Learn How to Get Your Family’s Budget under Control

single parent 300x199 Learn How to Get Your Familys Budget under Control
Having a family budget is essential to avoid overspending. Many families shy away from making budgets because they fear what they write on paper will be too restrictive, and, as a result, some needs won’t be met and certain goals won’t be pursued. This is, however, far from being the truth. Without a carefully planned budget, overspending comes natural. When asked about what the money is spent on, many feel tempted to say that all was spent on necessities and nothing else. A simple writing down of their expenses would bring up some surprises; small amounts spent on coffee, new hobbies, items never used that end up in the back of the garage, add up, eating up the profit margin all families should enjoy from their monthly income. Here are some steps to help you get your family’s budget under control.

Take a look at your credit report
Debt can become a burden for your budget, if it is not well managed. First things first, you need to know where you stand, and reviewing your credit report should be part of your routine. You will be able to find out if there are any problems that need to be addressed so that your family budget can improve. Also, you will have a panoramic view of what is being spent on credit month after month, as this is money you should always have readily available, to avoid penalties.

Know exactly how much you spend on what
It is easy to say that your groceries cost X dollars monthly, as a general rule. You may be quite surprised to see that you may spend more than you think, through small expenses that are never put to good use, like frozen foods that you eventually throw away, or extra sweets that should not be bought in the first place.
The main problem with family budgets is that everyone tends to spend a little more on things they do not really need, even when it is about so called necessities. By putting down on paper the exact figures for everything you spend, you will get the clear picture of how much you are really spending.
Do not forget to include here all the bills, and the money spent with clothes and other things you need around the house. Clear financial records of everything you spend will help you decide where you could start operating cuts, so you can get your family’s budget under control.

Get rid of wasteful spending
Too many times, people end up spending money on items or services they do not really need. Wasteful spending is a tough enemy to go against, but all you need is a bit of knowledge and planning. For instance, if you notice a lot of items being bought and used only once, it means that you need to have a talk with the entire family, to set some ground rules.
Pricing plans for phones, cable TV and other entertaining options may be adjusted, as well. Take a moment to think if you really need to spend that much and if you could get by with a less expensive plan. This simple decision can save you quite a bit of money every month.

Establish goals
Making the same family budget month after month can easily become a routine that everyone comes to abhor. To avoid boredom, establish goals that your family would love reaching. For instance, if you want to save money to create a new deposit, do the math and see how the goal can be achieved. You will find it much easier to give up on wasteful spending this way, too, because you will have a prize, a goal to pursue.

Break the spending habit
One of the most important problems encountered by families is the spending habit. Remember that kids learn from their parents more than just basic rules; they can also take on financial habits that will affect them later in life. Whenever a new expense, even one that is very small, appears, if it is not a necessity, decide against it. This way, you will be able to break the spending habit, and the money you will not spend this way will just pile up in your pocket or in the bank.

We hope you found this small guide useful. Feel free to comment.

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5 Things All Single Moms Must Know about Maternity Leave

