Aug 062008

Single Moms Need a College Education

An education is an important thing for anybody.  Without a college education, even a high school education, there are very few jobs out there that will offer you the financial stability needed for your future.  An education for single moms is especially important because not only do you have to fend for yourself financially, but you also have one or maybe more children to take care of.  Juggling a job and trying to take care of the children at the same time can be a daunting process, and it is imperative that you find a way to get a college education.

college education for single momsIt is probably true that if you are a single mom, getting an education is something that you really want, but probably do not have time nor the money.  There are special educational grants, scholarships, and other financial resources that are out there, but they will not come to you, you have to go out there and find them.  Go online or talk to a financial aid officer at your local school and you’ll be able to find a program that will fit into your budget, if not your time.  There are also some community colleges who offer free shopping opportunities for prospective students.  If you find that your local college does not offer the services, there are several government programs that will pay a partial or full amount of child care while you are attending school.

A college education for single moms is very important.

And only when you get the career that you want, will you have a more secure future in which to raise your child.  You’ll also be a role model for your child as they become older.  A child of the college graduated mother is more likely to go to college themselves than if their mother had a high school graduate education or GED.

Time management is your biggest issue after your finances are covered.  How can any woman manage a child, a household, a college education, and a job?  It can be done with the right management.  Join a network of other single moms that have alternative schedules. You can take care of their children while they are at school and you can have your child taken care of while you are in school.  If there is not a single mom network within your college, create one.  Put up flyers and have a meeting.  You’ll find that there are a lot of people in your situation that have the same difficulties with finances and time management that you do.

Use family members if they are available.  Take advantage of the opportunity without taking advantage of the people around you.  Show them that you’re responsible and that you want to have an education. They should understand that you know an education for single moms is a must if you are to have a financially secure family.  Sit down and talk with your family and say to them that you want to graduate from college to make your life better and your child’s life better.  Tell them that once you have a job and graduate from college that you will reciprocate all the assistance, love and the understanding, and maybe the finances that they give you.

You deserve a college education!


Aug 042008

Online College Education

An education is important to any person. But for a single mom, a college education may be near to impossible. With the time constraints of raising a child, working a job, and running a household, it is almost impossible for a single mom to be able to take the time to get her education. Any online college education is one of the best ways for a mom to get an education and at the same time have time for her family. An online college education can save the mom not only time and effort, but also in these days of high gasoline prices, money.

online collegeMost online colleges are asynchronous. This means that the single mom can go to college or go to class any time of day or night. The single mom will be able to interact with the class on her own schedule by adding comments to those posted by the other students on the classroom chat board. The instructor will give out an assignment for the day or week and a mom can complete it at any time as long as she completes an assignment before deadline. If the baby is taking a nap, mom can jump on her computer and be able to type out her lessons or respond to other students or instructor without interruption.

Another benefit of online college classes

Another benefit of online college classes for the single mom, is that your identity is anonymous. The people see your name in words, but they know nothing about you. You don’t have the social stigma of having a child or not going to class because your child is sick. You are equal in that classroom. Gender, race, or any physical appearance is a mute point within an online class. You are there to express yourself in words and those words are taken literally, because they cannot be judged by nonverbal interaction, your appearance or inclinations in your voice. What you say is what you say and you’re graded for what you say.

Not only time is saved when you take an online college course as a single mom, but money to saved too. Even though online courses are sometimes a little bit more expensive than traditional brick-and-mortar courses, the amount of time it takes you to drive to class, attend a class and drive back home, is also money that is being spent. Gas money and other expenses add up quickly. In the online college, a single mom may stay in her own home. If research needs to be done, it can be done on the University online library. There is no packing the kid up and taking them to daycare. Just find your seat and go to class. You can simply roll out of bed, get a cup of coffee, and sit in front of the computer and work toward getting an education.

Most online courses are offered in eight to ten week segments. This gives you a chance to go to school for eight to ten weeks and then take a week off. In an online college program you will get the credits, you’ll earn your degree, and you’ll be on your way to setting up a better lifestyle, both financially and emotionally for both you and your child.


