ADHD & Money, Part 1

“I run out of money every month and have to ask my parents for more.”

“I overdrew my account last week and had to pay a huge fee!”

Unfortunately, these types of scenarios are not uncommon when ADHD and money mix. 


Common ADHD symptoms of impulsivity, lack of attention to detail, disorganization, and procrastination can make it hard to stay on top of one’s finances.

For this reason, adults with ADHD typically have greater challenges with several areas of money management, including impulse buying, non-payment of utilities and non-repayment of loans, exceeding checking or credit card limits, failing to save, including for retirement, and having a poor credit rating

But it’s really not necessary to live this way. In fact, it’s neither necessary to sink under financial concerns, nor even to just tread water financially. With education, effort, and sometimes outside help, it’s possible to manage one’s finances well, even with ADHD. Learning to do so as a young adult is an invaluable life lesson.


 The first step in improved money management is to develop financial literacy. Unfortunately, schools typically don’t teach this. Some parents do address these issues directly with their teens, and others don’t. But, many of us come into young adulthood with low financial literacy, ADHD or not.

Fortunately, it’s never too late to become more literate in financial matters!

Because it is the first step in developing financial responsibility, basics of financial literacy will be introduced in this post, along with several helpful resources. A series of subsequent posts will address a number of the following issues in greater detail.


According to the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy,  personal financial literacy is defined as “the ability to use knowledge and skills to manage financial resources effectively for a lifetime of financial well-being.” (2008 Annual Report to the President)

Financial literacy begins with understanding the following basic aspects of financial management, described and explained in detail in many places, including the lessons in “Money 101” in the free online “Cash Course” offered by the National Endowment for Financial Education and the lessons associated with the PBS website on “Your Life Your Money

Banking and Bank Services
Credit and Debit
Savings, including goals and future planning


ADD and Your Money, written by Sarkis and Klein
National Endowment for Financial Education’s “Cash Course.”
Money Management International’s “Financial Literacy Month” website
PBS website on “Your Life Your Money

Previous blog-posts related to financial issues include:

Fool-proof bill paying #1
Fool-proof bill paying #2

Watch for subsequent blog posts related to managing your finances too!

Posted in ADHD ADD, adult, budget, finances, young adult

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