While children are most often diagnosed, those children can sometimes carry their symptoms over into adulthood. There are also adults who are diagnosed with ADD or ADHD. These diagnoses can cause all kinds of difficulties for adults that they do not have to face when dealing with childhood ADD or ADHD.
ADD and ADHD can cause an adult to practice irresponsible spending habits. Money management can be a big struggle for these people. One of the major difficulties is impulsive spending. This is further complicated, because you can spend your money because of the ADHD, but the creditors and debt collectors do not usually care why you spent your money or that you have an excuse for doing it.
Impulsive Spending Explained
ADD and ADHD have a long history of causing you to part with your money. The most common money management issue from which ADD and ADHD diagnosed people suffer is impulsive spending habits. Because impulse control is one of the chief symptoms associated with ADD and ADHD, impulsive spending is a natural continuance and should be no surprise. If you find that you have a home full of items you have purchased but never used or you buy things that seem like a good idea at the time, but never end up being what you expected, you may have a problem with ADD or ADHD related impulse buying. If you find that you regularly buy things on a whim or buy things just for the sake of buying something, you may also have a problem with ADD or ADHD related impulse buying.
Controlling Your Spending Habits
While ADD or ADHD may make your money management a little more difficult, there are ways that you can reclaim your control over your money.
- Think First, Buy Second: The first and most important thing that you can do to help curb your impulse spending habits is to think before you buy. You may believe that you already do think, but if your spending is out of control, you are not thinking enough. Before making a large purchase, sleep on it, or leave the store and give yourself some time to think about the purchase. Ask yourself if you really need the item in question or if you have an immediate use for it. Think about whether or not you have something like it already. Do the same with smaller purchases giving special attention to whether or not you have something that serves the same purpose.
- Create a Support Network: Have some friends or family members ready to call who know about your struggle. Ask these people if the purchase you want to make is reasonable and responsible. Follow their advice and listen to these trusted advisors. They may be thinking straighter than you are and deserve to be listened to. No matter how much you want to disagree, follow their lead.
- Write a List and Stick to It: When you go to the store, particularly when you are grocery shopping, go with a strict list. Stick to your list once you are in the store. If you come across things that are not on your list that you would like to purchase, write them down to think about later. Only purchase what you have set out to purchase in the first place. Eat a snack or a meal before you go to the grocery store as well. Shopping while hungry will make it harder for you to stick to your list and make you more likely to make an impulsive purchase.
- Pay With Cash: Shop only with cash. Credit cards and debit cards make it very easy for you to overspend. Paying with cash makes the money seem more real and reinforces the idea that you are spending real money and not just swiping a piece of plastic.
- Leave Cards At Home Unless Absolutely Needed: When you are shopping without real intent, leave you credit cards and cash at home. Browse before making a decision. Write down the items that you might like to purchase, and then sleep on it or check in with friends or family. At the very least, taking the time to go home to get your money or credit card might be enough time for you to sort out why you want to make the purchase and if you really need the item.
Money management is a challenge for almost everyone, but can be a very serious issue for those living with ADD or ADHD. Regardless of the reasons for your money management issues, using these techniques will give you a chance at taking back control of your financial health.