These are tough times, with an uncertain and precarious economy that does not allow for most of us to nurture a sizeable egg’s nest, no matter how much we scrimp and save. With the pressures of looming medical bills, paying off student loans – or trying to save for your kid’s college fund if you have children of your own – it often feels as though you’re on an everlasting hamster wheel. Progress feels exceptionally slow and the stomach-gnawing tension of not knowing how to make ends meet adds to the frustration.
If all of this is hitting close to home, then rest assured that you’re not the only one. Many people share these anxieties nowadays. However, the good thing is that there are many benefits or special programs available to certain segments of the population, and you’d be doing good researching to find out if you qualify for anything. They may not entail huge sums of money, but they do lighten the load considerably, which will help make your life easier.
The following are a few ideas to help you understand what opportunities are out there and how you can take advantage of them.
At first glance, food stamps might seem like a fairly obvious thing to look into. But you’d be surprised by how little people actually take advantage of this. This is one of the classic social nets and subsidies offered by the government, and a large swath of the population does in fact qualify. It ultimately depends on the regulations of your state, how many dependents you have, and your annual salary – but if you meet the criteria you may very well find yourself able to save some significant dollars on groceries very soon. Don’t let the social stigma of using them faze you. Unlike the food stamps of yore, those who qualify are given an EBT card, which looks more like a credit card and is fairly inconspicuous.
For those who have sacrificed so much by serving their country, the government in turn tries to offer several social policies that help make life after the battlefield a little easier. Amongst these benefits are substantial career services, best college financial aid for those who’ve served and their children, pension benefits, and VA home loans to help finance the purchase of a new house. While benefits for veterans tend to differ from state to state, and could arguably be more generous, it still helps to know that this social nets is available to rely on if you have previously served in the army.
From brownie to girl scout
Every girl grows up wanting to be a girl scout, and some do in fact spend their formative years, moving the ranks from Brownie to full-fledged scout, devoting so much time to doing good in their communities. While there are many benefits to being a girl scout – amongst them learning the fundamentals of public speaking and building strong character – it may surprise you to know that there are college funds and scholarships available via the girls scout network. Young women have been able to tap into their experience growing up with the girl scouts in order to get full rides to college. While there are many reasons to encourage your daughters to join the group, none are as compelling as being able to fund an excellent education.
Given how expensive everything seems to be nowadays, it helps to do a bit of research and understand which programs you or family can qualify for – there’s no doubt that these little things add up, which will eventually lift the weight off your shoulders!