Category Archives: Finance

Scholarships For Moms Are Meant to Improve Family Life for the Us

The program called Obama’s Scholarships for Moms is designed to benefit those women in need of funds to assist them in bettering their education. Many moms have found they need to get a job and help out with the family finances in these economically lean times. There are plenty of jobs available, but unless they can be shown a college degree, most employers will turn applicants away. Those working moms may find their only job option is something in the minimum wage category unless they can give their education a boost.

There is grant money available and it can give a valuable assist to those who are willing to work and study hard. Applicants for federal grant money like the Scholarships for Moms or Pell Grants must qualify by proving they have a definite need for the funds, and that they will apply their selves to finishing their education. Some of these grants can amount to as much as ten thousand dollars each year and more than one grant may be used at a time, so this can add up to some substantial aid for the school bound mom.

President Obama is encouraging mothers to go back to school and better their education because he has seen how very beneficial that degree can be, especially for single or working moms. The online schools are also participating in this grant program and this method of schooling is proving to be very beneficial to working moms who already find they do not have enough hours in their days.

Applying for one or more of these available grants such as the Scholarships for Moms is a simple matter of filling out the application called a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Keep in mind also that this is grant money. Student loans will eventually need to be paid back, grant money never does.

Creative Money-Saving Ideas to Recession-Proof Your Finances

Every day we hear more depressing news about the current global economic situation. More and more people are losing their jobs and their homes, and still the experts tell us there is worse to come. However, while governments concentrate on pouring billions, and even trillions, into the economy to save us from financial meltdown, there is much that we can be doing on an individual and much smaller level to put our own finances into order.

There are many simple, practical cost-saving measures that every household can adopt which can make a dramatic difference to the domestic finances without having a real impact on a family’s standard of living. Obvious measures include shopping in the sales, buying own-store products rather than branded goods, taking advantage of discounts and deals and borrowing rather than buying where at all possible. However, we can also take a more creative approach to saving money – for example, by asking for a discount where it has not been offered, or by planning ahead and buying strategically.

If you don’t ask, you don’t get!
In straitened times, many shop keepers would prefer a sale at a slightly lower price than no sale at all. This is a perfect time to hone your negotiation and bartering skills. Even if the price does not seem excessive, swallow your pride and ask for a discount. Always be polite, and never become confrontational or aggressive, even if the manager has to be called. Adopting a pleasant approach will make people want to help you and will increase your chances of success.

Other tactics you could use to secure that discount are:
1. The “Good cop/bad cop” routine. Tell the clerk that you will need to discuss it with your spouse because it is more money than you really wanted to pay. At this stage, the shop keeper will probably reduce the price rather than let you out of the shop without making the purchase.
2. Ask them to match the price you have seen in another store. The manager will usually readily agree to this, and may even add in a further discount as a gesture of goodwill.
3. Keep hold of all out-of-date coupons as these can sometimes be accepted up to 6 months after the have officially expired. It’s worth a chance, and you have nothing to lose!
4. Try to make a deal if a straight-forward discount is rejected. For example, offer a proportion of the money up front instead of paying in monthly installments, or try to negotiate an additional warranty or free batteries (or anything!) for the product if no discount is forthcoming.

A disciplined approach to shopping
The number one rule of saving money is only to buy things that you actually need and can use. It sounds obvious, but is actually very difficult to achieve. Who can say they have never bought an item of clothing simply because it was a ‘steal’, only for it to remain unworn in the back of the wardrobe for ever after? Don’t be a sales victim – make sure you win the shopping game. Buying things purely because they are reduced in price leads to overspending and a cluttered house. Reduce the temptation to impulse buy by setting a firm limit on your spending budget before you leave the house.

One great way to save time, money and last-minute panics, is to buy suitable presents when you see them at a good price and keep them for the appropriate occasion. Make a chart before you begin shopping and buy only what you need for each person. Not only will this help you keep track of what you have bought, but will also help you locate these carefully selected items when the appropriate occasion comes round. Keep the items in a special drawer or closet and enjoy the satisfaction of simply taking them out during the year as required.

The relief of avoiding those last minute panics (when you know you simply cannot leave the shop until you have bought something!), combined with the joy of knowing you have made real savings, makes this a great system to try.

These ideas, combined with more conventional cost-saving measures, can have a real and beneficial effect on the family finances. They also create the feeling of satisfaction that comes from knowing that, by using your brain, you have managed to save money where other people might have paid the full price.