Mastering Money Management: Budgeting Tips for High-Income Earners With ADHD

Man wearing suit

You may make a decent paycheck…so why does all the money seem to disappear? 

Managing finances can be a daunting task for anyone, but it can be particularly challenging for individuals with ADHD. It may be especially challenging for adults with ADHD who are high-income earners because you may think you make enough money that you don’t need to budget…wrong! The combination of impulsivity, distraction, and difficulty with organization can create unique obstacles to money management. In this article, we will delve into three problems that high-income earners with ADHD often face when it comes to budgeting, and provide three practical solutions to help overcome these challenges.

Why Do High Income Earners with ADHD Have Problems With Money?

Problem 1: Impulse Spending and ADHD

One of the core symptoms of ADHD is impulsivity, which can lead to spontaneous and excessive spending. Does that seem familiar? This is true, whatever your salary! High-income earners with ADHD usually have more disposable income, which can lead to more expensive impulse purchases, such as cars (yep, been there, done that… twice!), houses, or first-class vacations. High-income earners with ADHD may also find themselves making impulsive purchases without considering the long-term impact on their financial goals. 

Problem 2: Disorganized Money Management for Adults With ADHD

ADHD can make it challenging to maintain consistent and organized financial records. High-income earners may struggle with keeping track of receipts, bills, and other financial documents, leading to missed payments, late fees, and an overall lack of clarity about their financial situation. I used to get very overwhelmed with submitting my expense report at work. Been there?  High-income earners with ADHD may live paycheck to paycheck, even though they know they shouldn’t have to, due to their income.  Failure to manage their salary & retirement savings effectively could result in a delayed retirement, and having to work to an older age than their neurotypical peers. Bummer!

Problem 3: Difficulty in Long-Term Budgeting for People With ADHD

ADHD can make it challenging to focus on long-term goals and plan for the future. High-income earners may struggle to set aside money for savings, investments, or retirement due to their tendency to prioritize short-term gratification over long-term financial security.  Money Coach Stephanie sees this a lot with her clients. They regularly fail to remember to budget for things like car maintenance (boring!) or Christmas (oh, wait, is that on December 25th again this year?!), and they definitely struggle to think about how much money they will need to live on 20-30 years down the road.

3 Solutions for High Income Adults with ADHD to Manage Money Better

1.) Hire a Money Coach to Combat ADHD Impulsive Spending 

A money coach is a professional who specializes in helping individuals manage their finances, set clear financial goals, and develop strategies to curb impulsive behaviors. Money coaches can provide personalized guidance and accountability, helping high-income earners with ADHD make more informed financial decisions. Regular check-ins with a money coach can provide the structure and support needed to stay on track and avoid impulsive spending. Having a neutral accountability partner will help to remind you that just because your income goes up, that doesn’t mean your expenses have to also!

2.) Use a Digital Budgeting Tool to Address ADHD Disorganization 

There are numerous apps and software available that can help streamline financial tracking and organization. These tools allow users to input expenses, set reminders for bill payments, and generate visual representations of their financial progress. By relying on digital tools, individuals with ADHD can reduce the cognitive load associated with traditional paper-based tracking methods, making it easier to stay organized and up-to-date with their finances.

A budget is you telling your money what to do ahead of time. Without a budget, you leave things up to your impulses or poor working memory…how does that usually go for you? I can tell you how it went for me. When Andrea and I were first married, I told her: “Honey, why don’t you let me take care of the bills, ok??” Just a few months later, when we got our “FINAL NOTICE” that our power would be turned off if we did not pay our electricity bill, I admitted that I was ready to put aside my ego and face reality! 

3.) Automate Your Money Moves To Avoid Poor ADHD Future Planning!

Automating savings and investments can be a powerful strategy. By setting up automatic transfers from their income to savings and investment accounts, high-income earners with ADHD can ensure that a portion of their earnings is allocated towards their long-term financial goals without requiring constant attention. This approach takes advantage of the ADHD brain’s inclination towards routines and reduces the need for ongoing decision-making.  Over time, automated contributions can accumulate substantial wealth, providing a safety net for the future.

Example – Do NOT trust your memory or (lack of) discipline to invest in long term (AKA: “Not NOW” goals – it won’t happen!) Instead, “set it, and forget it!”… when you pay yourself first, you won’t even notice that the money is gone! You will have already saved it before you can even spend it on something that you will regret purchasing later! 😉

ADHD and Budgeting Can Be Possible for YOU!

In conclusion, high-income earners with ADHD face unique budgeting challenges that stem from their cognitive differences. By recognizing these challenges and implementing tailored solutions, such as hiring a money coach, utilizing digital budgeting tools, and automating savings and investments, individuals with ADHD can develop healthier financial habits and work towards achieving their long-term financial aspirations. You’ve got this! Remember, seeking professional guidance and utilizing modern technology can pave the way for a more secure and prosperous financial future.  Get started today with Money Coach Stephanie! I believe in YOU!

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About Ryan Mayer

Professional Life Coach Ryan Mayer is an Accountability and Mindset Coach, specializing in working with adult men and women with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
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