Shopping and Banking Independent Living Skills

Originally, I had this giant article with a list of over 300 independent living skills. Many of you, teachers and parents, said it was too overwhelming. So, I’m breaking it down. This way, teachers and parents can use it as a guide for what their child needs to be independent in this area.

Or, how to know what supports they may need as an adult. Of course no IEP can have 40 or 50 goals, and certainly not that many transition IEP goals. But, I think most of us would agree that if you are going to live independently, you need these skills.

child learning to use an ATM

A reminder that there is no shame in supported living. Maximum level of independence is always the ultimate goal.

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Shopping and Banking IEP Goals

To make any of these shopping skills or banking skills into an IEP goal, put that skill in the IEP goal formula.

You can always add some of the other skills as objectives supporting the goal.

IEP goal formula for special education

One thing I did not add to these lists is modern money skills. Things like ATM, cashapp and Venmo, stuff like that. You can find Money and Math IEP goals in a separate post.

Banking and Money IEP Goals

Statistically, disabled people are not high-income earners. However, money management skills are still a necessity.

  1. Knows values of coins and currency
  2. Can make a transaction at a local store and count change
  3. Has an understanding of the difference between “luxuries” and “necessities” in food, transportation, clothing, housing
  4. Understands the difference between “sale price” and “regular price”
  5. Can identify one way to save money on purchases
  6. Can use a credit/debit card at a store
  7. Can open a checking or savings account
  8. Can write checks/make withdrawals and make deposits
  9. Can record banking transactions (either checking or savings)
  10. Can budget allowance to last for a week.
  11. Shows some understanding of the concept of saving
  12. Understand the difference between gross wage and take-home pay
  13. Can use a calculator to add, subtract, divide and multiply
  14. Can resolve situation at a store if credit/debit card is declined
  15. With assistance can make out a monthly budget covering regular expenses for independent living
  16. Shows some “sales resistance” to “something for nothing” advertising and “low weekly payment” credit plans
  17. Can read monthly bank statements, compare balances, make adjustments as necessary (deduct service charges, check fees, adjust for differences in the balance)
  18. Can comparison shop using unit pricing information
  19. Understands the responsibility of filing tax forms
  20. Knows the information that is required for filing taxes and knows where to go to get assistance in filing taxes
  21. Budgets for unanticipated emergencies, seasonal bills, etc.
  22. Understands buying on credit, loans, interest, and late payment penalties
  23. Understands payroll deductions, taxes, FICA, insurance
  24. Can complete a short tax form
  25. Can balance a checkbook; or demonstrate understanding of staying within balance
  26. Has savings plan or retirement plan, can explain.
  27. Understands how to not overdraw checking account, overuse card
  28. Understands concept of pay periods, pay days, and budgeting/spending within means

Food Shopping and Preparation Life Skills

  1. Washes hands before eating and preparing food
  2. Can order in a cafeteria or restaurant
  3. Can describe food groups and foods that contribute to a healthy lifestyle.
  4. Knows name and use of cooking utensils
  5. Can order a meal from the menu in a restaurant
  6. Can fix breakfast for one
  7. Can fix lunch for one
  8. Can fix dinner for one
  9. Can make out a grocery shopping list
  10. Can use cooking utensils effectively and safely (knives, grater, can opener, potato peeler, egg beater, etc.)
  11. Can use kitchen appliances effectively and safely
  12. Can use acceptable table manners
  13. Stores perishable items under refrigeration
  14. Recognizes signs of spoilage in food
  15. Can follow the instructions for preparing canned or frozen foods.
  16. Can plan weekly menu
  17. Can shop for a week’s menu and stay within a food budget
  18. Can carry out a grocery-shopping trip (selecting items on the shopping list and paying the cashier)
  19. Prepares recipes from a cookbook
  20. Can adjust recipes to feed more or less people than called for in the recipes
  21. Understands how to use dates on food packages to prevent spoilage
  22. Prepares and eats a reasonably balanced diet (not perfect diet, but not candy bars for dinner either)
  23. Understands and can use unit pricing to comparison shop

Printable List of Independent Living Skills

Here is the printable list of Independent Living Skills. It is a work in progress, so check back often. But I didn’t want to delay in getting it out there for you.

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