12 Steps to Filling out the FAFSA Form 2021-2022

For many people, one of the first steps to applying for college is filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA®. This form helps the government determine your eligibility for federal student aid, including subsidized and unsubsidized student loans, as well as grants and work-study opportunities.

Completing The 2021-2022 FAFSA Application

The FAFSA form 2021 may look a bit different if you’ve filled out the form in the past. That’s because of the FAFSA® Simplification Act, which was passed in December 2020 and designed to make the FAFSA more accessible for lower-income students and families. While most of these changes won’t go into effect for the upcoming FAFSA cycle, we’ll point in this article a few changes to FAFSA you will see this year.

Recommended: FAFSA 101: How to Complete the FAFSA

12 Steps to Fill Out the FAFSA

FAFSA opens Oct. 1, 2020, and closes June 30, 2022 for the 2021/2022 academic year. However, FAFSA deadlines may vary depending on the states and schools you’re applying to, so you may want to check with each school to confirm their FAFSA deadline. If you’re ready to fill out FAFSA, we’ve outlined steps required in the process.

Not ready to fill out the FAFSA? You can fill out an abridged Federal Student Aid Estimator to give you an idea of what filling out the actual FAFSA will be like and to estimate your expected student aid package.

1. Required Documents Ready

Before even loading the online FAFSA form, it may be useful to have all your required documents in order to make the application process even easier. The things you’ll need may include:

•   Social security or alien registration ID

•   Drivers license or state ID

•   Federal income tax returns, W-2s and other financial documents for both yourself and your parent(s) if you’re a dependent (more on that later)

•   Bank statements

•   Untaxed income

•   Title IV Institution Codes for schools you’re applying to (again, more on that later)

•   Download app, if you plan on applying on mobile (you can also apply on desktop)

Dependent students will also need to provide similar information for their parents.

2. FSA IDs

There’s one more thing you’ll need in order to apply for FAFSA, and that’s a federal student aid ID, or FSA ID . This is simply the username or password you’ll use to log into FAFSA. Note that if you need to enter parental financial information, whoever is providing that financial information will also need to create an FSA ID .

3. Basic Information

Now that you have a FSA ID, you’re ready to log in and get started. The first few steps of FAFSA will be filling out basic information. The site or app will first ask you if you are a student, parent, or preparer helping a student fill out the FAFSA. Select which one applies to you. You should then be prompted to provide the following:

•   Your full name

•   Date of birth

•   Social security number

4. Starting the Application

Once you fill in this information, you will be asked to accept or decline the disclaimer, which details how the site will use and monitor your data. You should then be prompted to either start a FAFSA for 2021-2022 or 2020-2021. If you’re filing FAFSA for the upcoming year and are not currently enrolled in college, you should choose “Start 2021-2022 FAFSA.”

You’ll also be asked to create a save key, which is simply a four-digit code you’ll use to save your application. If you don’t finish FAFSA in one sitting, then you’ll be asked to enter your save key to continue filling it out at a later date.

5. Section 1: Student Information

Next, you’ll need to enter some information about yourself, including (but not limited to):

•   Social security number

•   Full name

•   Date of birth

•   Email address

•   Phone number

•   Home address

•   State of residence

•   Citizenship status

•   High school completion status

•   College degree level

•   If you’d like to be considered for work-study

6. Section 2: College Search Section

To send your FAFSA information to schools you’re applying to, you’ll need to find the federal school code for each school you want your information sent to. Doing so allows colleges to receive your FAFSA information and use it to provide you a financial aid package. You can find this code either on the school’s website or by searching for it on the FAFSA form itself.

7. Section 3: Dependency Status

You can either apply to FAFSA as a dependent of your parents or as an independent. If you’re a first-time college student and will graduate from high school in 2022 and/or are under 24 years old, you’ll most likely need to file as a dependent, meaning you’ll need your parents’ financial information to apply.

Section 3 of the FAFSA will help you determine if you’re an independent or dependent student. You’ll need to provide some more information about yourself, such as your marital status, if you have children or other dependents, and if you’re at risk or are currently experiencing homelessness.

Once you’ve filled out this information, FAFSA should display a message that determines whether or not you’re considered a dependent and therefore need parental financial information to determine expected family contribution (which will soon be replaced with the student aid index).

(Note that the rest of these steps assume you’re filing as a dependent. While the process of filing as an independent will be similar, you won’t be asked to provide information about your parents.)

