Managing a budget can be a difficult task for anyone, it requires you look ahead and understand future expenses while also problem solving current expenses. For individuals living with FASD managing a budget can become a seemingly impossible task, not only does the reduce in impulse control become a big deficit but also the lack of consequence understanding, places many individuals in the red only days into getting their pay cheque.
This strategy is for older youth and adults who struggle to keep enough money for the rent to be paid, or spend their money the day they get it. The type of budget management that often works for an individual with FASD mimics that of “Shared Trusteeship,” meaning the individual is present and contributing to the budgeting, however decisions regarding money are always shared decisions.
Firstly, how to do this as a family:
- Ensure the youth or adult is receiving direct deposit, there is nothing worse then setting up all the necessary safe guards at the bank only to have the person cash the cheque and pocket the entirety of the money
- When setting up the bank account make sure it is shared between yourself and the individual, this means when changes need to be made to the bank account you will both need to sign for them
- Make the account into a withdrawal account only. This way no fake cheques can be deposited and no fraud can take place.
- The account should have a daily withdrawal maximum, $25 dollars can usually get anyone through the day.
- Banks can be flexible when working with families, ask that they make out just enough cheques for the landlord so the individual never has a cheque book laying around.
- Try talking to the bank, they have a multitude of safe guards and options that will suit your family.
Secondly, how to do this as the support worker:
- Try using programs like the Salvation Army Budget Management Program
- Typically these programs are designed for those using social assistance and struggling to budget enough for food, rent and other expenses.
- This program supports individuals to establish monthly budgets, cope with poor financial situations, mediate with creditors, assistance purchasing basic necessities, help paying landlords on time and more.
- The program receives the individual's cheque, and acts like a bank with pre-determined financial goals, these goals having been set by the individual and the Budget Management Program.
Do it yourself
- Start from a young age if possible
- Practice saving small amounts of money for particular goals
- Don’t shy away from money because of problems stealing, taking, borrowing, etc. All the more reason to tackle the problem now
- Money is an abstract concept that may never be truly understood, always put money into concrete terms, like $100=Ipod.
- Ask the person for a monthly print out of their bank statement, see where they are spending their money. You may see a pattern or recognize a problem.
- Ownership and borrowing are very confusing concepts, try practicing both with money, clothing, and other goods. Don’t forget to borrow from the individual otherwise they have no behavior to mimic.