How the NDIS can help you manage your money

Learning to handle money, to budget and to save are skills that most of us will need in our lives to get the most out of it.

This month we’re looking at how our two participants, Milly and Bob, used their NDIS funding towards their goals around managing their money.

Remember, your goals and funding might be very different to Bob and Milly’s, because your NDIS goals and plan will be based on what is important to YOU.

But, have a read, and you might get some ideas!

Smiling cartoon woman named Milly

Meet Milly – at the beginning of her plan

Hi, I’m Milly! I’m 19.

I’m pretty busy with TAFE, Learning and Lifestyle and working part time at Endeavour Foundation Industries.

I do earn my own money at my job, but I like to spend it as soon as I get it!

Milly’s goal: “I want to be able to better manage my money so that I can be more independent when I move out and work full time.”

These are the steps Milly took to achieve her goal.

Milly doesn’t earn much while she’s finishing TAFE and working part time, but she wants to learn better habits now so she feels more confident for when she moves out of Mum’s place. Currently she loves spending her money on makeup and her mobile phone.

Milly talked to her Support Coordinator about what supports she could access to help her achieve her goal and feel more confident with managing and handling money.

What you could use from your plan:

  • Support category > Coordination of supports
  • Support item > Coordination of supports

Milly’s Support Coordinator suggests there are a few things she can easily incorporate into her life that can help improve her money management skills.

Firstly, Milly already attends a day centre, called a Learning and Lifestyle Hub, which offers training on how to handle and manage money. In these sessions, Milly can learn some simple budgeting and savings strategies.

What you could use from your plan:

  • Support category > Improved Daily Living
  • Support item > Individual Skill Development and Training Including Public Transport Training

After a few weeks but Milly is starting to get the hang of it. Though she’s still not keen on the idea of cutting back on her mobile phone expenses to save money!

To help her start her new budget, Milly decides she needs to open up a separate bank account. She already has one that her wages go into, but she needs another one for savings, so she can transfer money into that account as soon as she gets paid.

Mum goes to the bank with Milly to set up her new savings account. She’s got a nice pink ATM card for this account now, but asked Mum to look after it for her so she’s not tempted to spend all her savings!

Milly’s Support Coordinator also suggests they speak with her supervisor at work (at the nursery) to see if she might be able to add money-handling into her job. Milly’s supervisor agrees that she’d be able to help with the petty cash each week. With support, Milly is able to count up the money to make sure the correct amount is there.

After a few months, Milly is feeling more confident with money and has a nice amount of savings. She’s found by the money coming out as soon as she gets paid she doesn’t even notice it!

Smiling cartoon man named Bob

Meet Bob – at the beginning of his plan

Hello, I’m Bob!

I work at Endeavour Foundation Industries and I’m 45. Mum and Dad look after most of the money side of things for me as I’m not very good at it. 

I could do with some help in learning how to budget.

Bob’s goal: “I’d like to learn to budget so I can save for a trip and learn how to manage household expenses so I can live more independently”.

These are the steps Bob took to achieve his goal.

Bob’s Support Coordinator talks to Bob about his goal and how they might achieve it. Bob has never really had to handle money as his Mum and Dad have taken care of it all and just given him some money each week to spend.

What you could use from your plan:

  •  Support category > Coordination of supports
  •  Support item > Coordination of supports

Bob has a bit of a hard time understanding money and what the different coins and notes mean. With Bob looking to move out of home as one of his goals, he’s pretty anxious about the money side of things.

What you could use from your plan:

  • Support category > Improved Daily Living
  • Support item > Individual Skill Development and Training Including Public Transport Training

Over the course of the training, Bob learns how to develop a super simple savings plan. Bob wants to save for a trip to visit his Uncle Toby interstate, so he decides he’ll really try hard to learn and put it into practice, even if he sometimes finds it really difficult.

 Next, Bob’s Support Coordinator arranges a Support Worker who can take him to the shops to buy some groceries. To get some practice in, he decides he will do this once a week while he’s still living with Mum and Dad. Mum has made a shopping list of some things she needs from the supermarket for dinner.

What you could use from your plan:

  • Support category > Assistance with social and community participation
  • Support item > Access Community, Social and Rec Activities

 After lots of practice with the Support Worker, Bob is able to budget for and manage a small grocery shop for Mum using a calculator. These skills will come in super handy when he moves into his own place.

 After 9 months, Bob has even saved enough money to visit his Uncle Toby interstate for a long weekend!

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