Guest Author - Celestine A. Jones
Adaptive skills are essential for independent living. These skills are used in everyday life. People with Intellectual Disabilities often lack skills for independent living, such as budgeting, banking, and ways to save money.
Adaptive skills can be learned and mastered by teenagers and adults with or without Intellectual Disabilities. There are many people that lack basic financial knowledge and skills. It is important to understand the difference between needs and wants. A need is something that you have to have, such as food, water, shelter, and utilities. Wants are things that you can live without, such as designer shoes that you find on sale or a new outfit that will hang in the closet.
Money can be defined as cash, credit cards, or checks. It is wise to carry a small amount of cash in case of emergency, such as car trouble. Coins may also be needed to make a phone call. Cell phones are very popular, but the battery may go dead. It is dangerous to carry large amounts of cash in a purse or wallet. It can easily be lost or stolen.
Managing money can be difficult without developing a budget. A budget will help to manage money wisely. The main parts of the budget are income and expenses. Income is money that is earned or received. Expenses are money spent. The easiest way to set up a budget is to list all income on a sheet of paper. The next step is to list all expenses under a different heading. Be sure to list any expense that are being planned for in the future, as well as any events that money needs to be saved. The total income should be more than total expenses. If the expenses are more than monthly income, adjustments should be made to the budget. Remove expenses that are not needs, such as a vacations or expensive birthday parties.
Bank accounts are convenient ways to keep money safe while earning interest. Saving accounts are used to save money. Interest accrues on the account monthly. The longer the money is kept in the account, the more interest is added by the bank. A checking account can be used to write checks for bill paying. Checking accounts can be risky if withdrawals and deposits are not recorded properly by balancing the checkbook. Most banks offer an ATM card for convenience. These withdrawals should also be recorded. The bank will charge enormous fees for overdrafts. Checks can be used to send money through the mail or postal service. Under no circumstances should cash be sent through the mail.
Taking responsibility for your finances is a positive direction towards independent living. Budgeting can make saving money, bill paying, and planning for events or wants manageable. Understanding yourself, as well as your needs, can relieve stress at the end of the month.