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ADHD doesn’t make it any simpler for folks who are already struggling with managing their finances. In case this describes you, you’re not alone: 4 percent of adults suffer from ADHD. In spite of it, you may save and preserve your hard-earned money using a variety of methods, which is fortunate.
According to WebMD research, young individuals with ADHD frequently suffer from poor money management. That’s because impulsivity, disorganization and procrastination are all symptoms of ADHD. Although these characteristics in and of themselves are not detrimental, managing money can be challenging.
ADHD is gravely misunderstood by a lot of people, according to the Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD) which was established in 1987. People with ADHD were frequently wrongly classified as “behavior problems,” “unmotivated” or “not intellectual enough” by physicians and educators who had limited knowledge of the disorder.
Issues with the following may make managing finances more challenging for persons with ADHD:
- Keeping an eye on your money balance or spending;
- Keeping track of checks, bills and crucial tax documents to prevent late payments;
- Spending and significant credit card debt;
- Putting off cleaning files or making payments; and
- Saving for upcoming demands or desires.
People with ADHD may feel particularly overwhelmed by big endeavors. But breaking those chores up into smaller bites can help. List all the financial-related chores you have to finish. As much as you can, divide them up, such as examining your account balance before paying a bill. As you complete each item on your to-do list, cross it off. Each item can be color-coded to help you recall its priority.
If you can, pay your bills at the beginning of the month, including your credit cards, rent, student loans, auto loans and housing costs. If not, set up another date for a bill review later on in the month. If you use paper copies, mark the bill itself with the date and the words “PAID” to assist you to remember which bills you’ve already paid.
Keep track of everything you buy, including the price, in a notebook or on a smartphone app. Set up recurring phone reminders to keep track of your purchases. On your credit card app, you may also enable buy notifications, which will aid in keeping track of the additional purchases you make. To be sure you’re not forgetting anything, compare your notes with someone you can trust, such as your spouse or a close friend. To determine where you may cut costs and where you are spending the most money, look for patterns.
Detroit native Lisa Howze, a certified public accountant, says a neurodivergent mind doesn’t have to be caught by surprise with unexpected bills, expenses and other financial pain points.
“Because someone learns differently does not mean they should be locked out of opportunities to succeed financially,” Howze said. “It is incumbent upon those who are part of these individuals’ support system to demonstrate good money habits based on sound financial advice related to earning income, budgeting, credit, investing and buying financial instruments like life insurance. A different learning style is not an indication that a person is a deficient learner. Everyone understands that money is green.”
“When it comes to saving, the most important thing to do is simply to start. Whether it’s $1 a day or a few every month, it is important to have a plan. Talking to someone with experience can help people see things from a different perspective. One of my favorite conversations to have with customers is to know what they are saving for and helping them figure out how to get there,” said JPMorgan Chase’s Detroit Vice President Community Manager Gail Taylor.
USA Today reports that financial planning doesn’t happen by accident but through well-thought-out and intentional steps toward success. It’s important to periodically review one’s financial plan to determine if adjustments are needed, particularly given the economic and personal impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
If a person needs a financial refresh to get there, consider seeking the help of a certified financial professional who can help you set and achieve goals, like:
- Affording a comfortable retirement;
- Taking advantage of saving and investing opportunities as you age, estimating your expenses in retirement and preparing to have enough money to cover those costs for your lifetime; and
- Buying a home.
Try these tips for saving and spending in 2023:
Use credit responsibly: pay off credit cards each month, if possible, to avoid accumulating debt and build good credit.
Set up automatic savings: you can do this through your bank and via your employer’s payroll. Use the new year to take a fresh look at the savings options through your employer, including Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), which can be carried over from one year to the next.
Invest windfalls: invest any unexpected cash, such as bonuses or tax refunds, and make your money work harder for you. If you find yourself with significant new assets, such as an inheritance, a certified financial planner can help you make the most of your good fortune.
Review your retirement plans: the new year may bring changes such as buying a home, updating a will or navigating a higher tax bracket. A professional can provide a new year review to keep your retirement plans on track no matter where you are in your working life.
Plan your tax payments: consider paying estimated taxes throughout the year to avoid a large tax bill in April. Estimated tax payments can be especially helpful for contract workers or freelancers who don’t have taxes taken out of their pay automatically.
Shop smarter: combat inflation by switching to store brands for some items. Check whether generic medications will work for you and compare prices for different pharmacies.
For more information visit LetsMakeAPlan.org to find a CFP professional.