If you have experience as a teacher, you can choose to work as an ESL teacher as well. You are more likely to secure these jobs if you have a degree in education or ESL.

Search Engine Evaluator

Do you have interest in music and movies, and diverse cultures? You may choose to work as a search engine evaluator and earn up to $9-$10 an hour. You will be working with companies like Yahoo! and Google and use their information to check how well their search engines are functioning. In other words, you will use the search engine and tell them if you have been able to find what you have been searching for with 100% accuracy.  Since these search engines do not produce 100% accurate results, there is always room for improvement, and you can help them improve. You may have to work 10-25 hours a week but you can end up making good money. Keep in mind that it is not easy to find search engine evaluator gigs through specific companies, but you have to work with third-party organizations with in-house testing and acceptance systems to earn money as an evaluator.

Customer Service Representative

You can get started easily and start earning $8 an hour that you can quickly convert into $18/hour by proving your worth. The biggest requirement is ‘patience’ – you need to be patient and willing to go the extra mile to answer customers’ tricky and sometimes rather annoying questions.  You need to have solid computer skills with exceptional speaking abilities to earn big. Your job will involve working with customers and help them find a right product, place an order, and even resolve a conflict. These work-from-home jobs are usually perfect for single moms because both part- and full-time positions are available. You can work directly with companies or find third-party sites that help you work for other companies.

Transcriptions

If you are a quick typist, there is a job for you too. You can start working as a transcriptionist and make some good money. It is relatively easier to find such jobs because doctors, TV shows, and many industries around the world want to keep a well-documented record of their activity, and a transcriptionist can lend a helping hand here. Keep in mind that you can succeed as a transcriptionist when you can stay focused while listening to audio files. Strict attention to detail matters a lot.

Freelancing

When it comes to working from home, you just cannot ignore freelancing. There are so many jobs available in this category, but not all of them are going to pay well – not to mention that so many of them do not actually ‘pay’ since many scammers are around to take advantage of your situation. You can choose to work as a freelance coder or start offering your services as a freelance writer. Writers in particular are in demand and manage to earn a good deal of money, especially when they have established them in the market.  You can join certain websites and start working with companies who need your services. Here are some of the best options you can try:

  • Odesk: It is one of the very best all-purpose freelancing site where you have to write up profiles and apply for writing, coding, and designing gigs.
  • WriterAccess: You should try this site if you are interested in working as a freelance writer. There are tons of writing-specific jobs available here. You have to take a test before you start working with them.
  • Upwork: It is among the biggest freelancer sites you can find online. You can certainly find so many job opportunities related to all freelancing categories, but be ready to deal with fierce competition.
  • LiveOps: You can try this site to find some impressive telemarketing and customer support jobs. All you need is a phone and access to the internet to get started.
  • Flexjobs: It is yet another interesting site offering good telecommuting opportunities with some impressive part-time gigs and jobs available in more than 100 industries.

There is a long list of freelancing sites and most of them work great to find you a job. Just keep in mind that not all freelancing jobs are created equal – they sometimes do not pay well and you even have to pay a fee to join those sites. Getting started as a freelancer can always be challenging, so you may have to use these sites in the beginning of your career. While these sites certainly help freelancers, be sure to check local job postings, Craigslist, and job sites to find interesting freelancing opportunities.

Creating Your Own Niche Websites

You can always create your own website and see about making revenue opportunities there. If you create a website about a specific topic (niche) and start to gain traffic, it’s possible to make money via affiliate marketing, Adsense, and other such programs. Millions of people now do this, though the road to success is long and hard. This is something that takes months and years, not weeks. But  it is possible to make money online.

At best, this is a part time effort on your part with an eye to long term planning. This is NOT something to undertake if you just lost your job and need to pay rent and need a job now!

Other Interesting Work-from-Home Opportunities

There are work-from-home jobs available, but you need to consider your exact skills and experience level before you start looking for a lucrative opportunity. You might have to accept low-paying offers in the beginning, but you can certainly start earning more once you make a place of your own in the industry. It is important to point out that some highly lucrative work-from-home jobs are available for anyone with a specialized degree and related educational background. For instance:

  • Supervisor Attorney/Partner Attorney: You can start working as a supervisory attorney to oversee less experienced and new attorneys working in a legal setting. Your experience counts here. You also have to provide support and guidance to another attorney and their assigned cases and staff. Expect anything between $117,000 and $152,000 while working as a supervisory attorney!
  • Senior Software Engineer: By working as a senior web developer or software engineer, you can earn anywhere between $100,000 and $200,000. You will be working from home and be responsible for developing new software and testing specific software programs. You may also have to oversee related projects and manage an in-house team of software engineers.
  • Senior Medical Writer: With a salary range of $110,000 to $115,000, working as a senior medical writer can prove quite lucrative for anyone interested in working from home. You can work for different types of healthcare-related companies, including pharmaceutical companies and medical publishers. Your job would be to review writing documents, medical information and editing other writers’ work. You would also have to work with senior management to handle other projects. You need to have a degree in a medical or science discipline to start working as a senior medical writer or medical editor.
  • Director of Quality Improvement: Your role as a director of quality improvement or senior quality improvement manager would be to work with technical teams at a company to design and develop best practices related to data architecture and systems administration. You need to have excellent leadership skills as well because you may also have to work with senior management. You can expect anywhere between $100,000 and $175,000 working as a QA Director.
  • Research Biologist: As a research biologist, you will have to explore and study biology and related concepts in various environments. You can choose to work in a lab or out in the field. You can also select a specialized field, such as taxonomy, zoology, population biology, physiology, and ecology. Salary range is $150,000 to $151,000.
  • Audit Manager: While working as an audit manager, you can make anywhere between $90,000 and $110,000. You will work from home and be responsible for operational and financial audits for clients and companies. You will be expected to lead, plan, and execute internal audits. It is also important to document audit-related info in a professional manner.

You can always start earning money by working as a freelance writer or developer, and you can easily get money to supplement your income, but you need to pay more attention to jobs with titles like, “Senior”, “Manager”, “Director”, etc., to find opportunities that really pay big. Just bear in mind that experience matters a lot when you want to secure a high-paying work-from-home job. You may want to complete a degree and earn some experience in the field before applying for these jobs online.

The post The Best Work From Home Jobs That Actually Pay Big appeared first on SingleMoms.ORG - Money, Life, and More.

]]>
http://www.singlemoms.org/best-work-home-jobs-actually-pay-big/feed/ 0
50+ Grants for Women http://www.singlemoms.org/50-grants-women/ http://www.singlemoms.org/50-grants-women/#comments Fri, 14 Oct 2016 08:46:04 +0000 http://www.singlemoms.org/?p=2086 There are some specific grants (over 50 that we’ve found), that are specifically for women. To qualify, you’ll need to meet the grant requirements, but if you are looking for grants for education, for starting a business, or for organizing a community initiative, look at this list. Note: these are NOT necessary financial assistance grants (though […]

The post 50+ Grants for Women appeared first on SingleMoms.ORG - Money, Life, and More.

]]>
There are some specific grants (over 50 that we’ve found), that are specifically for women. To qualify, you’ll need to meet the grant requirements, but if you are looking for grants for education, for starting a business, or for organizing a community initiative, look at this list.

Note: these are NOT necessary financial assistance grants (though some might be), but are given out for exceptional women pursuing something specific such as an education. These are not given out for women who are in need of some emergency cash to make ends meet. Please look at our Single Mother Assistance page for financial help programs.

The following foundations can assist you with a plethora of resources including grants for college, financial help, transportation and shelter. Each have their own criteria for qualification.

Military Grants

If you have served in the military there are specific grants dedicated for you. The first step is to contact the VA to see if you qualify.

Avon Breast Cancer Safety Net Program

Avon has a foundation that provides grants and scholarships to women. They raise these funds through their products. The Avon foundation has awarded over 8 million dollars in scholarships.

Mary Kay Domestic Violence Shelter Grant Program

Every year the Mary Kay foundation awards grants to women who are exceptional. The foundation has awarded over $150,000 in grants and over $3 million dollars to national women’s shelters.

Altrusa International Foundation
The Altrusa International Foundation was established in 1962 and is devoted to contributing to human well-being by providing assistance to  local community service programs. They provide grants up to $1000.
American Association of University Women (AAUW)
The AAUW provides grants to female students. They also provide legal aid to women who have been discriminated against.

The Astraea National Lesbian Action Foundation

The Astraea National Lesbian Action Foundation works for social and economic justice. They provide grants to help lesbians and local communities claim their human rights.

Association for Women In Science Scholarships and Fellowships

The AWIS Educational Foundation offers predoctoral education awards and scholarships for high school seniors in the amount of $1,000.

Barbara Lee Family Foundation
The Barbara Lee Family Foundation provides assistance to women in politics and the contemporary arts. They are dedicated to promoting female participation at all levels of government.

Colin Higgins Foundation

The Colin Higgins Foundation supports organizations that focus on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered youth .

Educational Foundation for Women in Accounting Scholarships

They award scholarships to women who are looking to pursue accounting degrees.

Federated Dept Store Foundation
The Federated Department Store Foundation provides more than $33.5 million in education, arts and minority issues. They also focus on grants for HIV and AIDS.

Girls Global Education Fund (GGEF)
The Girls Global Education Fund is unique as their sole mission is to send girls to schools. They focus on grants specifically for girls and women.

Girls Inc. Grants
Girls Inc. offers Family Strengthening Awards to other organizations that help women and girls meet their full potential.

Google Anita Borg Scholarship
As part of Google’s ongoing commitment to furthering Dr. Anita Borg’s vision, they are pleased to announce the Google Anita Borg Scholarship, through which we hope to encourage women to excel in computing and technology and become active role models and leaders.

J.Jill Compassion Fund Grant

The J.Jill foundation supports community based programs that help low income and homeless women. They are also focused on education and affordable housing.

The Kroger Company Foundation

The Kroger foundation has been around since 1987. It provides grants to community based organizations. They focus on hunger, breast cancer awareness and disaster relief.

Open Meadows Foundation

The open Meadows Foundation provides grants to small businesses and start-ups. They goal is to help women and girls reach their goals to become entrepreneurs.