5 Things All Single Moms Must Know about Maternity Leave

The US is the only high income country in the world, where paid maternity leave is not provided, as a distinct right. For single mothers, the time interval after the baby is born is the most difficult, because they can face weeks on unpaid leave, before they can get back to work, and start making money again, to pay for the new demands of the extended family.
There are several things single moms should know about maternity leave, so they can prepare in advance for the challenges that wait ahead. Here are 5 of the most important.
See if you qualify for unpaid maternity leave under FMLA
In the US, maternity leave falls under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, known as FMLA, for short, but the benefits offered are very scarce. 12 weeks of unpaid leave are guaranteed, but only for women working in companies (public or private) with more than 50 employees within 75 mile radius. Also, the worker has to be with the company for one year, at least, or have at least 1,250 working hours on record. For single moms who do not make the cut, the situation can be dire.
According to official figures from 2013, however, only around 60% of the workforce in the US qualifies for FMLA. Besides unpaid leave, you are also provided with a guarantee that you will get your job – or your job equivalent back – when you are ready to work again.
Check the local laws and regulations regarding maternity leave
There are just a handful of states where paid maternity leave is provided for short periods of time. In California, the paid maternity leave is six weeks, and the mom receives 55% of her regular pay. District of Columbia regulations demand employers to provide workers with paid days of absence, but the actual figures can vary from one case to another. If you live in New Jersey, you are entitled to six weeks of paid maternity leave, while receiving 66% of your regular pay.
If you live in Puerto Rico, you are luckier, because you will receive eight weeks of paid maternity leave, at 100% of your regular pay. In Hawaii, the percentage is 58%, while in New York, it is 50%. As you can see, the compensation and the number of weeks of paid leave vary greatly, so it is recommended to check with your state’s laws and regulations first.
Work towards accumulating paid leave for the time interval after birth
One tactic used by single moms in the US is to work towards accumulating normal paid leave days to cover for the time interval they need to be close to the newborn baby. However, this requires a lot of planning, and an unexpected pregnancy is likely to catch the mom unprepared.
Another solution on the same trail of thought is to save as much money as possible to cover for at least the 12 weeks of unpaid leave provided under FMLA. If you combine these weeks and the ones you are entitled to, under normal circumstances, you may be able to stretch the time next to your baby to four months.
See if you qualify for WIC support
WIC stands for Women, Infants and Children and it is a program that offers federal grants for food, health care and nutrition education for low income women and children up to the age of five. You can ask for more information at the local WIC agency in your area. Even if what they offer is not that much, it is worth giving it a shot, as they do offer help for pregnant women during pregnancy and six weeks after the baby is born.
Check TANF and other support programs
If you have low income, it is also advisable to see if you qualify for TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families), Medicaid, and other support programs available in your area. Actually, if you apply for more programs and you qualify for one, you increase your chances for automatic income eligibility with the others.
Getting by as a single mom, especially right after the baby is born, is crucial for your well being and your baby’s well being. Do not hesitate to ask your family and friends for help, to get over the most difficult part.

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Are you a woman and you need a small grant for your home-based or online business ?

Did you know that you can apply for a grant online, through the internet ?

Check-out womensnet.net. Its primary focus is to help women who are trying to start small businesses, home-based or online. The grants are usually not very huge, up to $1000 (no repayment is necessary).

 

Our primary focus is assisting women who are trying to start small businesses, home-based or online. The grants are small, usually $500 to $1000, and are intended to be used to upgrade equipment, pay for a web site etc – the small but essential expenses that can often make the difference between getting started or being forever stalled. The August Amber Grant will be for $500.00. No repayment is required or expected, although it is hoped that you will pass on the kindness by mentoring & helping others along the way. – See more at: http://womensnet.net/get-an-amber-grant/#sthash.8Rjh4pBb.dpuf
Our primary focus is assisting women who are trying to start small businesses, home-based or online. The grants are small, usually $500 to $1000, and are intended to be used to upgrade equipment, pay for a web site etc – the small but essential expenses that can often make the difference between getting started or being forever stalled. The August Amber Grant will be for $500.00. No repayment is required or expected, although it is hoped that you will pass on the kindness by mentoring & helping others along the way. – See more at: http://womensnet.net/get-an-amber-grant/#sthash.8Rjh4pBb.dpuf
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President Obama Speaking on Student Loan Debt

President Obama Speaking on Student Loan Debt

Many young people that once supported Obama, are now thinking the President has enslaved them in student debt. Watch the video below and tell us what you think!

via Source

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VA Adapted Housing Grants for Disabled Veterans

Special Adaptive Housing VA Adapted Housing Grants for Disabled Veterans

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Infographic: Student Debt Crisis

INFO DEBT FULL PADDING Infographic: Student Debt Crisis

Infographic Transcribed:

Student Debt Crisis

The U.S is drowning in student debt.

