Financial Tips for Keeping ADHD People Organized

ADHD Marriage: 

Do you have trouble paying your bills on time and keeping your finances organized?  Lots of people with ADD do, and it can be a real source of conflict in an ADHD marriage (say nothing of hurting your credit rating).  This post from our forum on what to do about this is so good that I wanted to make sure everyone saw it.  Go to this link to learn tricks for improving your bill paying.  And thanks to our reader, "Comissar", for the input!


Financial Tips

My ADHD boyfriend can't manage his finances and I often have to bail him out of trouble. My income is such that it can become a financial burden for me. He was diagnosed as an adult and is in the process of figuring out what medication works best. He's trying number three and I know he's a bit discouraged. I'm good at managing money and don't mind doing it. But is it appropriate for me to take responsibility for that area of his life? It seems to me that in all relationships, ADHD affected or not, one person is probably better at managing money (I know my mother handled the bills in our family). He is willing to turn his paycheck over to me so I can help him keep a budget but I'm concerned he'll grow resentful when I hand him $100 and tell him that's all you've got for the week. Any thoughts/suggestions would be much appreciated.

managing finances

this is something that is very helpfull, as it has helped me tremendously. With the advancement of technology, banking has become easier, as well as paying bills. Open 2 accouts at a bank that has online banking. the money goes into an account, then transfered to the other account to pay bills. this is for 2 purposes, 1 security, 2 preventive medicine from abuse. or mismanagement. Have both parties, creat a budget scenario using a program like quicken or microsoft money, and use these tools together to manage the finances. As an ADD/ADHD individual, it was quite rewarding to use these managememnt tools and see such a tremendous accoplishment. As typical for ADD people,we have tendencies to accumulate "stuff" and to some who also have compulsive behavior, this actually acts a deterant to compulsive spending, because we would rather "accumulate", and by using the above methods, we have accomplished both. accumulation of savings, the focus of attention to pay bills on time and be responsible, Because it is quick and easy, there is less time to reach accomplishment, thereby reducing the potential to distract. We are "focused "when doing this task. It is worth a try.

managing finances

My husband and I have found this approach VERY helpful.  We added up our large, yearly expenses (property tax, vehicle insurances, house insurance, etc.).  We then divided the total by 12 months to determine how much we needed to save each month to cover those expenses. The bank  now transfers that amount from our joint account into a second account every month.  Since only I can access the second account, my ADD husband is quite happy that he can't see how much money is in the 'bills' account and isn't tempted to spend  that money.  We always know that, when the large bills need paying, we have the funds to cover them.

great info

did you go to the bank to set this up.It is going to take me almost 6 months to straighten out years of a mess....I have hidden...I am the Add women in the family.I work hard,no bad habits....just overwhelmed and afraid of my husband hating me for destroying our credit rating.I know it and I do it.I dont understand why.I just avoid pain.

We have been married 28 years and many times ready to pack it in over this kind of stuff.He is frustrated with me and I get it.I just wish a angel would come and pick me up and help me.

I am so afraid to be honest with my husband.I put off to avoid pain.

I thank you for your idea.I love it.I dont know how I will approach this with him.But it is really bad with us...Tax man after us...have tons in equity in home ready to lose home no non pymt of mortgage because I pretend nothing will happen or I will deal when it happens,

I dont want to give up.My doctor is getting frustrated too.

Feeling Helpless

Should I take over our finances?

