Six Overlooked Reasons why you are struggling with your finances: Reason #6 - System Failure
Posted Nov 17 2008 11:50pm
One of the biggest challenges when dealing with improving your finances is maintaining consistency. Consistency can be an extreme challenge for adults with ADHD. Having structure and systems in place will help you to be more consistent when making financial decisions and paying bills. One major reason why systems fail, is because people tend to focus on creating perfect systems, rather than creating realistic ones. Here are a few suggestions for keeping your systems real.
1. Place more emphasis on your actions, rather than the results. There will be times when your finances will be negatively impacted through no fault of your own. It is easy to get discouraged if you place most of your emphasis on your bank accounts and not on your actions. There will also be times when you make bad decisions or fail to take action. If you make four good decisions and one bad one, you are still making tremendous progress, if you focus on your progress it will encourage you to continue to follow your financial systems.
2. Maintain flexibility. Although there are some deadlines involved with paying bill and other financial decisions, you should not get discouraged if you failed to do something according to your schedule in the financial systems that you have set up. For example if you decide that your are going to pay your bills on Thursday night, and you miss it because you went out with your friends, don't sweat it, you can pay your bills on the weekend, with most likely no additional consequences. If you miss an activity in your system re-schedule it as soon as you realize you missed it, you will be more likely to follow through with your action if your re-schedule it as quickly as possible.
3. Focus on keeping your systems as simple as possible. The best way to do this is to reduce the number of steps it takes you to complete a task. Examples of this includes:
Using electronic bill payment to pay your bills, by doing this you take out several steps including writing checks, putting the check and bill in an envelope, getting stamps, putting stamps on envelopes, and mailing out bills.
Limiting the amount of stores where your regularly shop. By doing this you will be less likely to forget items, less likely to overspend, you will be able to reduce your travel costs, and you will be able to reduce the amount of time shopping.
Putting all of your bills in one place. I have seen people who have separate folders for each bill that they need to pay, and while this works for some people, you are more likely to pay all of your bills if have them in one place. Many people also use electronic billing so that they don't have to deal with as many paper bills. This will help to reduce clutter, just make sure you have a list of all this bills you pay so that you do not forget to pay one.