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Savings Methods We Teach Our Autistic Son

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Our son was diagnosed with ASD 1 Autistic with a sensory processing disorder in March 2022.

Autism and money skills, and learning to be independent are high priorities to teach our son.

Even if he weren’t autistic, we’d still teach him about the wild world of money as every parent should.

He’s always been fascinated with money and wanted to pay the cashier, bag groceries and shop.

The problem is that he takes what he learns literally or doesn’t understand it and needs assistance.

His homework last week was about money, specifically coins, and he didn’t understand what the teacher was asking.

Anxiety gets the best of him, and instead of asking for help, he’ll take on the work even if it’s wrong.

Teaching children various savings methods from a young age is not putting them in the line of fire.

Today, I wanted to share a story about teaching our handsome son about savings methods so he can apply them and lead his family.

Teaching children savings methods from a young age
Teaching Autistic children savings methods from a young age

Teaching Our Autistic Son Basic Savings Methods

Although life has been a busy journey since he came into our lives, we love him.

We also worry about his future and whether we’ll be around for his milestones in life.

If there’s ever a gift, we can leave him with its love, experiences, financial education and the power of not giving up on his dreams.

Since he was around 3, we started to teach him about money and simple savings methods.

There’s nothing worse than a child begging for a toy and saying they can’t have it because there’s no money.

However, when a child understands basic savings methods, things can turn for the better.

You might argue that we’re exposing our child to the stress of financial pitfalls.

We don’t look at it from that perspective since we don’t discuss our finance with him.

It’s quite the opposite. We’re working on teaching our son how to avoid debt in the first place.

Grade 2 Math from our son- Show Me The Money
Grade 2 Math from our son- Show Me The Money.

As you can see from the photo above, he struggled with “Show Me The Money” as he took the question literally.

The only one he got correct was five cents since it is a Canadian coin.

His struggle is taking a sentence or question literally, and we are teaching him from home for one hour every night.

He brought home about 10 pages of mathematics with two sheets unfinished which I will complete with him.

Besides the errors you see above, he did fantastic, which we are proud of because he tries.

Autistic Famous People

Just because a child has autism doesn’t mean they can’t go on to be successful.

There are SO many famous autistic people who didn’t let their disability get in the way of their dreams.

Let’s have a look at 20 Famous People With Autism

  • Leonardo da Vinci – Artist
  • Vincent van Gogh – Artist
  • Steven Spielberg – Director
  • Alfred Hitchcock – Director
  • Thomas Edison – Inventor
  • Alexander Graham Bell – Inventor
  • Benjamin Franklin – Inventor
  • Henry Ford – Inventor
  • Ludwig van Beethoven – Musician
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Musician
  • Bob Dylan – Musician
  • James Taylor – Singer-Songwriter & Guitarist
  • John Denver – Singer-Songwriter & Record Producer
  • Charles Darwin – Naturalist & Geologist
  • Carl Jung – Psychiatrist & Psychotherapist
  • Lionel Messi – Football Player
  • Samuel Clemens – Writer
  • George Orwell – Writer
  • Jane Austen – Writer
  • Charles M. Schulz – Cartoonist
  • Elon Musk – Entrepreneur
  • Nikola Tesla – Inventor
  • Bill Gates – C0-Founder of Microsoft
  • Jerry Seinfeld – Comedian Actor
  • Albert Einstein – Scientist and Mathematician
  • Dan Aykroyd – Actor

Source: 20 Famous People With Autism

Wealthy Parents Don’t Always Come From Money

Teaching savings methods to children is important whether you come from wealth or not.
Wealthy Parents Don’t Always Come From Money

Not all children are taught about various savings methods, especially if their parents are wealthy.

I try not to forget that not all successful multi-millionaires live in the lap of luxury.

In the past, I’ve written about Justin Bieber and how he came from a low-income lifestyle and, through hard work, he can now buy whatever he wants.

Life sounds grand for him, but money isn’t everything, and fame isn’t everything.

Loving yourself, God, and his family, take the front seat in his life. He can’t be everything his fans want him to be without that love.

That’s not to say that the wealthy don’t educate their children about money; however, there’s a slight difference.

Growing up in a luxury home where you don’t have to share a bedroom with a sibling and parents don’t argue about money is either a blessing or a financial disaster in the making.

At some point in our lives, we will all argue about money; that’s reality.

Everyone Has Different Dreams

Our new neighbour told my wife that she never dreamed she’d live in a house as she is today.

She has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and struggles to save money.

Mrs. CBB told me about their chat, and it hasn’t left my mind since. I, too, thought the same way when we bought our house in Canada.

Coming from my 600 sq ft home in the UK and moving to Canada with a house three times the size with a basement was insane. \

I was thrilled as I never dreamed I’d own home such as the one we purchased.