8. Section 4: Parental Information

If you need parental information for FAFSA, you’ll include that in this section. Information you’ll need includes (but is not limited to):

•   Parental marital status

•   Date of parent’s marriage

•   Parent social security number

•   Parent name

•   Parent date of birth

•   Parent email address

•   Parent’s spousal information for all of the above

•   Household size

9. Section 5: Parent Financials

Next, you’ll need to provide some financial information about your parents. You’ll be asked for information such as (but not limited to):

•   Last year taxes were filed

•   Tax return type

•   Filing status

•   IRS Data Retrieval Tool (otherwise, need to fill in tax information manually)

•   Combat pay

•   Grant and scholarship aid

•   Education credits

•   Untaxed IRA distributions

•   IRA deductions and payments

•   Tax exempt interest income

•   Child support payments

•   Need-based employment programs

•   Net worth

10. Section 6: Student financials

Now it’s time to provide some financial information about yourself. You’ll be asked for information such as (but not limited to):

•   Last year taxes were filed

•   Tax return type

•   Filing status

•   IRS Data Retrieval Tool (otherwise, need to fill in tax information manually)

•   Combat pay

•   Grant and scholarship aid

•   Education credits

•   Untaxed IRA distributions

•   IRA deductions and payments

•   Tax exempt interest income

•   Child support payments

•   Need-based employment programs

•   Net worth

11. Check for errors

Once you’ve reached the end of the application, you should receive a FAFSA summary. Before hitting submit, you may want to ensure that all the information you included is accurate. Reviewing this information closely may help avoid filing a FAFSA correction later.

12. Agreement of Terms

The FAFSA requires you to accept or reject its agreement of terms. If your parent(s) also provided information because you filed as a dependent, they will also need to accept these terms in order for you to submit the application. Both you and your parent(s) will e-sign using your FSA ID. Once you’ve accepted the terms, your FAFSA will be complete.

Sample FAFSA Form for 2021/2022

Do you need some extra help? FAFSA’s Financial Aid Tool Kit is rich with resources and information. Some documents include step-by-step instructions on how to complete the FAFSA on the website and mobile app, lists of tips for filling out the FAFSA, question-and-answer documents, and more. You can also view a sample FAFSA form or a presentation on how to fill out FAFSA using the mobile app.

This student aid report may also be useful if you need to see another FAFSA sample form.

Recommended: How much FAFSA Money Can I Expect?

What’s Different About the 2021/2022 FAFSA

As previously discussed, the FAFSA Simplification Act passed last December resulted in a few changes to FAFSA. However, most of these changes won’t go into effect for the 2021-2022 school year. For FAFSA 2021-2022, major changes include the following:

•   Automatic-Zero EFC: FAFSA will give all applicants with an income of $27,000 or less an EFC of zero, meaning FAFSA does not expect families to help pay for the applicant’s college. This amount increased $1,000 from last year, which set the cut-off at $26,000, so more students should be able to receive a EFC of zero.

•   Schedule 1 Questions: When populating tax information from the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, the tool will automatically answer whether or not the applicant filed for a Schedule 1.

Additional changes are already scheduled for the 2022/2023 FAFSA form, such as drug convictions no longer negatively affecting one’s ability to get financial aid. Additionally, registration status for Selective Service for eligible males will also no longer be considered for financial aid. You can review the latest changes to the FAFSA on the official FAFSA website.

A Few Extra Tips

Completing the FAFSA can be an overwhelming process. For those filing for the first time, you may want to check out this 2021-2022 FAFSA guide and some FAFSA tips to make the process even easier. If you need some more help on how to fill out FAFSA 2021/2022, some tips from StudentAid.Gov include:

1.    Completing the form: It can be tempting to skip the FAFSA altogether, especially if you’re from a middle- or upper-class family and you believe you won’t be eligible for aid. However, falling for this assumption could mean leaving aid on the table.

2.    Paying attention to deadlines: As stated earlier, FAFSA 2021/2022 opens Oct. 1 and closes June 30, 2022. However, the schools you’re applying to may require you to fill out the FAFSA before June 30, so it’s best to ask each school’s financial aid office about what their FAFSA deadlines are to avoid losing out on aid.

3.    Using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool: This tool auto-fills your latest tax information from the IRS database. When you fill out FAFSA, you’ll have the option to either fill out your tax data manually or use the tool. Using the tool could help you avoid making costly mistakes while also saving you time.

4.    Filling out every section: Not sure how to fill out a section? FAFSA offers helpful tips throughout each section of the FAFSA form to make filling out the FAFSA easier. Additionally, not filling out a section of FAFSA could result in your form not being submitted or you receiving less financial aid.

5.    Double-checking the form: Before you submit, you may want to go back and double-check your answers to make sure everything is filled out and is accurate.

Recommended: Navigating Your Financial Aid Package

The Takeaway

Filling out the FAFSA is a great first step to pay for your dream school. This is one of the best ways of getting scholarships and grants you won’t have to pay back or government-backed loans to help you pay for college-related costs. By learning how to properly fill out the FAFSA (and then actually doing so!), you can increase your odds of getting a bigger financial aid package.

However, if your financial aid package doesn’t cover all your college expenses, you may want to consider private student loans. It’s important to note that private student loans don’t offer the same protections as federal student loans, like income-driven repayment plans or deferment options. For this reason, private student loans are generally considered only after other sources of funding have been considered.

SoFi’s Private Student Loans are available for undergraduate and graduate students, as well as parents. In just a few minutes, you can apply online for student loans and be well on your way to financing your education.

Find out more about SoFi’s Private Student Loan options.

