Category Archives: Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Programs Helping Women Get Back to Work

This is such a great resource! List of programs that help women reenter the workforce after a period away or a life tragedy.

There are so many situations that can lead to hardships in returning to the workplace. Divorce, becoming a displaced homemaker, being a single mother trying to decide between childcare or a pay check, or other life circumstances can make it difficult to get things like training, transportation and appropriate clothing to get you that job that you need to get back on your feet.

There are organizations out there that exist to help women get back into the workforce. Here are some of my favorites in the Pittsburgh area.

North Hills Community Outreach

Get scholarships and training to go back to school as a mom.

These people really do it all. They connect you with the programs that will best meet your needs–and they have a slew of programs.

Currently you can get hooked up with WorkAble, a program that helps people get in touch with a career coach.  From there your coach can help you get the training  you need along with information about job openings in the Pittsburgh area.

North Hills Community Outreach also runs Community Auto–a program that helps you get a used car at a seriously reduced price. There is usually a long wait line for this one.

They connect women in Northern Allegheny County with scholarships so they can get the education they need to get that great job.

They provide computer training courses which are particularly wonderful for displaced homemakers or those who may be mature and didn’t get computer training in their traditional schooling.

They can help you set up a basic financial plan so that you can live within budget and improve things like your credit report that will help your lifestyle overall.

Believe it or not, they offer even more resources than the ones listed above.  To check all of them out in depth, go to their website.

Treasure House Fashions

Get help getting clothes to reenter the workforce with Treasure House Fashions in Pittsburgh, PA.

Founded 16 years ago, Treasure House Fashions on McKnight Rd. is a gently used clothes store for women. Slightly more expensive than Good Will, the quality of the clothes is guaranteed and in season.

Anyone can shop here. Absolutely anyone. But the heart and soul of their business is helping women in transition or need.

Places like North Hills Community Outreach often distribute Treasure House gift certificates, which can be perfect if the expense of a professional work wardrobe is the thing holding you back from employment.

If you’re a single mother or a woman who is 55 years of age or older, ask about their SMART card which gives you a 50% discount certain days of the week.

Treasure House Fashions also holds bag sales every February and August–pile as much as you can into a brown Giant Eagle bag for only $20!

Pennsylvania Women Work

Check out these programs that help women in Pittsburgh reenter the workforce.

If you’re trying to get back into the workforce but just don’t see how it’s feasible, Pennsylvania Women Work has you covered in all areas.

First, there’s their New Choices program. This provides training in areas such as reading, math, computer literacy, Microsoft Office and career development. You also get one-on-one career counseling.

There are sites across the whole state, including one in Pittsburgh that will start its new season in the fall.

That’s not all the organization does. They also provide discounted transportation to those seeking employment or who are in career-training.

They have a clothing closet where, once referred, you can get free, fashionable clothing for job interviews.

They’ll help you write  your resume, do mock interviews with you and get you individualized job placement.  Childcare assistance is even available.

I know they’ve hosted a sort of job fair in the past where major companies from the region come with the goal of specifically hiring women. There seems to be absolutely no losing with this organization.

Jeremiah’s Place

Check out these programs in Western Pennsylvania that help women get back to work.

Jeremiah’s Place is a crisis nursery, but you don’t necessarily need to be in the middle of a crisis to utilize it.

Here’s the problem: in order to get childcare assistance, you have to have a job. Getting a job can be a challenge if you are bringing your kids along to interviews.

Jeremiah’s Place solves that problem by providing drop-in daycare services so Mom can go nail that interview.

They also provide services in instances of domestic violence, hospitalization, emergency respite and more.

The United Way

Need help getting back into the workforce in Allegheny county? This list of resources will help.

Check out your local branch of the United Way.  In Allegheny County they are able to provide you with transportation assistance, programs at local colleges that will fund your tuition, programs that subsidize childcare costs and access to even more agencies that will help you on your way to employment.

 

Know of any other organizations that should be added to the list? Please leave them in the comments!

Pittsburgh Money Blogs to Binge Read

Binge reading these money blogs, yinz!

Happy Monday, everyone!

Over the weekend, I had a chance to meet up with some great people from FinCon Pittsburgh–our local group here in the Ohio Valley–thanks to PenFed Credit Union. We hit up the Imaginarium and made it out of the escape room by the skin of our teeth!

