ADHD and Money – How To Avoid Late Fees

 In ADHD Success Skills and Tools

adhd and moneyADHD and money have a love hate relationship, don’t they! We love having money, yet hate managing it. Neglecting our finances may seem like the easy solution, but it causes problems. Late fees, overspending, fear, shame, and stress.

Claire is one of my private coaching clients. Since one of Claire’s big goals is to be debt-free, she’s accepted that she has to stop avoiding her finances.

No more sporadically paying her bills and stacking her bank statements on the floor. No more impulsive spending. Claire wants a better relationship between her money and her ADHD.

She’s making good progress towards her goal. In the months we’ve worked together, Claire has organized her financial papers. Her new, easy to use filing system helps.

She’s is also doing better control her impulsive spending.

Claire still has an ADHD money challenge, though. Paying her bills on time. She’s still not consistent enough with sticking to her bill paying routine.

Claire jokes that she thinks banks invented credit card late fees for ADHD adults. Claire’s joke is painfully close to the truth. I suspect adults with attention deficit do pay more than their share of credit card late fees.

Paying bills on time requires attention to details and routine follow-through. Having a hard time with both of those are key ADHD symptoms.

ADHD and Money. Two Steps To Avoiding Late Fees.

If you have ADHD and money challenges how can you avoid paying late fees?

I often hear automatic bill pay as the solution. But, many of my clients with ADHD and money problems resist automatic bill pay. If you don’t know how much you have in your bank account you risk hefty over-drafts fees.

That’s why I suggest a modified automatic payment to avoid ADHD credit card late fees.

Here’s how to avoid late fees…

  • Set up an auto payment to pay the minimum amount due on the credit card. You’ll be confident your bill will be paid on time and you’ll avoid a late fee.

  • Build a weekly routine for paying your bills. There are many options for this. Find a routine that works for you and your cash flow. Most of the time your routine will let you pay the bill on time. If you do forget at least you’ll have made the minimum payment and avoided the late fee.

I confess to having had my own woes with money. ADHD disorganization made a joke of my money management. I used to pay a lot of credit card late fees.

It was frustrating. Shame producing, too. Another flaw I hid from my family and friends. It was hard for me to take myself seriously when I couldn’t even pay the bills on time.

Creating my weekly bill paying routine was the start of turning around my relationship with money. Now it’s rare for a bill to be paid late. The last one was because I moved too fast and didn’t click the final VERIFY button. I’ve learned to slow down and pay more attention. Electronic banking has also made bill paying much easier.

Having a strong relationship between your ADHD and money is possible. If ADHD makes managing your finances a problem, I encourage you to stop ignoring it. Living successfully with ADHD doesn’t have to be so hard.

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