The Big Bugaboo–money4 min read

Do you have ADD? If so, does this sound like you, “Payday isn’t until next week, and I’m totally out of money!” or “My credit cards are maxed out and I can’t keep up with the payments,” or “Oh no, I forgot to pay that bill again. Now, I’m going to be hit with a $30 late fee!” Any of these situations can happen to people with ADD because most of us don’t really like dealing with money. Here are some tips to help you cope with your money situation better:

An ADD-Friendly Bill Paying System

Take some time today to buy some colored, hanging file folders. If you don’t have a file cabinet, pick up a file box, too. Then, when you get home, make some labels for the folders, and give them names like bank statements, utility bills, automotive expenses, etc. Don’t make it too complicated or another ADD trait will rear its ugly head—procrastination.

Then, each day when you get the mail, sort it right away. Stand over the shredder or trash and choose which pieces go into the trash and which stay with you. Take care of anything that needs attention right away and pay the bills that you get right away and then file those into an appropriate file in your file cabinet or box. If you can’t pay a bill immediately, put it in a special place, like the front of a desk drawer, so that when the money becomes available to pay bills, you’ll know exactly where to find them.

Online banking is a great way to streamline the bill paying process. Bank security is top notch, so the question of you having a problem online is really out of the equation. The chances are very slim. So, what you do is you take each bill that you receive and you put the information needed into the online banking account. You don’t have to do this all at once. Wait until your next bill comes in and do it one or two at a time. That way, it seems less daunting, and remember, you only have to do it once. After all the information has been entered, paying a bill becomes as simple as clicking a button, a mouse button, that is.

As you pay each bill, put it into the file folders in your cabinet or box. That way, if any questions arise, or if you’re just waiting for tax time, everything will be there waiting for you.

Stop Impulse Spending

With the ease of use and availability of credit cards these days, it’s easy to just pull out plastic to pay for everyday expenses. Only keep one credit card, and never use it for daily spending! Put it away in a safe place and only pull it out when you have an emergency, like an unexpected trip to the dentist. Make that one card a universal card, like Mastercard or Visa, and stay away from department store cards because they’ll suck your bank account until it’s dry. Be wary of interest rates, too, and shop for the best card for the lowest expense of owning it. Make sure there’s no annual fee, too.

And don’t carry a pile of cash or a debit card. Find a bank that offers free checking and open a separate account for yourself. Each month around payday or whenever you get paid, give yourself an allowance that has to last until your next payday. If you run out of money, you don’t get any more to spend until the next pay check arrives. After you run out of money a time or two, you might be less likely to indulge yourself with unneeded purchases.

Avoid these impulse spending habits by waiting to buy something. Just walk the other way and wait a day before you actually shell out the cash. This time interlude will allow you to see the difference between what you really need and what you just want. Wants aren’t important. Needs are what you should concentrate your spending on.

You Should Be Your First Expense

Before you pay any bill, any expense for the month, you should always be paying yourself. Ten percent of your income, every time you get money or a paycheck, should go into a savings account. If you don’t have a savings account, get one and never, ever use it except for depositing. Your savings account is for huge expenses, like buying a house, repairing your car, or retirement.

These tips are great for people with or without ADD. Put at least one of them into practice and see how well it works for you. We guarantee that you’ll be back to try another.

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