Can ADHD cause overspending?
Introduction: ADHD and overspending
A growing body of evidence suggests ADHD might be a risk factor for overspending. People with ADHD tend to have challenges managing executive functions which can lead to poor decision-making.. These factors, along with other symptoms of ADHD, can result in impulse shopping or spending more money than is ideal.
There is no one answer to this question as every person with ADHD is different and will manage their money in their own way. However, some possible reasons for why people with ADHD may overspend include:
Impulse control- Increased difficulty resisting the temptation of buying something in the moment
Planning – It can be challenging to see the long-term consequences of immediate spending.
Organization- Lack of tracking purchases often results in many small purchases adding up over time to a large amount.
Resistance to budgeting – Absence of a spending plan can lead to overspending in the present and not being able to save for the future.
Financial Stress – feeling overwhelmed or stressed by financial matters can result in spending as a form of relief or escape.
Here are fifteen tips to control ADHD overspending:
1. Create a budget and stick to it. When you plan how much money you can spend each month, it can be easier to resist impulse buys.
2. Use apps to track and manage your budget. Apps can relieve some of the mental burdens of managing money manually.
3. Make a list before you go shopping. If you know what you need, you’re less likely to buy things on a whim.
4. Use debit instead of credit cards. Credit cards can make it easy to spend more money than you have, whereas debit uses only your money in your account.
5. Add some friction to your spending. Take credit cards out of online accounts, and leave home without a means to pay.
6. Give yourself an allowance. Use a prepaid debit card like KOHO to create an account for your discretionary spending.
7. Set up automatic bill payments to ensure all your bills are paid when they are due before you spend the money.
8 Setup automated transfers to savings accounts to build your savings and ensure you don’t spend all of your money.
8. Don’t shop when you are hungry, tired, upset, or angry.
9. Put a sticker on your credit or debit card to remind you of your savings goals
10. Unsubscribe to retail emails and remove their apps from your phone. Both emails and apps will try to encourage you to buy now.
11. Create a rule to wait 24 hours before you buy anything. The urge to buy something may fade after some time has passed.
12. Put online purchases in a wish list before you add them to your cart. You may forget you wanted them after your waiting period has passed
13. Refuse overdraft on your bank accounts. Don’t turn your bank account into a credit card by accepting overdraft. When you are at zero, you need to stay at zero.
14. Use your partner or a trusted friend to help keep you accountable and keep your spending in check.
15. Don’t neglect yourself. Instead, ensure you are doing everything to maintain your self-care.
If your overspending has become a problem, it may be time to take more drastic measures.
Remove access to your credit cards: Don’t cancel them if you can avoid it because canceling a credit card can negatively impact your credit score. But give them to a trusted partner or friend so you cannot use them. Or put your credit card into a zip-top bag, then put that bag into a container and freeze it. You will still be able to access your credit card if necessary, but you will have to wait for it to thaw out before you can.
Do what ever method works best to remove access to credit cards, including removing them from any auto-fill feature on your devices and taking them out of your online accounts. Credit cards make it too easy and convenient to overspend.
Seek help: In addition to speaking to your doctor, you may need to employ a certified financial planner to help you get your spending in check. They can help you to build your budget, consolidate debt, protect your wealth and even advise you to create an allowance if that is the best way to manage your spending.
The most important thing is to seek help as soon as you realize that your overspending is a problem you do not think you can solve on your own. People with ADHD can procrastinate or ignore problems and tasks that they do not find interesting. Managing spending may not be interesting but it is extremely important. Do not delay. Seek help as soon as possible.
So, can ADHD cause overspending? While ADHD may not cause overspending, it can certainly increase its likelihood. This is because people with ADHD often struggle with decision-making, impulse control, organization, and planning.
If you or someone you know has ADHD and struggles with overspending, follow the steps listed above or seek additional help from certified financial planners to help you get a handle on your spending.
Doing so will ensure you can reach a state of financial wellness and stability.