Header photo credit: iStock/Vladimir Sukhachev

FAFSA photos credit: FAFSA’s Financial Aid Tool Kit


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SoFi Private Student Loans
Please borrow responsibly. SoFi Private Student Loans are not a substitute for federal loans, grants, and work-study programs. You should exhaust all your federal student aid options before you consider any private loans, including ours. Read our FAQs.
SoFi Private Student Loans are subject to program terms and restrictions, and applicants must meet SoFi’s eligibility and underwriting requirements. See SoFi.com/eligibility for more information. To view payment examples, click here. SoFi reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at any time. This information is subject to change.

External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
Third Party Brand Mentions: No brands or products mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.
Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.
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Source: sofi.com

Try the 4-Gift Rule to Keep Your Holiday Spending in Check

This strategy sets clear boundaries on what types of gifts to get and caps how much you buy. It’s a great family tradition to adopt if you want to reduce the financial stress of the holiday season.
These tips for using the four-gift rule will help you stay within your holiday budget and avoid post-Christmas shopping regrets.
This gift category is a way to sneak in learning opportunities for your kids, but you can make it fun too. Even if your children aren’t major bookworms, they might love a book based on their favorite TV show or a new movie that’s coming out. Graphic novels and comics count as books too!
But really though — socks and underwear. Do it.

What Is the Four-Gift Rule?

Or go for something a little more exciting, like headphones, hats or headbands.
Just make sure to set a spending limit for this gift — whatever works best for your budget.

  • Something they want
  • Something they need
  • Something to wear
  • Something to read

If you’ve got room in your budget, don’t forget about jolly old St. Nick! You can opt for one Santa gift for the whole family — like a game — or get each kid one present from Santa that you know they’ll love. Look for small trinkets at the dollar store or somewhere similar to fill up the kids’ stockings.
Fortunately, the solution to keeping the kids happy without going overboard with your spending comes down to an easy gift-giving strategy called the four-gift rule.

See, there’s more to this category than just socks and underwear.

Something They Want

This one is quite easy if you save it for last and see what’s left in your budget. It can be as simple as a paperback, or as grand as an e-reader.
You buy one gift per category — that’s it.
Those of us who have fond memories of opening stacks of presents under the tree on Christmas morning want to re-create that same magical feeling for our kids when the holidays roll around.

Something They Need

You can get creative with this category and find something that you and your kids both agree they need.
What we don’t need, of course, is for our eyes to grow wide when checking our credit card statements and our hearts to sink with disappointment when realizing it’ll take months to pay down all the holiday debt.
Using coupons and shopping sales can really help you score a gift from this category without spending hundreds of dollars.

Something to Wear

Your kids may not have included any clothing items on their wish lists, so think hard about what would be exciting for them to get — like a shirt with their favorite cartoon character on it or a personalized piece of jewelry.
This is a no-brainer if your kids play sports and their gear is getting a little worn. Maybe your children are shoe fanatics and would really appreciate a new pair. Or perhaps your little one loves playing dress-up and could use a nice jewelry box to store their many accessories.
If you were under your budget on your shiny “want” gift, maybe you could package up an entire outfit.
Trim your holiday spending budget by finding free books for your kiddos. This article shares 14 ways to get free kids books.

Something to Read

This is where you can make kids’ wishes come true. Go ahead and get the gift they circled in that catalog or saw on a TV commercial. It will be your shiny present with a bow on top, so make it count. Meghan McAtasney is a freelance writer. Nicole Dow is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.
Ready to stop worrying about money?

Bonus: One Gift From Santa

By following the four-gift rule and sticking to one present from Santa, the meaning of giving goes a little further instead of letting Santa get all the credit.
The four-gift rule is super simple. It even rhymes, so it’s easy to remember.
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Without being overwhelmed with a plethora of presents, the kids will be able to really focus their attention on the gifts they receive. The magic of Christmas will remain intact — without the extra financial stress. <!–

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‘The Hangover’ Actor Justin Bartha Lists Canyon Hideaway

Justin Bartha of “The Hangover,” has put his home in the Laurel Canyon area of Los Angeles on the market for $1.375 million.

The 1,416-square-foot Spanish bungalow may be small but it has plenty of space for relaxing, with a hot tub, swimming pool and open patio.

The two-bedroom, two-bathroom canyon retreat has vaulted ceilings, a dining room, living room and family room, with floors of hardwood and Spanish tile throughout. It comes complete with central heat and air conditioning, a covered porch and garage.

Built in 1934, the home sits on a 7,500-square-foot lot with lush landscaping, fruit trees and gardens.

Bartha added new cedar closets and a built-out master closet, but kept true to the original character.

Originally from West Bloomfield, MI, Bartha played the character Doug in the three “Hangover” movies. He is also known for roles in “National Treasure” and “The New Normal.”

Listing agent is Jackie Smith of Hilton & Hyland.

Source: realtor.com

How to Become a Mortician and Other Jobs in the Funeral Industry

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There are a lot of reasons for thinking about becoming a funeral director, the funeral industry’s preferred term for mortician.

For one, the unemployment rate is low. For another, there’s always a need.

And, it is one of the careers that does not require a bachelor’s degree that still pays well. Funeral directors make an average of $55,000 a year. That’s the average and some directors with more experience bring in more than $70,000. As far as school, most states require an associate’s degree, an apprenticeship/internship, and passing a licensing exam.

