Having a child is always expensive. Having a child with autism can carry even more financial weight. This is because you may need to spend money on doctors, therapies, and schooling. Plus, you might need to consider financially assisting them through adulthood, too.
It can be challenging for many families, especially those who don’t earn a high salary. To make sure you don’t struggle, here are some tips to financially prepare for an autistic child.
Stay on Top of Debts
This tip is sometimes easier said than done, but staying on top of debts is crucial. If you owe money, try to create a payment plan that you can afford and that won’t tank your credit score. In general, it’s best to avoid debt altogether.
If you are in debt though, there are options. If you find that your monthly debt payments have become too overwhelming, you may want to consider applying for a debt consolidation loan, which allows you to combine multiple debts into one account, meaning only one payment to track per month. Just be sure to consider the repayment terms and any origination fees that can offset the savings in the long run.
Consider Financial Assistance
If you have a child with autism, it’s a good idea to look into the financial help available. For example, there are family grant opportunities that can provide you with cash and resources to help with care.
Supplemental security income is also something to look into. If you qualify, your child could receive $791 per month, which would greatly help toward their healthcare and therapy bills.
An option for those under a lot of debt is a grant from the Aid for Autistic Children Foundation, which offers up to $150K for debt relief for parents of autistic children. For many parents, this can completely turn things around, allowing them the financial freedom to focus on the care of their child.
Stick to a Budget
With costs being so high, you can’t afford to go with the flow of spending. You don’t want to wake up one month and realize you cannot afford your child’s behavioral therapy or medical bills.
For this reason, create a budget each month and follow it accordingly. It should include everything you spend money on, from grocery shopping to energy bills. Be realistic with your budget – while it’s good to be tight with it, don’t underestimate how much you need to spend.
Start Saving Now
Whether you have a baby on the way, and you want to be doubly prepared, or you have an autistic young child and want enough money for their later years, it’s important to start saving sooner rather than later. Get ahead by opening a savings account and putting money into it each month. Then, when you need those emergency funds, they are there waiting. It will likely come in handy over the years.
Raising a child with autism can often be challenging, especially concerning finances. By using these tips to financially prepare for an autistic child, you can focus your energy on giving your kid the utmost care they deserve.
This is a contributed post and therefore may not reflect the views and opinions of this blog or its author. ☺