Money can be one of the blindspots for ADHD Entrepreneurs. While some people are great at managing money, other entrepreneurs resemble the old adage: A fool and his money are soon parted. To avoid money pitfalls, it’s important to make money matter. Following these 5 money tips can help ADHD Entrepreneurs avoid money troubles and a whole host of difficulties.
The American Psychiatric Association states that people who have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) exhibit symptoms of hyperactivity, impulsivity, and the inability to focus. While people living with ADHD experience difficulties in learning and being productive, the challenges do not stop there.
We live in a consumer-driven, sales-driven, stuff-driven world. The media supports our spending through the different forms of media that we have all around us. And while this makes the temptation to spend irresponsibly difficult to resist for people in general, it is much harder for those with ADHD. And that’s not it. There are many other money-related issues made harder by ADHD. If you’ve ever struggled to remember to pay bills, or neglected to check your balance prior to purchasing, your ADHD could be showing up. And, many with AHD have no concept of saving for the future. So, what can you do about it? Here are 5 money management tips specifically designed to help professionals with ADHD.
1. Create a budget
The first step you have to take is to set a monthly budget. Take note of all your spending and evaluate these expenses at the end of the month, compared to your income. From there, set a monthly budget that incorporates all your expenses — making sure that it is reasonable and will not deprive you of any necessities, while also not exceeding the amount you earn every month.
By doing this it will help keep your monthly spending down, while also allowing you to see how and where you can cut back on your savings. Applications such as You Need A Budget are particularly helpful in aiding adults with ADHD in saving money and managing their expenses.
2. Maintain your budget
One of the most common money tips you’ll hear is “Set a budget!” And, while setting a budget is important, it’s only half the battle. A survey by Marcus reveals that over 3/4 of all Americans exceed their budgets a few times a year. And while this is a worrying statistic, it’s important to remember that budgets are meant to be adjusted according to your needs. As your needs change, so should your budget. So this money tip is more about developing a watchful eye. By practicing a bit more mindfulness, you can lower your expenses or amend your budget accordingly.
So, what’s the best way to go about this? Psychologist and ADHD Coach Dr. Kirsten Milliken says to use gamification. Gamification is using game mechanics in real-world settings. This idea can be applied in many walks of life and is supremely helpful for adults living with ADHD. Since the ADHD brain is consistently looking for engagement, games help. And gamification is incredibly helpful for long-term maintenance tasks like budgeting. When you can turn it into a game, you’ll stay much more engaged. Instead of focusing on the horror of boring tasks, figure out ways to incorporate play into your day. Perhaps developing a point scheme for each day you stay below your budget will bring you the focus you need through play. While gamification is a money tip here, it can be applied throughout your life. It is a very effective ADHD strategy.
It’s also important for ADHD folks to always remember the context, or the big WHY. If you can connect maintaining a budget to a bigger reason: saving for college, paying off a loan, or enjoying a fabulous vacation, the task has a much bigger consequence. Once you make the big connection, post helpful reminders to stay on track.
3. Automate your transactions
Seeing as ADHD can affect your ability to focus, you may occasionally miss important payments. One easy fix is to automate the process. This third money tip can be as simple as setting up an autopay plan for your bills by calling your bank. Just be sure to take note of which bills are on autopay and which ones are manually scheduled and handled to avoid any complications down the line.
4. Keep receipts together and assign a home
When it comes to money management and ADHD, the simpler the solution, the better. The fourth money tip is to find a way to simplify tax deductions. And, the best money tip is to corral those receipts and then assign a home to them. This way your receipts will all be in one place. Make it a habit to place all your receipts in a set of envelopes, with one envelope dedicated for each month, so that you’ll be ready to file them for your proof of purchases come tax season.
5. Hire a professional
Lastly, while it isn’t the cheapest money tip, hiring a professional to help you out may do you a lot of good in the long run. And, for ADHD Entrepreneurs, this is something often put off as a task to do yourself, but beware. It’s easy to make money mistakes when you don’t have expertise. Taxes, expenses, deductions and costs can creep up on you. Leaving your money management to a professional (especially when you’re running a business) can save your skin.
Consider this as learning to ride a bike with training wheels before you try and manage your money by yourself. This way, you can treat hiring a professional as an investment rather than an additional expense — one that will definitely pay off in the future.
Please share your thoughts and comments
So, there you have it: our five money tips for entrepreneurs with ADHD! When you start with a reasonable budget, take steps to maintain it, automate your money tasks and keep your receipts in one place, you’ll be way ahead of the game. And, if you need help, there are many professionals, money managers, CPAs and/or bookkeepers who can help.
Have these money tips helped you? Do you have any suggestions to share? Let us know in the comments below!
Special thanks to our guest author: Agatha Lori is a grad student with a fascination for the fields of technology, mental health, and holistic development. She hopes to further the discussion on mental health in today’s digital world one person at a time. When she’s not working, she enjoys urban gardening and yoga.