I’m sick of being broke

Posted: August 31, 2013 in Ramblings
Tags: ,

Money is always an “interesting” challenge for we ADD/ADHD folks.  Impulsivity and money isn’t exactly a good mix, now is it?  Most ADHD folks have to turn the finances over to someone else, but even then things aren’t always spectacular.  Trust me, I know.

Right now, I’m not making jack.  Being broke when you make so little is pretty normal, whether you have ADHD or not.  However, I wasn’t always in this boat.

A couple of years ago, I was working as a contractor with the Department of Defense.  For my area, I was making really, really good money.  I wasn’t rich by any means, but I made plenty.  My wife was working too, so we should have been pretty comfortable.

We weren’t.

All of our bills got paid, but the agreement my wife and I made was for a set amount of money.  Well, it was plenty to take care of the bills, but my wife has never grasped how my impulsivity works.  So, any extra I gave her went towards take out meals so no one had to cook.  Result: zero savings.

Now, I didn’t give her all of my income.  Nope.  Unfortunately, expecting me trying to save money made about as much sense as a pay toilet at a chili cook off.  The remains of my paycheck went towards my “interest of the week” as my wife seems to describe it.  Tools for woodworking cost a lot, but so does backpacking stuff, and so does stuff for 18th century reenactment.  That money was gone in no time flat.

In theory, if I made something for some of my hobbies, I could make some money and let my hobby pay for itself.  Unfortunately, most of my interests fade before I can make anything well enough for that to happen.  I don’t like it.

What I really hate is the whole being broke thing.  Money management and ADHD is never a good thing.  What’s ironic is that if trust with someone else’s money, I tend to be rather frugal with it.  It’s just my own that I spend like it’s the last few days on Earth.  I don’t really understand it, but I don’t really understand a lot of this condition I’ve suffered through for the last almost forty years.

I’m sure I’m not alone on this, but it sucks to see people who make as much as me seem to have so much more.  I’m not jealous of these folks.  Instead, I’m just bummed out that they’re capable of doing things I just can’t.  It sucks, and there’s no other way to describe it, but it is what it is.

Maybe someday I’ll figure it all out.  Hopefully.

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Comments
  1. tawnysea8888 says:

    I have a very typically female ADHD “daydreamy” brain, and in addition to the impulsive spending, will lose track of money very easily. I’ve absentmindedly dropped large bills on the ground, will find $20 in pockets of things I haven’t worn in seasons, and am constantly surprised by money in my wallet because I’ll forget my husband at some point handed me money to have cash on hand for an emergency, for example. (“Oh, wow! There’s a $10 in here! How did that get in here?”) I am too forgetful and scatterbrained to handle our finances, so he has to handle all of the bills.

    The only thing that works for me, as far as the impulsive spending goes, is to stay out of the stores completely. I *know* I will spend money we can’t afford if I go to Target, for example (so much cute stuff!) so I don’t allow myself to even go there. It’s honestly the only thing that curbs my impulsive spending. Avoidance of temptation. So annoying, but it works. If I can’t see it, I can’t want it. I have to be careful about online shopping, too. I have a PayPal account, and I’m not afraid to use it. 🙂

    This is why, when asked if I want to go “window shopping” with someone, I always say no. Because I know I’m impulsive with money, and if I see something I like and have the money in the bank, that thing will be bought!

    So no, you are not alone on this! I nodded my head as I read in understanding. And thanks for sharing.

    • Tom says:

      Thanks. Sometimes, just knowing someone else deals with this too is a big, big help 🙂

      That’s part of the reason I ramble like I do about this stuff!

  2. You sound just like my husband — he definitely has interests of the week, or rather interests of the hour. It’s exhausting but I also really understand it because I’m the same way. Our interests are just different. Like tawnysea8888, I’ve finally learned to just stay out of the stores. But, it’s even hard for me in the grocery stores. We have finally gotten a handle on our fiancées and I’m terrified of screwing it up, so I’ve gone to the other extreme and practically spend no money at all, even when I really need to — like I really need to go to the eye doctor and get some new glasses, but the choices overwhelm me and inevitably I would select the most expensive pair and botch our progress. Well, I think it’s great that you recognize it — that’s the first step, right? 🙂

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