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Are you feeling overwhelmed by your finances? Do you feel like you’re not making any progress no matter how hard you try? If so, don’t worry – you’re not alone. Many of us with ADHD find it difficult to get our finances in order, but with a bit of effort and some helpful tips, it’s definitely doable.
Sometimes as an ADHD adult I’d rather set my money on fire, than look at my budget. Learning to manage your finances as an ADHD adult is critical, but so difficult. In this blog post, we will discuss five tips that should help make the process a little less daunting. I can’t promise these tips will help you build a ton of wealth, but with the right mindset you can try to implement these habits.
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Habit building is the key to having long term success, truly. If you haven’t read Atomic Habits by James Clear, it is life changing!
Anyways- let’s give these a shot.
Tip #01: Evaluate your spending habits.
The first step towards getting your finances in order is to evaluate your spending habits. Take a look at where you’re currently spending the most money and see if there are any areas where you can cut back without making too many sacrifices. Maybe you could cook more meals at home instead of eating out.
If you have ADHD, you may struggle with people pleasing. It can be extremely hard for ADHDers to set boundaries with their family and friends. I’ve found this to be true for a few reasons:
- You are worried they will be angry or mad at you for saying no to their invite, or simply telling the truth “I don’t have it in my budget right now, I’m sorry.” or
- You don’t want to seem like you’re struggling if you tell them you can’t afford something right now.
Here’s the truth: Your friends and family don’t care if you are struggling with finances, or if you don’t have it in their budget. And the healthy relationships can handle being told ‘no’ without getting wildly upset. Disappointment is normal, and you can’t control if someone is disappointed. But if you NEED to have better control on your finances, you will have to figured out how to tell others ‘no’, when they want you to do something that would cost you money you haven’t put into your budget.
Tip #02: Manage your finances as an ADHD adult by Creating a budget and sticking to it as closely as possible
Creating a budget is the easy part. If you have ADHD you can hyperfocus on your finances, and write it all down on paper. That is if you are truly ready to change your money game.
The tricky part comes in when you have to maintain that budget. To truly manage your finances as an ADHD adult- YOU MUST STICK TO THE BUDGET.
Doing things like using cash as much as possible, and divvying up your spending money in envelopes is extremely helpful. Once the cash is gone, it’s gone. Leave your debit and credit cards at home.
When you are trying to manage your finances and have ADHD, you have to make yourself log into your bank account daily. You won’t want to look if you spent something out of your budget the day before. Your brain will switch into that “all or nothing” mode. The same mode you get anytime you try to break a habit, but just make yourself look regardless. By simply looking you’ll be more conscious of what you actually have everyday, rather than just trying to rely on our very faulty working memory.
Tip #03: Make a list of Financial Goals and work towards achieving them over time
When it comes to managing your finances, mapping your goals backwards is essential. This means that you should start by determining what you want to achieve in the long term, and then work backwards to create a plan of action that will help you get there.
It’s so important to take the time to map out your goals and come up with a plan of action. By doing so, you’ll be more likely to reach your targets and improve your financial situation. Really, any goal can be achieved by breaking it down into actionable steps you take daily.
This is something ADHD people have a very hard time with; sequencing.
We know what we want to do, but how we get there becomes a challenge. You should try taking all your ideas out of your own mind, and putting them onto paper in some way, shape, or form. You are much more likely to be able to remember them and actually complete them this way. Rather than relying on your memory to tell you to do them.
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Tip #04: Consider Debt Repayment Plans and Options
Debt consolidation loans are a good alternative to filing for bankruptcy.
If you’re struggling with managing your money, or simply can’t make ends meet because of high interest rates on credit cards and other debt, then this may be the best option for you.
A debt consolidation loan is a type of personal loan that combines all of your debts into one monthly payment at lower-than-average interest rates. This makes managing multiple monthly payments much easier than managing individual accounts so you can focus more time on managing your business or improving your financial situation overall.
Generally speaking, taking out a debt consolidation loan is not what a lot of the financial gurus recommend. BUT- with the rising Student loan debt, and the inability to include that Federal Debt into a bankruptcy, I’d say a consolidation loan is a much better option. You can read more about one man’s personal story here.
Tip #05: Don’t be afraid to seek professional help
Even in your worst predicaments financially, financial advisors and advocates are there to help. And if you are worried you’ll be embarrassed by your impulsive spending habits, I can almost guarantee they’ve seen worse, more embarrassing purchases from people in the past.
It takes a lot of courage to be willing to go to a trusted stranger and say “I need help.” It does, make no mistake. If you are worried it will cost to much to meet with someone to go over things, reach out to your local churches. They likely have someone on staff with connections to Financial help services. Services that will help people learn to budget, manage their money and stop running the rat race of paycheck to paycheck.
What about you? Is there any habit in particular you’ve picked up that has helped you maintain your finances as an ADHD Adult? We’d love to hear about it in the comments section.