Both Mrs. CBB and I grew up in a home where money was not available whenever needed.

That’s the difference between parents with money and those who struggle to pay the bills.

One might argue that rich folks earned their money through paid education, inheritance, successful business deals, high-level careers or knowing the right people.

Perhaps, although children still need to be taught how to handle their money.

Wealthy Parents Produce Wealthy Children

Have you ever noticed that wealthy parents have children who also succeed?

For example, Ultra successful Yolanda Hadid was a model, and now her three children, Bella, Gigi and Anwar, follow in the same steps as she did.

Who do you think taught her children about modelling, money and the pitfalls of being famous?

Their parents want their children to be successful even though they are no longer married.

Their father, Mohamed Hadid, is a multi-millionaire dollar real estate developer and successful business owner in the wine and caviar fields.

The rich and famous live in a lifestyle bubble that many of us will never understand unless we join them.

That doesn’t mean that their children have a shred of financial smarts because they earn millions.

Let’s take the everyday average successful business owner who teaches their children about finance.

It’s one thing to learn about money and how to budget and another when living a frugal lifestyle.

When To Teach Children Basic Savings Methods

Savings methods to teach children and motivation to encourage them to never give up.
Teach Children To Never Give Up On Their Dreams

Many Canadians live a frugal lifestyle because they have to, want to or do so to save money for a rainy day.

However, there’s a difference between earning power and savings methods to teach a child when a parent feels it’s necessary,

As parents to an almost eight-year-old boy, we’ve allowed him to experience savings methods he can use for the rest of his life.

If there’s something you want to leave your children before you die, consider love, kindness, life experiences, independence and financial knowledge.

Today, you will learn savings methods we teach our son every year until he understands the importance.

As our son ages, we will turn savings methods into investing and home buying and the impact of debt.

There is no age set in stone when teaching children about savings methods and debt.

If you are a parent, choose the right time based on your instincts and educate your children.

Don’t rely on the school system to do this for you, even if they say it’s in the curriculum.

Show your children how you work your money to make ends meet, pay off debt and save for the future.

We teach our son about savings methods and ways he can make informed financial decisions.

Important Savings Methods We Teach Our Autistic Son

  • Why do we bring our son to second-hand stores?

For years we’ve been taking our son to places such as Value Village, Goodwill and Bibles For Missions.

Thrift stores are where he can physically touch products which help him decide what he likes.

The clothing was always a hit for him because he could look at each article of clothing on his own.

We didn’t force him to buy something he didn’t want, and the prices were fantastic compared to retail.

Once he asked us the difference between Value Village and Marshall’s, we told him the truth.

He knows that previously used clothing is what we purchase at Goodwill.

  • We teach him the importance of a piggy bank to learn about saving money.

Our son has many piggy banks in his bedroom, and that’s because it was a popular gift that he received.

Each of his piggy banks is associated with something of importance for him.

The Canada Post piggy bank is savings he uses to buy new shoes for school and outdoor pay.

He will use his massive water bottle with coins to buy his first car.

The last piggy bank is a pig, where he saves money to spend at garage sales.

Ask Your Child For Permission To Sell Their Toys

  • Ask your child for permission to sell their toys for cash.

We’ve donated toys over the years, but we also sell them to earn money back.

Before we donate or sell anything, we always confirm that he no longer wants to play with them.

Being autistic, he gets emotionally close to his toys and cars, and if he can’t find one, we all look.

I wouldn’t like it if someone sold something without my knowledge, so we treat him the same way.

We then decide the price when we have the items he’s ready to sell at a garage sale.

Choosing Used Clothing To Sell

Another way we teach him savings methods is to sell clothing and jackets he no longer fits in.

He loves to pick and choose what to sell, and he folds them, so they look pristine for the buyer.

It’s exciting for him to see how he can earn money for his piggy banks.

Savings Methods On Books and Video Games

  • Coach our son on the significance of going to the library instead of buying books.

They often send home Scholastic book forms at school, but we don’t buy any books.

I realize that a portion of the earnings goes towards the school; however, he doesn’t want to buy them.

He’s aware that he can borrow books and games from the library, which means spending no money.

It’s not uncommon to have our son sift through book titles at second-hand shops.

He will look through any books the seller has in a bin or table, even at garage sales.

He also understands the least amount of money that he removes from his piggy bank, the better.

We Bring Our Autistic Son To Garage Sales

  • Communicate the importance of bringing a child to a garage sale and how to negotiate.

He’s learned the importance of garage sales from three years old.

Most homeowners hold a garage sale to earn money back from what they’ve used and purchased.

Another reason for garage sales is so that you can negotiate prices and find items for less than retail and second-hand prices.