If working with bereaved families and preparing bodies for burial or cremation seem like something you would be good at, consider this well-paying career path. The funeral industry is estimated to be worth $16 billion in the United States in 2021.

Read on to find out how to become a mortician.

The Difference Between a Mortician and Funeral Director

First, let’s clarify some terms. What are the differences between mortician, funeral director, embalmer and undertaker? They have similar roles but slightly different duties.

In 1895, an American publication called The Embalmer’s Monthly put out a call for a new term for undertakers. The winner was mortician, a made-up word and thank goodness for Morticia Addams, right? Now, the industry uses funeral director for the person arranging the funeral service.

Most funeral directors are licensed morticians and embalmers. They have studied mortuary science and prepare bodies, but they also arrange the other aspects of funeral services. Funeral directors help the bereaved plan the memorial service (and might conduct it if there is no clergy) and arrange for cremation and burial. Funeral directors deal directly with the clients.

An embalmer can work for a funeral home, but also elsewhere — medical schools, hospitals, and morgues. They mainly prepare bodies, and don’t work with clients. The term undertaker is the British term for funeral director and is seldom used in the U.S. except when referring to the popular professional wrestler, The Undertaker.

What Does a Funeral Director Do?

Funeral directors deal with both the living and the dead. Funeral directors arrange for moving the body to the funeral home. They file the paperwork for death certificates, obituaries, and other legal matters.

Preparing a body for the funeral service may or may not include embalming (cremation doesn’t require embalming), but it needs to be dressed, cosseted (put in the best and most natural appearance), and casketed (placed in the coffin).

Funeral services are difficult times for people. The funeral director needs to have compassion for people navigating their pain and sorrow. While an interest in science is necessary, an important quality for someone who wants to become a mortician or funeral director is empathy.

The funeral director guides the grieving through the decisions that have to be made for the funeral service. This not only includes choosing the coffin, but placing the obituary, arranging the wake and service and creating a program for it, shipping remains, and more.

The Changing Funeral Business

Most funeral homes are independently owned. While often smaller businesses don’t have the deeper pockets of corporations, their size allows them to be more nimble in evolving their business. Funeral services have transformed from somber and sorrowful times to celebrations of life with some funeral homes even providing spaces for outdoor gathering complete with grills.

In recent years, more women are graduating in mortuary science. Some people might become funeral service workers as a second career instead of inheriting the business, which has been a traditional entry into the industry. The National Funeral Directors Association encourages its members to seek out, hire, and train more women and non-binary people.

You can find mortuary science stars on social media, including the popular YouTube channel, Ask a Mortician. There are funeral directors’ TikTok videos, and mortician AMAs (ask me anything) on Reddit.

Get Started in the Funeral Business

Most states require a two-year associate’s degree in mortuary science or related areas, an apprenticeship or internship, and passing the national or state’s license exam. Ohio and Minnesota are the only two states that require a bachelor’s degree to be a funeral home director. Colorado does not have any education requirements, but licenses funeral homes instead. Kentucky doesn’t license funeral directors but does license embalmers.

The National Funeral Directors Association is your go-to source for state-by-state details of working in the funeral industry.

If you were also thinking about joining the military, the Navy is the only service branch with its own morticians. For that you need a high school diploma or GED, and then you would get training through the Navy as a hospital corpsman-mortician.

Licensure

You usually have to be at least 21 years old to take the exams, though you can start an internship or apprenticeship before that age. There may also be a criminal background check. Having a criminal record doesn’t mean you can’t become a mortician. You also have to submit proof of U.S. citizenship or permanent residency.

You can also study for and take the national funeral service education board exam. The pathways to these two types of exams can be different. It is important to note that not all mortuary science programs are accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE).

You can only take the National Board Exam if you have a degree from an accredited program. Some states allow you to take the state exam even if your program is not accredited. The exams are the same. It is just more difficult to practice in a different state if you haven’t attended an accredited program.

State Licenses

Most states have information about how to become a mortician through their occupational license, public health, or funeral board sections on their website. It is important that you clarify whether the mortuary science programs are accredited for just the state license exam, or for both state and national exams. Some schools also offer Funeral Arts Certificates, which can be used for other jobs in the funeral service industry.

National License

The American Board of Funeral Service Education is the national academic accreditation agency for college and university programs in Funeral Service and Mortuary Science Education. Most states have easier reciprocity requirements to transfer your practice if you have taken the national board exam. If you have taken the state exam only, you may have to meet all of the requirements again if you move to another state.

Classwork for the License

Coursework can be broken down into roughly three categories: art, business, and science. Art? That is for the restorative arts, or visually preparing the body for a funeral service, which includes hair and makeup. There are courses which cover death traditions from many cultures and the history of funerals.

Science classes may cover embalming theory and labs, anatomy, physiology, public health, and pathology. There are chemistry and biology courses, and also usually psychology courses on grief and bereavement training.

Business classes will cover funeral home administration, accounting, requirements for a funeral service license, and some business law. There are usually classes covering legal and ethical issues that a certified funeral service practitioner will face.

