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Managing My Money:
Banking and Budgeting Basics

by Natalie Hale

Item: 9781606130070

Format: Spiral bound
Pages: 176

Award-Winning Finalist in the Young Adult/Non-Fiction category of the USA "Best Books 2011" Awards, sponsored by USA Book News

Learning to manage money is one of the most important skills needed to achieve independent living for teens and adults with Down syndrome, autism, and other intellectual disabilities. Managing My Money offers plenty of encouragement, clear instructions broken down into small steps, practice opportunities, color-coded forms, and large scale graphics to make abstract money managing concepts concrete. Anyone whose math and writing skills are at a first-grade level or higher can follow the lessons in this workbook, assisted by parents or other adults, and aided by a calculator.

Readers of Managing My Money will learn to:

  • Keep Records: a unique, colour-coded method helps readers record payment and deposit transactions on a ledger form; compute the account balance on a checkbook-like balance sheet
  • Keep a Budget: distinguish between expenses that are needs vs. desires; appreciate the benefits of saving
  • Keep a Checking Account: open an account; write checks; use a colour-coded check register to record deposits, checks, and ATM withdrawals; make deposits; balance the account

Parents, educators, transition specialists, and life skills coaches can consult the teacher pages that face student lesson pages for specific suggestions and tips, and then flip them under, out of sight, to prevent distraction. Use the handy CD-ROM to print out more forms when the reader has completed what's provided in the book.

Managing My Money is an upbeat teaching tool that will ensure mastery of basic money management skills for teens and adults with special needs preparing to live on their own, as well as for older adults who need a refresher course.

Knowing how to manage money is a life skill which goes beyond being able to identify coins and bills. This colorful workbook has three sections with 33 lessons that explain how to keep records of money spent and received, develop a budget on a limited income and manage a checking account. The workbook is designed to be used by a teacher and a student working together and the lessons are organized with the teacher plan on one page and the activity on the opposite page. The lesson are broken down into precise steps with clear and simple language and can be repeated as often as necessary until the student understands the concept and is ready to move to the next lesson. Additional worksheets and forms are included on the CD-ROM and can be printed out for future use.”
- Down Syndrome News, Volume 34, #1

“Natalie Hale is a reading consultant and a parent of an adult with ADHD and Down syndrome. This guide is her third revision on banking/budgeting. Its aim is to assist teachers or parents of students with special needs to achieve a greater appreciation of plus, minus, how to fill in a cheque book, and how to budget. The American spelling of cheque as check may or may not bother your client.
The content is wordy yet the graphics are clear, with color codes to denote spending and saving categories. The teacher guide is on the left side and the student info is on the right with bigger print and more graphics. There are practice exercises for using calculator and cheque book. A CD is included to make more copies of the enlarged cheque book summary. There is an informative section about what happens when you spend more money than you have. It features 'comic graphics and talks about the bad news' that comes with insufficient funds. It is well done and quite useful. Debit card use and security is succinctly illustrated, with the choice of use left to individuals and their helpers.
I recommend this book to therapists who have clients needing a review of basic money management.”
- Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, December 2011, 78(5) 327

“Natalie Hale created this workbook and CD to help teens and adults with special needs learn to manage money. As a parent of an adult with Down syndrome, Ms. Hale knows first hand that learning to manage money is an essential life skill. As a reading consultant, she is expert at developing tools families and educators can use to teach individuals with learning disabilities or developmental delays the skills they need to live independently. While written at a third to fourth grade level, each lesson was designed for an individual working with a parent, teacher, or other adult.
There are three sections: Keeping Records, Keeping a Budget, and Keeping a Checking Account. Each section has separate lessons. A first grade reading and writing level is recommended. Students will also need a calculator. The type size is large, colour-coded, and the graphics are colourful and engaging.”
- Newsline (Federation for Children with Special Needs), Fall 2010

“The point of this book is not to teach mathematics, that's what the calculator is for, but to understand the concepts behind managing money. When you progress through the entire manual, you've gone from training to execution and learned how to open a checking account and set up a budget with real money.”
- NATHHAN/CHASK NEWS, Spring/Summer 2011

“My daughter with Down syndrome uses Managing My Money to write and record checks, balance her checking account, and follow a budget. Math has always been a challenge for her, but she has had great success with this system, which allows her to independently keep track of her money and expenses. I highly recommend it for teenagers or young adults with intellectual disabilities who want to learn banking and budgeting basics.”
- Jackie Holcombe, parent, advocate, and mayor of Carey, North Carolina

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