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Old 04-27-10, 05:53 PM
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Fear of money management...?

I don't quite know how to put it, but I believe I have a phobia of managing my money due largely do my ADD-related experiences with money. I am notoriously late on bills (even when I have the money to pay them.) I've been turned over to collection agencies over amounts as little as $20 (and much larger amounts, too.) I fear unknown phone numbers on caller ID. I get nervous every time bills come. I'm too embarrassed to call my landlord to fix anything in my apt. because I'm always late on rent and I feel like he must think I'm a jack***. (In fact, I'm sure everyone I do business with thinks this!) People get SO MAD when you owe them money (duh, I totally understand this) but I just want to yell, "I'm not a bad person! I'm not trying to cheat you! I just forget things!!!"

I've managed to escape any serious financial harm, but I've been lucky. I just can't seem to make myself pay bills - I always think I'll get it later, but I never do. I think the whole thing just seems so unpleasant to me that it's hard for me to ever face it. Also add to that the fact that even if I do work up the "courage" to pay bills, I often have trouble locating my checkbook, an envelope, a stamp, the bill itself, etc. I also don't think to contact bill collectors, etc. until long after business hours. I've thought about doing automatic withdrawal, but since I have a hard time keeping track of my money, I'm afraid I could very easily get screwed over and not realize it. I use mint.com and like it, but it doesn't really help remind me to pay my bills on time. I really wish I could just pay a trustworthy person to handle it all for me.

Thoughts, advice, etc? Thanks
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Old 04-27-10, 06:18 PM
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Re: Fear of money management...?

Online and automatic payments. Life savers- for me, anyway.

Regular payments that are made on the same day every month are scheduled payments. Anything with a changeable balance due gets paid on the same day every month. One day. Trying to do it on two days or more would never happen. This way it is only about 30 minutes of torture.

I will be shifting from my system to my partner's system in the not too distant future. Not looking forward to it- he is organized differently. But you can bet that I will be bringing some of my approaches to the table.
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Old 04-27-10, 06:56 PM
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Re: Fear of money management...?

Oh, yes. Online banking is by far the greatest gift the financial industry has ever given to mankind. I can schedule payments in advance, so I only have to deal with bills twice a month (I haven't reached ADHDTigger's nirvana). Automatic withdrawal pays all my low but time-consuming utilities bills. I spend months without writing a single check.

I also have two folders, labeled "unpaid bills" and "paid bills", that I keep by the computer. It works very well to know which bills I have to pay/schedule, and which I have to check and archive.
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Old 04-27-10, 07:34 PM
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Re: Fear of money management...?

I don't know if I can explain this and have it make sense, but I'll try. I am not fond of automatic withdrawls for bills either. I forget that they are coming out and it can mess me up. I do have 2 things that are automatic though. Even still, what I have found works best for me is a financial calendar. It takes maybe 20 minutes per month for me to make it. This is the part I hope to make sense.....

First, I print off a blank calendar for that month and write down each bill due & how much it is on it's appropriate date. Then I make each pay period a different color starting with payday. If payday is every week then the blocks of color are 7 days long. If payday comes every 2 weeks then it's the same thing only the blocks of color are 14 days long instead of 7. That way, I know which bills come out of which paychecks (quickly by color) and when they are due. I make sure it's hanging somewhere that I ALWAYS see it. Then I just cross off one day at a time, or one week at a time depending on my mood. For the bills that need to be mailed, I might put them down a few days before they are due so that they get there on time. The ones that are automatic or that I might do over the phone I put on the day they are due. It sounds more complex than it is but it does help me manage things better when I actually make the calendars. Oh and since calendars always put a few days that are not in the month on them I always make a dark red outline all the way around the month I'm in to avoid confusion.
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Old 04-27-10, 08:08 PM
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Re: Fear of money management...?

You have described me to T. Except that I did get into bad financial trouble -- not planning, under-earning, self-employed. Credit wrecked. Ashamed. All before I was diagnosed. Now I have to sort it out. It is allADD behavior -- pre-frontal cortex problem showing up as lack of executive function. Decision-making shunts to the pleasure center when the pre-frontal cortex is slow. IT"S A PLEASURE OR INTEREST-SEEKING BRAIN, EVEN ON MEDICATION. So, you make even small decisions based on affinity or avoiding displeasure without ever realizing it.

I tried going to DA - Debtors Anonymous - for a couple of years and learned some good basic tools but I think 90% of the members are undiagnosed or unmanaged ADHD too. And for me, the approach - one day at a time - sounded good but finally was too small. Though it's very subtle.

If your issue isn't cash flow but cash management I'd definitely get some kind of help on a monthly basis. Think of it like wearing glasses to correct weak vision.
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Old 04-28-10, 01:08 AM
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Re: Fear of money management...?

Do the auto payments from your checking account. If you give the credit card company your routing and account number, you will have to actually close the account to stop them from debiting.

I have Wescom where they will actually send checks when electronic filing isn't available. Takes only three days to get there. Still automated.



I had this same problem and it pained me to pay bills and one day I mustered up some strength from above to put them on autopilot. Took me about 45 minutes.

You don't have to do it immediately. You can utilize the spur of the moment thing as I did, probably when you have enough energy to do so.

Energy doesn't come along to ADDer's oftentimes, so utilizing it when it's there is imperative.
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