If you are a low income single mother, you may be eligible to receive free grants, subsidies and financial aid. You may wonder: “From whom?” The answer is the federal government, your state’s government and various charities for women. Why apply for free grants for single mothers?
Some might say the answer is obvious. But if you are constantly struggling to make ends meet and feed your kids, maybe you are missing something important. First, we will assume that you have already gotten rid of all unnecessary expenditures. This includes dining out, your aircon, cable TV service, iPhone, MacBook, X-Box, Playstation, new HDTV, BluRay player, 3G service, shiny new car, etc. Face it, if you can afford all these luxuries, you are not in financial need.
Let us start with a list of things most poor people and single mothers need help with:
- Children’s education
- Her own education or vocational training
Childcare is expensive. In some places, childcare costs more than a college education. If you can drop your kids off with their grandparents when you go to work, that helps. If you only go to work after you put them to bed (e.g. you work the night shift), that also helps. If your eldest child is old enough and responsible enough to look after his or her younger siblings, that is also good. Otherwise, you may find a lot of your wages going towards childcare. Have you ever considered looking for a low-cost childcare that whose operation is subsidized by the government (as opposed to a low-cost childcare that charges less by cutting corners)? Have you ever thought of asking for a grant or subsidy for your childcare expenses from the federal government or your state government?
In the cities, especially, food is expensive even when you only cook and eat at home. There are ways you can cook more cheaply, for example you can save 50% of your cooking costs by switching to recipes that can be cooked using a haybox. Go ahead and Google it, you will find instructions on making your own. But you still need to buy the raw ingredients, which is where food stamps, food banks and even the soup kitchen (for the truly desperate) come in. The federal food stamp program is called SNAP, but your state government may also have its own subsidy. The food banks are normally run by charities and other non-profit foundations.
Whether you own your own home or rent one, the cost can be a killer. The mortgage or rental, and your utilities are places where you can get help. If you have a heavy mortgage, try renegotiating it so that you pay less every month. If you are renting, look up the federal Section 8 housing subsidy as well as your state’s housing subsidy vouchers. As for the utilities, look for grants to make your home more energy efficient. For example, this can go towards insulating your home better so that you can spend less on heating bills in winter.
Fortunately, public schooling for kids isn’t too expensive. On the other hand, if you can save $500 here, that’s $500 you can save for their future college education or for an emergency. For example, instead of buying textbooks, see if their school has a textbook lending program for poorer students. Find out if the school will forgive their school fees, or if your state government offers some kind of subsidy. Check with your fellow church members to find out if anyone is willing to donate used textbooks.
Your own education
Do you have an associate degree or some other college degree? Statistics by the Department of Labor show that those with degrees earn two to three times more than those with only a high school diploma. Your best bet towards getting a higher education is to check out what your local community college offers. Look for their shorter courses which lead to skills needed by local industries and businesses. Then go to the college’s financial aid office to get their help finding grants for education.
If you are a low income single mother, you should try to apply for free grants. Many financially needy families find the five areas above to be major pain points. There are often grants covering the five areas listed above. Even if you are poor, there is no reason to live a life of desperation.
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