If you have ADHD and struggle with finances, you are not alone. Are you aching to move out of Mom and Dad’s house or balance your family’s budget? Perhaps organizing your records is boring and you just cannot resist that café latte or buying multiples of the items you saw while surfing the internet.
A young twenty something with ADHD wanted to become financially independent but felt stuck in a career he disliked. He was still living at home because he could not afford to move out. His spending was out of control.
First, we worked together to help him become more aware of his spending by setting up a budget. We looked at what he spent and how he spent it. Next he decided to find a mentor to help him stick to his plan.
At the same time, we began to explore his skills and what he truly envisioned in his ideal work. We also looked at his personal time to help him actively engage with activities he loves to do.
Soon, with the budget in place, he began to save enough money to find an apartment of his own. Next, he found a career that perfectly suited his outgoing and energetic style. Now, in his later twenties, he loves his work, is financially successful and is getting married.
A couple who both experience ADHD can feel especially challenged in trying to balance work, family, personal life and finances. The truth is that poor financial management can have a ripple effect on all of the aspects of family life.
In fact, the snowball effect of living on credit card debt can become terribly stressful. For one couple trying to keep on top of the daily demands of work, marriage and parenting college bound teens, financial planning fell by the wayside. The bread winning Mom felt helpless and did not believe she was able to overcome the family’s financial challenges.
Personal balance is essential to help the person with ADHD harness his/her ability to focus on the mundane responsibility of financial management. With this Mom, we worked on creating a personal balance and routine to help her manage her workplace and home life.
After creating more comfortable routines, she felt ready to really look at what the family finances looked like. The shock was that the credit card debt was not as
overwhelming as she had imagined. The relief was energizing.
She and her husband were able to communicate better about their money and together seek the financial advice they needed to correct the situation. The couple was able to develop a new and effective money management strategy together.
It is the habits and ideas that we learn when we are young that seem to stick in our thought patterns as adults.
If we know a young child has ADHD, helping the child to become aware of value, to budget and to save will set a good financial foundation for a lifetime. If you are a parent with ADHD, try to set an example by creating new conscious routines for yourself. Find a way of budgeting that works for you. Get the support you want in place.
One teen felt the impulse to satisfy food cravings constantly but not really finish the store bought items. She watched her funds being “eaten” every day!
Eventually as her life became more settled and she felt more purposeful, she began to find ways to curb some of her impulse purchases. She eliminated a credit card, used direct payments for her bills and kept better track of her bank account. It seemed that the more balanced her days became, the more the number of impulse purchases declined.