Managing my money

Ellen Maher works as an office assistant for Coates Hire at their head office in Sydney. She has worked there for 3 years, and shares what she has learnt in that time about having a job and managing the money she earns.
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A young women with long blonde hair and glasses is cleaning a coffee machine in an office kitchen. She is smiling and looking out of the frame.

By Ellen Maher

My job is very important to me. I really enjoy the time I spend with my work colleagues, and interacting with them. I have met some really nice people, and the staff are very welcoming. They treat me like any other work colleague, and I love being part of the Coates family.  I feel very supported by Job Support and my Coates supervisor. It is nice to travel to work by myself each day, and to have a life outside of my family.

Earning money makes a big difference to what I can do in my life, so it is important to me. It means I can save towards my long-term goal of moving out of home. I love my family, but I want to live independently. I love to travel overseas, and am saving to visit my cousins in America and Canada when travel is possible again.

Having an income also means I can buy nice clothes for work, as it is important that I dress professionally. I love having nice clothes to wear when I go out as well.

I can also afford to travel to compete in gymnastics, sometimes overseas or in other states of Australia. I pay for my gymnastics classes and team uniforms. I can also afford to have dance classes.

Having money to go out with my friends is great! Most importantly, I can travel to see my boyfriend, who lives a long way away.

I also pay board to my family each week, to contribute towards the costs in the house (eg. food, electricity), just like my sister does.

Mum helps me with my money. She helps me keep track of my spending, so that I can meet my savings goals. She helps to make sure that I always have money available to me, but helps me keep most of my money secure.

For others with Down syndrome, I encourage you to work if possible. Earning money makes me feel really good and helps me feel grown-up and more independent. Being able to save helps me look forward in my life.  I would not like being home all day. It is very important to me that my mum helps me with my money, and I know I couldn’t manage it as well without support.

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