Money management, including budgeting, saving, paying bills and saving for the future, requires organization, patience, attention to detail, planning and consistency. All of these are problem areas for adults with ADHD. The very thought of finances and monthly budgets can put some adults with ADHD into tailspin of emotions, leaving them feeling insecure, guilty and incompetent.
With practice and determination, adults with ADHD, however, can be successful at managing their money and sticking to a household budget. The following are five common problems adults with ADHD have when managing money and some tips to help improve these areas.
Not Having a Clear Vision
Everyone's lifestyle is unique to their situation, it is important to know what your priorities are and what you want to spend your money on. For example, CHADD's Managing Money information sheet states "Every good financial plan begins with a vision of an ideal lifestyle."  The information sheet suggests each person take time to think about what their ideal would look like. For example, it asks, how would you spend your days if you never needed to worry about money? Taking the time to reflect on what you want out of life, can help you become motivated to better manage your money.
Your vision should be specific and detailed. A vague idea of "I want to be rich" isn't enough. Your vision needs clarity and details. Where do you want to live? What type of home do you want to live in? What type of car do you want to drive? Or your vision may have different priorities. You may want to send your children to the best schools, or you may want a smaller home but want a personal assistant or have the newest gadgets. No matter what your vision is, it is unique to you and should reflect what will make you feel good and be aligned with your values.
You may want to write down your vision or use pictures to help remind you of what you are working toward.
Having a clear vision helps to motivate you to create a budget and take specific steps to help realize your goals.
Not Knowing Where to Start
So many times, when we don't know where to start, we simply don't. Instead we stay stuck in the same cycle, going round and round and not getting anywhere. It is overwhelming to figure out a starting point in getting your finances together, especially if you have ignored them for a long time and they are a mess.
But ignoring financial problems won't make them go away, and usually makes them worse. If you have begun by creating a vision, then you have already made a start. But while it is easier to create a vision of your ideal future, it is harder to figure out how to make that future a reality.
As with all goals, breaking them down into sections can help to make them more manageable. Using the vision you have created, break down goals into short-term, mid-term and long-term goals. What do you want to accomplish immediately? What goals are you hoping to manage over the next five to ten years? Long-term goals are those you want for your retirement.