Tips for Budgeting and Managing Your Finances

From assisting you in finding a job to helping you budget for your ventures, Living Well With A Disability can educate you on your finances and planning for your future. For some, today’s economy makes it very difficult to budget and save money. When you combine your everyday spending with your doctor, medication, and accessible equipment costs, you may feel it’s hard to stretch a dollar. Whether you need to save, manage, or invest your money, the following tips may help you!

Lifestyle Changes

Budgeting begins with making lifestyle changes even if you receive financial aid.

Day-to-Day Ways to Save

  • Only use your bank’s ATM machines and avoid transaction fees.
  • Plug all electrical devices into a surge protector instead of wall outlets.
  • Buy generic brands (You can save over $170.00 a year by buying your gas at an off-name gas station!).
  • Use coupons, but only use them on items you were already planning on buying.
  • Shut the vents in unused rooms, and close blinds.
  • Save your coins.
  • Turn off the lights and electronics you are not currently using. (You can save $50.00 a month just by turning off your lights when you leave the house!).
  • Unplug the electronics that you don’t use on a daily basis (ex: paper shredder, standing fan, etc.). Even if the electronic isn’t being used, it’s still costing you a little bit of money to have it plugged in.

Long-Term Ways to Save

  • Make homemade meals more often, and borrow movies from the library instead of going to a theater.
  • Cancel unused memberships and subscriptions.
  • Downgrade your cable package or get rid of cable altogether (Did you know that digital cable costs $720.00+ each year?).
  • Take generic medication and request mail-order prescriptions if you can, as they are less expensive.
  • Read publications online instead of buying or subscribing to them.
  • Get a part-time job working from home. The Internet offers hundreds of ways for people to make money from their homes (But, be careful of scams!!).
  • Renegotiate any loan terms you have; most lenders assist people with disabilities in getting a lower monthly payment.
  • Don’t depend on your emergency savings; these savings should only be used in case of a real emergency.

Financial Resources for People with Disabilities:

If you are a person with a disability, financial assistance may be available to you, such as:

  • Disability Insurance – see if you qualify, even if it is just short-term, and go through your health insurance policy to check if you have disability insurance coverage.
  • Workers Compensation – if your disability was caused by an injury at work, you may be entitled to compensation.
  • Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) – check the requirements to see if you qualify to receive SSDI.

Remember, Living Well With A Disability can assist you in finding financial programs designed for people with all different types of disabilities. These programs offer assistance in learning ways to budget your money, pay your bills, and become financially educated and organized. To learn more about the financial management resources available to you, call the Living Well with a Disability Hotline at 1-877-TO-LIV-WELL.

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