Most personal finance gurus insist that to take charge of your financial health, you need to create and stick to a budget. For most creative geniuses, especially those with ADHD, a budget is BOOORINGGGGG and so all but impossible.
Because even if you believe a budget is essential, you’re not likely to be able to prepare one, or follow it… remember, it’s boooringggg! Boring things don’t stimulate your brain. Trying to focus on tasks such as preparing a budget when you’re brain isn’t stimulated is about as easy as driving your car around the block when you can’t get the engine started.
No wonder creative geniuses, with or without ADHD, suffer financially far more than the “neurotypical” population. But you’re not doomed to financial hardship, bankruptcy or a retirement age of 97! You just need a different, non-budgeting, approach to managing your financial health… an approach that isn’t boring. (No, not gambling!)
What worked for Duane and me – and believe me, if it worked for us, it can work for anyone – was to stop trying to manage our money the traditional way (and failing miserably!) and adopt ADHD-friendly ways to organize our finances. It all started with a three-step process:
1. We took our financial pulse – it wasn’t pretty, but knew how deep a hole we were in (and it was deep!)
2. We figured out where we wanted to be by deciding what was important to us, and what really wasn’t.
3. We started looking for money “hidden in the sofa cushions.” No, not really, but by being aware of the money our poor choices were robbing from us, we were able to start getting out of debt (instead of getting in deeper every month!) using the money we were already earning!
Already, I was thrilled, and that was just the beginning! In a couple of days I’ll tell you how we went from having 17 maxed out credit cards, no savings and an old rusted car that we owed five thousand dollars on, to being debt-free (except for a small reasonable mortgage), with a nice home, retirement savings. On top of that, we purchased a new car for cash, and this spring we’re going on a one-month vacation to Italy this year.