Ben holding a credit card and calculatorDo you want to learn how to plan for the future and make better financial choices, but don't know where to start? It's always a good time to set financial goals and work toward improving your financial wellness. Here are six things you can do to help you on your path to financial independence.

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Access to Employment Support Services for Social Security Disability Beneficiaries Who Want to Work
 
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Money Mondays: Six Ways to Be Smarter with Money in honor of Financial Literacy Month

Apr 20, 2015

Ben holding a calculator and credit cardApril is Financial Literacy Month!

The thought of financial planning can be overwhelming, especially for those receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits who want to work.

Do you want to learn how to plan for the future and make better financial choices, but don't know where to start? It's always a good time to set financial goals and work toward improving your financial wellness. Below are six things you can do to help you on your path to financial independence.

Create a monthly budget. Creating - and sticking to - a monthly budget is key in taking control of your financial situation. Use these tips to plan how to pay your expenses and save money to meet your goals. Are you a recent graduate? Read this blog post for more personal finance tips as you transition to the workforce.

Lower your credit card interest. Credit card balances and high finance charges cost you more money and can limit your financial independence. If you carry a balance on a credit card, one of your top priorities (besides paying down debt) should be to lower your interest charges. Follow these steps to lower your credit card interest to keep more money in your pocket.

Be a smart shopper. Search for sales or discounts before you shop. Use these tips from the Federal Trade Commission to make sure you get the best value for your money when you buy things.

Understand the saving limit. If you receive SSI, make sure you are aware whether your total resources (or total cash, checking and savings accounts, stocks, bonds or IRAs) are within the program guidelines. This will help you avoid being overpaid by Social Security. An overpayment occurs when Social Security has paid you more than you should have been paid under the rules of your benefits. If you are overpaid, you may be required to repay the government. Learn more about the saving limit by reading this blog post.  

Save under Social Security's Plan to Achieve Self-Support (PASS). PASS is a Work Incentive that can help people who receive SSDI and/or SSI benefits return to work. PASS allows a person to set aside money (without affecting your benefits) for payments on things like a car, wheelchair or computer if needed to reach a work goal. Learn more about saving with PASS here.

Stay focused. Staying motivated is not always easy when it comes to saving money and working toward financial independence. Read Megan Riggs' Success Story, which shows how she managed chronic depression, and used the Ticket to Work program to return to work and eventually start her own business. For more inspiration and tips, check out other stories of people with disabilities who found their path to employment with Ticket to Work.


What other questions or tips do you have related to managing your money? Post a comment below!