Despite the plethora of government and community organizations that provide assistance to low income families, nearly all of these programs have a financial cap. If you are even a few dollars over the income level required to receive assistance, you are on your own. If you are struggling to pay bills but make a little too much to qualify for help from government or private organizations, there are still a few things you can do to ensure that you have enough food on the table:
There are many religious charities that offer food and financial assistance to needy families. Examples of religious organizations with excellent resources for struggling families include the Catholic Church (who offer food banks and food pantries) and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), who have a storehouse, bakery and cannery that make and provide food for needy families. You may have to speak with a local leader to place a food order or find out more details about how to get help.
While this is not an ideal solution for everyone, you can sell plasma to get a little extra cash each month. Depending on your weight and how much local banks are paying, you could make up to $250 a month selling plasma twice a week. You’ll need to pass a physical and answer questions to ensure that your plasma is safe (free from communicable diseases like AIDS etc.)
For many middle class families, a major suck on the monthly income is debt. Credit card debt, student loan debt, mortgages and car payments can take up an awful lot of your income when you don’t have a lot to spare. One way to help ease this burden is to attend debt counseling sessions. While this may not provide immediate results, it will help you learn how to manage and pay off your debt much faster, which will free up additional income. Since your income is already stretched look for a company that provides free counseling classes. You may even find debt counseling at local community centers or churches.
Fortunately for most middle income families, you may still qualify for financial aid. If you are trying to put a child through college, the financial toll can be huge. Although Pell Grants are based on incomes, most students qualify for at least some assistance. Additionally, you may qualify for low interest student loans, though you should look into scholarships from the school and private organizations first. Scholarships are rarely income based. Students will usually have to complete an application and essay forms.
If you need to put extra hours in at work or take on a second job to help pay bills you may qualify for childcare assistance. Assistance with childcare through the state is often less strict in regards to income level than other assistance programs. Childcare assistance makes it easier for you use the extra money you earn for bills instead of using it to pay childcare costs.
Middle income (especially low-middle income) families often feel frustrated because there is little help to be had. But, making smarter financial choices and taking advantage of the programs that are available can help relieve at least some of your financial strain.