  • Americans outstanding credit card debt – 704 Billion
  • Total outstanding student loan debt – $867 Billion

The annual cost of a college education is spiking

  • Private college cost have doubled
  • Public college costs have doubled

Student debt is growing even faster.

  • 2005 – $15,651
  • 2007 – $18,511
  • 2009 – $20,820
  • 2012 – $24,301

Students get some help from the government…

  • Value of a pell grant – $4,550
  • 33% of students receive federal tax credits
  • 66% of students who receive direct government aid in the form of grants and loans

But debt is taking a financial toll…

  • Average monthly payment on a student loan – $250
  • 10% – Graduates whose payments exceed 25% of their income
  • Time it takes to pay off an average student loan – 10 Years

Graduates are getting less out of a college education

  • Bachelor degree holders who are jobless – 54%
  • Graduates who take jobs for which college degrees aren’t required – 33%
  • Time it takes to pay off an average student loan – 10 Years

What’s your take on the student loan debt crisis?

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Student Debt Forgiveness Plans Skyrocket

Below is an infographic from the WSJ. It depicts the amount of grad school debt owed by the typical borrower upon graduation, by program, in 2012 dollars. It’s pretty shocking.

student debt infographic Student Debt Forgiveness Plans Skyrocket

Source: WSJ

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5 Ways To Find Homes Rent to Own

how to rent to own 2 5 Ways To Find Homes Rent to Own

One of the hottest trends these days is the topic of rent to own homes. Why? With so many consumers fighting bad credit and recovering from the housing crisis of 2008, it has essentially become a win win situation for buyers, as well as sellers. It positively impacts buyers by allowing them to: rebuild credit, buy a home they could not otherwise afford, save money on a down payment, and much more. It helps sellers because it allows them to quickly move the property in circumstances where the house doesn’t easily sell. One of the greatest things about a rent to own home arrangement is the buyer doesn’t need perfect credit. So how do you go about finding these homes?

  1. Search Craigslist – Craigslist is still one of the top places online to find real estate for sale–especially rent to own homes. One thing that you have to be weary of when researching on CL is the huge amount of scams that run rampant on the site. Two scams that you need to watch out for are: a) the ad states a “too good to be true” rental price in a nice neighborhood. You reply with the best intentions and the “landlord” states you must check your credit report for free. b) Same as above, only scammers list phony housing opportunities (even houses that aren’t for rent or sale) and ask you to send payment up front. Despite these scams, there are still a wealth of rent to own listings available on the site. You can also create an ad stating you are looking for such an opportunity. Again, be weary of the scams you’ll encounter. Use your best judgement.

  2. Your Local Newspaper – Even though newspapers are being slowly phased out while everything moves digital, you can still find really great deals in the classifieds of your local newspapers. Many baby boomers still utilize this form of advertising and thus, its still a wonderful asset for research. Another plus is that the scams are less rampant on newspaper classifieds. So while you may not find as much volume of listings, the potential for scams is less likely.

  3. Put Signs Up In the Neighborhood You Want to Live In – As crazy as this sounds, it truly works. You can purchase cost effective, bright colored correplast signs with your message on it and display them all over town. Your message could state, “Rent to Own Home Wanted: Call, XXX-XXX-XXXX” It doesn’t need to be fancy. just needs to get the message across. One thing you need to be careful of when applying this strategy is your local ordinance laws. Depending on your city/county/town, this method could get you fined. Exercise your best judgement.

  4. Contact Realtors & Investors – Simple, yet very effective. The more realtors and investors you contact, the more opportunities you have of finding your dream rent to own home. Many listings aren’t even advertised through traditional channels. Why? Because highly networked realtors and investors already have a client list which they broadcast their deals to. They ultimately “sell” the deal as soon as they receive it. You too can get on this list just by contacting them and asking to be put on their list.