Eleanor Roosevelt Fund Award

The Eleanor Roosevelt  Funds was established in 1989. They provide grants to women, whether it’s for a project or education.

Hopeline From Verizon

Verizon gathers unused wireless phones and accessories and turns them into financial support for domestic violence organizations. They have helped over 3 million children and low income families.

HORIZONS Scholarship For Women
HORIZONS provides scholarships to women looking to enroll in national security based education.

All-India Road Show on Women’s Economic Empowerment through Entrepreneurship

The All-India Road Show is a federal grant for community organizations dedicated to helping women.

Breaking the Cycle – Formalize and Succeed

The Breaking the Cycle grant is a federally funded grant which is focused on women operating a successful business.

Eileen Fisher Grant For Women

The Eileen Fisher Grant For Women is dedicated to support women entrepreneur by providing grants to women owned businesses.

The Amber Grant

Since 1988 The Amber Grant provides grants to women owned businesses.

National Physical Science Consortium Fellowships For Women
NPSC offers a graduate fellowship in physical science as well as engineering fields. Although  it’s open to all US citizens, it focuses on minorities and women.

New Israel Fund (NIF)
NIF provides grants to organizations that promote women’s rights. In partnership with the Nathan Cummings Foundation, they promote social change for Orthodox and Arab women. They also provide legal aid to minority women and  micro-enterprise grants for immigrant women.

NOW Foundation
This foundation is a non-profit organization that is devoted to furthering women’s rights through education and litigation. They are affiliated with the National Organization for Women, one of the largest organization for women’s rights.

Open Society Institute Grants
The Open Society Institute is a private foundation. The OSIG aims to shape public policy and promote human rights, economic, and legal reform.

Oprah’s Angel Network

Oprah’s Angel Network, was formed in 1998.They provide grants to small business and community orgranizations.

The PepsiCo Foundation

The PepsiCo Foundation Foundation aims to encourage healthy lifestyles and support education. They also focus on water resource management.

Patrina Foundation

Started in 1990 they promote educational opportunities and scholarships by for woman.

PeaChic Grants

The PeaChic grant foundation was created by women for women in business.

PEO International

PEO International promotes educational opportunities for women. The P.E.O.Sisterhood as they call it sponsors around five international philanthropies or projects yearly.

Proctor and Gamble Corporate Giving

P&G prides itself on being committed to social responsibility. They focus on environmental concerns, education and poverty.

Talbots Women’s Scholarship Fund
Talbots Women’s Scholarship Fund awards up to $100,000 in scholarships to women.

Textron Corporate Grants

Textron prepares both adults and young people achieve employment by supporting education. They also sponsor job training programs for all ages.

Third Wave Foundation Grants For Women

They offer financial support for technical assistance trainings and workshops. They also provide grants for advocacy and reproductive health and justice.

Three Guineas Fund For Women

The Three Guineas Fund engages in efforts to support social justice issues for women.

Tides Foundation

The Tides Foundation promotes social justice and a sustainable environment. They also promote healthy living and the community.

Travel Grants For Women through the National Science Foundation and the Association for Women in Mathematics
They provide grants to women who need to travel for seminars and conferences in their field.

United Nations Development Fund For Women (UNIFEM)

The UNIFEM is a women’s fund promoted by the United Nations. It provides financial assistance to support women’s empowerment and gender equality.

Verizon Foundation

The Verizon Foundation focuses on literacy, and economic development, disabilities and education.

The post 50+ Grants for Women appeared first on SingleMoms.ORG - Money, Life, and More.

]]>
http://www.singlemoms.org/50-grants-women/feed/ 1
The Ultimate Guide to Single Mother Assistance Programs (Updated 2016) http://www.singlemoms.org/single-mother-assistance/ http://www.singlemoms.org/single-mother-assistance/#respond Fri, 14 Oct 2016 08:14:32 +0000 http://www.singlemoms.org/?p=2084 Welcome to our complete guide of resources for single moms. In this guide you will find a plethora of resources available through state, federal and private organizations. We have gathered phone numbers, websites and qualification criteria for financial resources, housing, childcare and transportation assistance. This article is updated for the end of 2016 and we […]

The post The Ultimate Guide to Single Mother Assistance Programs (Updated 2016) appeared first on SingleMoms.ORG - Money, Life, and More.

]]>
single mother assistance

Welcome to our complete guide of resources for single moms. In this guide you will find a plethora of resources available through state, federal and private organizations. We have gathered phone numbers, websites and qualification criteria for financial resources, housing, childcare and transportation assistance.

This article is updated for the end of 2016 and we will keep it current.

Over 60 percent of single mothers are living on or below the poverty line. Much of that is attributed to the cost of childcare. Single parents who work full time find themselves spending up to 40% of their income on childcare. As a single parent we understand the importance of readily available resources in a time of need. Our guide will walk you through the various processes to get you the help you need.

In this guide, we cover the following assistance categories, especially as they pertain to single parents, women, and single moms.

  • Financial Assistance
  • Food Assistance
  • Housing Assistance
  • Education Assistance
  • Childcare Assistance
  • Transportation Assistance

We try to give you as thorough a breakdown of the real programs you can can apply for if you are in need of help as a single mother living in the United States. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them at the end of the article.

Financial Assistance for Single Moms

Below we have listed both state and federal government as well as private financial resources. Each program will have their own criteria for qualification and we’ve given current information for 2016. Not meeting the requirements for one does not exclude you from qualifying for other programs. The best thing is to contact the agency directly to inquire about meeting their requirements. For additional information, you can look at our Financial Assistance for Single Moms article.

Here are some of our core articles about financial assistance you might want to check out:

Federal Assistance Programs

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Cash Assistance

TANF provides monthly cash benefits to families that meet the income criteria. Although their main goal is to transition families from needing benefits to establishing employment and independence. Their program assistance begins at $200 to a max of $1000 per month for single parents.

Requirements: You must meet the federal poverty guideline to qualify. The guideline is determined by the Department of Health and Family Services.  

State Assistance Programs

Temporary Assistance (TA)

TA is temporary cash assistance for individuals in need of cash assistance, regardless of their marital or dependent status. Click here for an online application.

Requirements: To qualify, the applicant must be pregnant or responsible for a child under 19. Applicant must also be a U.S. national, citizen or permanent resident. Applicant must meet low income standards and be unemployed.

Family Assistance (FA)

FA provides cash benefits to eligible families that live with a minor child. FA is under the umbrella of TANF, therefore it has the same requirements. For an application click here.

Requirements: Must meet TANF income requirements.

One Shot Deal

Most state localities have a version of a One Shot Deal from the Department of Social Services. This program can assist you with back rent, overdue utility bills and turn off notices.

Requirements: You must be employed. They pay the money directly to the landlord or utility company.

Private Charity Cash Assistance

Below we have listed two private charities that assist single mothers. Most charities have a grant program for immediate use. At the end of this guide you will find over 50 not for profit grant programs for single parents. For a full list, please look at our charity assistance page.

Global Fund For Women

The Global Fund For Women is focused on the empowerment of women and single mothers. Along with their financial assistance they provide education and other helpful resources. To learn more click here.

The Mommies Network

The Mommies Network is a not for profit organization dedicated to connecting women with community programs that can assist with numerous organizations. To learn about their programs click here.

Food Assistance for Single Moms

Unfortunately many children find themselves hungry. Millions of people face hunger every day. In a study taken by the USDA, showed that single households with children have a higher chance of facing hunger.

Below we have listed both federal and state programs that provide food assistance for all low income individuals. We have also listed a statewide list of food pantries. If you don’t see a listing in your area, feel free to contact a food bank in your state for a list of a local pantry.

For more resources related to food assistance, please check out our other articles:

State Food Assistance Programs

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program offers assistance to millions of  individuals and families who are low-income. SNAP also provides financial benefits to local communities. As of today one in seven people are receiving SNAP benefits. Half of them are single moms with children. If you find yourself in need of food they should be your first stop. They can also help you qualify for other important resources like medical assistance. Read our article on how to apply for SNAP.

Requirements: You may use this pre-screening tool to see if you qualify for benefits. They will inquire about  your income, rent payments, mortgage, medical bills and child care expenses. It is important to list all of your expenses.

Below you will find the 2017 poverty guidelines

Persons In Household Poverty Guideline
1 $11,880
2 $16,020
3 $20,160
4 $24,300
5 $28,440
6 $32,580
7 $36,730
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC)

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children also  known as WIC focuses on the health of women and infants. Qualifying low-income families who are at nutritional risk may apply for food assistance. By educating while providing funds for specific meal items like milk, eggs, cheese and baby formula, WIC works hard to fight hunger and educate the community.

Requirements:

  • Women who are pregnant as well as those who are breastfeeding.
  • Infants and children up to age 5.
  • Must meet low-income guidelines.
  • Must be a US citizen or resident alien.

Federal Food Assistance Programs

School Lunch Program

The National School Lunch Program is a meal program created with students in mind. It is a federally backed program that works with schools and not for profit agencies. They also assist child care institutions and private care facilities. The School Lunch Program is dedicated to provide nutritionally balanced, low-cost, and free lunches to children. They are responsible for what your children eat in school.

The United States Department of Agriculture

The United State Department of Agriculture oversees that organizations are providing healthy and affordable meals to at-risk afterschool centers, childcare facilities and adult care centers as well as emergency shelters. Which include shelters. For a directory of local agencies Click here. For an application for your child to receive food assistance click here

Summer Food Assistance Program (SFSP)

During the summer, when school is on break, many children face the possibility of  hunger. The SFSP works very hard to provide up to two meals a day during those summer months. Most schools, churches, summer camps, and community organizations participate in the summer program.This program is responsible for feeding thousands of children who would otherwise skip meals due to poverty.

Children who come from low income households, or whose families  already receive SNAP or TANF may automatically qualify. Also, if a child resides in an area that is classified high poverty, that child who attends the site will receive free meals. For participating areas, click the link above.

Private Food Assistance (Organizations and Statewide Pantries)

The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army was established as part of the Christian Church philosophy. They pride themselves on advancing the Christian religion, fighting hunger, education, and fighting poverty. They have helped thousands of people for over 150 years. The Salvation Army assists families all over the world with food, furniture, clothing and other resources.