Teamwork.

A few months ago, we had another meetup at a winery in Ohio so we could have good food and drinks with our Columbus friends.

I love these get togethers. It gives us all a chance to get to know each other a little better without being behind a screen. In Ohio we talked shop, drawing from each other’s collective blogging knowledge, and this weekend we had straight fun while working together on a task that didn’t include SEO.

I also love these people. They’re super interesting and create some great content. That’s why I’m going to take a minute to introduce you. You may know many of them already!

Amanda Page

Amanda started blogging as she was trying to get out from under a mountain of debt. She achieved her goal, and continues to write about personal finance as she pursues financial independence. She’s also big into creative writing, and she’s good at what she does. She finds ways to tie seemingly mundane financial occurrences to moments of deeper reflection.

Her most recent post is a great way to get a taste of her mad skills.

Eat the Financial Elephant

Mr. Elephant Eater recently retired–at 40 years old. That’s crazy, right?

Want to hear something potentially crazier? He and his family recently bought a house while they were on vacation. They had no intention of doing so before they left.

But they could. Because they’ve made different decisions with their money and lifestyle than others. Some early retirement blogs seem super unrealistic for your average worker and obsessed with money over—pretty much anything else in life.

That’s why I love Eat the Financial Elephant: it’s not that. This family has found a way to balance living a full life today while socking away a high percentage of their income for tomorrow. It’s inspiring.

Ntellivest

Brent Sutherland is a CFP who had a ton of experience in the traditional world of finance. In the past few years, he’s decided to buck the norm by starting his own business to help people reach financial independence.

You can tell his approach is different just by reading his blog. He takes stuffy money issues and and throws a little bit of real life into the mix. One of my favorite recent ones takes intentional living and displays how it helps Brent and his wife make career decisions.

Married & Harried

Mike & Em have four kids.

That’s enough of a premise for an entire book, nonetheless a blog–right?

But there’s moooreee! Their blog, Married & Harried, covers how they handle the madness of child rearing while staying true to frugal values. From organization to purchasing decisions, grocery shopping to productivity, they’ve got everything for modern-day parents covered in a very non-Mary Poppins way. Which is appreciated. Because since I became a mother, Mary Poppins I am not.

They’ve got a lot of great content, but Em’s most recent post on being organized and productive when all you want to do is sit around and binge watch Netflix is particularly timely for me now that I have a short-lived subscription to HBO NOW for Game-of-Thrones-watching purposes.

Smart Family Money

Cindy, the writer at Smart Family money,  is such a cool person. We come from different backgrounds, but as we were talking we realized that the people we’re trying to reach with our writing are the same: women who want to make the best financial decisions possible.

There’s a strong emphasis on family money management, and a lot of it is genius. Like how she figured out how to get free baby-sitting WITHOUT calling in Grandma.

Other Awesome People

Not everyone in our group is a blogger; Emily Yost is an SEO specialist and PR professional who does work in the financial services area, and Richard at Sawyer PF is a financial coach. They’re both awesome and add a lot to our group.

I already found out about one other PF blogger in the area since we met up this weekend. If you know of anyone else in Western Pennsylvania, Eastern Ohio or West Virginia, leave a link to their blog in the comments!

An Economic Appreciation of Lord Stanley

Reasons why you should respect the Stanley Cup and the team who won it in 2017--the Pittsburgh Penguins!

I’ve got to be completely straight with you: I am not the world’s biggest hockey fan.

Being from Pittsburgh, this is all but a sin. I’ve tried–truly. I will say that I enjoy the games much more when they’re live. We went to a scrimmage in 2013 near the end of the NHL lockout. When we were in Calgary this winter we even caught our hometown team play against the Flames.

FRUGAL TIP: Hockey games are waaaaaayyyyy cheaper in Calgary!!!

Live games are kind of fun, but I don’t know the rules and don’t mind if I miss a few minutes when I get stuck in the refreshment line.

Hockey’s Economic Contribution

What I really appreciate about the Penguins is all the good they do for our city. Unlike other sports, they don’t employ thugs. Their players are constantly giving back to our local community. And that lockout? It proved that the NHL is a major contributor to Pittsburgh’s overall economy.

