NDH MoneyBasics

Learn the basics to managing your money

WHY DO THIS COURSE?

  • Learn about budgeting and managing everyday expenses

  • Grow more confident in your money matters

  • Gain knowledge through additional resources

HOW TO GET THE BEST OUT OF THIS COURSE?

  • Complete all modules and do the activities

  • Read materials thoroughly

  • Determine what works for you

  • Use the companion Supplemental Guide

SUPPLEMENTAL GUIDE

  • As an optional component of the MoneyBasics program, this guide serves to direct your learning. The goal of this workbook is to help you develop a greater understanding of the concepts and help make the training more effective. It does this through thought exercises and reflective questions.


Overview

 
A nine-week online program to help you learn the basics to best manage your money
Guided learning with a “roadmap” to figuring out your world of finances
Additional resources and support included to enhance your experience
Feel better about managing money and gain confidence in your financial affairs
 

Note:

Materials used have been sourced from Australia, United States and the United Kingdom - please be mindful of your country of location.

 
 

Introduction to NDH MoneyBasics

Many people believe it is easier to avoid thinking about personal finances, as this can be emotional, stressful and/or hard. However, it does not have to be any of those things. With a solid introduction to money, whether you are a ‘spender’ or a ‘saver’, you can start creating the financial future you want.

NDH MoneyBasics is a module designed to help you through your world of money. We are all different; no single method fits us all. As such, this course provides you with materials that allow you to explore your own experience, giving you a deeper understanding of banking, saving, spending, and learning how your own personal thoughts and behaviours might influence these areas.

Try to be honest with yourself as you go through each week. It is not wrong to have a certain attitude or classify something like lollies / candy as a ‘need’. The more honest you are, the better you can budget and the easier managing your money will be.     

A note on MoneyMinded:

A central component of the materials is the MoneyMinded online training program.

MoneyMinded was developed by ANZ in 2002 in collaboration with the NSW Department of Education and Training, Financial Counselling Australia, the Financial Counsellors Association of NSW, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and community sector representatives.

  • MoneyMinded modules are confidential and private.

  • MoneyMinded modules are self-paced. You can start and stop as you like.

 
 

GROUND LEVEL

Introduction

The first three weeks of the NDH MoneyBasics program begins on the Ground Level. This phase of the program will help you grow your understanding of money.

Week 1 Focus on your personal approach to money. Regardless of what it is, it is important for you to know in order to move forward on the journey towards better financial management.

Week 2 Distinguish between buying something you want and buying something you need. By tracking your purchases, you will be better able to ensure you are spending responsibly. 

Week 3 Learn what budgeting is, why it is important, and how you can incorporate it into your life. Budgeting is a skill and the more you practice doing it, the better and easier it will be!

You can also refer to the additional resource section for tips and tricks to support you throughout the Ground Level phase.


Week 1:
Perception of Money

 

Goals:

  • Gain a better understanding of yourself

  • Increase confidence with money

 
 

Materials to complete:

MoneyMinded – Know Yourself

  • Understand the different attitudes towards money, how your own attitude influences how you approach money, and how to balance the two

NOTE: The first time you follow the link to MoneyMinded you will be brought to a page with information on the program and an introductory video. Below that (or if you click the Activities tab) you will find links to the eight modules. When you click ‘Start Activity’ under module 1 ’Know Yourself’ it will prompt you to create a username and password. Once logged in, the website will track your progress and when you logout and return at a later time, it will take you back to where you were up to in your last session.


Week 2:
Needs and Wants

 

Goals:

  • Distinguish needs and wants

  • Track your spending on a regular basis

 
 

Materials to complete:

MoneyMinded – Spend Wisely

  • Understand the difference between needs and wants to reduce spending leaks and learn to track your spending

Hit the Road: A Financial Adventure Game

  • Presented by the National Credit Union Administration, this web-based game takes participants on a journey where they make decisions about when to earn, save, and spend money as they travel across the United States. Provides practice preparing for unexpected events and the difference between needs and wants.

TrackMySpend

  • A mobile app that serves as a spending diary to be used on a daily basis. Click the following links to download on your personal device:

 

Week 3:
Budgeting

 

Goals:

  • Understand what a budget is and why it is important

  • Budget on a regular basis

 
 

Materials to complete:

MoneyMinded – Plan Your Spending

  • Recognise the importance of savings and benefits of having a budget in place to plan for unexpected life events

Managing Money – Budgeting

  • Online training created by the National Autistic Society. Follow the above link and it will direct you to create a password protected account. Once logged in, Managing Money module is at the bottom of the page under ‘Free Modules and Resources’

  • Budgeting component can be found in the ‘Menu’ tab under ‘Personal Expenditures’

Budget Planner (ASIC)

  • Online budgeting tool that takes into account income, home & utilities, insurance, groceries, personal & medical, entertainment, and transportation (online tool)

Manage Your Money

  • Australian Government’s practical information regarding budgeting, including a Simple Money Manager tool and Tips & Tricks (text-based learning)


 
 

Intermediate

Introduction

The intermediate level of the NDH MoneyBasics program builds on the learnings from the ground level – learning how to create and reach your goals.

