What can possibly cause the single parent more stress than finances? Well, other than waking up to discover that your pre-schooler decided that she can make breakfast all by herself!
On this page you will find information to help you make your finances a source of comfort, not stress.
As for that mess in your kitchen, you’re on your own there.
Spring Clean Your Wallet With The Debt Diva
Americans are plunging deeper into debt each day. Take a look into your wallet. What’s inside can either help or hinder your journey towards debt free living. If your goal is to pay down your debt and live within your means it’s time to examine your wallet and give it a quick and easy spring “cleaning” with these tips from The Debt Diva.
• Keep your credit in check! Remove your credit cards from your wallet and keep them at home in a safe place. Having easy access to credit can be too tempting for those who tend to make unplanned purchases.
• Use Powerful Plastic. You don’t want to overdraw your account and pay hefty bank fees. If that’s a problem for you, consider getting a prepaid card. What’s different about a prepaid card is that it’s tied to a savings account (typically an online account) rather than a checking account. You can only spend the money available in your account. If you go over your balance, your charge will be denied and you won’t incur any fees.
• $20 Life Saver. Keep a $20 bill in your wallet at all times. You never know when you will need to hit a pharmacy or convenience store for a small purchase just to make it through the day. • Pocket those receipts. Save the receipts from all purchases to track your spending and see where your money is going. This will help you keep your budget in check and make strategic purchasing decisions.
• Keep the change. You can build a healthy savings account from the spare change left in your purse at the end of the day. Starting small is the way to large gains, and it will get you in the habit of saving! Always keep the change from any purchase, and put it straight into your piggy bank when you return home.
• Rewards cards. No wallet is complete without rewards membership cards from vendors you frequent – particularly your grocery store. You should always keep those on hand for unexpected trips to pick up milk or eggs on the way home.
Still feeling overwhelmed and stressed? Check out The Debt Diva’s Great Money Makeover Contest (www.debtdivamoneymakeover.com) for your chance to win a personalized debt relief plan from the Debt Diva!
Clarky Davis, The Debt Diva is a debt management expert with more than 10 years of personal and professional experience. As The Debt Diva she offers financial fitness education and “real world” money saving tips to help consumers trim their spending in just about every area of their lives. As The Debt Diva for CareOne Credit Counseling, Davis shares her savvy debt management tools with consumers and provides free downloadable guides at www.TheDebtDiva.com.
Great Site For Single Moms
Single Mom Financial Help.com offers information on financial help for college, home and mortgage help, credit and debt advice, and lots more. http://www.singlemomfinancialhelp.com/
Vacation Budgeting Can Be More Important Than Ever Now
I don’t think I can go away on vacation this summer, and I’m kind of bummed out about that. There may still be time to make a vacation happen before the end of the year though, and with a little vacation planning and budgeting I decided that I might actually be able to get away from home for a few days before 2010. Credit Counseling actually has an area on their website that offers great tips to help you with your vacation budgeting. I’m a pretty seasoned traveler, and here’s a tip that I only just now learned from them:
“One way to find cheaper airlines is to go to the website of the airport you plan to depart from and look at their list of airlines to see if there are other discount airlines that may offer a better deal.”
That never occurred to me!
They also offer other helpful suggestions on air travel, as well as suggestions regarding lodging, rental cars, credit card usage overseas, and lots more. They also suggest for you to do things like considering skipping a summer vacation and going away in the Fall instead, when prices drop to Off-Peak prices. They even let you download a .pdf file of a Vacation Planner Chart so that you can budget everything from air travel to the cost of sightseeing excursions all on one page. So, if you’re like me and you think you might not be able to afford a vacation this year, who knows, with proper vacation planning and budgeting, we just might!
Non-Profit Offers Bridge Grants For Small Emergency Expenses
Modest Needs makes Bridge grants by remitting payment to a creditor for a relatively small, emergency expense on behalf of an individual or family suffering from short-term unemployment due to the current economic downturn.
In making a Bridge Grant, our goal is to allow a person who has recently become unemployed through no fault of his or her own AND who has yet to find a new position OR to begin receiving the unemployment benefits to which s/he is entitled to continue to look for work without having to worry – at least in the short term – about losing his or her home, car, health insurance, child care, or other items / services essential to an individual’s ability to look for / accept new employment and / or to remain self-sufficient while that person is waiting for his or her unemployment benefits to start.
You should apply for a Bridge Grant if:
· You are currently unemployed and need help to afford a small, emergency expense that is essential to your ability to look for / accept new employment and /or to remain self-sufficient while waiting for your unemployment benefits to start.
For example, a person who received a layoff letter recently due to the economic downturn and cannot afford to pay rent while waiting for unemployment benefits to kick in would be an excellent candidate for a Bridge grant.
In order to qualify for a Bridge Grant:
1. You must be currently unemployed and need help to afford a small, emergency expense that is essential to your ability to look for / accept new employment and / or to remain self-sufficient while waiting for your unemployment benefits to start ;
2. You must have been unemployed for NO MORE than 90 days;
3. You must have become unemployed through NO FAULT of your own. That is to say, you are not unemployed because you quit or were terminated for cause.
4. You must not have a job offer in hand AND you must not applying for assistance with a specific expense that would allow you to return to work (a license renewal, for example.) If you do have a job offer in hand AND you are requesting help with an expense that would allow you to return to work, you should apply for assistance under our Back to Work grant program.
5. The expense with which you need assistance must be payable on your behalf, directly to a vendor. And
6. The expense with which you need assistance can be paid in full for no more than the maximum grant for which your household qualifies from Modest Needs.
Persons applying for a Bridge grant CANNOT have been unemployed for longer than 90 days. We consider this to be a long-term loss of income. Persons who have been unemployed for longer than 90 days or have lost employment due to termination with cause or have voluntarily left their positions MAY qualify for a Back to Work grant or Self-Sufficiency grant once they have IN HAND, a bona-fide job offer.
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