The Red Cross

The American Red Cross is best known for its disaster relief efforts and volunteers. Their mission is to help as many people as possible, whether it’s in community affairs or a disaster. The Red Cross is known for providing food, emergency shelter, job and blood.

WhyHunger

WhyHunger is a database located online which houses a database of community-based organizations and emergency food providers. Their mission is to fight hunger by providing resources to assist those in need.

Food Pantries.org

The Food Pantries website is a not for profit online resource that lists the majority of food pantries within the United States.

Housing Assistance for Single Moms

Between food, shelter, transportation and child care, parents may find themselves struggling to pay housing costs. Possibly even facing eviction. Below we have listed both government and private organizations that assist specifically with housing needs. We have also listed home buying programs that assist low-income families, who are looking to purchase a home for the first time.

For more information about housing assistance, please read our related articles:

 

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

TANF provides grants to parents who are struggling financially. They provide both financial assistance and community resources to ensure families do not become homeless.

Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

HUD provides resources to individuals and families on community and federal programs that assist low-income families looking for housing relief. HUD also provides section 8 vouchers in certain communities. Click here to locate an office near you.

United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development

The USDA also provides grants to low-income families who are trying to purchase a home for the first time.

Continuum of Care (CoC) Homeless Assistance Program

The Homeless Assistance Program (HAP) assists single parents and families who are homeless or in danger of becoming homeless by moving them into a transitional home.

Freddie Mac

Freddie Mac prides itself in low down payment and low interest rates. They have helped over 1.5 million people with their dreams of home ownership. If you are thinking of purchasing a home Freddie Mac should be your first stop.

DownPaymentResource.com

An online resource center that focuses on helping people find down payment assistance and other resources.

Low Income Housing Sites

LowIncomeHousing.US

LowIncomeHousing.us is a free online resourse that provides landlord and mangaement offices phone numbers, maps, address, pictures, and emails.

PublicHousing.com

This online resource updates information on the daily basis. There service is also free.

Housing and Urban Development

The United States Housing and Urban Development’s goal is to provide low income individuals with resources to help them find housing.

Private Organizations

The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army can assist with emergency shelter, transitional living and overnight stays.

Goodwill

Goodwill can assist with community services and financial assistance.

Community Economic Development (CED)

The CED provides emergency housing, energy and utility shut-off.

Eviction Assistance

If you or your family find yourself in a position where eviction is inevitable, there are steps you can take to prevent or delay eviction. Below we have listed private organizations that represent parents with legal assistance or emergency shelter.

Coalition for the Homeless

Emergency rental assistance program with eviction prevention services.

HELP

HELP provides emergency shelter to victims of domestic violence, veterans, and families.

Volunteers of America

VOA Provides low-income housing to people in needs.

HomelessShelterDirectory.org

Online resource with a listing of emergency shelters by state.

Transportation Assistance

Transportation is an important resource for single parents. Whether it’s doctor appointments emergency visits to ER or soccer practice. Below we listed a few services and methods to obtain transportation.

1) Private car services

Every city has private transportation services. Many companies are willing to work out deals and discounts with locals. They may even schedule routine pick ups for appointments and work,

2) Residence transportation services

Many residential facilities provide transportation services for their residents.Contact your management office and ask about any services or referrals.

3) Ridesharing

Many churches, community centers and not for profits have ridesharing services. Most are called dollar vans. They run through major avenues and streets.

4) Public transportation

Every county has a version of mass transportation. Dial 411 to find out schedules, prices etc.

5) Paratransit

Paratransit is a service that is sponsored by major cities. They usually cater to disabled and the elderly.

6) Volunteer Drivers

Many community and senior organizations provide volunteer transportation services.

7)Free Transportation Programs

Most localities offer low income and free transportation for families in need. If you are age 60 or above, have a disability and are low income you may qualify.

8)State Auctions

There are 3 different types of auctions local, state and federal. Auctions are a  great resource for finding a vehicle at a very competitive price. Below we have listed sites and agencies that provide auctions.

EZ Ride Welfare Transit

Recipients who receive government assistance for food, shelter or medical can qualify for free transportation. EZ Ride is a good online resource to locate local services.

USA.gov

A website that assists you in finding local auctions. Visit USA.gov to find your local auction.

S Marshals

The U.S. Marshals sells assets seized by local law enforcement agencies. Profits are used for victims and support community programs.

Internal Revenue Service

The IRS seizes all types of property for nonpayment of taxes.

Government Sales

The Government Sales is a website that provides surplus items from finished contracts. You can buy land, jewelry, cars, trucks, tools, electronics and many other items.

GSA Auctions

The GSA sells surplus Federal assets. They auctions take place online. Anyone can bid electronically on Federal assets..

Department Of Treasury

The Department of Treasury provides forfeited or seized property as a result of federal law enforcement violations.

Child Care Assistance

Working parents can agree that childcare is their biggest concern. A school-aged child will spend over 36 hours a week away from home. An article in the Washington Post, states that daycare costs surpass college tuition. There are different options for single parents, one cost effective way is to search for local family care home providers. They are licensed by the state to care for children in their home. Starting rates can be as low as $140 a week per child.  They also have a ratio of five children to one adult, so your child can get the best attention. Click here to find a statewide providers list.

For more information about various childcare programs and daycare assistance, read our related articles on the topic.

Childcare Vouchers

The Department of Education provides parents who meet income guidelines with vouchers to help them pay for childcare. It is a subsidy program. The basic requirements are below although they may vary in your state.

  1. The family must demonstrate a child care need.
  2. The parent must be employed or attending school.
  3. The parent is currently seeking permanent housing.
  4. The parent is already receiving public assistance, food stamps or medicaid.

Office of Children and Family Services

The Office of Children and Family Services goal is the safety of all children. They support low-income families. By providing resources and child services.

Child Care and Development Fund

The Child Care and Development Fund assists low-income families who need child care.

Child Care Subsidy for Federal Employees

Child care subsidy programs are for federal employees. Their programs assist employees who are in need of child care services.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families

TANF assists low income families with a wide range of services. Visit the above link to find your local office. Read our article about how to apply for TANF.

Head Start / Early Head Start

The Head Start program is funded by the federal government. They provide free child care to eligible families. It is for children under the age of five.

Education Assistance (Financial Aid)

One of many hard decisions a parent needs to make is whether or not to continue their education. Besides sacrificing the little free time you have, it might not be financially possible. According to collegedata.com the current cost of tuition is over $32,405 at private colleges and $23,893 at public colleges. Luckily for us there are many organizations both private and federal that want to help you go to college. Let’s start with the grants available to you. Most grants are paid directly to the college and are not required to be paid back.

For more information, read our related articles about Education Assistance

Federal & State Education Assistance Programs

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant

The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is for undergraduate students who are in financial need. This grant is also for new students only.You can be awarded anywhere from $100 to $4,000 per semester.

Federal Work Study Program

The Federal Work-Study (FWS) program is funded by the federal government. It is a grant that is rewarded through employment. The Federal Work Study grant does not need to be paid back.  The student will be working for their awarded amount. Students who wish to gain hands on experience in  different types of careers should take advantage of this. It is a great chance to network with professionals in your career choice, while getting paid. You are paid directly.

Please note other students may be interested in the same opportunity as you, therefore you should apply early. It’s first come, first served. To find out if your college accepts FWS click here.

The $5775 Pell Grant

The Federal Pell Grant provides grants to over 3 million students yearly. This grant is for undergraduates who have not been reward this grant before. The maximum award is currently $5815.00

Teach Grant

The teach grant is a grant specifically for students who intended to become educators. Unlike other grants if you do not complete your education you will be required to pay the loan back. They provide grants up to $4000 a year.

Perkins Loan

Also called the federal student loan.

The Perkins loan is a federally funded low interest loan. There are for both undergraduates and graduate students who might not qualify for grants. Although you can use both types of financing.

Grants & Scholarships for School

Federal Grant (Pell Grant)

This is a grant for school that’s given out to applicants who demonstrate financial need.

To Qualify for the Federal Pell Grant

To know if you qualify for any of the above grants you must apply through a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application. There are basic requirements that must be met and are  highlighted below.. The FAFSA application is free. You should never pay anyone to fill one out.

The whole application takes about 30 minutes. Even if you believe you don’t qualify, you should fill one out as many programs have different criterias not only relating to income. To financially qualify for funding, you need to meet the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) guidelines. It  is used to determine your eligibility for federal student aid. The way it’s calculated is the cost of your attendance minus your expected family contribution.

You must also meet the below basic qualifications:

1. A high school diploma or GED

  1. Are enrolled or accepted into a college or university
    3. Citizen or eligible non-citizen
    4. Not be delinquent on any federal student loans
    5. Must meet specific GPA
    6. Must be enrolled in a Bachelor program
  2. Grants are on a first come, first served, therefore you should apply as soon as possible. Every individual school determines the due date and deadlines for applications.

Non Profit, Education Institutions, or Private Grants & Scholarships

It’s possible to find education grants and scholarships, offered by education institution, non profit organizations, and businesses.  Your best bet to find these it to visit the local financial aid office in a college or university and inquire about the financial help programs for school — the office should have a list of such programs and the requirements. You can also do a Google search and look at various scholarship-finding websites which might list.

Look at our two lists as a start:

Private Student Loans

Not all schools participate in these types of loans so it’s important to find out if your school does. Private loans are basically subsidized or subsidized loans offered by banks to students. Your credit history will be checked.

PLUS Loans

PLUS loans are directly lent through the Board of Education. Although it is through the Board of Education you must qualify through credit.

Sallie Mae

Sallie Mae has very competitive rates. They can start as low as 2.62% at this moment. There are no origination fees and payment options are very flexible.

Wells Fargo Student Loans

Wells Fargo provides student loans to undergraduates for school as well as education related expenses. They rates are competitive for the private sector and have an easy application process.

Citizens Bank Student Loans

Citizens Bank has no application fees and competitive rates. You can borrow from $1000 to $170,000 depending on your education level and GPA.

Federal Student Loans vs Private Student Loans

The Difference between Federal versus private are below. You can find this chart here.

