Adulting: Financial Priorities

So, as we have been covering adulting topics over the past summer into fall and now coming up winter of this pandemic year, I am slandering realize of things that haven’t been covered yet as I yet am a independent man living on my own again. I am doing better, living in a cleaner environment again that I can better maintain for health and safety of myself. But one thing I have been seeming in recent weeks in the autism community is that of autistics that lack the ability to financially prioritize.

Now, I have attended a plethora of independent living and budgeting courses geared towards individuals in the mental health community in years past. However, until the current move, I have not put those skills to fruition. In the past situation, it would have been nothing for me to open that coupon for photo processing and get what said FREE but wasn’t aware of the hidden costs like high shipping and of course the dreaded sales tax costs in addition to what was free, and sometimes you had to buy so many in order to get so many free, so you would say that it was a catch 22. Now I admit I like photography and that it is one of my interests, but I had several things made including the photo book of the month club, which the small book was free, however again you had to pay for the shipping of the product at times was high.

For many autistics that live on a fixed income, this can lead into a series of trouble. This is where education on “what sounds too good to be true, is often times too good to be true” is a key lesson in teaching autistics to be important skillset of having financial independence. If one is enticed by every email or social media advertisement they see and believe me the internet has ways of tracking your search history, as I see things that I may search in excess because of my fixation on a certain project, that the related sponsored ads do show up in my email, search and social media venues and therefore could give the uneducated individual the opportunity to get caught into a scheme of a renewing membership, or monthly fee that they then become aware of and later have a great deficit in their bank account as a result. This has happened to me and gave me the education to read the fine print and not just click, click, click as many do.

Also, I have the understanding of this and how it relates autistic interests and how our mind can be in hyper focused to the point we lose the sense of reality of what we need to pay needs instead of those things we want (special interests.) We as autistics, (myself once included at one time) oftentimes see something that we just can’t live without at that very moment and have the simple feeling that the world will end if we just can’t have that one single solitary item in our collection. We then have what is a lack of impulse control and buy what we feel we need to have focusing on our wants instead of our needs, thus sometimes needing to divert funds from a backup account or friends and loved ones, which can sometimes lead into arguments over why funds were spent on wants rather than needs.

These are two key faults that I must feel must be addressed with any autistic before they move on their own independently, leaning specifically with the consequences of not paying attention to their financial situation and how dire it can become if one follows a misleading advertisement or is focused on their interests rather than focusing on their independence. It must me made aware that if they wish to be independent (and many do, not all, but many that are able do) they must have the ability to carry their independence by being financially solvent. Yes, there is help there and I personally encourage any autistic that is in need to take advantage of it. However, usually they will want the freedom of being in charge of their freedom and like me, are equipped with the capability to do so. Therefore it is essential to be mindful of their financial priorities and routinely monitor them at all times in order to not see any faults.

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