Saving money when you have kids is already challenging, but you might find it a little harder to save when you have a special needs child. When you have expenses for things like medication, daycare, therapy, and other things, that gives you less money to save. However, there are ways to maximize your savings – here’s how.
Find a therapist who will come to your house
Finding a therapist who will come to your home will be a lifesaver in terms of convenience, but it will also save you money. For instance, if you’re pursuing ABA therapy for your child with autism, organizations like Golden Care Therapy in Indiana can have an ABA therapist come to your home to work with your child in a comfortable, familiar environment.
If you need to take your child to any kind of therapy sessions, it’s probably a big ordeal just to get ready and get into the car. You have to shut things down in the house, get your child dressed, and then spend time driving to the session, which takes additional gas money. Then, when the session is over, you have to get in the car and drive back home and get settled and comfortable once again. Since this is an involved process, you might need to take time off work or rearrange your schedule to make your appointments.
When you have a therapist come to your home, you don’t have to worry about driving to appointments and overspending on gas. They’ll schedule appointments that work with your availability and you can get appointments when you’re already going to be home with your child. If you work from home, you won’t have to redirect your day to go anywhere.
Cut out the expenses you don’t really need
To make up for your additional expenses, you can cut out the expenses you don’t really need. Check your bank statements to see what you’re paying for on a regular basis and then assess each expense. Is it really needed? Does it support your health and wellbeing? Eliminate the expenses that seem frivolous. You don’t have to cut out your cable or Netflix account, but if you’ve got subscriptions to three different streaming services, consider condensing that down to one.
Other expenses you can cut include big car payments, software subscriptions to applications you don’t use much, and memberships to gyms or discount stores you hardly visit. If you’ve got a $300/month car payment, for example, consider selling that car and buying a used car for a few thousand dollars instead. You’ll save so much money in the long run when you eliminate a big car payment.
Open a 529 ABLE account
Part of the reason you want to save money is to have funds available for your special needs child. While you can open a special needs trust, there are some disadvantages that you won’t find with an ABLE account.
Opening a 529 ABLE account will help you save funds that are specifically set aside for your child. Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Asperger’s Disorder are listed as qualifying disabilities. Even though Asperger’s has recently been merged with ASD, an Asperger’s diagnosis still qualifies. As long as your child was diagnosed with autism before the age of 26, they can open an ABLE account even after age 26.
With an ABLE account, the amount you can invest varies by state, but up to that designated amount, your child’s SSI benefits will not be impacted. However, if you invest more than that amount, they will lose SSI benefits so it’s important to pay attention to that maximum. Medicaid benefits aren’t impacted at all.
There are many different investment levels you can choose from and you’ll want to look at all the fees and regulations before making your decision. However, many people find that opening an ABLE account gives them the freedom to invest more money and use the funds more freely.
Build your own savings account
If you don’t want to open any kind of investment account, you can still build up your own savings account for your child. However, make sure you name someone as your child’s guardian and name a trustee in your will to ensure your money is handled according to your wishes.
Saving money for your special needs child doesn’t have to be hard
Whether you’re saving money for your entire family or putting aside funds for your special needs child, every dollar counts. You don’t have sacrifice all the pleasures in life to save money, so follow these tips first and see how much you’ll save.