Constantly Broke? Blame It on Your Adult ADHD

ADHD and Late Fees

There are many perfectly useful ways to manage paying bills. However, people with ADHD tend to gravitate toward one particularly un-useful way. It doesn't really have a name, so we'll describe it instead.
You receive a bill. You know that your ADHD brain functions best with visual reminders. The bill (opened, of course, along with the corresponding return envelope) is placed on a flat surface where it will be seen often -- usually the kitchen table or counter. You place all other bills or important pieces of paper similarly as they arrive, carefully avoiding any visual overlap. All household members are well aware that they may never touch or move your papers unless they want to face the consequences.
To you, it's a clever system. To everyone else in the house, however, it is a chaotic, cluttered eyesore. The big problem is that it rarely works well.
The system fails because you don't have just a few bills and important papers; you have many. You run out of space to spread them out. You lose track of which ones are due when. The return envelopes somehow get separated from the bills. Almost inevitably, this system leads to missed payments and late fees. And God forbid someone consolidate all your spread-out papers into a neat pile. You've just lost your only hope for ever paying any bill on time.

ADHD and Bad Credit

This ADHD-related money trouble follows as a natural result of using the "spread out on the kitchen counter method" for bill paying. Inevitably, the organizational disarray that is so common for people with ADHD leads to missed payments, and repeatedly missed payments lead to bad credit.
Even if you've somehow found a way to pay your bills on time, you may find yourself in credit trouble due to impulsive spending, since people with ADHD often have trouble with impulse control. And even if you manage to keep your impulsive spending under check, you'll probably have a hard time sticking to a budget. People with ADHD often find budgets to be loathsome because they lack the organizational skills and concentration effort needed to make and maintain a budget. The end result is often bad credit.
Bad credit is frustrating. It's frustrating to be stuck in an apartment, with an old car, when everyone you know has a nice house and a new(ish) car. It feels like high school (and college) all over again. It feels like everything that seems to come easily for everyone else is such a struggle for you.
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