  5. Use an Online Rent To Own Homes Database – Possibly one of the quickest ways to find rent to own homes is to utilize an online database like that at HousingList.com. Their database is updated daily with the more homes than any other site currently on the web. If you want to reduce the chances of getting scammed, and you want to find a real opportunity, then we suggest giving HousingList.com a try.
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BBB Warns of New Government Grant Scam

scam alert BBB Warns of New Government Grant Scam
Government grant scams have been an ongoing issue for a while. It seems that a new one pops up every day. In the case of the Cleveland BBB, they have issued a warning about a new grant scam–and apparently people are losing lots of money from it. In fact, the Cleveland BBB reported a woman last week lost several hundred dollars.

The woman who was swindled said she received a phone call from someone claiming to be from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. She was then told she was eligible for $10,000 in grant money given to families in need. The scammer on the other end of the line told her that all she needed to do in order to get this grant is pay $730 using Green Dot MoneyPak cards to cover processing fees.

After getting the cards and paying the $730, she was then told she needed to pay an additional $370 to cover state taxes! (Crazy, right?!)

After refusing to pay, she was told the $10,000 grant money would be frozen.

The BBB reports that even more people are falling for this scam. The government NEVER calls and awards grants in this manner, ever.

Here’s a tip: If the offer sounds to good to be true, it usually is. If you want to research real grants, then the best official place to do so is www.grants.gov. Bottom line? Avoid offers and purchases that require you to send the person money upfront. It’s just not worth it. And 99.9% of the time a scam.

[Source]

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7 High Paying Jobs Single Moms Can Do Without a Degree

Being a single mom is tough. You deserve a lot of credit for what you do. In fact, the reason you weren’t able to finish school or pursue a high degree is because you are trying to make ends meet for your family. Check out these 7 high paying jobs that single moms can do without a degree:

  1. Sales
    Being a sales person can really be the perfect job for a single mom that’s good at it. Why is this? Well, so many sales jobs are commission based. So that means if you are good at making sales, you can really make a good living. Consider being a saleswoman in the electronic, automobile, or makeup world. If it’s not for you, then you can say you at least tried.

  2. Social Media Marketer
    Becoming a social media marketer is smart on so many levels. It’s well paying and it does not take a degree. There are a lot of free courses, blog posts, and resources you can use to learn even more about the social media world.

  3. Web Developer
    Don’t forget that the world is becoming more and more tech. As a single mom, if you want to follow the money, then you should check into becoming a web developer. Web developers are the heart of the Internet and there seems to always be a place for someone who can build a website or do a mean website code.

  4. Receptionist
    Many people think of becoming a receptionist and think that it’s not high paying. This is so wrong. You have to look into the right receptionist jobs. If you can’t find a great receptionist job, then consider becoming a virtual assistant. You can become an assistant to people and businesses all over the world. It’s a win-win on all levels.

  5. Postal Worker
    There is a lot of talk about the postal worker scene. However, the postal service is one of the longest standing entities in the United States. Although the hours are long as a postal worker, the money is good. It is also a job you can do without a college degree.

  6. Daycare Manager
    If you want to stay at home with your kids and make a good living, then consider starting your own daycare. If you go through the correct certifications, you could attract the right families and make a good living. You can also seek a position as a daycare manager. There is good money to be made as you work your way up to the top of some of these daycares.

  7. Animal Control Worker
    If you’re a single mom that loves animals, perhaps becoming an animal control worker is a career to get involved in. You would be investigating the mistreatment of animals. Does that sound like something you would love? Pay ranges depending on where you live, but most animal control careers start out at around 34,000.

Finding a job that pays high dollar without a degree can be a challenge, especially when you want to be there for your children. A great suggestion for getting a high paying job without a degree is to start your own business. With a great business plan and determination, you can have control over your career and still live a flexible life.

Do you have a high paying job without a degree? Please share!

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