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Possibilities: A Financial Resource for Parents of Children with Disabilities

Making the Most of What You Have — Managing Your Finances

Knowing where you stand financially will also help you nurture your decision-making abilities, and help you be an effective advocate for your child as well. As an example, when you have a clear idea of what you can afford or not, and how much credit you have available, you can take advantage of introductory offers or short-term sales on higher-priced items your child may need, knowing you can pay them off in full and not incur expensive credit card fees.

So let’s get started on managing your finances. Here is the basic plan we’ll follow:

  1. Make a Spending Plan
  2. Track Your Spending Leaks
  3. Set S.M.A.R.T. Financial Goal
  4. Manage Your Debt
  5. Protect Your Identity

Finding Financial and Tax Advice

As you manage your finances, you may find areas in which you’d like to seek the advice of a financial or tax professional. Ideally you want to work with a professional knowledgeable about disability-specific financial and tax issues. Here are a few ways to go about finding a professional.

  • Some Parent Centers or disability-specific organizations may know of affordable financial or tax professionals.
  • Some financial and tax organizations in your area may offer professional services to people with limited resources. These organizations may also offer informative publications or workshops on disability-specific financial and tax issues. For more information, contact the following organizations to find professional financial and tax services in your area:

American Institute of CPAs—Personal Financial Planning Section: an organization for CPAs who provide estate, tax, retirement, risk management and investment planning advice to individuals.
Call 1-888-777-7077

Financial Planning Association (FPA): the largest organization of financial planners who provide financial advice to individuals and are committed to upholding the highest standards of professional competence, ethical conduct, and clear disclosure to the individuals they serve.
Call 1-800-322-4237

The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA): a leading organization of financial advisors who provide fee-only financial services.
Call 1-847-483-5400

Next Section: Making a Spending Plan