Federal Student Loans                                                       Private Student Loans
You do not pay federal students loans until after graduation Most payments are immediately
Interest rates are low and start around 5% Rates depend on your credit and can be as high as 18%
Undergraduate students who are in financial need can get assistance paying interest rates Private loans must be fully paid by student
You don’t need a credit check You do need a credit check
Loans can be consolidated Loans cannot be consolidated
You may be able to postpone payments You are usually not allowed to postpone payments

There are more advantages and disadvantages to both. It is important to note that either way, you do not want to default on either. For grants you must keep a specific GPA.

The Final Word

Whether you need financial, transportation, or assistance to continue your education, there is someone who can help. We hope this guide will provide you with the resources you need to succeed.

The post The Ultimate Guide to Single Mother Assistance Programs (Updated 2016) appeared first on SingleMoms.ORG - Money, Life, and More.

]]>
http://www.singlemoms.org/single-mother-assistance/feed/ 0
Best Stretches for Moms That Will Relieve Pain http://www.singlemoms.org/pain-relieving-stretches-moms/ http://www.singlemoms.org/pain-relieving-stretches-moms/#respond Mon, 26 Sep 2016 15:55:00 +0000 http://www.singlemoms.org/?p=2074 It is an undeniable fact that manual labor is one huge part of a mom’s job description. You will be running after your toddler all the time and whenever you go out with your little angel, you will have to lug a jam-packed diaper bag along with so much more. Even minor parenting tasks can […]

The post Best Stretches for Moms That Will Relieve Pain appeared first on SingleMoms.ORG - Money, Life, and More.

]]>
stretches for moms

It is an undeniable fact that manual labor is one huge part of a mom’s job description. You will be running after your toddler all the time and whenever you go out with your little angel, you will have to lug a jam-packed diaper bag along with so much more. Even minor parenting tasks can take a toll on your body and leave you stiff and achy. Fortunately, you can try some pain-relieving stretches that target the spots that bother moms most.

Stretches for Back Pain

A stiff back is more like a part and parcel of parenting. Every time you bend to lift your baby out of their crib, you are not doing your back any favors. Your back becomes stiff and achy due to constant bending and reaching that actually compresses your spinal disks in an uneven way. Not correcting the issue may result in long-term back problems. The best thing is to lower the railing first and then slid your baby to your side before you them.

At the same time, try the cat-camel stretch to maintain flexibility in your back. Here is how to do it:

  • Get down on all fours and ensure that your hands are right underneath your shoulders. Keep your knees beneath your hips.
  • Start with your neck in line with your spine and then tighten your abs to round your back. Tuck in your pelvis.  Maintain the position for five seconds.
  • Slowly return to the starting position but do not starting position but do not stop when your back is in line with the spine. Instead, let your back sag toward the floor while lifting your head and chest. Hold the position for another five seconds.
  • Repeat the same 10 times.

Stretches for Overly Active Moms

Do you always have to chase after your toddler? Even though you may not be moving very fast, you still require a lot of balance and strength to keep up with your little angel. It can be taxing for your lower back as well as your hips. Tight hip flexors are common mainly because you would be standing on one leg at least 60% of the time.  You may notice some improvement by trying hip flexor lunges.

  • Get your left leg forward and maintain a lunge position. Ensure your knee is over your ankle all the time.
  • With your right knee on the floor, press your hips forward until you feel a light stretch right in front of your right thigh.
  • Hold this position for at least 30 seconds and repeat the same thrice.
  • Switch legs and repeat the same movements.

When you are constantly chasing after your toddler, you are likely to develop lower back pain with tight hip flexors. This is when you may benefit a lot from trying another stretch called the “Shoulder Bridge”.

  • Get on to the floor, be on your back and ensure your knees are bend and your feet no wider than your hips.
  • With your heels in front of the knees and arms resting at your sides, inhale slowly and try to pull your belly button in as much as possible.
  • Now, slowly curl your back and lift it off the floor while pressing right into the floor with the help of your feet. Be sure to engage your glutes.
  • Exhale when your reach at the top – press your pelvis toward the ceiling and maintain the position for five seconds.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat twice.

Relieving Tension Caused by Constantly Hunching Over

Moms need to be in a hunched over position most of the time throughout the day. Whether you are changing your baby’s diaper, giving them a bath, or just picking up toys, you are always in a slouched position. Overtime, this position is going to cause problems – your shoulders may round in, leading to a muscular imbalance, which can cause all sorts of muscle injuries.

You can try elbow curls to help stretch your tight upper back muscles. Here is what to do:

  • Sit in a comfortable chair and place your hands behind your head. Ensure that your elbows are flared out and pointing to your sides.
  • Slowly press your elbows forward until they come in front of your face. Now, squeeze your shoulder blades together.
  • Keep squeezing and then slowly pull your elbows back and return to the starting position.
  • Repeat 10 times.

Relieving Stiff Shoulders

Being in a hunched over position can weaken your shoulders, but you can make matters worse when you constantly need to wear your diaper bag on the same shoulder.  Going out with your little ones often means toting their snacks, toys, and much more, and most moms unknowingly make one shoulder do all the work. Overtime, it will cause problems; in fact, you may notice that shoulder becoming higher as compared to the other because you have to keep it shrugged all the time. This imbalance causes shoulder pain, which can always affect your back and neck as well.

A movement that stretches your shoulders and neck will really work wonders to relieve pain and prevent imbalances. Here is what to do:

  • Get a backless chair for the exercise. Sit in it and keep your feet flat on the floor.
  • With your left arm behind your waist, use your right hand to grasp your left wrist.
  • Pull your left hand toward the right side as gently as possible. Look over your left shoulder while pulling the hand.
  • Squeeze your shoulder blades together while making sure they are in line with each other.
  • Stop when you feel a light stretch and hold the position for 30 seconds.
  • Release and repeat the same with your other arm.

Yoga Poses to Help Stretch Your Body

When it comes to finding the best pain-relieving stretches for moms, you just cannot overlook the importance of including some yoga poses in your routine. Yoga can work wonders to treat join pain and other body aches. It helps you relax and keeps your body flexible. Many people opt for yoga to treat chronic pain, including carpal tunnel syndrome, osteoarthritis, and fibromyalgia.

Moms who already have these problems or simply want to improve their range of motion, flexibility, and muscle strength should benefit a lot from the following yoga poses or stretches.

Cobra

This is an amazing stretch to help keep your back in a perfect shape, strengthen it and prevent back pain.

  • Get on to the floor and lie with your forehead resting on the floor.
  • Keep your hands on your side at about the height of the middle of your ribcage.
  • Draw your legs together while pressing tops of your feet into the floor.
  • Lengthen your legs while reaching back through your toes and very gently, draw your elbows closer to your ribcage.
  • Lift your chest and head with the help of your back while keeping your shoulder bladders down and back.
  • Maintain the position for 5 seconds – continue with deep breathing while in the position.
  • Slowly return to the starting position

Supported Warrior

You may consider trying this yoga pose to treat your knee pain. It also strengthens and stretches your leg muscles.

  • Stand close to a wall and place your hands against it – ensure your hands are at shoulder height.
  • Step your right foot forward enough to touch the wall with your toes. Bend your elbows a little.
  • Now take your left foot1-3 feet behind your body and bend your knee a bit toward the floor. Hold this position for 10-15 seconds.
  • Slowly bring your left leg back up and bend your right knee at the same time. Never let your knee extend past your ankle. Hold this position for a few seconds again before switching positions again.

Butterfly

Running after your toddler can always make you have a stiff back and painful hips. The following stretch will definitely help bring some flexibility back to your joints.

  • Sit on the floor and bring soles of your feet together with knees wide enough that your legs form a diamond.
  • With your shoulders relaxed and back straight, drop weight of legs and lower your knees toward the floor. Place pillows beneath your outer knees for added support.
  • Repeat a few times for better effects.

Rear Arm Lift

This stretch does wonders to alleviate shoulder pain and improves flexibility as well.

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Hold a strap in one of your hands.
  • Sweep both of your arms behind your back and then grab the band in your other hand as well. Ensure that your shoulders are pulled in.
  • Move your hands towards each other and open up your chest a bit while making sure your shoulder blades also move toward one another.
  • Do several reps for good results.

Wall Plank

While most stretches focus on relieving back pain, this pose helps relieve shoulder and elbow pain. It also improves mobility in the shoulder and strengthens the joint over time.

  • Stand with your face towards the wall and feet no wider than your hips.
  • With your arms extended, place your palms against the wall and slowly move forward. Let your body weight be on your hands.
  • While leaning forward, ensure that your body moves in a straight line. Bend your elbows slowly.
  • Push back to the starting position when your nose touches the wall.

Pain-Relieving Stretches During Pregnancy

It is true that moms are going to experience body aches while looking after their little ones, but pains and aches are equally common in mums-to-be. You are going to experience back pain and tightness in the shoulders or neck during pregnancy. Here are some stretches (or you can call them exercises because they also strengthen your muscles) that are extremely beneficial for women who will soon embrace motherhood.

Core Twist

  • Stand with your right foot placed on the end of a handheld resistance tube.  Be sure to keep your feet wide all the time.
  • Grab the other handle with your both hands and stretch the tube up towards your chest.
  • Rotate your shoulders to the right when the handle is at chest height
  • Now, pull the band to the left until your hands are at shoulder height right in front of your body. Ensure that your torso is facing to the left. Hold it for a while and return to the starting position.
  • Do 10 reps with each foot.

Deadlift to Curl

  • Get in a standing position with your feet a stride’s length apart, left foot in front of your right foot.
  • Grab a 5 pounds dumbbell in each hand.
  • With your arms extended at your sides, slowly bend forward from hips until your back begins to round.
  • Return to the starting position and curl dumbbells toward your shoulders.
  • Do 5 reps and repeat the same with your other foot forward.

 Hamstring Stretch

  • Get a chair and stand with your face towards it.
  • Place your foot up on it while making sure your feet and hips are facing forward.
  • Lean forward while keeping your back straight until you feel a light stretch in the back of your thigh. Hold the position for a few seconds.

In addition, you can try several other simple exercises that not just open up your back but also strengthen other muscles in your body. For instance, you can try eccentric straight leg raise that works your hip flexors as well as abs and improves your posture as well. Similarly, bent knee raise improves your postures, reduces pressure from your back, and improves your hip mobility. Moreover, you can try back extension, cat and camel, leg extensions, sit backs, pelvic tilts, and arm raises on back or knees to strengthen your back and reduce overall pain and body aches.