Week 4 Consider your desires and future dreams and learn to set SMART goals in order to make them a reality by saving money in advance.

Week 5 Explains the different types of accounts and key things to know about each.

Week 6 Implications of technology on money and how to protect yourself online.

Week 7 Understand debt and how to avoid it, as well as tips for how to manage debt if you have it.

You can also refer to the additional resource section for tips and tricks to support you throughout the intermediate phase.


Week 4:
Goal Setting

 

Goals:

  • Gain a better understanding of SMART goals

  • Set SMART goals and work towards achieving them

 
 

Materials to complete:

MoneyMinded – Clarify Your Goal

  • Recognise the impact of not having clear financial goals

  • Define your SMART goals in relation to money

S- Specific

M- Measurable

A- Achievable

R- Realistic

T- Timed

TrackMyGoals

  • A mobile app that serves as a platform to set and manage your personal savings goals. Click the following links to download on your personal device:

 

Week 5:
Bank accounts

 

Goals:

  • Understand the different types of bank accounts

  • Be more comfortable using a bank account

 
 

Materials to complete:

MoneyMinded – Bank Smart

  • Understand the various types of bank accounts and the advantages and disadvantages of each

Managing Money – Banking and Savings

  • Online training created by the National Autistic Society. Once you have logged in, you can find ‘Banking and Savings’ under the ‘Menu’ tab.

    • Opening a bank account

    • Paying into your bank account

    • Paying out of your bank account

    • Types of bank cards and using an ATM

    • Bank/financial advisers

    • Banking security

Note: This resource is great for students who want more interactive practice that is closely aligned with the day-to-day usage of money


Week 6:
technology

 

Goals:

  • Understand the implications technology has on money

  • Better protect yourself and your money

 
 

Materials to complete:

Managing Money – Banking and Savings

  • Online training created by the National Autistic Society in the United Kingdom. Once you have logged in, you can find ‘Banking and Savings’ under the ‘Menu’ tab. Module 1 includes: 

    • Use an ATM (page 7)

    • Banking security (page 10-14 - practice creating safe passwords)

Note: This resource is great for students who want more interactive practice that is closely aligned with the day-to-day usage of money.

Online Transactions

  • ASIC’s MoneySmart material on how to protect your money and privacy online (text- and video-based learning)

Beginners Guide to Scams

  • This is a guide to understanding what scams are, the types of scams that are out there, and how to protect yourself from them. Remember, scams are constantly changing and adapting as technology and the world do, so if you ever feel unsure - ASK! (text-based learning)


Week 7:
debt

 

Goals:

  • Gain a better understanding of debt

  • Know how to avoid debt

  • Feel confident in handling debt - if necessary

 
 

Materials to complete:

MoneyMinded – Avoiding Dangerous Debt

  • Recognise the impacts of not maintaining a positive credit history

  • Identify advantages and disadvantages of various types of credit providers

Your Debt Options

  • Details from MoneyHelp and the Victoria State Government on hardship programs if you find yourself in trouble with debt (Australian-based)

National Debt Helpline (Australia) - Optional

If you are in debt, or worried you might soon be in debt that you can’t pay, it is important to ask for help. Follow this link to get support and advice on how best to move forward.


 
 

future focus

Introduction

During the final level of the NDH MoneyBasics program, the material focuses on future planning.

Week 8 Review the types of credit available and how to select and manage a credit card (if you choose to have one).

Week 9 Practice growing your Superannuation Fund, learn about the Australian tax system, and how to grow your investments. (Note: Week 9 is only for Australian students)

You can also refer to the additional resource section for tips and tricks to support you throughout the Future Focus phase.


Week 8:
Credit

 

Goals:

  • Understand the types of credit and the implications of relying on credit

 
 

Materials to complete:

MoneyMinded – Watch For Credit Cards

  • Recognise the potential cost of credit cards

  • Identify techniques to effectively manage credit cards

10 Ways to Avoid Credit Card Debt

  • Strategies for students to practice safe habits in regards to the use of credit cards (text-based learning)

What to Know About Afterpay (Australia)

  • Afterpay is an alternative source of credit that can be used when making purchases - both in-store and online. Understand what it is, and the risk with relying on it (text-based learning).


