February: the shortest month, and this year certainly the coldest month. The midwest is going through historically low temperatures as the polar vortex wreaks havoc .. and threatens to move east. States like Illinois and Minnesota are seeing temps of 38 and 56 below, yikes!
Tips from those who live in Antarctica: wear layers, starting with flannel. Be sure to include a wind resistant layer. Wear mittens, not gloves. Don’t stay outside too long – frostbite can happen in less than ten minutes…
Better yet, stay inside and enjoy the upcoming entertainment. February 2 is of course Groundhog Day — let’s hope Punxsutawney Phil does not see his shadow that morning…And of course the next day is the Super Bowl. Football fan or not it’s a fun excuse to gather friends and see if Tom Brady, at age 41,can once again bring in a win for the New England Patriots.
$30 billion plus will be spent on Valentines Day. Check our “Personal Needs” section for ideas on how to please your loved one without having to spend much of anything…
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For those in a position to start or grow their business, these are favorable economic times. Along with a strong economy there are new and creative techniques and resources to get the capital needed to succeed.
Recent updates to a number of our business-related articles can give you the extra boost you need to get going — and growing! Have you heard of alternative lenders — or “marketplace lenders”? These are lenders who are not part of the bank/credit union/SBA institutions. They typically operate online and are focused on getting you the money you need fast — if you qualify. And the best news is it’s usually easier to qualify that it is with a bank or other traditional entity. We share the latest in Grants To Start A Business. More tips on alternative lenders are also waiting for you in Small Business Financing Opportunities and Fund a Startup Business.
What about Non Profits? There are grants available for you as well … but they’re not always a blessing. Discover more about the potential downside of grants in our latest update to Grants for Nonprofits.
===Grants for School=
Hey did you know the maximum level for Pell Grants is up to $6095? That’s great but there’s more info you should know that’s just as important — maybe even more! Way too many people don’t bother to apply for Pell Grants because they assume that their family income is not low enough to qualify. Low income is important but it’s far from the only thing considered for eligibility. There are several other factors you may not be aware of — and they can qualify you even if your family income is over the usual cut-off point. Don’t ignore this amazing opportunity to help you pay for college or career school. Remember — it’s money that never needs to be paid back, a real grant! See Qualify For A Pell Grant.
In addition to Pell Grants there is also “free money” in scholarships. You may not think you can win any scholarship because you’re not a top student or athlete or whatever. But you would be wrong. There are scholarships for so many different students it’s amazing. And there are even scholarships that you don’t have to compete for —- you just enter and if you’re lucky you win. Sound too good to be true? Check out our review of Scholarship Contests. Alsosee the latest in Scholarship Information and Scholarships for High School Seniors. And good luck!
Good News for February: the Feds have eased up on rate increases, and that’s good news for mortgages. Mortgage rates have been slightly up this year but they are expected to fall in light of an expected cooling of the economy. And there are still lots of programs to help you make that big step to home ownership. Discover more in our reviews of Grants to Buy A Home, Down Payment Assistance, and Grants for First Time Home bBuyers.
And please, don’t forget about HARP. It’s a real gift to homeowners who could use a lower mortgage payment and who would like to take some cash out of their home. And it’s available to those who are “under water” — meaning the mortgage due is greater than the value of the home. No appraisal is usually needed … and there are lots of lenders out there who would like to help you. Get the facts in Assistance for HARP Eligibility.
Are you looking to save a historic building to be used for low income housing and/or to be turned into a community center or other non-profit entity that benefits the community? Grants are pretty rare but on’t give up! Check out the latest opportunities in Grants for Historic Buildings. A program managed by the IRS could actually be just what you need!
If you’re interested in unclaimed money — and you should be! — beware of more scams. The National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA) reports that some people have received letters saying that they have unclaimed money….and ally have to do is pay a fee to get it. These letters are being sent on fake letterhead, and they are not legitimate. You do not have to pay a fee to claim and receive your own unclaimed property. And you do not have to hire anyone to help you. It is very easy if you are willing to get the facts and do the right searches. We make it easy for you to do a thorough search for money or other property that may be yours in Find Unclaimed Money. Check it out, who knows what could be waiting for you. And take a look to at Free Money Phone Call Scams to discover more about other ways some nasty folks are trying to separate you from your money….
If you’re a veteran who has run into financial trouble due to a deployment or an injury that is service-related, there could be a grant for you. The Veterans of Foreign Wars have a program that is designed to help vets in these situations.Discover more in Grants for Veterans.
Now for that Valentine Advice: Sometimes the best gifts don’t have to cost a thing. A sweet note tucked in a lunch bag; a personal gift certificate to make time for an activity you can do together; a back rub; a letter that tells your sweetheart what you love about him or her, or what you are most grateful for; even just stopping and really paying attention to that person can be a very special and appreciated gift.