Cost of Getting a License

The cost of getting a two-year mortuary science degree varies by state but your best bet will be an in-state community college. Then there will be costs associated with taking exams and getting a license.

School

There is a huge difference in how much you can pay for a mortuary science associate’s degree. In-state public schools may cost between $5,000-$8,500. Private, out of state tuition might be almost $20,000. There are the normal student loans and grants available, but there are also specific grants for students studying mortuary science (even as a second career). It seems like a great investment, since unemployment for funeral directors is extremely low.

Exam

The National Board Exam has two sections, arts and sciences. Each one costs $285. There are practice exams that you can take, which are free. In Florida, the state funeral service examining boards charge $132 for exams. Maine charges $75 plus $21 for a criminal background check. Texas charges $89. Some states have two separate exams — one for funeral services and the other for embalming.

Licenses

This is another area with variation. Using the same three states as above, Florida’s license for a funeral director costs $430 with all the fees. Maine’s is $230, and Texas costs $175 plus $93 for the application. Apparently not everything is bigger in Texas! Licenses need to be renewed periodically, which also requires continuing education credits.

Funeral Director as Entrepreneur

The funeral industry has been changing rapidly over the last few years. Cremations have increased and burials decreased. Funeral homes make less money on cremations, and have responded to this shift by finding new sources of income and new ways to help people.

Green Funerals

There are more environmentally conscious choices that funeral homes can offer, including rental coffins for services (and a plain one after), biodegradable coffins, and natural burials. Green funeral services include sourcing flowers locally, using funeral invitations and programs made of recycled paper embedded with seeds, and biodegradable water urns, which sink and dissipate for at sea services..

Pet Funerals

An estimated 67% of households in the U.S. own pets, and many of them are using funeral home services for their animals. That includes memorials, services, and burials. Despite pet cremation being infinitely (well, 90 vs.10%) more popular than burial, there are over 200 pet cemeteries in the U.S., with Florida having the most.

Other Jobs in the Funeral Industry

Besides being an intern or apprentice, you can work in the funeral industry in many other ways. Florida lists 16 separate individual and business licenses for funeral home-related activities.

Here are the common jobs in the funeral or mortician industry though keep in mind in a smaller business, the funeral director may do some of them:

  • Administrative assistants handle office work.
  • Burial rights brokers arrange for third parties to sell or transfer burial rights.
  • Cemeterians maintain cemetery grounds (think groundskeeper).
  • Ceremonialists conduct the funeral service.
  • Crematory operators/technicians assist in cremation remains.
  • Direct disposers handle cremation when there is no service or embalming.
  • Embalmers prepare the body after death.
  • Funeral arrangers work with clients to set up the funeral.
  • Funeral home manager is the best paying job in the field, the median salary for this position is more than $74,000. The manager oversees all funeral home operations.
  • Funeral service managers are similar to funeral arrangers.
  • Funeral supply sales personnel work for the funeral home-sourcing supplies.
  • Monument agents sell tombstones and other markers for the cemetery.
  • Mortuary transport drivers prepare and transport human remains.
  • Pathology technicians work in hospitals, morgues, or universities with cadavers.
  • Pre-need sales agents help clients plan their services and burials before they die.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Funeral Business Jobs

We’ve rounded up the answers to the most common questions about working in the funeral industry.

What Jobs Can You Do at a Funeral Home?

negotiate supplies, transport bodies, conduct funeral services, and work with clients to place obituaries and arrange the service. They also have sales people working on pre-need arrangements. Some funeral homes feature pet burials and have special jobs related to that.

How Much Do You Make Working at a Funeral Home?

Funeral directors average $55,000 annually. Managing a funeral home pays a median salary of $74,000. Mortuary transport drivers average over $35,000. It is a field with very low unemployment.

How Do I Get a Job in the Funeral Industry?

Most states require two years of school, a (paid) internship, and passing the appropriate license exams to become a funeral director. Other jobs may require less.The mortuary transport driver has to be able to lift 100 pounds or more and have a clean driving record.

What is a Funeral Home Job Called?

There are many. There are funeral directors, embalmers, mortuary transport drivers, and funeral service arrangers. There are also typical office jobs, such as administrative assistant and bookkeepers. There are also related jobs at crematoriums, hospitals, and mortuaries.

The Penny Hoarder contributor JoEllen Schilke writes on lifestyle and culture topics. She is the former owner of a coffee shop in St.Petersburg, Florida, and has hosted an arts show on WMNF community radio for nearly 30 years.

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Source: thepennyhoarder.com

Winter Houseplant Care: How To Keep Your Plants Happy and Alive This Winter

Change your houseplant’s care routine this winter with these tried and true winter houseplant care tips!

According to U.S. Census data, 66 percent of consumers have at least one house plant. As we head into winter, it’s important to acknowledge that plants need a little extra TLC to get them through the season. To help you keep your green thumb during the colder months, experts shared their winter houseplant care tips with us.

Why is winter houseplant care so tricky?

During the winter, a lot of elements come into play when caring for your houseplants. Since the temperatures drop and there is less daylight this time of year, houseplants — many of which come from tropical environments — die-off easier than warmer times of the year. These three things could result in your houseplant’s demise:

  • Lack of light
  • Too much water
  • Not enough humidity

Keep these three things in mind when you’re caring for your houseplants and follow these winter houseplant care tips so you can keep your plants — succulents and air plants, too — alive and happy until spring.

