When times are tight

Money problems happen at one time or another to just about every family and can be especially challenging if one parent is staying at home to care for the children. The holiday season can make the situation worse, as the pressure to spend, spend, spend increases.

Fortunately, there are things you can do to save money, such as cutting cable TV, limiting your internet access (or only getting it at the library!), coupon cutting, and so forth. But sometimes the steps you’ve taken already are quite simply not enough. You need more than that.

Yes, a job may be one answer, but it’s not always practical. Childcare costs may eat up any earnings or there may be other problems.

Sometimes you just need outside help. There are resources out there to help you with your needs, you just have to look for them.

Consider finding out whether or not you are eligible for SNAP benefits if you don’t get them already. These will vary by state, so be sure to check what’s available where you live. You may not like the idea of being on government assistance of any kind, but that is what it is there for. Don’t be too proud to ask for what your family needs.

Talk to a local church about anything they might do to assist families in need. Many churches are quite happy to support needy families in their area.

You can also check out http://modestneeds.org/. This website encourages people who just need a little hand to ask, and for others to give. All requests are screened. Modest Needs is best for those times when an unexpected bill or money problem comes up and you just need a little money. Requests must be for individual expenses, not regular bills such as rent (some exceptions), and need to clearly be something that will have a definite impact on your life.

Of course, for those who do not have money problems, the holiday season is a great time to think about giving to those in need. Whether it is financially through giving to a charity, or by volunteering, donating blood, and so forth, you can make a difference.