I was going through some paperwork the other day, when I got a revelation: In the last five years and, especially, the last three years, I have come a long, long way financially.
As a single mother, I have had more than my fair share of financial struggles–can I get an Amen?
As I was sorting this paperwork, I found my earnings statement from the social security administration, dating back to my first job in 1986. Basically, it’s a report of your financial earnings and what you should receive from the SSA at retirement age (don’t even get me started…LOL).
Anyhow, I noticed that after getting some certifications and B.A. degree, my income increased more than 3 x from what it was for most of my career. My last increase was over $21K. Yes, for me, that piece of paper is worth its weight in gold. And, sometimes, I don’t think it matters what your degree is in, just that you have one. For instance, I have an English degree, but I work in a technical field, but without that degree and certifications, I don’t think that I would have qualified for my current position.
Because I am a single mother, completing my degree took me way longer than I ever expected, 13 years to be exact. Yes, I said 13. Between having to take breaks for financial reasons, child care issues, and health issues, I just earned my degree two years ago.
Even though it took a long time, it was definitely worth it. As a result, I was able to purchase a home as a single mother. You see, if I can do it, you can, too. All it takes desire, determination, motivation and belief in self. So, if you can muster that up, you can transform your fianancial circumstance, too.
I won’t lie, it will be challenging but as they say, “Anything worth having is worth working for.”
Consequently, I’m a firm believer that the best way for a single mother to change her financial circumstance is to improve her skill set by getting an education.
If you desperately–or not so desperately–need to improve your financial future, go back to school. If you think you don’t have the money, or you’re too old, stop it. One, you’re never too old to go back to school. Two, if you’re broke, you really have no choice but to go back to school. Unless, of course, you’d much rather work your hiney to the bones at a second job that pays just as well as the first (wink). I prefer the former, but that’s just me.
If you’re over 35 and don’t want to be burdened with student loans, then you should check out the Jeanette Rankin Scholarship Fund:
From the Web site:
Since 1978, Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund has awarded scholarships to help over 500 women across the United States attend college. The application cycle has closed for the 2009 school year. This year’s scholars were be announced by July 1, and we will begin accepting applications for the 2010 school year on November 1.
an applicant for a JRF scholarship must be:
- A woman, age 35 or older.
- A U.S. citizen.
- Enrolled in, or accepted to, an accredited school.
- Pursuing a technical or vocational education, an associate’s degree, or a first bachelor’s degree.
- Low-income according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Lower Living Standard.
To learn more about the Jeanette Rankin Scholarship Fund, click here.
Don’t qualify for that scholarship? Check out this book for other scholarships that you may qualify for. You never know, you might be on your way to a full ride scholarship:
Scholarship Handbook 2010: (College Board Scholarship Handbook) ~ The College Board ($19.11)