October — is it the scariest month? The weather’s cooler, winter's near, and the elections look downright spooky. Then of course there’s Halloween! Did you know that Halloween is second only to Christmas in terms of what we spend for the holiday? Scary to know that Americans spend $6 billion on candy, costumes and decorations for Halloween. That includes 90 million pounds of chocolate and 20 million pounds of candy corn according to history.com. Yikes.
Clearly a lot of people have a lot of money to spend. Some are sure to spend theirs on scary sounding new movies — like Miss Peregrine’s School for Peculiar Children from Director Tim Burton. Some, like the NFL’s Johnny Manziel and Josh Gordon have too much to spend and wind up with drug problems. Manziel is sitting this season out to get his life in order; Gordon is entering rehab. Scary that money doesn’t always get you out of trouble…
Maybe you’re not one of those folks with plenty to spend … or you wish you had a whole lot more. We help you out in this issue of Free Money News. Check out our news and updates about a review of the Social Security Administration’s web site, how to find grants you can get from your state, news about the so-called “Recovery,” and tips about money for School, for Housing, and for Business.
Discover your program today!
This huge — and hugely important — government agency is the highlight of our newest article. Check out our review of ssa.gov and find out what’s important about social security. See what it means to you, how and when to apply for benefits, how to apply for disability benefits and what happens when you do, and more. And if you missed last August’s new article all about social security, be sure to take a look at that as well! Social Security benefits will make a big difference as to how you live in retirement - take a moment to find out more about it today.
Everyone knows the federal government gives out tens of billions in grants each year — but what about individual states? They actually receive many of the federal grants, and work directly or through nonprofits to provide financial assistance to individuals — like you! When you are looking for support be sure to check out your own state’s website and search for “grants.” You might be surprised at what you find! You can see examples in our articles about some specific states, like California, Florida, New York, Texas and Illinois. Recently we highlighted $50,000 available in grants from the Soccer Foundation in California, Tourism Reimbursement Grants in Florida, and a change in the application process that’s important to folks in New York. State grants may be smaller than federal grants but there’s also less competition…take a look at our state articles and get some good ideas about what to look for in your state.
Remember the Recovery and Reinvestment Act? We’ve been hearing a lot lately about how great the economy supposedly is — so how come you may feel like that “Recovery” passed you by? We published a review of recovery.gov where you could see where the (billions of) dollars were going and had gone. You could even check out areas right down to your own zip code! Unfortunately that site is gone now and has not been replaced in as much detail. But you can still get some information about funds spent and funds still available. See our recently updated article on Federal Grants and discover more about getting information about recovery funds.
If you were hit hard in the 2008 housing debacle your interest in Recovery may have a lot to do with where you live. We’ve got you covered with new information in some of our most popular articles about your home — or your need for one. Find some valuable information that could help you out in Assistance For Rent and Grants for First Time Homebuyers. If you already have a house and you’d like to get some cash out of it (without selling), see the latest about Assistance for HARP Eligibility (yes, it’s legit, and you really should check it out!).
You’ve heard of Pell Grants but have you ignored them because you think you won’t qualify? Our latest update to I Need Help will change your mind. It's scary to see how much Pell Grant money gets “left on the table” because people don’t bother to apply. Seriously, it’s in the $billions! Find out more in I Need Help — and you can find out if it is indeed possible that you qualify in our super quick and easy quiz in Qualify for a Pell Grant.
And don’t forget about scholarships! Yes they take some effort to apply but it could be well worth it if you can graduate college without a boatload of debt. Scholarship Information is filled with just that — information about where you can find scholarships. Some are just contests that only require luck. Others are targeted at narrow niches like the Indian Asian Women in Ohio scholarship we report on in our latest update to Scholarship Information.
Speaking of political campaigns, Hillary has proposed making college free (and debt free) to those from families with incomes under $125,000. While many have cheered her plan, educators are skeptical. Since it is estimated to cost $500 billion and require lots of new taxes, it is by no means a slam dunk. Trump too has come out with an education-related plan — a $5 billion Block Grant to allow real school choice to be a reality for all. That would be a a great achievement if he can make it happen, making quality education available to many who have been trapped in failing schools. It would also face opposition, especially — unfortunately — from teachers’ unions. While we wait to see what happens, you can check out some great resources in Grants for College.
Have you heard of the Miller Lite Tap the Future Business Plan Competition? It’s one of a number of grants awarded to minority business owners by private businesses. Grants are for $50,000 and your business could become a MillerCoors supplier. Get ready to enter by the April 2017 deadline — find out more in Black Business Resources.
There’s more news about business funding resources in Small Business Ideas (some good advice regarding keeping your day job…), some Crowdfunding News that lets you broaden the kinds of investors you can attract, and continuing new developments in Microfinancing — designed to help budding entrepreneurs without established bank relationships to get loans anyway. Some great mentoring is available too — discover more about Microfinancing in the United States.
Sound intriguing? They are! These are grants awarded by the MacArthur Foundation in the amount of $625,000 for each grant, provided to individuals (24 of them this year!) over a five year period. The awards allow the recipient complete freedom regarding what they work on and how they use the money. You can’t even apply for this grant … they find you. You can find out more in our recent update to Grants for Research.
Have a great month — and a safe and happy Halloween. By the way, do you know why mummies aren't very popular? They're too wrapped up in themselves…