Inattention and impulsivity can be difficult characteristics to have when it comes to managing money. Many of my clients with ADHD have great financial difficulties but most are significantly helped by developing a Spending Plan.
(Shh. Yes, that’s code for “budget”. But hey, “plan” is bad enough, the B-word, I dare not utter.)
To craft a personalized Spending Plan, you only need two things: artistry and action. (Yes, again, that’s code for design and execution.) Artistry means creativity; the kind, which brings freedom of expression, color, and rhythm, all great to have in your Spending Plan. The action is how you act, the answer to each of the questions.
- On what do you spend your money?
How you spend your money expresses who you are. What you value you will buy and since we are our values, in essence, you are what you buy. Are you someone who leaves the house with $50 only to return home with nothing to show for it? Or do you come home with a new book only to add to the 3,000 others that you already own, you’re a reader after all.
- In what categories may you overspend?
Like color on canvas, what you buy paints your world. Are you feeling like you never have enough money to buy the necessities but somehow you always have money for cigarettes? A spending plan will help draw clearer boundaries and help you prioritize.
- When do you spend money?
Do you shop impulsively every day or mindfully create a list and go once a week? When you spend money creates the rhythm with which you live by. Whether every Friday or 15th of the month, when you get paid often dictates your spending patterns. With a spending plan, payday is taken into account but no longer has the same tight influence on you.
Sticking to your Spending Plan will be harder than creating it; impulses and old habits die hard. Sometimes tweaking will be necessary but the bottom line is not to give up. Eventually, you can learn to live within your means and have freedom from money troubles.