An Abstract Look at an ADHDers Financial Problems


ADHDers have serious financial problems, at four times the rate of the general population, it’s been said. It’s not because you/we can’t balance a checkbook. ADHD is not on the intelligence spectrum.

Are you ready to “Rena-Fi” your understanding of financial behavior?

Are you familiar with those drawings where you see an image but then suddenly the image flips into something else?  Those drawings contain a profound truth. You cannot see both images at the same time. Try it.

Seriously, this is important. Why you might ask? Because every financial advisor you’ve ever encountered has been trained in a uniform way of thinking. They are totally convinced that it’s all about the math. It isn’t. While crucially important, math is not the primary factor in financial well being.

If simple math concepts and flawed budgeting are at the root of your money problems (advisors will tell you this) why do your financial issues recur and persist? Okay, if you’re an idiot with math, sure. But you’re not, are you? I’ll bet you can add, subtract and budget better than hundreds of thousands of people who are doing better than you financially. If the financial advisors have it right and it’s all about budgets, math, and spreadsheets, that makes no sense at all.  Why?

If losing weight was as simple as eating fewer calories and burning more, why do so many people struggle with weight issues for their entire lives? Why is it that other equally intelligent people have no problems with weight whatsoever?

If most people believe that going to the doctor for regular check-ups is a good thing, why do so many people (especially ADHDers) neglect this simple task? Why? Because it’s not about the math.

What do these three examples have in common?  Viewed from a distance, they all appear to be character issues. Viewed from within, they’re perplexing, anxiety producing; depressing even. What these examples have in common is that the obvious simplistic symptom-based solution in each case does not address the problem.  

I’m not going to tell you that if you buy a better calculator and budget that your money problems will go away. They won’t. I’m not interested in saving you a couple of percent on your credit card statement. Frankly, I’m not interested in your credit card debt at all.  I’m intent on catalyzing a quantum leap in your financial perspective.

Until you begin to see the world differently, your world will not change. When you see the world differently, the change you seek will be almost inevitable.

There is a deeper truth.  Financial well being does not evolve from budgets, math, and spreadsheets. Budgets, math, and spreadsheets evolve from a healthy financial mindset. Stick with us. I promise this is a journey worth taking.

Richard Webster, the author of this article is the CEO of Rena-Fi, Inc., a financial literacy platform.  If additional support for ADHD is sought after, we suggest visiting ADDA who has partnered with Rena-Fi to bring the benefits of financial education to its membership.

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