1. Mist regularly

Misting a houseplant in the winter.

Misting a houseplant in the winter.

“Humidity levels will decrease during the colder months and coupled with using heaters, this can be harmful to indoor plants such as ferns and calatheas which require high humidity, says Raymond from the Cheeky Plant Co., “Group up your plants closer together and mist them regularly to keep them happy throughout winter. Using a humidifier does the same trick but will be more effective and efficient.

2. Establish a watering routine

“One of our favorite winter houseplant care tips is to adjust your watering schedules! In the winter months, our plants receive less sunshine and have a slower growth rate. The best way to get a feel for your plants’ new watering schedule is to check by sticking your finger into the soil a few inches down, and if it’s dry, it’s time for watering!” says Plant Therapy.

Also, it’s important to water your houseplants with room temperature water during this time of year. A critical step in winter houseplant care is to not shock your plant’s roots — so avoid watering your plant friends with cold water at all costs.

3. Do not over-fertilize

Man fertilizing a plant.

Man fertilizing a plant.

“For winter care in cold and dry northern areas, add a couple of drops of fertilizer to a spray bottle once a month and mist the leaves of your plants,” says Christie Pollack from Learn Plant Grow, “Your plants will enjoy the additional humidity from the mist and will absorb the fertilizer through their leaves to help keep them green without over-fertilizing them in the winter months.”

4. Add humidity where you can

“The key to maintaining your house plants in winter is to try to keep them in an area that has lots of natural sunlight plus increase the humidity around the plants by standing the plants on dishes or saucers which you can add water. This will offset the drying effects of central heating which is the biggest problem for houseplants in winter months,” says Garden Advice.

5. Look to the light

Light hitting houseplants inside of an apartment.

Light hitting houseplants inside of an apartment.

“While reducing watering is essential to keep your plants alive during the winter months, people often underestimate the importance of light. As the amount of available light goes down, your plant’s current spot might not remain suitable. Try moving your plants to a new location or add a grow light to substitute the natural light,” says Samira from PlanterSam.

6. Don’t forget to dust

“Just like you and me, houseplants require natural light to thrive. You may want to consider relocating plants to south or west-facing windows to optimize their daylight exposure during winter months,” says Alex Kuisis of Soul Fitness Coaching, “Also, keep in mind that even thin layers of dust on a plant’s leaves can block its access to light, so use a damp cloth to gently remove dust each time you water — your plants will thank you for the TLC!”

7. Help your plants stay warm

“Keep your roots warm. Invest in a root zone heat mat to keep your plant’s root zone active all winter long! Heat mats are an easy and cheap way to make your plants thrive even in the dead of winter,” says David Flores of Hort N Culture.

Winter plant care for specific types of plants

Not every plant has the same type of care routine — so it’s key to know what type of houseplant you have. Most houseplants fall into three categories:

  • Air plants
  • Succulents and cacti (indoor and outdoor)
  • Common houseplants (bright to low light)

Air plants

Air plants hanging up during the winter.

Air plants hanging up during the winter.

Formally known as Tillandsias, air plants continue to rise in popularity. A part of the Bromeliaceae family — there are about 650 different kinds. In nature, these plants grow on and around other plants like trees and they are native to desert, forest and mountain areas in South and Central America.

Airplants have a reputation for being relatively easy to care for, so it’s no surprise they frequent must-have plant lists. Winter houseplant care specifically for air plants should focus on making sure they get enough light and don’t get too cold.

“During winter make sure to protect your air plants from frost, keep them inside your home in colder environments. Air plants may demand more water when your heat is on creating a drier environment,” says air plant experts from Twisted Acres, “Slowly increase your water if needed.”

Succulents and cacti

Succulents by the window.

Succulents by the window.

There are over 10,000 succulent species in the world. Known for being hard to kill, succulents have leaves and stems that retain moisture — making them tolerant to drought periods and easy to care for.

“It’s best to provide succulents with well-draining soil for the winter,” says Chau Ly from SucculentsBox.com, “Before moving the succulents inside for the winter, water them so that they soak up the water and begin to dry out. Covering the succulents with bedsheets, row or non-woven fabric will also benefit them from the cold of winter. It is important for gardeners and plant lovers to keep in mind that many succulents do not need much water in winters, and they require at least 8 hours of indirect sunlight a day.”

If you’re looking for hardy succulents that will make it through cold winters, try these:

  • Sempervivum Calcareum, Cobweb, Red Lion or Mahogany
  • Stonecrop Sedum
  • Corsican Stonecrop
  • Sedum Golden Moss
  • Dragon’s Blood Sedum
  • Cape Blanco Sedum
  • Ice Plant Oscularia Deltoides
  • Agave Butterfly

Also, remember cacti belong to the succulent family too. Christmas cactuses and Opuntia, better known as prickly pear, both thrive during the winter season.