My apologies if this got posted twice. My boyfriend was diagnosed with adhd as an adult. For the last few months we've been trying to dial in his medication and the poor guy is on drug number three. He's frustrated but willing to keep trying. We were in therapy together for awhile but he recently decided he didn't want to go anymore. He might return after he gets his meds dialed in. He doesn't hold any hope for his situation to improve. I can be a heck of a cheerleader but I'm learning that's not my role. I also can be a bit of a nag and I'm trying hard to let him deal with the consequences of his decisions. For the first time in our three+ year relationship I'm starting to "hold onto myself" within the boundaries of our relationship. It's hard because I have a pattern of wanting to fix things for him which brings me to my question. He has real difficulties managing money and I often end up bailing him out which burdens me financially. Sometimes I don't mind but other times I get resentful and angry. Just this past week we had a blowup regarding his inability to save and I had to cover a huge car repair bill. He has offered to have his paycheck deposited into my account since I like to budget/save and I'm good at it. I'm worried he'll start to resent me when I give him $100 and tell him that's all you have for the week. We currently pay bills proportional to our incomes (I earn more) which we both feel is fair. It seems to me that in any relationship, adhd affected or not, one partner does a better job of dealing with money than the other. But if I step in to control this situation will it prevent him from bearing responsibility for his finances? I welcome any thoughts/suggestions/resources folks can offer. - kj

Taking over finances

I'm was the ADHDer in a relationship where we lived together for 2 years. I was HORRIBLE with finances and knew it. Something had to change when he had to keep bailing me out (money on both sides was pretty even and pretty good. But all the more reason to be concerned when one partner is suddenly making all of that difficult.) We had to experiment with what worked and went through a trial and error process but ended up with something that we both thought worked really well. Obviously we ended up separating but not because of finances. Here's what we tried, what worked, and what didn't work: First, we had an honest conversation about the problem it was causing. However, the key was being understanding, not accusing or angry (i know how difficult that is and am still thankful for his patience during some of those conversations), and REALISTIC about what behaviors will change and which ones won't. We knew I wasn't going to start balancing a checkbook overnight. Second, we came up with a plan that might work and one we would try for a few months and reevaluate whenever necessary. The plan we started with was (because he was very trustworthy and responsible) me only having in my checkbook money I could spend for things I needed or wanted. My gas, coffee, maybe a clothes item here or there. The bulk of my paycheck went to him and as soon as I got paid so I couldn't spend it and didn't have to remember what checks were still uncashed, etc. He paid ALL the bills on time, paid for groceries, any mutual items, and sometimes clothes when they weren't impulse buys and actually needed. We had to adjust the list of who covers what as things came up that we hadn't thought about. For the most part, that worked pretty well and actually did wonders for my credit score, etc. What didn't work well was the inequality in the relationship from the feeling of having an allowance, having to ask if we can get this or that, etc. Bottom line is that I was successful enough to not be reduced to having to ask permission for some things and have no control over my money. NEW SOLUTION: We modified it to something that worked really well for both of us and took us back to being the equal partners we wanted to be. Instead of me keeping an allowance and the rest going to him, we figured out on average what the monthly grocery bills would be, what my bills were, etc and I would pay him my half to cover it whenever I got paid. That left me with more than the allowance I had before. And, I didn't have to ask permission to spend my money or get things we hadn't thought about earlier. When that worked, eventually I would become responsible for one bill at a time. Say one of my school loans. When I paid that on time repeatedly (and obviously not giving him money to cover that bill) , we would add another one to my list of responsibilities. That isn't really necessary if it works with one person paying the bills, but was more of a self pride thing for me to know that I could do it if I was alone. Oh, and one tip to keep in mind is making sure the amount of money and time is in manageable increments. In other words, if he gets paid twice a week but is likely to spend all of his money in the first week, divide the money for the two weeks in half so he only has access to what he can spend in one week. Then give him the other half the following week. When he can manage it in weekly chunks, you can go to two weeks and so on and so forth. And if he comes back begging for more, don't give it to him. If he needs gas, go with him to fill it up, or only give him enough money to fill it up. It will force him to think twice about spending money next time or how to make it last. Never give out more than 10 or 20 at a time if he's gone over. That should cover meals but not impulse buys. Hope that helps. SD

Taking over finances

Dear SD - Thank you for taking the time to respond to my post. It's especially helpful to get suggestions from someone who is the ADHD'er. Last night my boyfriend read your post and he really wants to give this a try. He suggested we initially tackle the "all or nothing" approach. If resentment arises, we'll reevaluate the situation. He's also agreed to go back to our therapist to discuss. - KJ