Managing Money with ADHD Trait: Inattentiveness

A distracted woman

Managing Money with ADHD Trait: Inattentiveness

By: Tamika Howell, Edited By: Clifton Corbin | December 27, 2022

Financial Planning has a lot of moving parts. The process can be overwhelming in general, and getting started is intimidating.

This is compounded when you have inattentive ADHD and struggle with missing details, staying on task, following through, organization, etc. You may not know where the money is going. Following through on the necessary steps to organize your finances may be tedious.

“Inattentive refers to challenges with staying on task, focusing, and organization.”

Finding a way to manage money that works for you may take some time. It’s taken me years to figure out what works and doesn’t. But I’ve also learned your system can evolve based on what you have going on in each phase of life.

ADHD and Inattentiveness


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurological disorder that can affect the ability of individuals to stay focused and organized. For those living with this condition, financial planning can present unique challenges. 

A common symptom associated with adult ADHD is difficulty paying attention, which can make it difficult to keep track of finances and budgeting activities. This may lead to missed payments, overspending, or accumulating debt as a result of not following through on financial plans. 

Having ADHD may also cause setbacks in saving for retirement or other long-term goals due to poor money management practices and lack of organizational skills necessary for successful financial planning.

A man writing down his plans

Tips for Managing Money with Inattention

  1. Start where you are, don’t wait until you have more money to manage. There are both free and paid resources to help you get started.
  2. Determine what you want to accomplish with your money and choose a goal with the most significant impact.
  3. To address any overwhelm, break the goal down as small as possible, then work on the next best step.
  4. If you find yourself getting stuck, ask for help.
  5. Have grace and patience with yourself in the process. Everyone makes money mistakes, don’t be ashamed because of it.

ADHD and Inattentiveness: Final Thoughts


While having ADHD can add some additional challenges when it comes to financial planning, it doesn’t necessarily mean that achieving success is impossible. Starting where you are, setting goals, breaking goals down into smaller tasks, and asking for help will all help you achieve success. Most importantly, give yourself grace and patience.

Managing Money with ADHD Trait: Impulsivity

A woman shopping online impulsively

Managing Money with ADHD Trait: Impulsivity

By: Tamika Howell, Edited By: Clifton Corbin | December 20, 2022

People with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) may struggle with impulsivity because it affects an area in the brain called the Thalmus, which is responsible for impulse control. As a result, there is a delay in ADHD brains that may affect their money management decisions.

ADHD and Impulsive Spending

ADHD is a common disorder that affects approximately both children and adults. It has a wide range of symptoms, including difficulty with focusing and paying attention, impulsivity, disorganization, restlessness, and fidgeting. One common symptom associated with ADHD is impulsive spending. 

Impulsive spending can cause significant financial stress for those living with ADHD. Additionally, those with ADHD may experience difficulty budgeting or planning for future expenses due to the impulsivity associated with ADHD. 

It is important for individuals living with ADHD to be aware of the potential risks associated with impulsive spending in order to mitigate its impact as much as possible.

"Poor impulse control plays a role in imprudent shopping and overspending, impulsive compliance (saying “yes” to any invitation or interesting project), which results in overextending oneself, thereby setting the stage for poor follow through on promises."

A man paying in cash

My Story of Impulsivity 

“Imprudent shopping and overspending, impulsive compliance” I deal with all of these. Especially buying things that I think will be the silver bullet for solving a problem. For example, the giant water bottle with time stamps that would get me to drink more water is currently collecting dust.

One of my significant missteps was a new car purchase. I didn’t need a new car. I needed a new CD player (dating myself).

I had a car my parents bought me that was running perfectly fine, minus the radio. But people were getting new cars after graduation, and I wanted to be people, lol.

I did not count the cost of getting a brand-new car and had deep regret when my student loan payments kicked in a few months after purchasing it. My dad put a new CD player in my old car, and it drove it for 5 or 6 more years. 

Try to pause and count the cost of a purchase or accepting an invitation with monetary obligations so there are no regrets when the initial good feelings wear off.

Tips To Minimize Impulse Spending


Here are some ways to minimize impulse spending:

  1. Separate funds by setting up multiple bank accounts with different spending purposes. For example, one to cover fixed monthly expenses and one for variable expenses.
  2. Use cash. It activates the pain center in the brain. You are less likely to part with cash than when you swipe a card.
  3. Create room in your budget to mitigate the impact of an impulse purchase.

ADHD and Impulsive Spending: Final Thoughts

In conclusion, impulsive spending and ADHD are closely linked, making it important for those who have been diagnosed with ADHD to be aware of the potential risks that come with it. However, with proper understanding, using the tips mentioned above, people can take precautions to prevent impulsive purchases and keep their spending habits in check. 

Managing Money with ADHD Trait: Forgetfulness

A woman with forgetfulness

Managing Money with ADHD Trait: Forgetfulness

By: Tamika Howell, Edited By: Clifton Corbin | December 13, 2022

In elementary school, a “Something’s Missing” form was sent home to parents to sign whenever students forgot to turn in their homework. I received several of these. They were embarrassing but not costly, lol.

As we age, forgetfulness begins to add up.  

