Dear Social Workers, I thought it might be interesting to start off the new year with a focus on finances. I recently completed my book, Let's Talk About Finances: A Path to Financial Wellness for Social Work Students and Graduates. Below are a few excerpts that I hope can be helpful as you navigate this new year and pursue financial wellness!
Something that often receives little discussion during formal education is how to plan for the fees after the degree. What do I mean by this? Although not all required, you may have an interest in pursuing certifications, licensure, attend conferences or trainings, or join professional organizations after attaining your degree that may contribute to debt. There are fees attached to each of these growth opportunities, including supervision fees for licensure. In addition, there may be dues, renewal, or recertification fees. To attend conferences, there may be travel, lodging, and meals to consider. My main point is, start researching your interests as soon as you can so you can begin budgeting for them. Here are some examples:
National Association of Social Workers $236 (membership types and costs vary)
Association of Social Work Boards Clinical Licensing Exam $260 (based on year 2021)
Conference rates can have a broad range, such as up to $700
Certifications and training prices range based on the type of certification and specific organization providing the training
How about a little task? Conduct an internet search for certain of your areas of interest. For example, are you interested in clinical social work licensure? Visit your state social work board website to learn about the application fee and fees to maintain your license. Then visit the Association of Social Work Boards site to learn more about the clinical social work exam cost. Look up social work-related conferences taking place this year and the registration fees. Conduct a search for trainings or certifications you may be interested in. This task is designed to help you begin learning about what additional growth opportunities may cost and how to prepare financially.
Next, describe your findings. What growth opportunities did you search? What were the fees? How might this affect your savings goals? Have you considered developing savings specifically for professional growth and development opportunities?
This is just a little tip to help with financial wellness and planning from Let's Talk About Finances. This book is available for pre-order!
Welcome to a new year of financial wellness!