Why ADHD Can Make Money Management Difficult

Finances and money management is difficult for a lot of people, whether you’re neurotypical or neurodivergent. It’s not easy for so many to stay on top of bills, saving money, paying off debt, and such.

ADHD can play a role in how those with it manage their finances. Some ADHDers can manage their finances well. However, this isn’t the case for all ADHDers. 

In this post, I will focus on the aspects of ADHD that make it difficult for many ADHDers to manage their finances.

A Lot of It Comes Down To …

A lot of our struggles with money can be explained by the way our brain is wired and by the executive functions. The ADHD brain is wired differently than most neurotypicals. This affects what is called the executive functions.

Basically, the prefrontal cortex is responsible for our executive functions. These include things like planning, organizing, and prioritizing, just to name a few. The prefrontal cortex is also the area of the brain in charge of directing our attention to the task we need to do or are doing, which is something that doesn’t come easily for those with ADHD.

With this in mind, it can be easier to understand why those with ADHD may struggle money management. We have a hard time focusing on making a budget, being able to plan our expenses, and plan for future goals. Just to give you a few ideas. 

a woman in plaid blazer using her laptop
Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on Pexels.com

ADHD, Executive Functions, Money

Managing money does require a lot of executive function, which isn’t for those with ADHD. Here are some of the skills needed and the struggles for ADHDers.

1. Planning.

In order to manage our finances, some planning is required. Plan for the expenses, when they’re due, and such. 

This is something those with ADHD have some struggle with. It can be difficult to plan out the expenses, and break things down. 

2. Organization,

Being organized can be helpful when it comes to managing our finances. Making sure that all your bills, statements, and such are in one place can make things easier, when it’s time to budget, for instance.

This is something that doesn’t come easily for those with ADHD. As much as we may like to stay organized, we have a hard time with just organization in general.

3. Impulse Control.

ADHDers can definitely struggle with this one. Impulsivity is definitely a common attribute of ADHD, and can cause some problems for our finances.

These are just some of the executive functions that are helpful when it comes to money management. Unfortunately the ADHD brain works differently and the executive functions in the ADHD brain don’t work as well as they may for neurotypicals.

banknotes and calculator on table
Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on Pexels.com

Final Thoughts

In the end, those with ADHD aren’t purposely going out of their way to poorly manage their money and finances. It’s just a bit more challenging for us to do, due to our brain’s wiring. It is unfortunate that it does lead some difficulties and challenges in many ADHDers’ lives. 

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