Three Practical Hacks for Your Financial Health
In today’s Rena-Fi’cation session, we’re going to get practical.
As a group, adults with ADHD are dealing with an extra layer of complication. You ignore that at your peril. This might be a good time for you to take a few moments to explore the rest of the ADDA site. ADHD management is a crucial factor in financial success. Think, “Know Thyself.” With that, here are three concepts I hope you will find thought provoking and useful:
1) You can’t save your way to wealth.
Saving is crucial, yes. Living below your means is paramount. Plugging the leaks in your money situation is critical. But earning more is the only way to rapidly improve your stability quotient and accelerate your progress. Add to that, having more income is considerably more pleasant than living a life of ordering from the right hand side of the menu.
Example: Earn, deserve, and then ask for a raise or promotion. Monetize a hobby. Develop multiple streams of income. Produce something of value that someone else would be eager to pay for. Start your own business. Focus on creating realistic income streams, not “one off”, high risk windfalls.
2) Don’t be the silly rabbit.
One of the gifts of ADHD is an incredibly wide and speedy peripheral vision for spotting new ideas. But the tortoise almost always wins the race. As an adult with ADHD myself, I’ve had to learn to slow down. “Slow down to move faster”, as my coach used to say. Become a “completionist”. Do one thing at a time, not ten. Learn to wean yourself off of your addiction to new ideas. You are unlikely to be financially successful if you squander your bandwidth chasing after sparkling new ideas at the expense of faithful diligence to your existing plans.
Example: Set a conservative and manageable a goal of smaller tasks to get done each day. I have three major categories in my work life. If a new idea pops into my head during the day that doesn’t directly relate to one of those three things, I set it aside permanently. It’s a hard thing to do and I still struggle with it, but it’s crucial.
3) Conscientiousness is the number one factor in success.
Success with money; success in life. ADHD comes with many gifts. Conscientiousness isn’t one of them. Externalize conscientiousness. Create and lock yourself into a work and social environment that virtually demands success.
Example: I like to stay in good physical health but I’m not naturally conscientious about getting to the gym. I have a small group of friends with whom I periodically schedule LONG hikes. I really don’t want to be the last person struggling up the hill. I work out frequently so I’m ready when the day comes because I don’t want to let my friends down. They don’t know it but they’re my accountability partners in my health plan. They represent externalized conscientiousness. I do the same in my work life.
What structures can you create to keep yourself on track? Put that highly creative ADHD brain of yours to work solving the practical issues facing you. Rena-Fi can help with the accountability factor.
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.