Other tips if your home has low-light during winter

  • Check regularly if your plant needs water. Put your finger in the soil up to the first knuckle, if it’s dry, it’s time to water. Keep it splashing on until water comes out of the drainage holes. Don’t just water in the same spot. Water all the way around the plant thoroughly so the root ball gets moistened.
  • Keep your windows clean — the less dirt on the window itself or the screen the better for more light to make it through.
  • Rinse your plants in the sink or shower — this will help remove any dirt or dust build-up on the leaves and will help your plants absorb more nutrients.

Plants that will thrive in the winter

Houseplants in an apartment during the winter.

Houseplants in an apartment during the winter.

  • Maria Arrowhead plant
  • Moth Orchid
  • Maidenhair Fern
  • Ponytail Palms
  • Pothos
  • Snake Plants
  • Aloe vera
  • Cactus
  • Snake plant
  • Clivia
  • Corn plant
  • Jade plant
  • Dragon tree
  • Sweetheart plant
  • Dracaena Reflexa
  • Dracaena Tarzan Bush
  • Cast Iron Plant Aspidistra
  • Euphorbia Milii Crown of Thorns
  • Christmas Cactus
  • Peperomia Obtusifolia
  • Chinese Evergreen
  • Philodendrons
  • Fiddle Leaf Fig
  • Wax Plant
  • ZZ plant

Take a leaf of faith this winter

All in all, by modifying your routine to combat the challenges that winter may pose — you’re giving your succulents, air plants and large, leafy green houseplants the best chance of survival. Remember, a little extra care goes a long way during the coldest months of the year and that stands not just for houseplants, but humans and animals, too. Whatever you do — don’t give up on your plants this season because spring 2022 will be here before you know it.

Source: rent.com

Where to Post Jobs for Free: The Top 11 Free Job Posting Sites

It’s free to post jobs to AngelList, but you’ll only have limited access to its core features. You’ll have to subscribe to a premium plan to fully view resumes, candidate profiles and other essential elements.
Some job sites only let you post jobs to their job boards. Others let you post to several other job boards with one listing. And then there’s ZipRecruiter, which lets you post to over 100 job boards around the web.
It’s completely free to post job ads to this free job posting site. But you’ll need a premium subscription to fully view a resume, access contact information, export contacts lists or reach out to job seekers directly.
The best free job posting sites all want to make money from the massive amount of web traffic they attract. If you want to fill job listings within a certain time frame, you’ll have to pay to make any meaningful progress.

11 of the Best Free Job Boards

Free job posting sites give recruiters and employers the opportunity to test the effectiveness of a job board or resume database — who’d want to launch a major recruitment campaign on a site they haven’t learned to use?

ZipRecruiter

You can post up to 10 jobs for free, for seven days. Once the trial period ends, you’ll have to pay for those job postings or pull them down.
Job search engines and aggregators like ZipRecruiter and SimplyHired are some of the more balanced free job posting sites around. Their business models make it cost-effective to reach large numbers of job seekers at various watering holes around the internet.
Ready to stop worrying about money?
It’s completely free to sign up for a Facebook account and post ads. But if you want to reach anyone, you’ll have to pay just like you would with any of the other free job posting sites in this roundup.
Glassdoor lets you post jobs for free in addition to providing inside details about companies and job openings. But recruiters and hiring managers may miss some of the requisite tools, such as resume search, found on other free job posting sites.

How Free is it?

Here’s a rundown of 11 of the top job boards for posting a free job listing, along with details on just how free they really are.

Indeed

Depending on the subscription level you sign up to test out, you can post one to five jobs for free. However, you don’t get a lot of road to ride this free test drive, as the trial period is only four days long.
Indeed uses a pay-per-performance model for job postings. You can post jobs for free, but you’ll have to pay when a candidate engages with your job posts.
SimplyHired brings a suite of HR tools to the table to assist in onboarding new employees and managing the ones already on board, but it doesn’t include an applicant tracking system to help get them there.
To recruit talent entirely free, consider leveraging the free components of job boards and social networks.
While this job board is big, you’ll only reach candidates who choose to join the fray and spend significant time on this job site. While sites like ZipRecruiter will share your job to over 100 other job boards and use AI to help you determine which job sites to focus on.
There’s no upfront charge for posting job openings on SimplyHired. You can even view the resumes of job seekers who apply to your job posting. However, the fees kick in if you want to see who’s behind the resumes your job postings attracted.

How Free is it?

Indeed has grown into one of the most visited of the free job posting sites around. Despite its heavy traffic, a perceived overabundance of low-end jobs and unskilled job seekers has hurt the job board’s reputation among some recruiters and hiring managers.
Not everyone is on Indeed. But, for better or worse, plenty of people are.

SimplyHired

However, don’t expect to learn intimate details about job seekers on Facebook. Many of them will only share a limited amount of information publicly, if at all — and don’t hold your breath expecting any of them to accept a stranger’s friend request.
Monster has to be commended for its staying power. This job board has been around since 1994, making it the oldest of the free job posting sites that are active today.
Still, there’s plenty of good to balance it out.

How Free is it?

Yep, Post Job Free is a free job posting site. You won’t get charged for free job ads after a certain amount of time has passed or once someone expresses interest in one of your job openings.