In the recent past, the Pens have brought people in not just from out of town, but from out of the suburbs. You can frequently watch away games at the big screen in front of PPG Paints Arena, bringing more spending dollars downtown. And don’t even get me started on those insane victory parades—over 600,000 people downtown this year from what I heard!

My Kid is Every Other Pittsburgher

It also brings a lot of joy to my family. I’m pretty sure my eldest is with me and couldn’t care less about the sport itself, but my youngest has now watched the Penguins score their winning goal for the Championship two years running. It’s a fond memory with their father.

Tweeting n’at

One great thing about all this hockey success in 2017 is that fans can always stay connected, tweeting out pictures of Crosby with the cup and streaming the joy-filled madness on Facebook Live. Because we had oh, so many people staying connected downtown this year, though, we needed a little tech boost.

Verizon, who is particularly committed to the fans and the community, added eight small cells surrounding PPG Paints Arena this year. These permanent mini cell sites help bring additional speed and capacity not just for things like the victory parade, but also for any Pittsburgher who travels downtown.

Viewing the Stanley Cup

As a thank you for their generosity, the Penguins brought the cup to the Verizon offices so their employees could touch the challis that has bathed the babies of champions. In turn, Verizon was kind enough to invite my family out to view the cup, too.

It was really cool to be able to see my youngest, who has now seen legends hurl this very trophy above their heads after back-to-back victories, reach out and touch the cup, tentatively at first, and then giggling with glee after they realized this was the real thing.

Thanks to the Pens for boosting Pittsburgh’s economy and helping the least of us through your charity work, and thanks to Verizon for helping us tweet about it!

 

22 Free Things to Do in #Pittsburgh This Summer

I have literally never heard of 90% of these and I'm a native yinzer. We're going to have a fun summer with this article!

Summer break is so close I can taste it. While those long, summer days are some of the funnest all year, they can also be some of the most expensive if you’re not careful.

Luckily, if you’re in Pittsburgh there are a ton of F-R-E-E options to keep you occupied until the end of August. We’re not going to cover the super obvious ones like, “Hang out at the Point!” You can read more about these in our Ultimate Frugal Pittsburgh Guide & Ultimate Frugal Pittsburgh Guide Part 2.

Here are 22 of my favorite (unique!) things to stay occupied in the Steel City this summer:

Free Things to Do in Pittsburgh for Kids and Families

Let’s kick our list off with free things for families. Entertaining your child through those long summer months can be a challenge, or it can be an amazingly frugal adventure.

Help feed Pittsburgh's children by spreading awareness of the GrubUp program, becoming a sponsor site, or contacting your legislative representative to expand summer meal programs across America.

1. GrubUpPGH

GrubUpPGH is a program that provides no-cost breakfasts and lunches at a litany of locations across the city. While the intent of the program is to provide meals for kids who use the lunch program during the school year, there is no income limit for this program. This is done to remove the stigma that might otherwise keep kids away when they truly need it.

2. OpenStreetsPGH

This is an event that will take place twice more over the summer. Essentially, certain streets across the city are shut down to cars in order to open them up to pedestrian traffic. The car-less roads will host a ton of different physical activities like rock climbing, basketball and more. There’s also a sensory space for some cool down time if your kiddo needs it.

The next date you can attend is June 25th.

3. Kids Play at Market Square

Especially for the pre-K crowd, this twice-per-week event is a great way to get your kiddos out of the house and involved in the community. They’ll get to do fun crafts, meet guest speakers on different topics, and sit for story time. They’ll also get to participate in unique activities, like planting a tree, touch a firetruck and learn how cartoons are made.

You can catch Kids Play at Market Square starting June 13th. The event will be held Tuesdays from 10:00-11:30 and Saturdays from 10:00-1:00.

4. Free Pool Entrance

If you child is 15 years old or younger, they can get free entry to any Citiparks pool all summer long by signing up for a Citiparks Rec Center membership. Parents do have to pay, but if there’s an ACCESS card in your household, you can apply to get 50% off your pool tag. That brings the price down to $15 for one adult all summer long.

5. Spray Parks

If you’re parenting solo and you have more than one kid who can’t swim, the pool is stressful as all get out. In moments like these, I prefer to head to the spray park. Pittsburgh has six of themSIX!