Here it is important to mention that you should talk to your doctor before performing any of these exercises if you are pregnant or have a history of back pain. You should always start with a low-impact workout and ensure that you stop doing a pain-relieving stretch if it increases pain. Stretches do help but it is better to be on the safer side and never aggravate your problem by trying something too taxing for your muscles.

The post Best Stretches for Moms That Will Relieve Pain appeared first on SingleMoms.ORG - Money, Life, and More.

]]>
http://www.singlemoms.org/pain-relieving-stretches-moms/feed/ 0
The Best Romance Books of All Time http://www.singlemoms.org/best-romance-books-of-all-time/ http://www.singlemoms.org/best-romance-books-of-all-time/#respond Mon, 12 Sep 2016 02:41:17 +0000 http://www.singlemoms.org/?p=2051 Romance novels are sexy, fun-to-read, and incredibly popular. With more than 9,000 titles published in 2013 in the U.S., it can be a tad difficult to find the best ones or know where to begin with the genre. It means that even though the titles and plots of many of these novels may look similar, […]

The post The Best Romance Books of All Time appeared first on SingleMoms.ORG - Money, Life, and More.

]]>
best romance books

Romance novels are sexy, fun-to-read, and incredibly popular. With more than 9,000 titles published in 2013 in the U.S., it can be a tad difficult to find the best ones or know where to begin with the genre. It means that even though the titles and plots of many of these novels may look similar, they usually have something that sets them apart. It may also sound daunting to dive in, but you may want to make the effort considering that good romance novels can provide some real life love advice and even rev up your sex drive – or at least they serve as a fun beach read.

Romance junkies always make their mushy-gushy flag fly within the pages of a great romance book. It is true that a romantic novel with longing, love, and a bit of tragedy can always change your mind and even make you believe that true love exists and never dies.

If you are a fan of the romance genre, or you want to dip your toes into the genre, here some of the best romance books of all time; that is, those romantic novels that will sweep you off your feet and keep you coming back to the genre for more!

Nicolas Sparks’ “The Notebook”

Telling the touching story of Allie and Noah, pulled apart by social class, this one has to be on the list because it is one of best creations of Sparks, who is definitely amongst the best romance authors of all time. The book stands above the rest and is more popular, partly because of the classic 2004 film adaptation.

Boris Pasternak’s “Doctor Zhivago”

This 1957 masterpiece by Pasternak is what you should go for when you are in the mood for love. It received the Nobel Prize for Literature in1958. You will love the way Pasternak tells the story of the rich son of an industrialist who has to make touch life choices between family, career and the woman he meets during the Russian Revolution. Thanks to all the twists and turns, you just cannot put it down until you finish it. It is certainly one impressive read!

Audrey Niffenegger’s “The Time Traveler’s Wife”

Are you looking for one unique love story to satisfy your hunger for a romantic classic? Try “The Time Traveler’s Wife” that shares the story of a time traveler, Henry, whose relationship with his wife, Clare, evolves whenever he revisits his past. This page-turner is sure to keep you interested through the end.

Jojo Moyes’s “Me Before You”

The story is about Lou Clark who believes she knows everything about how the world works and Will Traynor who has no desire to live after being paralyzed in a motorcycle accident.  It all changes until Lou loses her job and agrees to take another one – a job that involves taking care of paralyzed Will.  How they both end up changing each other for good makes this book a must-read for all romance junkies. There is a movie adaptation of the book out now, starring Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin.

Nicole Krauss’s “The History of Love”

Who would not want to read a book that promises to tell you the “history of love”?  The story is even more beautiful than the title is and unfolds in a breathtaking way. Do not expect it to be a boring “history” book – it is something way beyond that. It tells the story of Alma and Leo who are years apart but still find a connection between them.  It definitely deserves to be in your book collection.

Loretta Chase’s “Lord Perfect”

Loretta Chase is among the finest romance novelists, and “Lord Perfect” is without doubt her best work. The book tells the story of highly reserved and perfectly controlled man and a sharp, smart, and stubbornly independent woman. If you call yourself an independent woman, you will find a lot in this book to relate to and that is definitely one reason why the book sits great with romance junkies. You should start reading it, especially if you also want a dose of love and lust along the way.

Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice”

If you love romantic novels, the chances are you already have “Pride and Prejudice” in your collection. In case you have not yet read it, you should. It is one of the very best works of Jane Austen. The book tells you how important it is to give everyone a second chance and never pay a lot of attention to first impressions.  The book shares the story of Elizabeth Bennet who faces the prospect of marriage along with her four sisters. It tells a lot about the dating game back in the 19th century and highlights how important it is for prejudice to disappear when you are in love.

Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women”

If you are into 19th century classics, you should go get this novel today. It is a must-read for women who love this genre. It shares the story of four sisters and touches on topics like family love, sibling rivalries, poverty, priorities in life, and female independence. It is so amazing to read how a young woman manages to break the stereotype of females not competing with males. The book entertains you and definitely inspires your to put your thinking cap on to decide about your future.

Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone with the Wind”

It is Margaret Mitchell’s best work on war and love that even brought her the Pulitzer Prize. You can find a number of novels about the Civil War and its effects, but this novel takes you right into the burning cities and fields of the American South.  The way she has portrayed her characters and everything about the war, you may find the book a bit more on the historical side, but there is still a lot about southern belle Scarlett and bad boy Rhett in the book.   You are going to love the way the author has handled characters and situations throughout the book.

Rainbow Rowell’s “Eleanor & Park”

Reading “Eleanor & Park” shows how heart-wrenching young-adult romance can be. The story is about two odd kids, Eleanor and Park. The stage is set in 1986 Nebraska where Eleanor with her red hair and wrong clothes is in love with Park. Rowell approaches this sweet tale of young love in such exceptional way that it gets you in the feels right from the word go. Caution: the book may make you feel a bit nostalgic and make you remember all those fleeting first-love moments that you had in your teen years. Still, it is a great read and makes you smile while reading the way two star-crossed 16-year-olds fall in love despite being aware of the fact that first love almost never lasts.

Kathleen E. Woodiwiss’s “Shanna”

The plot is rather unique but is still romantic and somewhat lustful too. It is about Shanna who seals a pact behind the walls of Newgate Prison with a prisoner, Ruark Beauchamp. She ties the knot with Beauchamp because she only needs a husband in name and does this all just for a night of unparalleled pleasure.  The romance takes place in the Caribbean, America, and England and the way Kathleen has handled the plot is what makes it a true classic.  Be ready to witness some explicit love scenes that are sure to make your love life spicier than ever.

Lisa Kleypas’s “Devil in Winter”

The story is about Sebastian, Lord St. Vincent, who even played villain in a previous book, and that makes things a lot more exciting for those who have read Lisa Kleypas before.  While one might wonder how Klepas could redeem such a wicked character, you would certainly be surprised to read it. Amazingly, she manages to pull it off with style and expertly tells the story of Sebastian who embarks on a marriage of convenience with Evangeline Jenner, who is shy and is entitled to receive a fortune if she can somehow escape her deceitful relatives.  You will love every minute of reading this book and enjoy how an unrepentant rogue finds confidence and strength from love for total transformation.

Cecelia Ahern’s “P.S., I Love You’

If you are looking for a novel about letting go, holding on, and learning to love again, this is it. The story is about Holly and the way she copes the world after the death of her soul mate, Gerry.  Just when she starting to believe that she cannot move on, she finds a bundle of notes Gerry wrote before his death.  These notes were for Holly – one for each month, lasting a year. It is so amazing to read how Holly reads those notes and learns that love, live, and the pursuit of happiness is a never-ending journey. It is a great read and is nothing less than a captivating love letter to the world!

Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight”

It is one of the very best books written on paranormal Young-Adult romance.  Twilight was actually an effort by Meyer to bring back paranormal YA romance and it certainly worked.  The book shares the whirlwind tales of vampires that deserves your attention. Love it or hate it, you just cannot argue the fact that the book has staying power.  Check it out and be part of a fascinating love story of Bella, an ordinary girl, who falls in love with Edward, a vampire.

More Reads?

If you want even more romance recommendations, here area a few good romance book resources that will give you some great suggestions:

NPR’s Romance List – a large, publicly compiled romantic books list

Best Romance Books – a collection of romance best lists

BuzzFeed’s Romantic List – BuzzFeed’s own list

The post The Best Romance Books of All Time appeared first on SingleMoms.ORG - Money, Life, and More.

]]>
http://www.singlemoms.org/best-romance-books-of-all-time/feed/ 0
How to Become a Photographer as a Stay at Home Mom http://www.singlemoms.org/become-photographer-stay-home-mom/ http://www.singlemoms.org/become-photographer-stay-home-mom/#respond Thu, 04 Aug 2016 00:17:24 +0000 http://www.singlemoms.org/?p=2017 Becoming an amateur photographer is easy. If you wish to become a professional photographer, especially one that is trusted by the photographic community, you have a lot to learn. Photography is a massive subject, and it takes a long time to master every nuance. Your dedication to learning and your commitment to photography will determine […]

The post How to Become a Photographer as a Stay at Home Mom appeared first on SingleMoms.ORG - Money, Life, and More.

]]>
photography tips for moms

Becoming an amateur photographer is easy. If you wish to become a professional photographer, especially one that is trusted by the photographic community, you have a lot to learn. Photography is a massive subject, and it takes a long time to master every nuance. Your dedication to learning and your commitment to photography will determine what type of photographer you become. Will you become a qualified, insured, licensed and professional photographer? Or, will you become a keen hobbyist that is occasionally hired or occasionally sells a photo?

Becoming a ‘Momtographer’ is a great career to pursue, either as the single mom or as a stay at home mom. You get to be your own boss, work (partly) from home, while also working with clients. It’s not easy being a photographer or to get enough work to make a full time income, but it’s one of those careers that you can a) learn on your own if you put in the effort and b) slowly work your way up get more jobs. In time, you might just be able to make a part time or full time income as your own boss.

Here’s how to get started on your path as a momtographer.

