"I need a detailed strategy for keeping better track of my money and sticking to a budget. The blanket-statement suggestions that work for the rest of the world don't help those of us with ADHD."
by Stephanie Sarkis, Ph.D.
I recommend that couples consider keeping separate accounts. This may reduce the conflict over checks not recorded in a checkbook or a money-management program, and impulsive purchases.
I also recommend seeking the help of an financial professional - this includes accountants and financial planners.
Many times, people with ADHD have heard throughout their lives, "You should be able to do this on your own." This can lead to people having difficulty reaching out for support. However, it is important to remember that knowing you need help is a sign of strength. Get recommendations of financial professionals from trusted friends and family members. Do a short consultation with a professional to help determine if the professional is a "good fit" for you.
In regards to a budget, in my book ADD and Your Money, I present a budget worksheet and instructions.
Creating a budget tends to be a detail-oriented task, which is a challenge for people with ADHD. A simplified budget, such as the one found in my book, is one with limited items broken down into "needs" and "wants". A simplified budget calls for rounded or estimated numbers rather than spending time coming up with exact amounts down to the penny. Even following a simplified budget can help you reach your goal - saving more than you spend.
Stephanie Sarkis, Ph.D. is a psychotherapist and author specializing in attention deficit disorder.