They’re beautiful, well-kept and dynamic. They don’t only help your little ones stay cool; they also encourage imagination and discovery. Oh, and they’re 100% FREE.

They’re currently open on the weekends, but they’ll be open daily from 11a to 8p all summer long starting June 13th.

Catch storytime with Belle at Learning Express Bakery Square.

6. Classes at Learning Express

Learning Express in Bakery Square hosts a bunch of free classes for kids. From Disney princess storytime to music lessons to Pokemon trading hour, their Facebook events page is something you’ll want to hit up when boredom strikes.

7. Father’s Day at the Zoo

Going to the zoo can be a little bit expensive, but on Father’s Day, the costs come down. On June 18th, dads get in free when accompanied by their children. This includes adult children.

8. Ussie Summer Games

A major component to a working police force is establishing trust within the community. The fact that this trust has eroded nationwide is no secret.

Which is why I think the Ussie Summer Games are so great. Pittsburgh Police officers compete on teams with community members (and one celebrity leader) in events like tug of war, three-legged races, and dodgeball. You can join a team, come as a spectator, or enjoy all the fun activities going on in the background like music, face painting and other activities from vendors and sponsors.

The June 24th festivities will be free no matter how you choose to participate.

9. Library Programs

Don’t skip over this one!

Yes, we all know we can get books at our libraries. For free. All the time. We know this because we don’t live under a rock.

But libraries also offer a litany of free classes and programs. Your child can learn a foreign language, learn about a different culture, indulge in some scientific fun, or even just attend story time. If you hear, “I’m bored!” once this summer, send your kid to CLPgh’s website and tell them to find something.

Even if you can’t leave the house, the library also provides free games and learning programs that your kiddos can use on any device.

There are programs and learning programs for adults, too. Which brings us to our next section…

Free Things to Do in Pittsburgh for Everyone

The free-ness isn’t just for the kids. It’s for everyone. Whether you have a teen, have a date, or are just looking to get out with some friends, here are a bunch of ways to have free fun this summer in the Burgh without busting the bank.

Looking for free fun in Pittsburgh? Tour Space at 1010 at the Allegheny Inn to get a taste of some amazing local artists. Tours are 100% free.

Local artists are featured at Space at 1010.

10. Space at 1010

Space at 1010 is a really cool concept. The Allegheny Inn now hosts local artists on wall space in their entry, parlor, dining room, and second-floor hallway. Viewing is 100% free–just make sure to place a reservation first. While you’re there, you can also schedule a free tour of the Inn itself. The owner, who will take you on the tour, is such a warm, funny, inviting host.

11. Movies in the Park

Cinema in the Park kicked off yesterday! For the rest of summer, you’ll be able to catch a movie at one city park or another seven days a week.

12. Summer Fridays at the Frick

If you’re looking for something to do on a Friday night, check out the Frick. From 5-8p, the first floor of the Clayton house will be open to all visitors for free. There will also be weekly performances at 6:30, and family-friendly activities for the duration.

Summer Fridays at the Frick start June 23rd and run through September 8th.

13. Gallery Crawl in the Cultural District

There are typically four of these per year. They’re all gloriously free. The summer edition will be happening July 7th from 5:00-10:00p.

14. Tour the Cathedral of Learning

You probably know that you can tour the culture rooms at the Cathedral of Learning for a fun day out. But did you know that if you want to visit the rooms without a guide, you can do it for free? We had a great time doing this a few months ago.

15. Tour the Old County Jail

You may know it as the Family Division of the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas, but until 1995, the imposing stone building served as a jailhouse. There is now a museum dedicated to its long history–dating back to 1886–which you can tour for zero dollars.

16. Posner Center

Located on CMU’s campus, the Posner Center is an interesting museum that flies low on the radar. The Posner family left their rare book and art collection to be made available to the public. You can visit the collection between 1-4pm Monday through Friday.  To top it all off, there’s a really cool art installation on the roof. Numbers adorn a huge bench in the middle of a labyrinth. I’m not sure if their arrangement has any meaning, but it’s definitely a great place to go for conversation, studying or introspection.

17. Tour One of the Greenest Buildings in the World

Want to see one of the greenest buildings in the world? The Center for Sustainable Landscapes at Phipps runs free tours when you schedule ahead. If you’re dropping in last minute, you can spend some time in their beautiful courtyard or on the living roof. Both are free and open to the public.

