Keeping an eye on your finances can be a challenging thing. On top of the typical ups and downs of maintaining a budget, the roughly 4% of Americans with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, may find it even more challenging to get started with a healthy budget for the day-to-day expenses of life.
Often, children diagnosed with ADHD grow up to need more financial support than others during adulthood. ADHD can cause procrastination, impulsive decisions, inability to concentrate, and disorganization. All of this can affect how you manage your money. This could look like living paycheck to paycheck, never bringing a grocery list with you to the store, and overspending.
Though the thought of managing money might feel overwhelming, it’s possible to handle it when you take some steps to simplify your finances. Here are some ways ADHD can impact your wallet and how you can manage ADHD and your money.
Create a simple budget
Finances and budgeting are already a challenge, however, if you’ve been diagnosed with ADHD, it can be even more difficult to have a solid grasp on where to get started.
The first step in managing your money better is to find out where your money is going. You can do this by setting aside time each day to track your spending. Simply write down how much money you spent and what you spent it on. This can help you form a “normal” budget, allowing you to understand what your average expenses look like. Next, determine your needs and wants. Since you have a budget, you can prioritize your spending in whatever way you want. If having a visual helps you, there are many budgeting tools available online that can help you view your money through charts or other visual representations.
Break what you need to do into smaller tasks
Make a physical to-do list so you don’t have to rely on your memory and can cross tasks off as you get them done. Set small, easily accomplishable goals. Schedule time to review your finances so that it becomes part of your routine and isn’t something you have to try to remember to do.
Set up automatic payments
If you struggle to remember to pay your bills on time, do yourself a favor and set up automatic, online payments. By doing so, you won’t have to worry about remembering to make your payments. Just be sure that you’ll have enough money in your account by the time each payment comes out. This will also allow you to have less paper clutter, which can help your mind feel clearer.
Seek financial counseling
Many financial institutions offer free counseling to help you manage bills, set long-term financial goals, and better understand finances overall. Your local library may also offer free classes to help you further your personal finance skills.
Seek help in managing your ADHD
ADHD can be managed with the help of things like medication, therapy, and other alternative or additional methods. If you believe you have ADHD and haven’t been diagnosed, meet with your general practitioner or a mental health expert. ADHD is treatable and at Valley Oaks Health, we’re here to support you through a range of supportive services such as life skills training, parent education, representative payee services, medication, and therapy.