Glassdoor

Want qualified resumes to hit your desk ASAP? ZipRecruiter has tens of millions of resumes in its curated database. You can search resumes by keyword, proximity, upload date and more — plus, you can create job alerts to notify you when relevant resumes are uploaded to this job site.
You can place a free job post locally on popular job boards like ZipRecruiter, Monster and Indeed — or even on popular social networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn. However, you’ll have to pay for the critical tools needed to interact with qualified candidates.

How Free is it?

Privacy Policy

Monster

You can post as many jobs as you want, free of charge, to this free job posting site. Though, you could face serious problems attracting any real interest in your job postings if you don’t promote them, which isn’t free to do.
It compares favorably with free job posting sites like ZipRecruiter and other sites that share your job postings across multiple job boards and social networking sites.
That powerful AI can also help candidates find your job postings. And it can promote your job ads, help you determine where to focus your recruitment efforts and even invite qualified candidates to apply.

How Free is it?

Beyond attracting throngs of site visitors, Facebook’s marketing tools can help you promote your job ads to relevant audiences. However, you’ll have to pay to promote your ads.

Facebook

Not all job boards will let you post jobs for free. And the majority of the free job posting sites will want to be compensated at some point.
There’s something so invaluable about having the latitude to learn how to have success on a new job board before dipping into your recruitment budget to post jobs.
More of a niche job board, AngelList is like LinkedIn for tech companies and startups. It offers a full host of hiring tools that includes a resume database, support for applicant tracking system integration, templates, advanced search and more — but much of that comes with a price tag.

How Free is it?

Posting a job ad to Monster is made easier thanks to a collection of more than 2,000 job description templates. And you can keep track of interested job seekers with Monster’s native applicant tracking system, though there is no support for third-party ATS solutions.

Post Job Free

For many job seekers, Glassdoor’s biggest draw is the ability to peek inside of an organization to get a feel for what the culture is like there. Its company pages offer insights from current and former employees.
Features like resume search require a monthly subscription, while its applicant tracking integrations are quote-based.

How Free is it?

It’s completely free to post a job on Chegg, but you can only post internships. While you can view the full details of those who apply, you won’t find a native applicant tracking system on the site.

Talent.com (Formerly Neuvoo)

We’ve put together this chart to help you visualize the key differences between the five best free job posting sites.

How Free is it?

If you’re looking for a free job posting site, then there’s a chance you’re looking for interns rather than full-time employees. Chegg, an education-focused community, facilitates internships and you can post your gigs to the site for free.

Chegg

We’ve rounded up 15 of the top free job posting sites to help you get an idea of which ones you could have success with before even creating an account with them.

How Free is it?

Source: thepennyhoarder.com

AngelList

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How Free is it?

Unlike ZipRecruiter, which houses over 30 million resumes, SimplyHired doesn’t include a resume database. So you can’t pursue candidates by searching them out.

Hubstaff Talent

If the number of resumes hosted on the site feels overwhelming, it’s fine — really. ZipRecruiter’s AI can help you wade through the resumes and find the most qualified candidates for your job opening.

How Free is it?

The site supports third-party applicant tracking systems and includes a native tracking system. However, you might find its native solution a bit lacking in comparison to popular tools you’ll find on the market — there’s no solution for managing offers or onboarding new hires.

Comparing the Top 5

Popular job boards and social networking sites provide the broadest reach for connecting with job seekers of all levels. However, these free job boards and social networking sites may limit your job ad’s visibility or your ability to interact with candidates, unless you pay to do so.

Features ZipRecruiter Indeed SimplyHired Glassdoor Monster
Screening Tools Yes Yes No No Yes, some services outsourced
Native Applicant Tracking System Yes Limited No No Yes
Third Party ATS Support Yes Yes No No No
Free Trial Period Yes No No No Yes
Pay-Per-Performance Pricing Yes Yes Yes Ues Yes

Frequently Asked Questions

Where Can I Post Local Jobs for Free?

Some of the factors ZipRecruiter’s AI matching technology considers include the terms a candidate has searched, qualifications, certifications, past applications, experience and more.

Can I Post Jobs on Craigslist for Free?

ZipRecruiter is free to try. Its pricing model compares favorably to performance-based, free job postings because those job sites typically hit you with a paywall as soon as your job ad generates any amount of interest from anyone — qualified or not.

How Can I Recruit Employees for Free?

You don’t have to pay a single cent to post jobs to Hubstaff Talent. So how does this site make money off of a bunch of free job listings? It offers premium tools for managing freelancers — you can track time, collect screenshots of work, monitor team analytics and more.
Most employers can post jobs on Craigslist for free, but in certain areas you’ll have to pay for each job posting.

Bottom Line

Looking for freelancers? Hubstaff is a free job posting site built to bring employers and contractors together.
Another important point to consider about this job board is its monthly visitors. It draws significantly less traffic than rivals like Indeed and ZipRecruiter. <!–

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This is one of the more straightforward of the free job postings sites. But if you want to get any promotion to boost your job postings, you’ll need to pay for it. Its sponsored jobs are based on a pay-per-performance pricing model.