Spending and ADHD

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The challenges that ADHD presents can be especially challenging when it comes to money.

Not paying attention, being forgetful, lack of organizational skills – these can really impact your financial situation if you are the one in charge of the money.

Depression or low self esteem can cause trouble when it comes to credit cards or shopping.

Setting up a budget? Too boring, too many details, too overwhelming.

So as a person with Attention Deficit Disorder, how do you manage your finances successfully?

The subject of money management is a huge one – far too large for me to cover here – but here are a few ideas in no particular order.

Make a list of all of your expenses: things like housing, food, gas and auto or transportation costs, utilities, etc.

I would also suggest keeping a list of the pertinent information for each of the companies that you pay regularly. I have a record of the account number, contact information for the company, and when the bill is due. If you pay online, you may want to add that information as well.

Now list the money coming in. Hopefully there is more coming in than going out; otherwise it’s time to start cutting back.

Set up a simple budget. One of the easiest is Pear Budget. You can also use ones that access your bank account directly, such as Mint.

Tracking discretionary spending can be especially difficult for us and is often what gets us into trouble. That little trip to Target or a daily latte can add up without your realizing it.

To get that under control, do one of two things:

1. Set an amount that is acceptable for such spending and keep that amount in cash. When your cash is gone, your spending is done for the week.

2. If you’re comfortable with using a debit card, go ahead. Just make sure to keep your receipts and note on them what was purchased. That way you can look back and see what you spent and on what.

Finally, if you feel that your finances are completely out of control, seek the advice of a respected professional. Dave Ramsey’s site is well respected and offers a vast amount of resources for you.

You might also check with an accountant, a trusted friend, or your church.

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Lacy Estelle

Lacy Estelle is the writer of Lacyestelle.com and the Podcast host for An ADD Woman.

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