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5 money saving tips for adults with autism

Just like neurotypical folks, adults with autism can struggle financially to meet their needs and goals. This is especially true as autistics are often under and unemployed. The following is a blog shared with CA by a regular contributor. She describes herself as an adult female with high functioning autism. We found this quite insightful and hope you will too! Here are her 5 money saving tips for adults with autism.

Here are some ways an underemployed adult with high functioning autism can meet their needs and goals. From my life experience as a female who was finally diagnosed with high functioning autism in her late 50s, here are some tips I want to share on how I survived on a modest income.

1. Saving money in everyday purchases.

    1. Ask yourself, could you buy what you need or want at a local thrift shop?
      • Examples: Clothes, sports equipment, microwave, furniture, kitchen items. Here are some terrific buys I made:
        • An EZ Step bicycle trailer for $50
        • A clothes steamer for $4.25
        • A Brooks Brothers Camel Hair Blazer for $9
    2. See if your current employer offers discounts of the following types:
      • Home personal internet, home mobile phone or cable tv services.
      • Pet care, home repair or appliance repair services
      • Car care services.
    3. See if your bank or credit card has any perks such as cashback, entertainment or travel discounts.
    4. Sign up for grocery, hardware & pharmacy free rewards programs.
    5. Buy items used from Craigslist, or Nextdoor or get them free from freecycle.org
      • Just remember to always meet in a public place

2. Continue educating yourself on household financial management by reading articles in:

    1. Personal Finance Section of Google News App under Business section
    2. https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/personalfinance is another informative source
      • I have found some excellent articles on what to avoid buying at certain discount retailers and in what months to get the best deals on certain types of products.

3. Check your local library’s website for:

    1. Free computer skill classes
    2. Using an online database to do family research or browse the online databases from home with your library card to find:
      • Search Consumer Reports magazine
      • Medical information
      • Job hunt resources
      • Last but not least, search the online library catalog for keywords to see what titles are available such as
        • “The Frugal:,
        • “ The Cheapskates Guide To”
        • “The Tightwad”
    3. Also, personally visit the local library to browse the Personal Finance section.
        • One day this title caught my eye: How To Live Well Without Owning a Car by Steve Balisch. Getting rid of my 15 year old car when the transmission went kaput has helped me save over $1000/year by bicycle commuting & taking public transportation.

4. Age 50 or over:

    1. If you are age 50 & over, you can join AARP online for just $16/ year. They have excellent articles on saving money on everyday expenses plus plenty of free courses to build your software & interpersonal skills relative to your career goals. Not to mention discounts on cell phones, local retailers in your zip code, etc.

5. Free or inexpensive online courses are a good way to learn new skills.

    1. Coursera has skill building courses, certificates and degrees to take online. Not all of them are free, but this link will take you to the free courses they have: https://www.coursera.org/courses?query=free
    2. Khan Academy offers free educational courses for students and teacher

Non-profit organizations like CA Human Services (formerly Commonwealth Autism) offers monthly free webinars and low cost life skills courses and webinars for autistic adults.

This blog article was written for CA’s blog resources by an anonymous contributor. You can view their and other posts about autism support and resources by visiting: www.cahumanservices.org/perspective

CA is here if you need assistance with other information or resources for supporting your loved ones with autism. Simply call our toll-free number 800-649-8481, send us an email, or search our resources for autism related services throughout Virginia.

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