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trouble running a household/finances/getting ADD help

Hi, I am a divorced mother of three teens. I own a mobile home which I had to purchase by taking an advance on my credit card because no bank would give me a loan since I made so little money at the time. I have a better job now but money is still a struggle almost constantly.
Yesterday my heating ran out of oil…again. It is outside and I forget to check the gauge. Then, boom! I’m in emergency mode again. Of course, there is no money to pay the fee to have it filled. I am very grateful for my parents who came over last night and paid the guy for me. I will pay them back, but it will have to be in installments.
Following my tax guy’s advice last year also had a negative effect on my bank account. I found out Saturday that I owe $1400.00 by April 15th. Funny how the gov’t doesn’t have to pay YOU by then, but you have to pay THEM by that date.
I wish I could understand the way to fill out a w-2 properly. I hate feeling dependant on others to explain things to me and feel that I am not mentally able to make a sound decision on my own. If I had that understanding, then I would have realized what following his advise would cause. He assumed I was still at my very low-paying old job, but I had thankfully found a higher paying one. That caused my child tax credit to go down significantly and also for the state to take out ZERO withholding. Not sure how I’m going to pay that. I had been counting on getting a REFUND to help with the already troubled finances.
  I am also searching far and wide for ADHD help. It seems there are practically nil therapists who understand ADD in my area, or if they do, they are not accepting new patients, or died before I got the chance to see them (that literally happened) or my insurance doesn’t cover them.
  I am feeling very desperate and very alone and scared that I am spiraling down a very bad road…thinking thoughts of wishing I could “end” things and no one would miss me, but I can’t do that because I have children who need me.
  I would appreciate any supportive comments you may offer.

Thanks so much.

Replies

Hi Debidoo973,

First, if you are wishing for an end, you need to see a therapist as soon as possible. Sometimes when life brings us down, we need help to find our way back out of the muck. As well, it’s important that you address these very serious feelings, for yourself and for your kids.

As for the finances, ask your employer how to increase your withholdings and update your W-2 for that.

There’s a great article on managing your finances on ADDitudeMag.com that includes useful strategies for those with ADHD: http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/2987.html. When my husband and I were first married, we were spending far more than we were earning and started using the envelope system (http://www.daveramsey.com/article/dave-ramseys-envelope-system/lifeandmoney_budgeting/). It really helped tremendously. Many experts also suggest keeping a spending diary because we often don’t realize how much we spend on incidentals and small items.

Penny
ADDconnect Moderator & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Mar 04, 2014 at 7:14pm

First of all I believe that “Penny the moderator” gave you very good advice, and that you should make a great effort to follow her suggestions.
I do not have much to offer except my wife and I had money problems at one time. We went to a 13 week seminar on how to get out of debt, make a monthly budget, and how to save for emergency’s. The seminar is called “Financial Peace University”, a man by the name of Dave Ramsey, who also has a radio program where he talks to people live on the air on how to solve their money problems as well as set them up so they can take better care of managing their money Many church’s. Junior Colleges, and other organizations offer this program all over the United States. If you Google Dave Ramsey you will be able to find information about the program. If you are Christians this would be a good thing to take to God in prayer. I prayed for you God bless you and I hope and pray that things will get better..

Posted by Rancher John on Mar 04, 2014 at 8:26pm

I’m so sorry you are feeling this way and know you are not alone. Keep talking to us.

Posted by msnuggie on Mar 04, 2014 at 8:50pm

Let’s stop blaming ourselves for everything. You needed an accountant. I need an accountant, and you know why? Because nobody knows everything. We need the help of others, but sometimes we feel too ashamed to ask. In the case of your taxes, it also bothers everyone because taxes are a burden. I feel like the problem there was communication because your tax guy didn’t ask and you didn’t tell him that your income had changed. Also nobody told you that you would end up paying lots of taxes if you didn’t have any income witheld for taxes. In law and accounting, nobody really knows everything.

I think you did a good thing by asking for advise and following it. Don’t be afraid of asking if you need more help next time, but also try to communicate better, ask more questions and tell more about your concerns even if people don’t ask. Believe me, sometimes I am really surprised when someone expresses a concern or a weakness because I wouldn’t dare to expose my situation like that, but then people get a helping hand, advise, and a friendly ear while I still struggle to speak up and ask for help, so let’s give ourselves a chance.

Posted by najn on Mar 05, 2014 at 1:26am

When it comes to running a household, you have to have a whiteboard that is put somewhere that is right in your face every morning. I have mine up on the wall next to my coffee maker. Have your routine with times etc to follow. Its REALLY hard to not procrastinate. And to keep on task is hard. But I promise it works.

Posted by Valkyrie70 on Mar 05, 2014 at 8:48pm

Hi Valkyrie70! I LOVE that idea! What a great strategy!

Penny
ADDconnect Moderator & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Mar 06, 2014 at 6:35pm

And now you know why I use a planner.  In a phrase, “My life is in my planner”.  No, I do not keep sensitive information in there. 

Write out a list of your bills—all of them including gas for the car, insurance, space rent, and include a sum for an emergency fund.  Include the due dates and the estimated amounts that are needed.  Next pull out a monthly calendar and plot the paydays for the month.  If your pay check does not vary greatly from payday to payday, then this will help you see what is going on with your finances.  Form the habit of doing this each time a bill arrives so that you can see what is coming up and avoid late charges.

Start using E-pay for your bills.  I do this through the bank.  All I needed to get started was the bills with the account numbers and the mailing addresses.  Each payday, pull out your calendar and see which bills have to be paid. Open the E-pay site and pay them.  Some of made by automatically send the funds to the payee; others need to have a check sent.  Some banks charge for this; some do not.  Talk to your banker.

Taxes are something that we all dislike for one reason or another.  They won’t go away, so figure out how to deal with them.  If you want to reduce the amount of tax due at the end of the year, you figure out how many exemptions you have.  That would be yourself and your children.  To be sure of a refund, complete a W4 form and only take one exemption and show yourself as “single”.  If you are receiving child support for the children, then you will want to do that differently and I would suggest talking to the payroll people at work.  Get a photocopy of your @4 for your records.  Never let a tax preparer tell you how to change your exemptions.  Talk to an accountant or the financial officer at your bank.

Make it a habit to open your planner nightly after the kids go to bed.  If a bill needs to be paid, get it paid.  If a bill ha arrived in the mail, enter it to the planner for the appropriate payday allowing time for the payment to get to its destination on time.

Always have an emergency fund!  This is where you keep the money to pay the fuel oil when it needs to be filled.  Make this a task that you handle on the same date each month so that it gets done.  From that point, all you need to do is call for the fill and transfer the funds from savings to checking so you can pay the charge without a late fee.

Set a reminder on your cell phone to check your planner.  Get the white board and put a note on it to check your planner.

Posted by Dianne in the Desert on Mar 07, 2014 at 2:49am

Hi Debbiedoo973,

I would just like to ask if your kids’ father is in the picture at all.  I think he has to share his weight of the responsiblity of bringing up his kids, both emotionally and financially.  I hope he is doing that.  If he is good with organizing, perhaps he could take part in your budgeting process.  There are laws, I think, that apply here.  Maybe you could check it out with the local governmental office.  This is just an off the cuff reaction.  There may be personal or emotional issues that make this hard to carry out, but I think it is important to know your rights and get help getting what you need from him.  All the best to you.  Please know that others have our own hardships and that it is best when we just handle what we can one day at a time.

Posted by Yamalen on Mar 11, 2014 at 5:01am

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