The Gift of a Holiday Spending Plan

Patti Snow interviews Abraham Breuer

With the hustle and bustle of the holidays upon us many ADHDers feel the familiar overwhelm creeping up on us. As an adult with ADHD one of the main stresses experienced is the financial hole caused by impulse spending.

ADDA recently hosted a Finance Fitness Workshop which addressed this very timely issue. Led by Musa Phillips & Abraham Breuer, the workshop included a session devoted to planning and managing holiday gift giving.

“Impulsive spending can be an issue year long, but the holidays can make it even more problematic” Breuera said. ” Venturing out on a shopping expedition is filled with distractions. It’s very easy to get lost in the marketing that is psychologically engineered to entice the consumer. By making a plan for gift giving, the stress and feeling of overwhelm can be managed”.

Choosing the right gift for someone may also often cause frustration and anxiety. It’s normal for adults with ADHD to overthink and worry about every little detail of each gift. This can often result in impulsive choices and overspending. Many fall into the trap of buying too many gifts with the intention of returning what they won’t use. Many closets are filled with gifts that have never been returned.

The plan is broken down into specific areas. Make a list of people the gift is for, decide before you go shopping what sort of gift it will be, perhaps a bottle of wine, a gift card or a tech gadget. Then settle on the amount you would like to spend. The next step is to choose the store and even the specific department or aisle to go to, and limit yourself those places. You will still be able to enjoy the spontaneity of choosing your exact gift, you’ve just narrowed down your choices to avoid being overwhelmed. The form that plan takes is up to you. It can be constructed in a spreadsheet or notebook, whatever system works best for you.

If you are purchasing a gift for your supervisor at work it’s not necessary to spend a lot of money. The value is conveyed by the thought behind the gift. Breuera suggests including a small note with a heartfelt message. Think of a specific experience from the past year with your supervisor that left you with a good feeling. The recollection of this experience and expression of your appreciation will surely carry much more value than the gift itself. Correspondingly as a supervisor, an employee will welcome recognition of your regard of their value to the organization.

Perhaps the most important benefit of your plan is it will actually make the holiday shopping a more enjoyable experience. Try taking a friend along to make it a fun outing. Your holiday shopping plan will certainly allow you more time to enjoy your favorite activities of the holiday season.

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