Happy July and the upcoming holiday on the 4th! A bit weird that it kicks off with Nathan’s Hot Dog eating contest on Coney Island. Will Joey Chestnut win again? Last year he downed 72 dogs (with buns!) in ten minutes. Still hard to believe it's a sport but some fans are counting down the minutes… In fact, you can search online and find a scoreboard that counts down the days, hours, minutes and seconds left ’til the big event.
Meanwhile, for some real sports, the World Cup is in full swing. Others are focused on the NBA and free agency. Where will Lebron James end up? Rumors are flying that he won't be meeting with the Cavs to kick the evening off. And many are on pins and needles to see where big names like Paul George and Kawhi Leonard land….
Maybe you're more intrigued with upcoming movies, like a new Ninja Turtles release and the intriguing Three Identical Strangers.
Enjoy your 4th of July holiday and be safe with those fireworks! And by all means see this month's Free Money Highlights for important updates and new resources.
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If starting your own business is your dream this could be the time to go for it! Of course getting the cash you need to launch can be a problem. Maybe you’ve saved a bunch of money but it’s in your IRA, and you’d pay a penalty - plus taxes - if you withdraw funds before you’re age 59 and a half or older. But there is a way to use money from your IRA to start your business — without paying a penalty and without getting hit with taxes. Discover more about this option, and see what Entrepreneur Mag considers the top ten ways to get money for your dream, in Fund a Startup Business.
Have you checked out the MBDA? This is the Minority Business Development Agency, funded by the federal government. It offers lots of resources and counseling to help minorities fund their business, grow their business, do business with the government, and more. Check out our latest update to the Minority Business Development Agency to see some special events coming up to help your business thrive! Need more assistance and inspiration? Take a look at our review of current Black Business Resources.
Are you ignoring scholarships because you think they’re too much work, or maybe you think you could never win one because you’re not a top student? You could be missing out big time! Scholarships are a perfect example of real “free money” — money that you never have to repay, and money that can help you graduate college without a boatload of debt. And if you’re a dreamer, there’s some big news about scholarships just for you — like over $30 million worth! Find out more about that as well as info about scholarships for everyone in our review of the fastweb and finaid scholarship websites.
Pell Grants are another great example of “free money.” These are government grants that are won strictly on the basis of having a low enough income to qualify. And the current maximum award is more than $6000. Would that help you pay for school? Of course there are some other basic eligibility requirements. One easy way to find out fast if you could be eligible - and what to do if you are - is to take our “quick six” super fast quiz and see if you are a candidate for this grant. It’s easy and you don’t have to provide any personal information! Get the latest — and take the quiz — at Qualify for a Pell Grant.
Did you know that 97% of the land mass in the United States is classified as “rural?” (whaaaat?!) So if you want to buy a home but you’ve never checked out the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) Rural Loan program, it’s time to do so! No need to worry about saving up for a down payment — this program offers zero down so it’s definitely worth looking into. Discover more in our latest update to Downpayment Assistance. Your dream of home ownership could come true!
If you already own a house here’s still time to get some cash out of it and increase your monthly cash flow — even if your mortgage outstanding is greater than the value of your home! And you don’t even need an appraisal to do it in most cases. Yes, we’er talking about the HARP program — and if you haven’t given it a try, you should. Even if you’ve been turned down before. Start at Assistance for HARP Eligibility.
Here’s an unusual opportunity: if you have a job that lets you work from home, Vermont has got a deal for you. They’re offering lots of financial assistance for your move and a place to live if you move to Vermont and keep that job. Could be an interesting opportunity, especially if you live somewhere with a very high cost of living. Get more details in Grants for Housing.
Money For A Car: Take a look at our recent update to this review of the many different agencies and private organizations that help people get a working car. There’s a big player who can help you buy a car and improve your credit rating at the same time. See the latest in Money for a Car.
Make Extra Money: There are so many gigs you can get these days to help make extra money. Better yet, you don’t have to have special skills for many of them. Just a willingness to work at it — and often do so from home. We’re doing our best to keep up with new opportunities and highlighting them updates to How to Make Extra Money.
And speaking extra money — we also highlight opportunities in our annual “Free Money” articles and you can find another idea for making extra money — especially for seniors — in our latest update to Free Money 2016.
Government Jobs: Yes there was a freeze on federal hiring for a while but that’s gone — and there are lots of jobs! They (the government) also makes it easy to find and apply for these jobs. We’ve laid it all out in our article about Government Jobs and we recently added some great info about the tools and resources available on the jobs website.
Federal Aid: It can be confusing — there are so many names and sources for help and benefits. We do our best to clarify in Federal Aid — and we’ve recently added information in Assistance for Child Care.
Have a great 4th of July — give thanks for the freedom we enjoy and for those who defend it - and be safe!