Jul 082008

Get a Credit Card if You Don’t Have One

I was talking to a friend of mine recently, a single mom. She was in the process of buying her first home. She was able to make the payments and had a down payment all set, but she had not enough credit history to secure the mortgage.

She told me that the mortgage guy said she should apply for two credit cards. Wow! Silly me. I thought everyone, except the credit card addicted, had a credit card or two.

I guess if you paid cash for everything you needed you’d be a very lucky and disciplined person, but for me, using a credit card makes life way easier and it improves my credit rating.

credit cardWhy? Because I pay it off every month. Even if you don’t like the idea of having a credit card using one and paying it off every month establishes you as a good credit risk.

It takes a few months for the credit companies to find out how great a lendee you are though, so if you are contemplating needing a real loan for real estate or financing college, get a credit card or two, spend a little every month. Put it into your budget and don’t forget about it. Pay it off on time or early, and your credit score should go up.

You can use a department store credit card for this, or a gasoline card or a regular old Visa or MasterCard.

Find a No Fee Credit Card

If you use Visa or MasterCard make sure to find one that doesn’t charge you a yearly fee, or has a high interest rate. Having some kind of bonus associated with it is a bonus. This could be frequent flyer miles, new car rebates, or cash back.

If you have a real problem with credit cards and run up the balance then have to pay high interest fees, this is probably not for you. Or maybe you could have a friend or a parent hold them for you so you can’t use them. Just maybe put some monthly recurring payment on it but keep the card away from you. Or not.

Tell me what your credit card strategy is.


May 272008

How Much Cash for College Will You Need?

If you’re like I was, a single mom with kids approaching college or possibly in college, you know the pain and frustration of trying to figure out how to send your kids to the best possible college they can get into and then paying for it. My oldest has big ideas, probably got it from her mom, about going to Harvard. She can probably get accepted, she’s a smart kid.But do you know what it costs to send your kid to Harvard? I’m going to need a lot of cash for college.

What Is the Cost for College?

cash for college needed for HarvardWell I didn’t know exactly so I Googled it. For an undergrad degree it costs about $45,000 a year. And for four years of medical school it is around $450,000. They say to think of college as an investment.If you invested that amount of money for four years at 7.5% you’d yield about $209,000. Sink that into an investment that earns 7.5% and after 40 years you’d have close to $3,700,000 dollars. That’s right. Now that’s an investment.

How much money is your kid going to make in a lifetime after you or your kid invests $200k over four years? Hopefully it’s more than $4M. Plus also remember that if you borrow that kind of money you are going to have added interest expenses to go along with that.

OK. OK. Not that many people go to Harvard or expensive schools like that. But even a public college costs somewhere around $23,000 per year for a resident, and $44,000 per year for out of state or non-resident.These numbers are from the University of Michigan undergrad program and include tuition, room and board, books and other expenses. Holy Cow!

How Will You Pay Back Cash for College?

No matter who pays for this, you or your kid, it’s a huge chunk of money by most people’s standards. If you pay for it and you don’t have the money already saved, it means working more hours, leveraging your home or borrowing the money and paying it back. This could put a serious crimp in your lifestyle or plans to retire.

Well I’m faced with this reality. I want my kids to go to college. I think that education is valuable regardless of what you earn because of it. I also want to avoid loading up myself or my kids with a huge debt if I don’t need to.Yes we will research scholarships.I’m pretty sure their dad will contribute, but some single moms aren’t in that situation. They are totally on their own.

It seems a shame to work so hard to get your kids ready for college only to find out that the costs are prohibitive. Well I never take no for an answer when it’s really important. I’ve been looking all over the place for ways to fund my kid’s college and earn some serious chunks of cash. I figure I’ll need roughly $4,000 per month for every year one kid is an undergrad. The way my kids are spaced out, that will amount to eight years of $4,000 per month, close to $400,000.

Well there is a way to fund your child’s education, if you start now, and I found it.You’re not going to make that kind of money instantly but after a while that extra $5,000 a month will go on autopilot. How sweet will that be! No more worrying about tuition when you find cash for college.