If you are looking for a list of rich people who give money away free to help with bills, you are probably going to be disappointed – it just does not exist.
That is not to say there are not wealthy people who help in this way; it just means they are not advertising their philanthropic habits or soliciting those in need.
Alternative Types of Financial Aid
Rather than trying in vain to find a Warren Buffet or Mark Zuckerberg to offer you a bail-out, you may want to look at some alternative ways of coming up with financial aid to help you pay your bills.
Religious and Charitable Organizations
Churches and charitable organizations may offer emergency funding to help pay bills – especially those for utilities, medical care or medicine. Be prepared to document the steps you have taken to pay these debts on your own. You might need to show you have exhausted all other means of securing the monies such as working extra shifts, cutting unnecessary expenses such as cable television services or Internet access, or borrowing from friends or family. Expect to be required to prepare a budget and perhaps even attend financial counseling session in return for receiving funding.
As an example, many of these organizations provide matching funds, which means you may have to show you have pledges in place to pay any monies over and above the amount they will give you. Others may stipulate you prove your request for financial aid was rejected by a specified number of other agencies or individuals (typically three or four) before they will consider your application. Finally, they may ask for repayment of the loan.
Person to person lending: This is also known as P2P lending or peer to peer lending. The goal is to link recipients with donors so individuals can borrow money without paying usurious fees or interest rates. Two examples of P2P lending are Zopa and Propser. These are low or no-fee loans with reasonable rates.
Investors select borrowers based on criteria of their choice and the monies are repaid via an intermediary (Prosper or Zoba). It is a win-win situation for everyone because the borrowers get loans at more attractive rates while investors may recieve a better return on investment (ROI) than they might on other investment vehicles.
Crowd Funding or Crowd Sourcing
Crowd funding works on the concept of soliciting lots of small contributions to build a pool of monies to fund projects or in some instances, individuals. Kiva is an excellent example of crowd sourcing at work. Donors select a borrower and make a small loan. The loan is repaid and the donors repeat the process as often as they choose. These microloans empower people to move from poverty to prosperity and leverage the power of smaller donation amounts.
Types of Financial Aid
While this is not an inclusive listing, you may be able to secure funds to help with:
- Medical bills
- Utility bills
- Prescription medications
In addition, while many charitable organizations are out of funds because of the increased demand for services in these hard economic times, they may be able to help out with free food. When families or individuals can save money on their grocery bills, it often frees up funds that can be diverted to pay other bills. For referrals to groups or individuals offering assistance to those with financial or other hardship needs, check with your local branch of organizations such as The Salvation Army or Catholic Charities or government entities like the Department of Social Services.
Ways to Help Yourself
Everyone struggles with finances from time to time. However, if you come up short on finances every month and keep wishing you could find some rich people who give money away free to help with bills, it may be time for an intervention. Consider debt counseling or taking some courses on budgeting and financial management. Many colleges and universities or community services organizations offer this type of adult education; the classes are usually free or offered at a minimal cost.
Other simple things you can do are to lower the thermostat in the winter and raise it in the summer to cut down on heating and cooling expenses. Put a sweater or coat on if you get cold and open the windows and doors to cool the house. You can sell items at yard sales, tag sales or flea markets to generate some fast cash or use auction venues either online or through an auctioneer. These are just a few of the many frugal ways you can cut your living expenses and help your budget dollars go further. When you get your debt under control, you free yourself from dependence on others such as wealthy people who give away money or social service organizations.
Do you need help paying your fo your housing expense? There are many government programs that may be available to you. Learn more by reading “I Need Help Paying My Rent or Mortgage.”
Image: Money in hand by penywise under royalty free licence via SXC