Hearing the “B” word sends me into anxiety mode.
I’m talking about the word “Budget“.
Nothing will send the ADHD brain into a tailspin faster than hearing the word budget. For many adults with ADHD, managing money means having to tap into those areas like memory, managing time, staying on task, and organization that are challenging in all areas of life.
Before you try any new or old strategies, find your money motivator. I’ll share mine. See what comes up for you.
I remember watching my Dad sitting at his desk, once or twice a month to pay the bills. He’d pull out the checkbook, the pile of bills, a calculator, and stamps. It was his routine.
Never realized it, but Dad was teaching me something. As I watched, I learned that paying the bills was no different than doing the other icky stuff we have to do in life. There was no screaming or ranting. He stayed on task and didn’t get up until he was done.
Then there was a sigh of relief, a sense of satisfaction in the air. It was as if he was saying, “Another month of bills and we made it.” This is huge because I was raised to always, always, always, pay off my credit card balance every single month. If that wasn’t possible, then I was behaving recklessly with money and it was time to put on the brakes.
Some of us aren’t so lucky to witness these healthy habits with money. A lot of us, were taught to be embarrassed about our money story. You know? Because we don’t have as much as someone else.
Or, if we make an oops with money we should be ashamed about it. Yah, this usually leads to us not asking for help when we need it the most. Things spiral out of control from there and we’re left with a pile of bills we can’t pay.
This thing my Dad taught me is called “living within your means”.
Sounds restrictive. Boring. No freedom. But it’s really not like that. “Living within your means” gives you freedom. It allows you to see the possibilities. To seize the opportunities. To write your money story.
Let’s talk about credit card interest and late fees. It’ll be ok. I promise.
Yes, the interest rates on credit cards are borderline criminal. Then there’s the late fees. I don’t have a personal relationship with my credit card company. They are what they are. A credit card company. No more. No less. Why would I want to give them anything?
What really get’s me is they are waiting for me to screw up, to miss a payment. They are foaming at the mouth in anticipation of charging me a late fee and tacking on some interest for good measure. That’ll teach me.
Why do we hand over money for interest and late fees when we get absolutely nothing back in return? The only thing everyone else is interested in is getting a piece of you.
Get angry. Anger can be a motivator if used wisely.
You see I’m the kind of person that will sit on the phone for hours with my cell phone carrier to get a better rate. They don’t like me. They set-up their system to aggravate me. They want me to lose my patience. They want me to say, “Whatever I could possibly save, isn’t worth my time.” They want me to hang up. They want me to not care so much about my money or who’s getting it. As long as they get it. Why would we pay more for the same service every month when we could be paying less?
There are so many places in life where we have no control. We fight for it. We complain about it. Oh, but now what? We have control over our money but we don’t seize the opportunity. We fear looking it in the eye.
Walk into your money story with your eyes wide open. Where can you start getting angry about your money. Shift your anger from yourself to the companies out there that are setting you up to fail. Set yourself up to beat them.
Who is siphoning your money?
- Fitness Club – The one you never go to.
- Credit card companies– Those reaping the benefits of impulsive spending by charging you interest? And those same companies charging you late fees because you’ve told yourself you can’t pay your bills on time….so you don’t. But you can. I know you can.
- Utilities/Technology – Your cell phone, cable, internet carrier raking you over the coals because you didn’t call after the “introductory” pricing ended?
- Friends – Do you loan money to friends and lack the gumption to ask them to pay you back? How many latte’s are you buying each week? Add it up for the week and multiply by 52 weeks. Yikes!
- Teenagers – Are your kids constantly asking for cash and you have no idea how much you even dole out in a week? Yep, that’s me with 3 teenage girls. I need to get a handle on this one.
Where can you start getting angry about your money? Use that anger to gain control. Write your happy money story.