Start by learning how to shoot in manual mode

It will force you to learn what is going on around you and how the light dramatically alters your shots. Shutter priority and Aperture priority modes are great automatic settings, but they may make your job harder if you are not fully aware of how even slight differentials in light will affect your pictures.

Read Photography Tips Online

The web is a huge resource for improving photography. Start of by reading some photography tips, especially on websites about your specific photography area. For example, if you want to master wedding photography, you should be reading wedding photography blogs and watching tutorials on YouTube. You should ALSO put into practice what you study online. This might seem like common sense, but this is how you teach yourself photography.

Shoot in manual mode to make the editing process easier

Every shot you intend to sell, be it on the freelance market or be it pre-ordered, will need to be edited. If you shoot in manual mode, your exposure is very consistent, which will help make your editing process far easier and quicker. If you hone your manual shooting skills, you will get a better feel for your shots so that the science of shooting becomes more of an art.

Referrals are your best friends

They are free and they are the hottest leads you will ever get. They are also tremendous value for money. When people refer you to other people, it is their reputation they put on the line, and many times the new people trust you already. Much of your marketing process is already cut out. Many times, the referred people will want a few questions answering before making their order. Encourage referrals as much as you can.

Market and sell with a view to filling your diary

The occasions that require a photographer will often require months of planning. As a result, you are able to book weeks and months in advance. Your aim is not to secure your next booking; it is to fill up your diary with bookings. If you find yourself becoming more and more popular, then take deposits, and consider taking bigger deposits.

There are some shots that you should consider keeping

Obviously, if you take a bad shot, you should delete it right away. However, when you are handing over your shots to your client, you should only give over the best shots. The shots where they are not perfect should not be included. Nevertheless, you should consider keeping some of your shots when you are working different projects.

For example, you may be shooting images for a new product that is appearing in the mall. While you are there, you may get a few good shots of the mall, but they are not what your client requested, ergo they are not sold to your client. You could keep those shots and sell them independently to other companies that want shots of the mall.

You will be doing more than taking shots

Small business owners are unable to hire business managers, marketing directors, and even accountants. In many cases, you will have to personally take up the many roles that are required to run a modern business. Here are a few of the roles you will be expected to take up.

[+] Business manager

Decide how you are going to make your money and what market you are going to operate within. Decide what your target audience is, what their needs are, and how you are going to fill those needs.

[+] Marketing director

Once you have your target audience in mind, you need to do market research to find out what they want the most and what they need so much that they are willing to pay money for it.

[+] Social media administrator

You need to update your Google+ and your Facebook pages on a regular basis. You need to present a professional and high quality service. People need to see examples of your work, and they need to see other people writing positive things about you.

[+] Bookkeeper

If you want to save money, then learn about accounting and do your own accounts. At the very least, you should do your own book keeping where you diligently record your income and outgoing.

[+] Scene setter

You should know by now that you are in charge of setting up your shots. This also includes managing the area, the people, the kids and the wildlife that may appear in your shots.

[+] Customer service

Your customer services are often the first that your clients see of your business. You need to deal with comments and questions very quickly. If you are lucky, they may turn into future work.

[+] Client manager

As a small business, you need to take care of your clients. You need to go the extra mile and make them feel very special. Your goal is to make them happy about their purchase, to keep them happy after the purchase, to have them come back for more, and to tell their friends about you so that they use your services too.

[+] Website creator and manager

Building your own website is easy, and if you take the time to learn, you can create a very professional looking website. Managing your website means getting it ranked up the search engines and making sure it appears on listings/directories for your local area.

[+] Budget maker and accountant

Doing your own accounts is recommended if you are knowledge enough about accountancy. You will have to cook up your budgets to run a successful business. People forget about things such as how much their time actually costs and things such as depreciation.

[+] Editor

Part of being a photographer is being a good editor too. You need to learn how to use Photoshop to improve your images. Simply adding filters and changing a few settings is often not good enough.

[+] Legal expert

There are many legal issues surrounding images. There are things you are not allowed to photograph, and things you are not allowed to sell. Some states demand that you have permission from people before selling their images, especially when it comes to child protection. There are also copyright issues you need to be knowledge about.

What about when demand fades a little?

There may be times when your services are in less demand. These are known as off-season occasions, and they differ depending upon what type of photographer you choose to be. As a stay at home mom, the way you deal with your trough-demand times will depend on your circumstances.

If you heavily rely on your photography income, then you will have to diversify a little so plug the gaps during off-peak seasons. On the other hand, as a stay at home mom, you may have the ability to take time off and concentrate on another project until business picks up.

This doesn’t mean that you should take a holiday from photography whenever things slow down. It means that there are certain times during the year when your service may not be in demand. These are your off-peak seasons, and it is up to you to either fill them with another form of photography, or to concentrate on something else until your photography work picks up again.

Learn how to “Price” your time

Some people waste a lot of time dealing with clients, scene setting, using social media and networking. Many professional photographers start out making this mistake. This is because the photographer doesn’t know how to place a value on his or her time.

For every task you perform, ask yourself what it would cost an employee to do the same thing. For example, if you just spent two hours updating your Facebook profile, would you have paid an employee minimum wage for those two hours? If your answer is no, then you need to reexamine how you spend your time. If your answer was yes, then hire somebody to do it for you.

You may think you are networking when you spend 45 minutes chatting to a grandfather at a wedding, but would you allow an employee to do that? Every minute you spend on your photography business is going to cost you money. You need to recognize that your time costs your business money.

Hire an accountant eventually

If you are able to turn a profit on your business after a year, then consider hiring an accountant. Not only will an accountant help you save money on your taxes, he or she will also save you from jail for not paying your taxes correctly. Do not hire an accountant right away, especially if you are not sure if you are going to stay business in the long term.

Explain what you do on your website and show the areas you cover

Many people do not know how to order photography services, and even fewer know what they will get. You need to show them on your website. You need to show them how to make an order, what they will get, and what they have to do to get it.

You need to show them what your package deals mean, and explain that you will edit the photographs to make them perfect. They need to know how they will receive the images, especially if you are not able to print the images for them personally. They may find it cheaper to take your images in digital form to a printer and have them printed off themselves.

It is also vitally important that your website shows where you are based. Some photographers show the areas they cover, but it limits how attractive they are because some clients may want you to travel to different locations. You are better off stating where you are based, and explaining that you are prepared to travel to far off locations in some circumstances (if you are paid more)

Add notes to your client list

You need to create a client list. It holds the information of all your ex-customers. It is handy to have if you wish to solicit for more work in the future. You should also add notes to it. They will help you understand what you did, when you did it and why. Add notes about your clients and what you did for them, and it will help create an instant rapport when they contact you again. You can mention something about the job you did for them last time and instantly regain their trust, which will make the selling process a little easier.

Stop trying to compete on price

You simply cannot win, and you will shortchange yourself every time. No matter what type of photographer you decide to become, there is always room for your business. There may be 33 other photographers within a 10 mile radius that are better and more popular than you, and yet you can guarantee that every month those 33 will have days where they are fully booked and people will come to you. If you compete on price, you never win, even if you actually win the project–because you will be working for a fraction of your worth. Find a way of promoting yourself without competing on price.

Being good with children is a plus

Some people are restricted as to the type of photography jobs they can take because they are not good at something. Some are not good night shots, others are not good with animals, heights, staging, and so forth. Some people cannot do certain photography jobs because they are not good with children, but that is not the case for you.

There are many events that involve children. As a stay-at-home mom, you could target events that have children. There are children’s parties, charity events, kid’s celebrity events, birthdays, bar mitzvahs and so forth. Managing children at these events is tough. It is a skill, and such a skill can make you more employable than your closest competitor if there are children involved.

Photography Resources

  • Flickr.com (the best photo sharing website with millions of examples of different photography types)
  • BetterPhotograph.com (a great website with photography tutorials and tips, especially for travel and landscape photography)
  • National Geographic (a landscape photographer’s go-to source for tips and inspiration)
  • photo.net (one of the better, no frills photo tip website on the net)

The post How to Become a Photographer as a Stay at Home Mom appeared first on SingleMoms.ORG - Money, Life, and More.

]]>
http://www.singlemoms.org/become-photographer-stay-home-mom/feed/ 0
How to (Easily) Get Kids Exercising http://www.singlemoms.org/how-to-get-kids-exercising/ http://www.singlemoms.org/how-to-get-kids-exercising/#respond Mon, 25 Jul 2016 17:07:48 +0000 http://www.singlemoms.org/?p=2010 Many studies have found that making young kids jump, run, hop, squeal, and chase after each other can help improve their ability to think. There is a positive link between physical activity and cognitive performance in kids, but getting young folks to be more physically active is not always simple.  Even some adults do not […]

The post How to (Easily) Get Kids Exercising appeared first on SingleMoms.ORG - Money, Life, and More.

]]>
how to get kids exercising

Many studies have found that making young kids jump, run, hop, squeal, and chase after each other can help improve their ability to think. There is a positive link between physical activity and cognitive performance in kids, but getting young folks to be more physically active is not always simple.  Even some adults do not like the idea of getting up and start working out in the gym. So, the question is, “how do you get the kids to exercise?”

Here are some  simple tips and activities that will help keep your kids active and motivated all the time.

1. Walk the Dog

You may not know it but your dog can be a great motivator. Take your beloved pet out for a scenic family stroll. Your kids will enjoy your company and your dog will thank you too for getting him some exercise.

2. Show Active Participation

Whatever the activity, be sure to join in the game. This little initiative will make activities a lot more interesting and exciting for kids. Studies show that kids love when their parents join in the game. Activities like taking a family hike, biking to school together, or having a game of catch will keep your kids motivated and active at the same time.

3. Select a Right Time

Whatever activity you select, be sure to time it right. You have to pick a time when everyone in the family is willing to do them. A perfect time to have a game of croquet or a family walk is right after dinner. After school seems to be a great time for kids to get up and burn off some pent-up energy.

4. Do Not Push too Soon

You should understand the importance of starting it small – do not push your kids to run 5K because that is something they are not prepared to do just yet. Start small. Go for a mile first and then increase the distance gradually. Keep it entertaining and your kids would want to spend more time doing that activity.