Forgetting what’s coming out of your bank account when, and then over-drafting. Overdraft fees are, on average, $30. However, I remember times when the amount I went over was less than the fee. 

Forgetting to pay bills can result in late fees. Late payments reported to the credit bureau reduce your credit rating and can increase the cost of borrowing money.

Forgetting to cancel subscriptions or memberships that you barely use. For example, I was the queen of the gym membership with rare attendance and often forgot to cancel trial subscriptions.

Late or missed assignment consequences ranged from lower grades to retaken or dropped classes in college. I cringe thinking about the incomplete classes paid in full. 

Forgetting to take advantage of early-bird pricing to reduce the cost of event attendance. I’ve gotten better at this in recent years. For example, I purchased my last conference pass in January for $299. The final price was $750 by the time the conference came around in September.

ADHD and Forgetfulness

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a disorder that affects the way people think, act and focus. It is often characterized by forgetfulness, difficulty staying focused on tasks, hyper-focused on tasks,  hyperactivity, and impulsivity. While it affects adults, it is most commonly diagnosed in children and teenagers. 

Forgetfulness is one of the most common symptoms associated with ADHD. People with ADHD may have difficulty remembering things from day to day or following through on commitments they’ve made. This type of forgetfulness can become quite disruptive in social, educational, and professional settings where critical information must be remembered for success. 

It’s important to note that while this forgetfulness can be a symptom of ADHD, some level of forgetfulness is normal for everyone, regardless if they have been diagnosed with ADHD or not.

A woman using post its

Here are a few ways to combat forgetfulness when it comes to your money:

  • Automation is the primary solution for bill payments, but be aware of the timing of your income and withdrawals to avoid overdrafts.
  • If subscribing to a paid service for a free trial or temporarily reduced rate, cancel immediately after subscribing. 
  • Set digital alarms and reminders.
  • Create physical reminders using post-its, posters, chalkboards, or whiteboards in prominent places around the house.
  • Work with a friend or accountability partner regularly to have a second set of eyes to help with blindspots and organization.

ADHD and Forgetfulness: Final Thoughts

ADHD and forgetfulness can majorly impact your life. It is important to know how they affect your personal and professional life and take steps to manage them. This should include a diagnosis of ADHD and taking some of the steps noted above, such as using automation and creating physical reminders.  Additionally, lifestyle changes such as stress reduction, adequate sleep, proper diet, and physical activity can all help.

Be sure to seek help from your healthcare providers to give additional support and guidance in developing strategies to better manage ADHD and forgetfulness.

Managing Money with ADHD Trait: Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria

A woman with Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria

Managing Money with ADHD Trait: Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria

By: Tamika Howell, Edited By: Clifton Corbin | December 6, 2022

Research shows that ADHD children receive 20,000 negative messages by age 10. Imagine being told the way you exist is wrong; please change it day in and day out. Like interest, these messages compound into an internal cesspool of shame and guilt for not having “normal” behavior. As a result, one may develop Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria. It co-occurs with ADHD as well as other mental health conditions.

"Rejection sensitive dysphoria (RSD) is when you experience severe emotional pain because of a failure or feeling rejected."

What Is ADHD?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a condition that affects millions of people across the world. It can cause difficulty in managing time, staying organized, and focusing on tasks. As such, it can have serious implications for individuals’ physical and mental well-being and financial consequences.

What Is RSD?

Rejection sensitive dysphoria (RSD) is a condition that can affect people with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). RSD is characterized by an intense emotional pain and distress that occurs in response to perceived criticism, rejection, or failure. People with RSD often feel like their worth as a person has been attacked and worry about being further rejected or judged. 

This intense reaction often leads to feelings of shame, humiliation, and low self-esteem that can impair functioning in everyday life, including work and family relationships.

Symptoms of RSD include: 

  • increased irritability, 
  • social withdrawal,
  • panic attacks, and 
  • feeling an overwhelming sense of despair. 

The intensity of such emotions can be so strong that it can cause people to avoid situations where they may experience rejection for fear of the extreme emotional discomfort it may bring up.

Money on hand

How Can RSD Affect Your Finances?

RSD is layered and presents itself in several ways. Below are some ways it may present itself financially.

  • Low Self-Esteem: Low self-esteem can translate into being underpaid. When you are unable to recognize your inherent worth and what you have to offer, you may not pursue opportunities to increase your income or net worth.
  • Avoidance: In an attempt to avoid rejection, you may only take risks where there is no chance of failing. So by not asking for a promotion when your workload increases or accepting the compensation offered instead of negotiating.
  • Perfectionism: Being a perfectionist and needing to present an image or outcome that won’t get any criticism may result in missing out on opportunities completely.
  • People Pleasing: People pleasing to be liked and accepted, you may spend time and money on things you don’t want to do.

How to Manage RSD

First, it is important that if you feel like you or someone under your care has RSD; you seek help from your medical health providers. 

With the aid of your doctor, there are several steps people with RSD can take to help manage the condition. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has been proven effective in helping individuals recognize the underlying causes of their reactions to criticism and rejections. 

Additionally, relaxation techniques such as mindfulness and journaling can help reduce anxiety levels while increasing self-awareness and acceptance.

To learn more about RSD, visit the Cleveland Clinic site.