“You must gain control over your money, or the lack of it will forever control you.”
Want to know the best strategy to teach your O.T. clients about money management? This money management technique is a simple way to teach individuals with Autism, A.D.H.D., and anxiety how to budget and manage their money.
You will learn the importance of setting financial goals, how emotions drive spending behavior, evaluating past financial decisions, and creating a simple budget to get started. As a female with A.D.H.D., I have found this method efficient with my spending and budgeting.
After learning these money management strategies, you will feel confident to help your clients and feel inspired to create your budget to give you financial freedom.
This post is all about money management in Occupational Therapy.
Budgeting and money management can be daunting, so I’d recommended completing these steps over several O.T. sessions.
There are no right or wrong answers to these reflection questions, but it’s a great way to gain insight into behavior and self-awareness.
I’d encourage them to imagine the best-case scenario and respond with their deepest desires to plan for the life they dreamed of.
Emotions drive behavior, which is why it’s essential to understand the emotions around money and how it impacts spending, saving, and budgeting behaviors.
Here are some emotions commonly felt with money for clients to self-reflect on. Reassure them that there are no right or wrong answers.
Needs are essential for survival and are necessities to live and work.
Physiological and safety needs are at the bottom of Maslow’s hierarchy of Needs. An individual must feel safe and cared for to build a solid foundation for intellectual and creativity.
Wants are not essential for survival but make life more comfortable and enjoyable. Therefore, these can be considered splurges and weaknesses.
Individuals with A.D.H.D. struggle with impulse control, so it’s crucial to identify and create a plan.
If you or your client struggle with impulse control, DO NOT get a credit card. It’s a dangerous trap that involves little thought and instant gratification with hefty consequences once the bill arrives.
After answering the reflection questions honestly, it’s time to reflect and identify one financial goal to focus on.
Here is the formula for writing SMART goals:
The three common financial goals are:
Choose one specific money goal that aligns with their desired result.
Thankfully, financial goals are easy to measure. However, to make goals measurable, help your client find the exact monthly number and the total end goal.
For example, saving $1,000 a month would be the end, and $100 would be the monthly amount.
Is this financial goal compatible with the individual’s strengths and weaknesses regarding money? Does it match past money behaviors?
Does the goal align with core values and dreams? Does it match their current life situation? This goal should be a step forward to achieve the financial goal and dream life.
When is the anticipated date this financial goal will be achieved? It could be days, weeks, months, or one year.
For this step, you will need a paper printout of the most recent bank statements and highlighters to color code and categorize.
You don’t have to use these exact colors, F.Y.I.
After color coding each section, add the totals and write them down on paper. You will need the amounts for the next step.
After color-coding the bank statements, it’s time to apply the 50/30/20 rule.
I recommend googling each amount for accuracy. There is no shame in using your resources. For example, “What is 20% of $3,500?”
The monthly take-home income is the leftover paycheck after taxes and other payroll deductions (i.e., health insurance and retirement).
To calculate 50% of the income, divide it in half. For example, 50% of a $3,500 monthly income is $1,750.
These next two sections are for the other 50% of the income. For example, 30% of $3,500 is $1,050.
This is the last piece of the income pie. For example, 20% of $3,500 is $700.
The 50/30/20 method doesn’t have to be perfect and exact, but it’s a great starting point.
The first step to creating a budget is to list every source of monthly take-home income, which is the leftover paycheck after taxes and other payroll deductions (i.e., health insurance and retirement).
Note: Some employers send paychecks on set dates every month for 24 paychecks per year, and some pay their employees every other week for 26 paychecks per year.
The second step is to write the monthly expenses (needs + wants) using the 50/30/20 rule.
The third step is to identify the due dates. Finally, you can enroll in auto-payments if the client struggles with memory and organization skills.
The fourth step is to subtract the income from the expenses.
The fifth step is to identify if there is more income than expenses or more expenses than income.
If there is more income than expenses, the leftover money can go towards the S.M.A.R.T. goal. If there are more expenses than income, trim the wants list until it balances out to zero.
At the end of the month, you can help the client reflect on how the budget they created worked or did not work for them.
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