Autistic adults' experiences of financial wellbeing: Part II

Published October 2023


Money matters in people’s lives. It helps to meet people’s basic needs (food, clothes, shelter) and live the lives they want to. When people talk about ‘financial wellbeing’, they mean how much you feel in control over day-to-day finances and how much freedom you have to make choices to enjoy life. We don’t know what autistic people think about these things.

We spoke to 21 autistic adults (24–69 years) about how they felt about their financial situation. We deliberately spoke to people who had told us previously they felt ‘financially well’ or ‘financially unwell’ so we could hear a range of opinions. Autistic people told us financial wellbeing meant having enough money to pay for their basics needs, to have a safety net for unexpected bills and not having to worry about money now or in the future. But many felt that good financial wellbeing was not possible for them. They often did not have a stable income to cover day-to-day expenses. This limited the choices they could make.

Despite these challenges, autistic people told us they worked hard to budget and save money when they could – because feeling financial insecure was just too stressful, especially when they could not rely on family or friends for support. It made them feel mentally unwell. Our study shows there are many factors that influence autistic people’s financial wellbeing. We need more research to help us understand how autistic people can be supported to achieve financial security.

Pellicano, E., Hall, G., & Ying Cai, R. (2023). Autistic adults’ experiences of financial wellbeing: Part II. Autism, 0(0).

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