ADHDmoneyWhen you have ADHD, things can seem so overwhelming.  It’s difficult to just focus on the present – doing one step at a time.  But doing just that – focusing on what is going on right now – can help you with your financial difficulties.  The practice of focusing on the here and now is called “mindfulness”.

You may be thinking that mindfulness and money don’t really go together – how could a practice focused on non-materialism apply to the source of materialism?  But in fact, the practice of mindfulness can be applied to your daily money management practices.

  • First, be aware that money is not intrinsically “good” or “bad” – it just is.  It is just a tool for helping us get things we need and want.  You may have been brought up in a family where money was an issue – either there was never enough, or you may have had the experience where it almost seemed like there was too much.  We all have different relationships with money – or the thought of money.  Use the practice of mindfulness to focus on the fact that money is just that – money.  Bits of paper, numbers – but it is neither good or bad.  Being aware of this fact can free you from your past ideas of money that may be hindering your progress right now.  Let go, and watch your money grow.
  • Second, use your mindfulness practice to forgive yourself of any past money issues.  Remember, focus on the here and now.  In the past, you were just doing the best that you could at the time.  This is the first day of your new financial outlook.  Enjoy it, and set yourself free.
  • Third, while it is important to pay attention to your money and where it is going, also realize it is just that – money.  Sometimes if you have had difficulty managing your money in the past, you may wind up going the opposite direction and become almost compulsive in monitoring it.  Let your money work for you – use it as a tool, and don’t let it control you.  Be aware when you are letting your money control you – by either compulsively checking your stocks online, or saving money to the point where you are actually hoarding it.  When practicing mindfulness, focus on the here and now – trust in the nature of the Universe – money flows out, money flows in.

Part of mindfulness is becoming aware of your connection to the Universe.  We are all together in this thing called Life, so let your money become an extension of the good you put out to your community and to the world.  Donate your time and your money to charitable causes.  Remember, what you put out to the Universe (and to your community) comes back to you.

Money and mindfulness can go together  to free you from the thoughts you have had in the past about your finances.  By separating out your emotions from money, you may find you are now bringing in more money than you thought possible.

Listen to Dr. Sarkis discuss ADHD and credit card debt in the Podcast Series. And check out the ADHD and Money Management Seminar that Dr. Sarkis is leading online on March 20 & 21!


Stephanie Sarkis About Stephanie Sarkis

Dr. Sarkis is the author of four books on adult ADD, including ADD and Your Money: A Guide to Personal Finance for Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder. She is a National Certified Counselor (NCC) and Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) based in Boca Raton, Florida. She provides counseling and coaching to children and adults with ADHD/ADD. Her website is


  1. I like your point about not dwelling on past mistakes. For me, it’s focusing on getting OUT of debt, rather than always thinking about how I got IN debt.

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. I’d just like to get out of the cycle of getting myself in trouble then having to dig myself out of it. My main problem is anything out of the ordinary, such as medical bills or car repairs. I do OK on the regular bills – for the most part – it’s the non-scheduled irregular expenses that tend to get me into trouble. I know, I just need to sit down and either pay the bill when it comes in – or make payment arrangements if I can’t pay it full – instead of letting the bill notices pile up until collectors start calling. But, it’s just easier to ignore them until it becomes a crisis — rather than marshaling the self-discipline to take the time to sit down and do it.

    I guess irregular bills are my “I’ll do it when you force me into a corner and make me do it” area.

  3. Theresa says:

    My husband always let me manage a portion of the money but he kept the reins on the big stuff. He died in January and I’m only 55. I now have life insurance money, 401K money, house and all this other stuff to manage and I do fine during the day. My issues are always in the evenings when my medication wears off. Then, I do not make good decisions. Is there a way to shut a credit card off at a certain time. Once again I ran it up last month. Some of it was very legitimate since I am doing some house remodeling but I also did a fair amount of on-line donations….I have no confidence that I can hang onto this money and I have to be able to manage it! There isn’t anyone else.


  1. […] at ADHD Management, they have some good advice on an attitude adjustment in their article “Mindfulness and Money Management for Adults with ADHD.” “Be aware that money is not intrinsically ‘good’ or ‘bad’—it just is. It is just a […]