Break Free of Your “Sorry, No Money” Chains!

In my parents’ generation, talking about money was taboo.  I’ve been very open about the serious financial problems Duane and I had, because we both know how not talking about it only made the problem worse.  For a long time, Duane and I put our heads in the sand, hoping the problem would go away.  But we had to face it, to talk about it and to take action.

Yes, it’s embarrassing to admit it we had money problems.  It’s probably something you’d like to think would just disappear if you ignore it too.  But our financial problems taught us that they don’t go away by themselves.  You have to take positive steps to overcome the problem.  Our experience also taught us that there is a solution.

In all the years Duane and I struggled financially, we searched for and tried many ways to overcome this major source of fighting in our family.  We bought books, put ourselves on strict budgets and spent hoursà often every day, just trying to deal with our financial misfortune.  We had to collect empty bottles to turn in for the refund just to buy groceries.  Using a budget, we’d make some headway but felt so deprived that at some point we couldn’t handle it anymore and we’d go on binge and fall off the wagon.

We also felt guilty!  Every time our kids would ask to go to special school or church outing, we’d have to say “Sorry sweetheart, but there’s no money!”  We even turned down programs that would help us work through our financial difficulties, saying “Sorry, no money!”  When the investment opportunity of a lifetime presented itself, we’d reluctantly say “Sorry, no money!”

Years of following the same pattern, depriving ourselves, followed by binging, and feeling guilty about it, we realized that spending every waking moment of our lives worrying and thinking about our lack of money did not bring us closer to our goals, and certainly wasn’t helping us lead the life we’d imagined.

Finally, we decided to take a different approach to managing our finances.  Instead of the “binging and dieting” approach of splurging and budgeting, we decided to change our money lifestyle.  We faced our limiting beliefs around money and shifted them.  (It’s amazing how changing your thoughts really can change your life!)  Finally, we made small but significant changes to the way we managed our financial health.  Before long, we were able to stop spending all our time thinking about money because the situation was fixing itself automatically.

If you’re tired of having to say “Sorry, no money!” and you’d like to learn to manage your finances more successfully, join us on ADHD Money Management: Finally Dollars and Sense group coaching program (http://tinyurl.com/adhdmoney) that starts on Monday, February 9th at 8:30 pm. Don’t wait, space is limited!

Manage your Finances Without a Budget

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.

 

ADHD Systems for Money Management Help You Prosper

Good intentions aren’t enough. ADHD money management systems, on the other hand, can help you prepare now for a better tomorrow. Smart (and ultimately successful) people use systems to increase productivity, improve efficiency and to save their sanity. One of the ADHD side effects I always look for is poor money management.

You have ambitions, a vision for your future and important goals. Your dreams might include owning your own home, buying a revenue property, retiring early or starting your own business. These dreams all demand money, probably more than you have right now.

Of course, you’ll need to make some choices, prioritize your objectives and define exactly what you’re trying to accomplish, but once you do that, you’ll need more than good intentions to make your dreams come true.

Successful adults with ADHD will tell you that the key to success is not relying on your own abilities to get things done. The real secret is using your abilities to set up systems. ADHD systems for money management are particularly powerful. These systems take over the mundane, repetitive tasks you are unable to do (and that would be a waste of your intelligence, creativity and energy.)

The most common money management and retirement planning solutions used by adults with ADHD include:

  • doing nothing (spending every penny you make just to get by and not putting any money away for a rainy day falls into this category), hoping you’ll either win the lottery or be able to move in with your kids when you retire.
  • using credit cards, “easy” payment plans and debt consolidation to keep digging a deeper hole you plan to “magically” get out of when you finally strike it rich.
  • relying on someone else (your spouse is usually stuck with this task, although if you’re single, this option is usually replaced by one of the first two.)
  • swearing that this year will be better, you vow to prepare a budget, pay yourself at least 10% of your income first, plan for your taxes by making smart investments, charitable donations and wise business moves (this plan typically lasts until the credit card bills come in and you revert back to one of the previous three options.)

There is no magic solution for having enough money to make your dreams come true. While you are young, working and earning, you must save money for the future. One of the most common symptoms of ADHD in adults is lower earnings and poor financial “health.” That’s because promises, intentions and hopes won’t cut it. ADHD money management systems, however, can enable you to have a very successful financial future.

In fact, do it right and this is one of those occasions where ADHD works to your advantage. Every personal finance guru will tell you to set yourself up for “automatic” success by using systems to save and manage your money. They know systems work much better than relying on discipline or good intentions, and your ADHD habit of relying on systems to handle things you cannot or don’t want to puts you ahead of the game. All you need to do is set those ADHD money management systems properly.

If money management is presenting a special challenge for you, you may want to consider ADHD coaching to ensure you’re working with someone who can help you set up systems that will meet your special ADHD needs. ADHD Money Management Coaching programs can help you put the right ADHD money management systems in place while you maintain control over your financial future.  ADHD-Friendly Money Management: Finally, Dollars and Sense Group Coaching program starts on February 9th. Act now!