By Guest Blogger Michael R. Roush, M.A., AFC® Director of the Real Economic Impact Network, National Disability Institute (NDI)
Because April is National Financial Literacy Month, we’re thinking about personal finances and encouraging you to do a personal finance checkup. Financial literacy just means having the knowledge and skills to manage our personal finances. Topics to think about include banking, spending plans, debt management, credit, savings, and protecting your identity. Many tools and resources can help you learn more and build skills to keep track of your personal finances. Check out some of the resources below and start your own financial checkup this month!
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s (FDIC) Money Smart provides educational information on personal finance topics, including an introduction to banking services. Learn how to keep track of your money and savings and how credit affects your finances. Money Smart can also show you how to recover and rebuild your credit.
The Federal Financial Literacy and Education Commission created MyMoney.gov to provide tips on handling your money. The website offers an overview of 5 Principles that can help you make decisions about your money: Earn, Save & Invest, Protect, Spend, and Borrow. The website provides resources, tools and money quizzes to test your knowledge.
America Saves motivates, encourages and supports low- to moderate-income households to save money, reduce debt and build wealth. The America Saves campaign provides resources and tools on how to save money. America Saves has a page dedicated to savings strategies for people with disabilities.
As you start learning more about personal finance, you can start making choices to save money and keep your finances in check. The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act offers certain people with disabilities the opportunity to open tax-advantaged savings accounts for disability expenses without affecting their public benefits. You can learn more about ABLE accounts from the ABLE National Resource Center.
To expand your financial options, learn more about credit and its impact on your financial well-being – and even your job search! It’s important to keep track of your credit history and take steps to build good credit, whether you have no credit history or have had problems in the past.
Always keep protecting your identity in mind. Personal identifiable information can be used to identify, contact, or locate a person. Personal identifiable information includes Social Security number, date and place of birth, mother’s maiden name, medical information, and employment history. The Federal Trade Commission has a great resource about Privacy, Identity and Online Security.
All these resources can help you build your financial knowledge and skills. Being aware of your finances and taking steps to manage them can positively affect your mental and physical health. In recognition of National Financial Literacy Month, commit to checking out some of the resources in this article.
About the blogger
Michael R. Roush, M.A., AFC® is the Director of the Real Economic Impact Network at National Disability Institute (NDI) and serves as a subject matter expert on financial capability strategies for persons with disabilities. Mr. Roush provides training and technical assistance across the country on Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA), financial education and other asset development strategies to empower individuals, organizations and other stakeholders on the importance of economic self-sufficiency for persons with disabilities. Mr. Roush is an Accredited Financial Counselor and has a Master of Arts in Human Behavior.
About Ticket to Work
Social Security’s Ticket to Work program supports career development for people ages 18 through 64 who receive Social Security disability benefits (SSI or SSDI) and want to work.
The Ticket program is free and voluntary. It helps people with disabilities move toward financial independence and connects them with the services and support they need to succeed in the workforce.
To learn more about the Ticket program, visit www.ssa.gov/work. You can also call the Ticket to Work Help Line at 866-968-7842 or 866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. Ask a representative to send you a list of service providers or find providers on your own with the Ticket program Find Help tool.