5. Keep it Exciting

To make physical activity exciting, you will have to mix things up a bit. Do not forget that play is exercise and you can always switch between activities to make your little ones interested. Take a short walk one day and enjoy gardening on the next day. If you stack wood one day, go bowling the next. Understand that any activity that gets your kids moving is just perfect.

6. Be Creative

If you realize the fact that going to the gym alone is not the only form of exercise, you can always utilize every opportunity to be physically active. While standing in a line with your kids, do jumping jacks. Ask your kids to join you in a race from the car to the house. Ask your kids to have a few pushups with you during TV commercials. And do everything you can to push that heart rate up a bit.

7. Spend Time Outdoor

You have to make it a habit to get your family outside whenever you can. Instead of an indoor workout session, go out and have fun in natural settings. Walking around the block or simply playing backyard game will deliver a motivational twofer and will make everyone feel better.

8. Help them Hang Out with Peers

Bringing a friend along will always make simple activities feel special. Invite your child’s friends for a bike ride and it will become a fun activity. You can also ask your kids to invite their friends for ice-skating or simply having some fun in the playground. As long as your focus is on making fitness fun, you will be fine.

9. Five-Minute Trick

It will never be easy to make kids commit to exercising, but you can still convince them to do it for five minutes. This is usually enough to break a small sweat and will certainly help build an interest in exercising. Doing a five-minute jog or a five-minute bike ride does not sound difficult, and you can make it fun to inspire your kids to turn a five-minute drill into ten.

10. Walk for a Cause

You can arrange a walk or another activity for a special cause. You can find more about organizations that host fundraising walks in your area. Go have fun with your kids and family. You can also organize walks for another cause such as your kid’s Little League or PTA.

11. Let Your Child Take Charge

Give your child the power to decide what they would want to do during the weekend. Letting them choose an after school activity or active weekend pursuit will keep them interested. This also makes them feel that they are in control and have the freedom to make their decisions. Some kids would want to go out on a walk, while others would wind up at a bowling alley, batting cage, or belly dancing class. Just give them what they choose so long as it helps keep them active.

12. Lead by Example

How you behave in your daily life is what you should expect from your kids. Vegetating in front of the television every night is only going to work against you when you ask your kids to be active. You have to practice what you preach and this will automatically motivate your kids. They want to spend more time with you and if you love to be physically active, they will follow suit.

The fact of the matter is that you can definitely try a number of ways to motivate kids to exercise regularly. You have to make it look like a fun activity, not just a boring exercise. Ask their friends to come along and take part in those activities to keep everyone safe. And of course, be sure to notice how your child responds to certain activities and then identify the best way to make fitness easy.

The post How to (Easily) Get Kids Exercising appeared first on SingleMoms.ORG - Money, Life, and More.

]]>
http://www.singlemoms.org/how-to-get-kids-exercising/feed/ 0
How to Get Free Clothes http://www.singlemoms.org/how-to-get-free-clothes/ http://www.singlemoms.org/how-to-get-free-clothes/#respond Tue, 21 Jun 2016 01:07:05 +0000 http://www.singlemoms.org/?p=1984 Welcome to our how-to guide on finding free clothes. When you are in need of basic life necessities like clothing you may feel helpless and frustrated. Finding important resources are priceless in times of need. We have put together an extensive list of local and statewide organizations and businesses that provide free clothing, and other […]

The post How to Get Free Clothes appeared first on SingleMoms.ORG - Money, Life, and More.

]]>
how to get free clothes

Welcome to our how-to guide on finding free clothes. When you are in need of basic life necessities like clothing you may feel helpless and frustrated.

Finding important resources are priceless in times of need. We have put together an extensive list of local and statewide organizations and businesses that provide free clothing, and other resources for families in need.

Each city provides free programs to their residents. At times, we can look for help in other places, for example, religious institutions. Religious institutions rely on donations made by the public, therefore, are strong advocates in giving back to the community.

Many churches of numerous denominations provide free resources to individuals and families in need. Here is a nationwide list of Catholic & Christian churches. You could locate organizations in your neighborhood and ask about the programs they provide. If you have children most public schools also host clothing drives.

General Clothing

Craigslist is a popular online classified site. Many people from all over the world shop second hand on craigslist for great discounts. You will find new and hand me down items at a competitive cost. One of it’s most visited section is the FREE listings. Every state has their own individual site with residents giving away electronics,furniture, toys, and clothes. It is important to note to follow safety methods when meeting a stranger in their home, it is suggested you bring along a friend or family member.

FreeClassifieds is another popular site that allows you to search based on location. They list free clothing, furniture, food and even vehicles that are looking for a new home.

Super Ads is popular for their real estate listings, free furniture and clothing section. It is definitely worth a look to find items no longer needed by private owners.

Coats

If you live in a part of the world with cold winter seasons, finding a coat for yourself and your children is vital. Luckily many cities, counties and states hold public and private coat drives. One of the most famous is the New York Coat Drive by New York Cares. Every year thousands of coats are donated by the public for people in need. When you visit their site you will find locations where you may pick up coats. You will also learn of other resources available by local organizations.

Nationwide Organizations

The below organizations have nationwide resources that can assist you with obtaining clothing, coats, baby clothes, blankets, and other items. All of the below are not for profit and can locate other local resources for you as well.

  • Goodwill Industries
    • Goodwill Industries International, Inc.
      15810 Indianola Drive
      Rockville, MD 20855
      (800) GOODWILL
      contactus@goodwill.org
  • Safe Horizons
    • 2 Lafayette Street, 3rd Floor
      New York, NY 10007

1.800.621.HOPE (4673)

  • Salvation Army
    • The Salvation Army National Headquarters
      615 Slaters Lane
      O. Box 269
      Alexandria, VA 22313

1-800-728-7825

2443 Fillmore St. #380-5363

San Francisco, CA 94115

877-663-9276
drives@onewarmcoat.org

  • American Red Cross
    • National Red Cross
      American Red Cross National Headquarters
      2025 E Street, NW
      Washington, DC 20006

1-800-733-2767

Work Clothing

If you are seeking work and find yourself in a position where you need to interview to find employment, don’t let not having the right clothing stop you. First impressions can be a huge factor in getting a job. Many private organizations focus on assisting adults looking to acquiring suits and other work clothes. A popular drive held by private companies is:

Dress for Success is the largest international program assisting adults in getting free suits, shoes and work clothes. Here is a description of their program: Dress for Success began in in 1997, Dress for Success has expanded to almost 145 cities in 20 countries and has helped more than 925,000 women work towards self-sufficiency.

Statewide Services

Along with the nationwide programs listed in this guide, every state has their own list of private and public organizations. Below is a list of programs state by state. Tip: Community programs usually work with other private and public programs. They serve as a great resource for finding out about other free programs and services you may qualify for. As a U.S citizen, the welfare system is available for individuals in financial need. If you are in need food assistance for your children (regardless of your citizenship status) please call or visit.

If you need financial assistance you may visit your local HHA office. They can provide you with immediate vouchers to use to purchase clothing for upcoming interviews. They can also assist you with diapers and children’s clothing. You should gather documents that prove your address, income and identity before speaking to a social worker. This will make the process more smooth and get you the assistance you need immediately.

  • US Human Resource Administration.
    • S. Department of Health & Human Services
      200 Independence Avenue, S.W.
      Washington, D.C. 20201
      Toll Free Call Center: 1-877-696-6775

In Conclusion

To qualify for free resources you will need to meet income guidelines along with other requirements. If you receive any type of government assistance you may automatically qualify for state and federal programs. Below is the basic chart.

Family Size                                                                Yearly Income

Family of 1 $11,770
Family of 2 $15,930
Family of 3 $20,090
Family of 4 $24,250
Family of 5 $28,410
Family of 6 $35,570
Family of 7 $36,730
Family of 8 $40,890

There are thousands of organizations who distribute clothing and other donated goods to families in need. If you have a small budget there are other alternatives like garage and yard sales and thrift stores. Every local paper has a classified section where they will list upcoming clothing drives or donations.

A popular statewide paper is the PennySaver. Supermarket and malls have designated areas for local postings. You can always ask a neighbor or associate. Children grow fast and many parents simply throw away unwanted clothing that no longer fit. As you can see there are many available options for finding free clothing. The first step is to contact the organization or visit in person and ask for help. We hope that you found our guide helpful.

The post How to Get Free Clothes appeared first on SingleMoms.ORG - Money, Life, and More.

]]>
http://www.singlemoms.org/how-to-get-free-clothes/feed/ 0
How to Open a Bank without ChexSystems http://www.singlemoms.org/open-bank-without-chexsystems/ http://www.singlemoms.org/open-bank-without-chexsystems/#respond Tue, 14 Jun 2016 23:20:59 +0000 http://www.singlemoms.org/?p=1976 One thing you might just take for granted is your ability to open a bank account. Until that privilege is taken away that is. Having a bank account in 2016 is not an option thing. It’s a requirement for living in a first world country. You need a bank account to get paid, to make […]

The post How to Open a Bank without ChexSystems appeared first on SingleMoms.ORG - Money, Life, and More.

]]>
chexsystems problems

One thing you might just take for granted is your ability to open a bank account.

Until that privilege is taken away that is.

Having a bank account in 2016 is not an option thing. It’s a requirement for living in a first world country. You need a bank account to get paid, to make payments, to keep your money, to apply for and maintain a credit card, and much, much more.

For example, if you apply for a new job, get hired, you may be required to give that bank your bank account number for a direct deposit of your paycheck. If you workplace does not issue direct bank account payments, they will write you a check. However, to cash a check and receive the money often requires a bank account on your part.

So a bank account is an important part of your life.

However, many people who have had financial problems in the past, may find themselves banned from opening a new bank account. In some cases, people may find existing bank accounts closed down.

The reason is usually because of ChexSystems — a company that maintains a banking ‘behavior’ file for everyone who owns a bank account in the US. This is a sort of credit history, but one that covers banking history rather than credit history.

You may know the difficulties of what having bad credit may do for you, but having a ChexSystems record can be just as bad — arguably worse even.

If you have a chexystems record, there are  few things you can likely do about it to fix the problem.

