Managing money with ADHD might be a little more difficult but definitely isn’t impossible. Traditional advice might be harder to implement but here are some tips to help you successfully manage your money so you can still reach your big money goals.
If you struggle with ADHD, you might have struggled with:
- Keeping track of bank balances or expenses
- Organizing checks, bills, and important tax papers
- Late payments and large credit card balances
- Procrastinating on paying bills or organizing files
- Saving for future needs or wants
Just know you are not alone. If you need help creating a realistic plan you can actually stick to and want personalized feedback, make sure to join Flourish FinanciALLI. I can hold you accountable and make sure you have the best strategies for your unique needs.
Let’s talk about some ways to help you manage money with ADHD.
1. Automate when possible
Once you write down all of your expenses, take some time to set up automatic payments. Part of easing financial stress is getting organized. Make sure you add the date the bill will be paid to your phone calendar or bill calendar. Automation can help you pay your bills, pay minimum debt payments, and even save. If you are someone who says they’ll save but never does, set up an automatic transfer each month. This is also helpful for investments.
You can also open multiple checking accounts to help you. One can be for fixed expenses that are the same every month and that are automated. Another checking account can be for variable expenses like food, gas, extras. This way your fixed and variable expenses are separate and it is clear.
2. Plan for impulse purchases & overspending
Be honest with yourself. You will probably overspend so just prepare for it. Create a sinking fund or leave a small buffer in your account for overspending. You can also work on reducing impulse spending by setting spending rules. This can be super simple like wait a set number of hours before making a big purchase. If you usually just swipe your credit card whenever you want something, don’t carry your card every day. Delete the number from websites and leave your card at home unless you need it. Or if you don’t want to leave the house without it, leave it in the car when you go into a store.
Having someone like a partner, friend, or even money coach to talk to when you feel the urge to spend is so helpful. Remember, spending money isn’t bad, we just want to reduce the impulse factor.
3. Use visual trackers/charts
Put due dates on a calendar (print a calendar, use your phone, or use an online calendar). You need to visually see when you are getting paid and when bills are due. You can put the bill calendar on your fridge or even make it your phone/computer background.
You can also use a chart/tracker for your debt payoff and savings progress. When I was paying off six-figures of debt I had charts for each debt we were paying off. It was always exciting when I could fill in another line and it was helpful to visually see how much I had left.
4. Use your actual numbers
Stop reading about what other people spend their money on and use your actual numbers. You will be more stressed and overwhelmed trying to compare your numbers to other people (and then you probably won’t even budget at all).
First you need to know where your money is actually going. Part of that is tip #1 in this post. The other part is actually knowing where all your money is. Write down all of your accounts (checking, saving, investing) and all of your debt (servicer, current balance, interest rate). Then you can decide if you want to simplify and reduce the number of accounts you have.
Fancy budget templates with a million charts probably won’t be helpful. Keep it simple. I recommend budgeting per paycheck and checking in one a week to make adjustments and update your budget. My templates inside Flourish FinanciALLI are SUPER simple (but they work).
5. Ask for help
Remember you don’t need to do this alone. Sometimes it is really helpful to have someone hold you accountable and give you personalized feedback. I have worked with many people who have ADHD and they saw great results in my program, Flourish FinanciALLI. If you have a partner, make sure you talk to your partner about your financial goals and your plan so you have that accountability and support. I know money is still a taboo topic but the more you talk about it, the more comfortable it will be.