Airstreams and Money Streams


MJ likes to talk about living in an Airstream. While I can see the appeal and I like the idea of living small, I don’t think she’d actually enjoy living in an Airstream. Her reasoning is that she can’t imagine having to deal with a mortgage. She definitely has a goal of living independently so she’ll need to learn to manage the ingoing and outgoing streams of money. Here’s an update on a couple of steps we’ve taken towards that goal.

ada-edit-1-of-1In celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the American with Disabilities Act Service Source is hosting a series of dialogues. A few weeks ago I attended the first session about accessing SSI (Supplemental Security Income) and SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance). I had to leave early, but wow, that was a lot of information. The rules are complex and the application process sounds painful.

Will need to study this carefully with my husband before we decide if and when MJ should apply. I know that she would be overwhelmed by it all and will not like all the rules around it. Especially since the speaker made sure to emphasize that when dealing with the SSI people, “Do not look for logic”. If you know any aspie’s, you know they NEED logic.

That same day as the SSI session, I received an email from the bank alerting us that MJ’s funds where overdrawn. So we called her over to discuss it. Apparently she had seen the emails, transferred money into the account to cover it, and was already trying to calm down. Money, bills, debt, taxes… all of this sort of talk upsets her and when we asked her about what happened, she ran out of the room in obvious distress. We called her back and did what we could to ease her mind. We told her we’d teach her more about managing finances.

I decided we’d take advantage of the financial literacy training offered by Service Source. So, this week we met with the Lead Financial Coach from their ROADS to Financial Independence program. He spoke with MJ about having financial goals and saving money. He also showed the spendingtracker app and directed MJ to try keeping track of her money for the next couple of months and then he would check back and see how she did. This will be great when she begins to earn a regular income. He also taught her about building credit and checking her credit score. She’ll need to have good credit when she’s ready to find a place of her own.

MJ expressed concern over using an app that held her information in the cloud. She said she might try using an Excel file instead. Talking about that got us talking about cyber security in general. Her knowledge about it is fairly extensive and she is, not surprisingly, pretty cautious. She was also unnerved by the knowledge that banks and other organizations can check her credit score but she doesn’t have open access to it. She’s still talking about privacy issues and probably will for the next few weeks.

I’ll have to update on our progress with SSI or SSDI applications. We don’t have the capacity to address it just yet. But there will be another session at Service Source on September 24 at 1pm. I registered for the live streaming webinar. If you are interested, go here for more info and to register: www.servicesource.org/ada25

Anyway, those are some small but important steps we are taking toward MJ’s independence. Again, we are so grateful for the guidance provided by the wonderful people at Service Source. They treat MJ like a person, not just a case. I have confidence that slowly but surely, with wisdom, understanding and knowledge, MJ will reach her goals.

Through wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; and by knowledge the rooms shall be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.
– Proverbs 24:3-4

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