Week 9:
investing

 

Goals:

  • Understand what a Superannuation Fund is

  • Feel confident in choosing and growing your Super

  • Understand the Australian income tax system

(Note: Only applicable to Australian residents)

 
 

Materials to complete:

MoneyMinded – Plan for your Future

  • Recognise how superannuation funds work at a high-level

  • Identify key factors to consider when selecting, switching or consolidating superannuation funds

Choosing a Super Fund

  • The Australian Security Investments Commission (ASIC) MoneySmart training on how to choose, compare, and change a super fund (text-based learning)

Choosing a Superannuation Strategy

  • ASIC’s Factsheet on taking risks and investment strategies 

Invest Smarter

  • ASIC’s guide on investment goals and tips for achieving them. Check out the Investor Toolkit for additional resources tailored to you.

Income Tax (Australia)

  • YouTube video explaining how income tax is calculated with a good example to demonstrate tax and the implications of a pay raise (video-based learning)

Income Tax Calculator (Australia)

  • Simple online calculator. You can also click the following link to download mobile application on an Apple device:

 

congratulations

You have completed the NDH MoneyBasics program!

What’s next?

 
Access the additional resources

Access the additional resources

Ask questions of your support network

Ask questions of your support network

Continue to practice the skills you have learned

Continue to practice the skills you have learned

 
 
 

additional resources

There’s always more to learn in the world of personal finance and it doesn’t hurt to expand one’s knowledge. Some additional learning materials are available here.


AUSTRALIA

If you, or your support network, have any funding questions check out the following resources:

  • How to Create a MyGov AccountYouTube demonstration of how to set-up a MyGov account

  • CentrePay – Explains what CentrePay is, how to use and manage CentrePay, and the additional benefits it provides for individuals

  • NDIS – This explains the accessibility and eligibility, planning and support, and managing your NDIS plan

  • HCWA (Helping Children with Autism) – The focus of this source is for families/carers of children; it explains the different elements of HWCA and what the support resources are

  • Launchpad – This includes numerous links to additional funding support resources - a good place to find a variety of reliable information

  • Autism Awareness – This includes numerous links to additional funding support resources - a good place to find a variety of information

If you are looking for more fun and interactive games, check out the following resource:

  • Practical Money Skills – interactive games to practice and test financial skills for different skill levels, but with a focus on the beginner


UNITED STATES

If you are looking for a guide to financials that are specific to the United States system check out the following resources:

  • Cents and Sensibility – A PDF document that can be printed or viewed online with chapters that supplement the material provide by MoneyMinded

Note: While this is specific to the State of Pennsylvania, a majority of the information is relevant to individuals living in the United States. It is also a general guide for people with disabilities - so all accommodations / resources may not be   applicable to neurodiverse individuals.

If you are looking for more fun and interactive games check out the following resource:

  • Practical Money Skills – interactive games to practice and test financial skills for different skill levels, but with a focus on the beginner


UNITED KINGDOM

If you are looking for a guide to financials that is specific to the United Kingdom system check out the following:

Note: This is a great resource for visual learners as the guides are all formatted as picture guides

  • MoneyAdviceService – YouTube channel with hundreds of videos covering all financial topics

If you are looking for more fun and interactive games check out the following resource:

  • Practical Money Skills – interactive games to practice and test financial skills for different skill levels, but with a focus on the beginner


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Curator: Claire Hoffa, Undergraduate, Cornell University

Editor: Andrew Eddy, Director, Untapped Group

We express our deepest appreciation to the following individuals for providing support to this project:

Laurie Ackles, Higher Education Consultant, College Autism Spectrum (CAS)

Michelle Anderson, Manager, Access & Inclusion, University of South Australia

Jan Coplan, Director of Career Connections, Landmark College

Dr Marita Falkmer, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Curtin University, Cooperative Research Centre for Living with Autism (Autism CRC)

Katrina Gillespie, Manager, Career Services, University of South Australia

Dr Sonya Girdler, Director, Curtin University Autism Research Group

Elaine Hatfield-White, Joint Program Manager, Curtin Specialist Mentoring Program (CSMP), Curtin University

Dr Jasmine McDonald, Program Manager, Curtin Specialist Mentoring Program, Curtin University

Autumn O’Connor, Instructional Designer, Be Your Best Program, Untapped Group

Irene Payne, Manager, Financial Inclusion, Communications & Public Affairs, ANZ

Janine Rowe, Career Counselor, Assistant Director, Careers & Disability, Rochester Institute of Technology

Dr Tele Tan, Professor in School of Civil and Mechanical Engineering, Curtin University & Founder and Director, Autism Academy for Software Quality Assurance

We would also like to thank the many autistic young adults who have reviewed the guide and provided their feedback and comments.