18. Tour the Pittsburgh Glass Center

Touring the Pittsburgh Glass Center is free when you go the self-guided route, though you can also pay a small fee to take a guided tour. It’s a working center, so you’re likely to see classes and artists at work. If you’re lucky, you may just get to see an entire glass blowing demonstration!

19. Visit SPACE

SPACE is an open art gallery downtown. It hosts one exhibition at a time with five or six exhibitions per year. Right now you can check out Non-Punk Pittsburgh, and later in the summer you’ll be able to view Wall Paintings: Storytellers. It’s an interesting project that also has a heavy emphasis on local artists.

SPACE is always free and open during the day Wednesday through Sunday.

20. The Drop-In Studio at Contemporary Craft

Contemporary Craft is essentially a working arts & crafts gallery. Their exhibitions, open Monday through Saturday, are free and open to the public. They have a ton of hands-on workshops, too, but those do cost money.

The Drop-In Studio, however, does not. At this studio, an artist has created a tie-in craft for you to make which is related to the current exhibition. This particular project is free to anyone who is visiting.

The Thaw Telescope in Pittsburgh was used to proof other astronomer's theories through the late 90s. See it on a free tour.

Thaw Telescope

21. Free Tours of the Allegheny Observatory

While science is definitely a big deal at the Allegheny Observatory, history buffs will probably get the biggest kick out of the observatory’s weekly free tours. You learn a lot about the history of Pittsburgh, including who the heck Brashear was and what a huge role Pittsburgh played in astronomic studies. Plus once it gets dark you’ll have an opportunity to view far away celestial bodies through one of their telescopes.

22. Picklesburgh

An event like this would do well in Pittsburgh! On July 28-29, join the masses on the Clemente Bridge for a festival celebrating pickling. There will be demonstrations of the art of pickling from whiskey to kimchee to, well, pickles. There will also be live music and entertainment plus a kids’ center. There will be vendors there, but you’re not obligated to spend any money.

 

Know of something free and fun in the Burgh this summer that we missed? Tell us in the comments and we’ll add it to the list!

Free Mother’s Day Events in Pittsburgh 2017

Free Mother's Day Events in Pittsburgh! I can't decide between #1 and #4!

Mother’s Day is coming! Seriously, it’s not even two weeks away on May 14th, 2017. Are you ready?

Here are some free Mother’s Day events in Pittsburgh for all of you in the Steel City on a budget.

Free Mother’s Day Admission at the Zoo

Free admission for mom when she brings a paying child!  We did this last year for Father’s Day (same deal, only for dads,) and had a great time. Oh, and also, your child can be grown. They don’t have to be a little one to earn you free admission!
More Info

Free Art Fun at CMOA

Head to the Carnegie Museum of Art on Mother’s Day to catch a fun, hands-on, family-oriented experience in the Scaife Gallery. If you’re a member, ARTventures is 100% free. If you’re not, you only have to pay the regular price of admission. Check out ways to get admission discounts at CMOA at the bottom of this post.

More Info on ARTventures

Wings Over Pittsburgh

It’s baaaaccckk!! For the first time in six years, you can check out the mad skills of the 911th Airmen Wing as they soar over our city’s skies. It’s free, and it’s happening the 13th and 14th–which is the Sunday of Mother’s Day.
More Info

Race for the Cure on Mother’s Day

The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure happens on Mother’s Day. While this would require the work of either fundraising or helping out the day of the race by volunteering your time, it could be a meaningful gesture to your mother, especially if breast cancer has touched your lives in any way.
More Info

Free Admission to Hartwood Acres Mansion

Moms get a free tour of the mansion when another paying adult comes along on May 14, and if you feel like splurging, you can enjoy Mother’s Day tea for $33/each on May 13.
More Info

Free Photo Exhibition and Meet & Greet with Hannah Price

If you’re down with celebrating on Saturday, check out Hannah Price’s photo exhibition opening May 13th at East Liberty Presbyterian Church. While the exhibition will be free the entire month it’s there, if you go Saturday evening between 7p and 9p, you’ll be able to meet the artist herself. Price’s work focuses on social perceptions, race politics and relationships in general.
More Info

How will you be celebrating your mother?  Or how do you hope to be celebrated yourself?