ADHD and managing money

By Gail Belsky

Expert reviewed by Jim Rein, MA

A person with a brown shoulder bag holds a red wallet. They are taking money out to pay for something.

At a glance

  • Managing money is a challenge for many people with ADHD.

  • ADHD can make it hard to create a budget and stick to it.

  • Treating ADHD symptoms can make staying on track easier.

ADHD doesn’t make it hard to understand math or work with money. But it can make it difficult to manage money. 

There are a few reasons for that. Managing money is complicated. It involves a lot of , which people with ADHD struggle with.

You need to know and remember how much money you have and be realistic about how much you can afford to spend. You have to create a budget and then stick to it. And you need to keep track of managing your money as you go.

The impulsivity that comes with ADHD can lead people to splurge or overspend. Wishful thinking can play a role, too: “It’ll be fine if I go over budget this one time. I can be a little late paying the rent.” 

Trouble managing money doesn’t mean that people with ADHD are irresponsible (although it might look that way). But they may need tools and guidance to come up with a budget and stay on track.

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