Self-Advocacy Online Blog

Budgeting and Personal Finance


Cliff Poetz was a founding member of People First Minnesota and a Community Liaison with the Institute on Community Integration.

[Cliff Poetz passed away on March 25, 2021. He prepared a series of posts to run through the year on Self-Advocacy Online, a website he co-founded.]


It is important for everyone to keep track of their budget and personal finances. Budgeting helps you plan how to spend your money for the month. This helps make sure you get the things you need like food, shelter, and clothing and can keep you from running out of money. It is a good idea to spend money responsibly on your needs first, but budgeting can help you plan for fun things, too, and can even help you start an emergency fund.  Planning ahead can be difficult. If you need help, ask your staff member or social worker.

Some self-advocates may need to keep careful track of their expenses if they receive money from the government. Budgeting helps you stay within your allowance so that you don’t lose your benefits. Always remember to save your receipts! Doing this doesn’t mean you did anything wrong, but it proves what the money was spent on. Receipts may be required by the Department of Human Services and they are useful for your records.

This may require some extra help from your social worker or staff, but it can help you stay on budget by ordering groceries or clothing for delivery. When ordering online, make sure to save any receipts. They may be emailed to you, so make sure to save those emails or print them off. Ordering online can also mean planning ahead even more since you need to wait for delivery times.

Careful and responsible budgeting can allow you to spend your money on the things you need and want and planning ahead can lower stress about money and improve your overall quality of life.