ADHD-Friendly Financial Management? Yes! And It’s Not What You Think

ADHDers experience serious financial problems at four times the rate of the general population. It’s not because we can’t balance a checkbook. ADHD does not affect your intelligence.

You are NOT stupid (or lazy)!

Are you ready to “Rena-Fi” your understanding of financial behavior?

You know those drawings where at first you see one image but then suddenly the image flips into something else? Those drawings contain a profound truth. You cannot see the both images at the same time. Try it.

Seriously, this is important. Why? Because every financial adviser has been trained to think the same way. (And it’s NOT your way!) They are convinced it’s all about the math. It isn’t. While important, math is not the primary factor in financial well-being. Bear with me while I attempt to flip your view from surface symptoms to a deeper understanding about money.

It’s NOT about the math!

If simple math concepts and flawed budgeting are at the root of your money problems (advisers will tell you this) why do your financial issues recur and persist? Okay, if you’re an idiot with math, sure. But you’re not, are you? I’ll bet you can add, subtract and budget better than hundreds of thousands of people who are doing better than you financially. If the financial advisers have it right and it’s all about budgets, math and spreadsheets, that make no sense at all. Why?

If losing weight were as simple as eating fewer calories and burning more, why do so many people struggle with weight issues for their entire lives? Why is it that other equally intelligent people have no problems with weight whatsoever?

If most people believe going to the doctor for regular checkups is a good thing, why do so many people (especially ADHDers) neglect this simple task? Why? It’s not about logic. And your financial struggles aren’t about the math.

There’s nothing wrong with your character.

What do these three examples have in common?  Viewed from a distance, they all appear to be character issues. (If it’s not the math, you must be lazy, right? Wrong.) Viewed from within, they’re perplexing, anxiety producing; depressing even. But these examples all demonstrate that the obvious, simplistic, symptom-based solution, in each case, does not address the problem.

I’m not going to tell you to buy a better calculator and budget down to the penny. Your money problems won’t go away. And I’m not going to save you a couple percentage points on your credit card statement. Frankly, I’m not interested in your credit card debt at all. I’m intent on catalyzing a quantum leap in your financial perspective.

You need a quantum leap in your financial perspective.

Until you begin to see the world differently, your world will not change. When you see the world differently, the change you seek will be almost inevitable.

In the next session, we’ll talk less about what doesn’t work and more about what does.

Here’s the takeaway for today’s Rena-Fi’cation session. There is a deeper truth. Financial well-being does not evolve from budgets, math and spreadsheets. Budgets, math and spreadsheets evolve from a healthy financial mindset.

Stick with us. I promise, this is a journey worth taking.

Richard Webster, the author of this article is the CEO of Rena-Fi, Inc., a financial literacy platform. ADDA has partnered with Rena-Fi to bring the benefits of financial education to its membership. Rena-Fi empowers students to develop a better financial future. Learn more at Rena-Fi.com.

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