1. Dispute your ChexSystems Record

You are allowed to dispute your ChexSystems record. However, first you must request your free chexsystems file from ChexSystems. Once you have the file in hand, you can specifically look at it for any mistakes. If you find any such mistakes or errors, you can file a dispute. Provided you win the dispute, your record may be removed within 30 days.

You can file a dispute here on the official website.

We highly recommend you do request your chexsystems record here (it’s free and from the official chexsystems website) so you know where you stand. You can’t dispute what you don’t know.

2. Pay off any money you owe to a bank

If you have a chexsystem record due to financial misbehavior with a specific bank (you went into overdraft and did not pay it, you wrote fraudulent checks or have committed bank fraud or some other such banking misdemeanor), then one way to repair your ChexSystems record is to contact the bank you owe money to and pay what you owe.

A bank can directly request ChexSystems remove a record that the bank has submitted about you. Banks MAY do this if you pay them what you owe. This can often fix your problem.

3. Open a Second Chance Banking Account

If you can’t open a regular bank account and you are unable to dispute your ChexSystems record, another option is to look at opening a specialized bank account made for people with ChexSystems, EWS, or Telechex problems.

These bank accounts often have different names, but they are generally called ‘Second Chance’ accounts. They are offered by some banks and credit unions.

These bank accounts often have limitations imposed on them, such as limited checking ability, limited withdrawals, no ability to write checks, and higher monthly fees. However, if you get such an account, in time that account may, with good financial behavior on your part, upgrade the second chance account to a regular bank account. This often takes 1 to 2 years.

However, if you are stuck then it’s your best option for getting a regular bank account. A second chance account will still offer you the basic banking options such as deposits, withdraws, the ability to make online bill payments, ATM cards, and more.

4. Use a Prepaid Credit Card or Debit Card

Another option is to avoid a bank entirely and just go with a prepaid credit card or debit card solution. These function a bit like a bank account in that you can add more money to the card and make withdraws from the card. As such, you can use it like a bank account to receive, send, and withdraw payments — both online and via ATM machines.

The cost here is usually in the cost. You often pay per transaction. Each time you add money or withdraw money or send money online, you may pay a small fee of a couple dollars. This depends on the type of card you get, however.

5. Find a Non ChexSystems Bank

Another option is to find a bank that does not use ChexSystems. There are a few of these out there, usually in the form of credit unions and small banks. Some larger, national bank chains in the United States may not use ChexSystems as well, but you’ll have to call them or find out online if this is the case.

Note that banks don’t usually publicly post this information, so you are going to have to do some research to find out. This website gives you a list of nonchexsystems banks that you may want to try.

6. Open an Internet Bank Account

A final option here is to look at opening an internet-only bank account. These are usually banks that don’t exist in a physical location, but offer you all the features that a regular bank would, but just over an online interface.

You should be able to send money, deposit, make ATM withdraws (the bank will mail you an ATM card), and more.

Some internet banks are less stringent about doing ChexSystems checks on their customers. So it could be you can open an Internet bank account even though you can’t open an actual physical bank account with a major bank.

 

The post How to Open a Bank without ChexSystems appeared first on SingleMoms.ORG - Money, Life, and More.

]]>
http://www.singlemoms.org/open-bank-without-chexsystems/feed/ 0
Why You May Be Spending Too Much (You Might Not Like the Answer) http://www.singlemoms.org/may-spending-much-might-not-like-answer/ http://www.singlemoms.org/may-spending-much-might-not-like-answer/#respond Sat, 04 Jun 2016 14:28:27 +0000 http://www.singlemoms.org/?p=1971   You may have heard the theory that the key to saving and wealth building is to dramatically lower your spending. The idea is logical, but seemingly undoable for most people, so let us examine why you are spending so much, and maybe convince you to spend a little less. This is not an article […]

The post Why You May Be Spending Too Much (You Might Not Like the Answer) appeared first on SingleMoms.ORG - Money, Life, and More.

]]>
 

You may have heard the theory that the key to saving and wealth building is to dramatically lower your spending. The idea is logical, but seemingly undoable for most people, so let us examine why you are spending so much, and maybe convince you to spend a little less. This is not an article on saving money because we already have plenty of them.

If you are struggling financially and the causes for those struggles are related to your spending habits (you are spending TOO much on completely unnessesary things), then ytou may have a problem.

You won’t be able to help yourself and get out of finacial difficulties unless you address the underlying problem: you.

This article is not aimed at those single moms / single parents who are in financial difficult due to a lack of a job or a low income.

It’s aimed at those who make enough money to be somewhat comfortable, but spend more money than they can afford.

The goal of this article is to actually convince you not to spend as much money as you do.

You May Be Spending Money To Make Yourself Happy

Life is boring most of the time. Most people are neither happy nor sad most of the time. Guess what…that is how life is supposed to be. Trying to make yourself happy with drink, drugs, sex or spending is the same as going on the same roller coaster again and again to make yourself happy.

The fact is that you cannot be happy all the time, but why not turn “happy” your default position. Instead of waiting for something to make you happy, why don’t you decide to be happy? Learn the benefits of being grateful for what you have–because you could have far less.

Recognize the fact that you keep spending money in order to make yourself happy. Understand that doing so is the same as riding the same rollercoaster over and over again. The truth is that you cannot “make” yourself happy; you can only decide to be happy.

Your Desire To Spend May Be Insatiable

Let’s break it down to the most basic level. Some people develop a “want” and the more you feed this “want,” then the stronger it gets. Addicts have this problem. Sure, when they are clean, they still want to partake of their addictive act, but the urge is not as strong as when they are doing it habitually.

If you spend money to cheer yourself up, or worse still, if you spend money because you are bored or unfulfilled, then you may have a big problem. The fact is that the more you go through the cycle of spending to manage your feelings, the more you rely on spending to manage your feelings.

You Can Manage Your Happiness So You Do Not Need To Spend

It is easy enough for an article to tell you what not to do, but few offer advice on what to do after you stop, so here is some. You should ask yourself what other people do to manage their feelings, as looking outwards may give you a clearer perspective.

Understand that you can engineer a situation where you make yourself happy by default. Whenever you are feeling neutral, decide to feel happy. Decide to be in a good mood. Do not wait for an event to make you happy, and do not try to manufacture an event to make you happy.

How much time do you spend chasing happiness? Consider this point because few people realize that their biggest frustrations in life are based on their insatiable need to chase happiness. Are you frustrated with dogs barking or kids playing because it genuinely bothers you, or because you want and expect things to be under your control and for your current mood to remain untainted? Are you eating because you are genuinely hungry, or have you just become bored or stressed?

You can manage your feelings far easier than you think. When you are having an argument with your spouse and somebody turns up at the door or calls on the phone, do you shout at the other person? Do you maintain your bad mood? Are you angry and ratty with the other person? Or, do you do what most people do and put a happy face on and act like everything is fine? Most people can change their whole attitude and mood in seconds to suit the situation. If you can do it then, why can’t you do it all the time? It may feel fake at first, but as you practice, you start to realize just how much control over how you feel on the inside.

Do Not Try To Remove Negative Thoughts From Your Mind

You are going to read a lot of articles that tell you to be positive and remove all negative thoughts from your mind, but apart from being childish advice, it is also useless. Nobody can remove all negative thoughts from their mind; it is part of human nature and part of your survival. A person that is positive all the time must be mentally ill.

Instead of trying to remove negative thoughts from your mind, try replacing them with positive thoughts. You may be sad that your partner left you, but be happy that you got as much time with that person as you did. Also, remember that you must have been happy if your partner’s departure makes you this sad.

There is a good example here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-7558NYtwY

Trying to see the best in everything is okay, but it is probably more realistic to try to find the lesson in each event. It is an idea first taught by Napoleon Hill, where he said that every failure offers a valuable lesson. If you figure out what you can learn from each failure or sad event, then you create a benefit where there were none. You turn a negative into a positive. Try to find the lesson in each sad event, even if the lesson is existential, such as how life is short and we should treasure every moment.

Learn The Joy Of Saving And Investing

Getting to see the fruits of your investment is very satisfying. Even keeping your money in a savings account and seeing it pay you interest is rather fun. If you are just starting out, then look for accounts that pay interest monthly, so you may experience the joys of earning interest a little sooner.

The more you learn about saving and investing, then the more you will enjoy it. Actually gaining experience through doing it and earning your reward (however small) is oddly satisfying. You may also have more success if you learn more about it, so start today. Here are a few of our articles to get you started.

Your Life Is Not What You Thought It Should Be…

This section is based on a principle that Dennis Prager came up with. If you do not know him, he is a radio show host and writer…and a very frustrating man. Some of the stuff he says will have you throwing your hat in the air and celebrating your agreement with him, and other things he says may disappoint you. He is a very intelligent and well reasoned man, even if he does (rarely) have a few disagreeable opinions, and he says that nothing you ever have will be sufficient, and your quest to fill said sufficiency void will often leave you poor or in debt.

He gave an example with a poster advert he once saw. The advert said, “If you are not completely satisfied with your sex life, give us a call.” It is a clever advert because people are never “completely satisfied.” No matter how perfect something is, a person is never completely satisfied.

This is not to say that human nature is a negative one or that human nature is critical or prone to complaining. The fact is that human nature is insatiable. People are never completely satisfied because their nature will not let them. If you ever meet a person on the fortune 500 list, ask them a few questions that include the fortune 500 list, and you will find one commonality. All of them are a little upset or disappointed that there are people above them in the list. It wouldn’t bother them if the list didn’t exist, but because it does, they want to be higher on it.

You will never be sated. You will never be thin enough, rich enough, sexy enough, strong enough, talented enough, and so on. No matter how much money you spend, there is always a limit to what you can have and achieve. Learn to recognize your insatiable nature for what it is, and stop spending money on a battle you cannot win.

Your life is not what you thought it should be, and the fact is that it never will be. Life is going to hand you different cards, and it is up to you how you play them. You can spend the rest of your life trying to live up to the perfect image you have in your head, or you can accept that your human nature is insatiable, and invest your time in using what you have got to give yourself a better future.

The post Why You May Be Spending Too Much (You Might Not Like the Answer) appeared first on SingleMoms.ORG - Money, Life, and More.

]]>
http://www.singlemoms.org/may-spending-much-might-not-like-answer/feed/ 0