Are you short for month at the end of each month? Do you have 5-10 credit cards, all maxed out to the limit? Do you forget to pay your bills on time? If you have answered, “Yes, " to any of these questions, don't feel bad. Most people with ADD can't control money. But don't worry. We have some tips that can help you improve your financial picture:
A Simple Bill Handling System
Go out today and buy some hanging file folders, make sure they're colored. Get a file box, too, if you don't have a filing cabinet. You can buy them quite inexpensively, probably in the same aisle. Then, go home and make a folder for each class of your expenses, like utilities, credit cards, medical payments, etc. , and keep it pretty simple. Otherwise, if you break it down into each credit card, rather than just one file for credit cards, you may run into another pesky ADD trait-procrastination. Anything looking too complicated might cause this response.
Every day, when you bring your mail home, don't throw it on a counter somewhere and let it pile up. Sort it right away. Even stand over the trash can while you're doing it. Toss the things you don't want or need, and keep the rest in your hand. Then, pay any bills that you get immediately, write the date you paid them on the front, and file them into one of your hanging folders in the file box. If you can't pay the bill right away, have a special “bill" place, like the front of a desk drawer, for instance. Put nothing else in the front of that drawer, except your bills. Then, when it comes time to pay the bills, you'll know exactly where to find them.
If you don't already use online banking, stop worrying about the security because banks are pretty secure. Nothing is 100% of course, but your chances of getting into trouble with an online banking account are slim. So, once you have this set up, and as each bill comes in, go to your account and fill in the information for the payee. You'll only have to do this the first month. After that, all the information is right there, and you can just point and click at the bills you want to pay. Not only will this help with your ADD boredom over dealing with finances, it will save you lots of time.
When you've finished paying your bills, file them in the appropriate folders in your file cabinet or box. Now, everything you need is ready for the tax time rolls around.
Avoid the Dreaded Spending Urge
You may find it very convenient to use plastic to pay for day-to-day expenses, but if you have ADD , it may seem so simple that you forget the money has to be paid back. Don't own more than one credit card! They aren't for simple expenses. Credit cards should only be used in emergencies. And don't use department or discount store credit cards. They'll bleed you dry and you'll never pay them off if you continue to make a minimum monthly payment. Keep only one card, and be sure it's a Mastercard, Visa, Discover, etc. , that you can use anywhere. But don't use it! Put it away in a safe place and only take it out for extreme emergencies, like outpatient surgery when your insurance company has huge deductible.
Don't carry around huge wads of cash or a debit card linked to your bank account, either. If you prefer the convenience of plastic, open a separate bank account and put a monthly “allowance" into it for yourself. When the money's gone, you'll just have to wait until next month to get more. This should help you to budget your spending and hold back on those impulse purchases a little.
When you think you want to buy something, hold off for a bit. Walk away and just wait a day or so. Your enthusiasm for the purchase will probably diminish. You'll also be able to tell whether you really NEED something or whether you merely want it. If you simply want it, forget it and wait to buy until something is really needed.
Be Your First Bill
You should also have a savings account, one that you never touch for any reason, and put at least 10% of every paycheck into that account. That way, when you need money for a house, or money for a car down payment, or whatever, it will be there. This account is only for very big, very important items. But no matter how much you make, always pay yourself first.
All of these tips are solid money management tips for anyone, whether they have ADD or not. Try one of them, and see if it doesn't help you to manage your money better. We guarantee it will. When you find out for yourself that it does, it's simple! Come back and try another.
Tellman Knudson, certified Hypnotherapist, is CEO of Overcome Everything, Inc. Stephanie Frank is an internationally known speaker and author of “The Accidental Millionaire. " Do you have adult ADD? Find out at http://instantaddsuccess.com