Managing Money with ADHD

Julya Matsakyan
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Managing money can be challenging, and for individuals with ADHD, unique barriers to financial organization and moneying with intention can be present.

At Bolder, we believe in helping the whole person improve their financial situation, and that means considering the impact of neuro-divergence on money behaviors and patterns. If you have ADHD and have struggled to manage your finances, know that you're not alone, and it is possible for you to get in control of your money.

Here are 8 common ADHD symptoms that can impact your finances, and how to navigate them so you stay in control of your money.

Being Impulsive

Impact on your money: Impulsive spending, emotionally charged decisions.

Do this:

  1. Put as much space as possible between your feeling and your choice. Set a time boundary for yourself: maybe 24 hours before you think of buying something, and actually buying it.
  2. Write it down in a note on your phone, and come back to it the next day. This gives your brain a little more time to make a different choice, and the note-taking relieves the feeling that you have to do something “right now.”
  3. When shopping, decide where the item will go in your home before you buy it. Use mindfulness exercises if you have them.
High energy & excitement

Impact on your money: Making an investment in a course or signing up for something before thinking it through.

Do this:

  1. Use this energy for something you’re proud of. Keep a wishlist of passion projects that require time, not money, and when you are feeling excited or energetic, refer back to your list and do something on there. OR see if the investment you want to make is truly aligned with your passions.
  2. Schedule small indulgences into your day/week/month to remind your brain that every new opportunity isn’t a “once in a lifetime” deal.
Being Forgetful

Impact on your money: Forgotten bills, leftover income might be used for spending instead of goals.

Do this:

  1. Set up auto-transfers to your savings account and auto-pay for your important bills.
  2. Use tools like Asana and your calendar app to stay organized and build a routine that supports meeting your money goals.
Trouble focusing

Impact on your money: Difficulty learning new financial skills, or taking steps to move you towards your goals - like reflecting on spending, reviewing your job achievements for a year-end review, or setting up new bank accounts.

Do this:

  1. Keep task duration short and more frequent. Block off 30 minutes a week to do something money related.
  2. Pair undesirable tasks with things you do enjoy like music, walking on the treadmill, or doing it with a friend.
Feeling Bored

Impact on your money: Seeking last-minute experiences that aren’t in the spending plan, or shopping online.

Do this:

  1. Have a list of activities that aren’t going to mess up your spending plan
  2. Keep room in your spending plan for boredom (maybe even a ‘boredom bucket’ of money you can spend when you are bored)
  3. Call a friend and talk through what you’re feeling, come up with a plan to do something with them.
Having anxiety

Impact on your money: Getting online to find the best deals, seeking comfort purchases like snacks and home items.

Do this:

  1. Pay close attention to your physical comfort (hunger, itchy clothing, noise level). Take care of those things first.
  2. Use mindfulness exercises, like the 5-4-3-2-1 coping technique for anxiety.

Impact on your money: Not paying bills on time, putting off money-making or money management activities.

Do this:

  1. Avoid motivation tactics that make you feel disempowered. Hate sticker charts, or to do lists? Scratch them, and find something that works for you.
  2. Reward yourself for doing undesired tasks.  You’ll want to find a balance between motivation and splurging!
And we're here to help!

Want an accountability partner for improving your financial life? Work with me to shift into making healthy money moves. Text #julya to (347) 418-0923 or click here to get started.

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