Do You Need Financial Assistance?

By: Rachel Yoshida

For millions of people it just really goes against our grain to even think of asking for any help financially. We may have been brought to believe that borrowing from others or getting government assistance is embarrassing and unnecessary if you work hard enough. A lot of people are finding out right now that working hard may not always be enough.

Sometimes it does not matter how hard we have been working and how tight we make our budget, there just is not enough money to get everything taken care of. The thought of having to actually apply for food stamps or free lunches for our kids may be just repulsive. It can make you feel like a failure and really take a toll on your self esteem.

When you get right down to it, this is a silly and prideful way to think. Seeking financial aid is not what anyone wants to do, but when you are in a situation where you have no choice, especially when you have children, you should be grateful that the help is there for the asking. People in a lot of countries are not that lucky.

Think back on all the years that you have faithfully paid in your taxes and have not had to ask for anything. There is no shame in needing help. Anyone, even the richest of people can have a turn of events that they have no control over and be back at the bottom starting all over again. This can happen even faster for those of us who must live on a week to week paycheck and if something happens to interrupt that we are really in a bad way.

If you have found yourself in this situation, contact your local financial aid offices and see what they can do for you. You know the kind of hard working person you are and they will probably see that you are too. Do not think of your situation as permanent, but temporary. Better days will be ahead and if you can get a little help now with things like food, child care expenses, and even educational opportunities, why not? If you do not take advantage of the programs that your own past tax dollars have helped to create, it is for sure that someone else will.

The old saying that there is a difference between a helping hand and a hand out is very true. Pride is one thing, but pride never filled up a refrigerator. Do what you have to do and just think of this situation as a setback, not sitting down. It is not the end of the world to have to ask for help. Think of it as a way to have a new beginning. If it makes things a little easier for you for a few months, then that is a good thing.

Finance
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