Finances…Yikes!!

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Finances…Yikes!! 2013-07-05T19:08:33+00:00

The Forums Forums For The Non-ADD I Married An ADDer Finances…Yikes!!

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  • #120839
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    keepingthefaith
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    Post count: 12

    Any suggestions for managing/organizing finances and impulsive spending?

    We’ve gone through Financial Peace University (Dave Ramsey) but it’s very difficult to stick to a budget and prioritize the finances when we’re not both able to stick to a plan…?? Help?! 🙂

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    #120840
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    Wgreen
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    For those who may not know, Dave Ramsey is an evangelical Christian media mogul based in Brentwood, Tennessee (Nashville), who does a national syndicated radio show on money management. His big talking point is cutting up all your credit cards—all borrowing (except a mortgage) is evil. He also makes money by selling books, a home-study course, and (through a friend) mutual funds.

    Being an evangelical, he seems to think money management is a simple matter of math: once one understands the calculus of debt, one can exercise a modicum of self control and start to build personal wealth. What I suspect he would have a hard time understanding or conceding—along with a few million other people—is the irresistible “demon” of an impulsive disposition.

    So, what does an ADDer do? I believe there are some videos on the site about this subject, but I haven’t seen them. They may offer some good advice. But my advice is to find somebody to look over your shoulder: a trusted accountant, friend, family member, coach—somebody who can rap your knuckles when you feel the urge to go to Vegas… or the mall. If money is sitting in your bank account, or if you’ve got available credit on your plastic, there’s a white flame burning a hole in your pocket. Knowing what you OUGHT to do is not enough. You need somebody to keep your hands off (most of) it. You get a weekly allowance and money for emergency expenses. The rest somehow should be managed on your behalf. It’s humiliating, but…

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    #120849
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    keepingthefaith
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    Wgreen:

    Thanks for your suggestions.

    How would you go about not getting into the pattern of “parenting” the spouse who needs the help with organization and impulsivity? That situation can get negative really fast.

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    #120850
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    Wgreen
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    KTF—You’re absolutely right. Nobody wants to “parent” an adult. And no adult wants to be “parented.” If your husband is in denial about his ADD and the serious problems it presents, it just makes matters worse. All you have to do is read this forum: lots of ADDers think Attention Deficit is a benign “alternative” neurology, they think others just need to understand and “make adjustments—meet them half way, so to speak.” So you end up half bankrupt, I guess. ADD is slippery. My experience is that’s it’s much more nightmare than gift. Others clearly disagree. And to be fair, I suppose it depends. But ADD aside, if your spouse is acting irresponsibly—for whatever reason—you need to put your foot down. Getting the help of a third party makes the difficult conversations less personal.

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    #120851
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    sdwa
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    I’ve heard there is a thing called a budget that some people use to compare their income to their expenses, but creating one requires some organizing and tracking skill, and the ability to monitor where you are in relation to where you need to be. Or maybe that’s just a rumor. If it’s still on the site, there is supposed to be a webinar on ADHD and money.

    All I can say about spouse interactions is that policing a spouse is not a good idea – and will also not work. When my husband nags me about my spending habits, I typically resent him, ignore him, hide or lie about what I spend, or passive-aggressively spend even more. No one likes a nag. (The resentment comes from the fact that he’s been unemployed for ten years, and we’re living on my income and blowing through my savings, but that’s a different issue.)

    Ways to cut down on impulse spending that work for me:

    Have a body double – a buddy with me – when I go shopping. Someone I’ve spoken to about my financial concerns, whose presence will remind me that I need to cool it if something I don’t need but am momentarily interested in catches my attention. Easier to walk away with a friend.

    Going in with a list – anything not on the list gets ignored.

    Knowing what I have in the house and where it is, so I don’t buy duplicates.

    Not going into stores, especially the ones that tend to cause problems for me.

    Not going into stores with my son who has ADHD, because we are a bad influence on each other.

    Decluttering as an exercise usually shows me that I don’t need or want a lot of stuff.

    Knowing why I want to spend the money. Is what I’m spending on going to give me what I want, or just the illusion of what I want? What is the need driving the decision? If it’s an emotional one, is there another way to get that need met?

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    #120852
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    Evelyn
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    @sdwa

    Wow I like what you said about spending. All of it, which is why I resisted the urge to re-quote in this post.

    I just went through a similar situation, but with stuff, my sister and I got into an argument that ended up with both of us saying things that were hurtful.

    I realized the only control I have is where the stuff is, I can’t do anything with it so I just hang on to it. I don’t know how I got that from your post except that it must have been the combination of my issues and your solutions with a dash of time for flavor.

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    #120866
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    keepingthefaith
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    Thanks for the advice/suggestions all!

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    #120868
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    Patte Rosebank
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    Yes, I have heard of this mysterious “budget” thing.  I still have trouble figuring it out.  But my grasp of finances is much better now, because I’ve been practising.

    For most of my life, I spent every cent before I earned it.  I couldn’t see the point of budgeting or learning about finances, so why bother struggling to learn them?

    Then, about the same time as I was diagnosed with ADHD, I also discovered that I had some control over my earnings.  If I wanted to make more money, I could just make myself available to pick up all those shifts that other people gave up.  Hey, if they don’t want to earn that money, I’ll take it!

    As I earned more, I became more aware of how hard I had to work to do it.  So I really began to ask myself if an item I wanted was really worth however many hours of work it took to earn the money to buy it.  Usually, the answer was NO, so I’d just sock my money away in an investment savings account that requires 24 hours’ notice for any withdrawals.

    And I discovered that the thrill of watching my bank balance (security!) grow, was WAY better than the momentary thrill of an impulse purchase…most of the time.

    Suddenly, there was a purpose to learning about finances.  And one thing I’ve learned about myself is, if I can’t see a purpose to it, I have no interest in learning it.  It was that way about sewing, and it’s that way with finances.

    I found myself getting more mindful about my spending habits.  I became aware that the thrill is all in the hunt.  Once I’d bought something, I’d put it aside and forget about it.  So, I learned how to get that thrill in the store, without actually buying the item.

    I turned it into a game…because we ADDers LOVE games!

    If I can get through a trip to the mall, with maximum thrills and without any impulse buys, then I get a treat:  a single Lindor truffle or a scoop of Baskin-Robbins or a glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice.

    It doesn’t work all the time, but it gets easier the more I do it.  Now, it works about 85% of the time.  Though that percentage is considerably lower in the Dollar Store!

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