We taught him to negotiate and carry Canadian coins in his pocket to buy items.

At a garage sale we went to, he negotiated a Jack and The Beanstock book for $0.25 instead of $0.50.

The homeowner was in awe to hear such a young boy asking for a discount at a garage sale.

  • Start an entrepreneurial adventure with your child from home.

Our neighbour’s daughter is 9 years old, and every Wednesday after school, she hosts a craft class.

The class is held outdoors in the driveway on fold-out tables.

Each week she has a new craft for the kids who attend to make.

To participate in the craft class, she charges each child two dollars which pay for craft materials.

Each child gets teamwork, crafting skills, and socialization from the adventure.

Open A Bank Account For Your Child

  • Learn the benefits of opening a bank account for your child to deposit savings.

Aside from his piggy banks, we’ve opened a bank account for him, and he knows about depositing money.

We’ve talked to him about how money in his bank account will earn interest, but he’s not sure yet.

He knows that the money in the bank account is his and wants to see his online bank balance at least once a week.

It’s cute that he’s thrilled about banking, saving money, and earning money while negotiating.

How We Teach Our Autistic Son To Budget

  • Have your child help with the family’s monthly budget.

We budget monthly and collect receipts for anything we purchase and put them in the money bag we bought at the Dollar Store.

We’ve given our son the task of organizing the receipts into budget categories.

For example, the grocery receipts go into one pile, as does Shoppers Drug Mart.

As he ages will give him new tasks to do with our monthly budget until he’s ready to make his own.

How A Basic Credit Card Works

  • Why do we use our credit cards to pay for a purchase and the benefits?

In the past, he’s asked us about credit cards and why we don’t use money, so we explained it to him.

We took a fundamental approach to credit card education by explaining that we earn rewards points.

For example, we told him that we use our PC MasterCard to earn Optimum points to get free stuff from Shoppers, Zehrs or No Frills.

However, we felt it was essential to teach him that plastic is not money and we still have to pay the bill each month.

We have our Canadian Tire Mastercard bill come in the post to show him the expenses and how much we need to pay.

We don’t know whether he understands it, but we will continue to educate him about credit card debt.

Teaching Our Autistic Son To Cook

  • Have your children help prep food in the kitchen

Our son has an apron that we bought at a second-hand store and a chef’s hat.

He loves the chef’s outfit and always acts goofy while he has it on.

I picked up a small table for free on the side of the road, and this has become his prep station.

Since he was two years old, he’s made cakes, homemade cookies, and chocolate chip muffins.

We have videos to prove that he was helping in the kitchen when he got older.

Grocery Shopping With Children

  • Bring your child grocery shopping and explain the process of saving money and meal planning.

Lastly, we always bring him grocery shopping and allow him to participate in making a grocery list.

Before his autism diagnosis, he struggled to walk on shiny floors and had to sit inside a shopping cart.

He’s overcome that fear; however, he won’t put his head under water and struggles to ride a bike.

His biggest sensory problem is with eating foods with certain textures and tastes.

It’s tough for us, but we try to include food in his lunch and dinner even if he doesn’t eat them.

We let him know that we’ve added something new to try if he wants, so there’s no stress.

Hiring A Nutritionist Who Deals With Autistic Children

He will be working with a specialist who works with autistic children with food aversions as soon as a spot opens up.

In the meantime, we include him with meal plans even though he only eats pizza, hot dogs and grilled cheese.

He loves homemade pancakes, waffles and French Toast with lots of pure maple syrup.

I once offered him five dollars to try Corn Pops cereal as he’s never eaten cereal before.

Once he took a bite, he threw up, and that was the last time I tried that method.

It was me at my wit’s end, but now I realize it was a silly route.

We allow him to eat what he wants, but he must have fruit, yogurt, and vegetable (cucumber).

Bananas, watermelon, strawberries and apples are the only fruits he will eat, OK with us.

Cucumbers are the only vegetable he will eat, including tomato sauce on his pizza.

Review Savings Methods Until They Understand

It doesn’t matter if your child doesn’t understand the basic savings methods right away.

Continue to teach them through everyday living until they understand and lead them by example.

Don’t be afraid to let children make money decisions, whether it be a small business venture selling stuff they don’t need any longer.

Please bring them to the bank and have them deposit money into their bank account with you.

I WAS THRILLED when I used to deposit my paper route and dish cleaning savings into my bank account.

Give your children the gift of financial knowledge and remind them about the benefits of the savings methods you’ve taught them.

Discussion Questions:

Please feel free to comment on this post or answer any of the following questions.

Are there any savings methods you wish your parents had taught you?

What savings methods do you teach your children?

If you have an autistic child, how do you teach them about money?

I’d love to read your feedback and experiences so we might apply them to our curriculum at home with our son.

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