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Managing Money and ADHD: Money Management Schedule

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Creating a timeline

Some people find it helpful to organize money management into a timeline that shows financial tasks and how often they need to be done. It also helps to note about how long you think each task will take. Sometimes, seeing that money management tasks can be completed quickly or that they don’t have to be done often can help motivate people to accomplish some or all of them.

You can make your own timeline to fit your goals and lifestyle. This is one example of what a timeline might look like.

Every day

  • Collect receipts that are in your wallet, car, desk drawer, or other location. (5 minutes)
  • Enter receipts and expenditures in your personal finance software (Quicken, Mint, You Need a Budget, etc.) or checkbook and store the receipts in an envelope until the end of the month. (5 minutes)
  • Open bills that came in the mail and write on the envelope the date each one needs to be mailed. Put them in order of the date you have to pay them. Keep all your bills somewhere you will see them often, making sure the date you have to pay each one is visible. (5 minutes)

Once a week

  • Pay bills, writing “PAID” and the date you paid each one on the part of the bill that you keep; put that in your paid bills folder. As you file each bill, find the last paid bill for that same account (the past month’s electric bill, for example) and remove it from the folder and discard or shred it. (10 minutes)
  • Look through your email or apps for notification of any automatic bill payments made from your account that week and enter them in your personal finance software or checkbook. (10 minutes)
  • Review any expenses for the week that just ended, as well as any you expect in the coming week. (5 minutes)
  • Visit your bank to deposit any checks and withdraw money for the week, if needed. If your bank has a mobile app, you may be able to save time by depositing checks from home, just by taking photos of the front and back once you’ve signed each one. (time depends on the distance to your bank)
  • Review weekly spending, especially in any problem categories (areas where you have a history of saving or spending difficulties). (10-15 minutes)

Once a month

  • Balance your bank statement, either in your checkbook or online. This means comparing how much your bank says you spent and deposited into your account with your own records. It’s important to balance your account in case either you or the bank made a mistake. It also gives you a chance to refresh your memory as to your spending habits. (20 minutes)
  • After you’ve balanced your bank account, discard or shred ATM receipts, debit receipts, and other receipts from the period covered by the most recent bank statement. (10 minutes)
  • Look over your budget and compare your goals to your actual spending and saving. (15 minutes)
  • Look for patterns that you are spending too much in certain areas (clothing, dining out, buying music online) so you can work to change that spending in the next month or two. (15 minutes)

Once a year

  • Collect your financial papers for tax filing—ideally, you’ll keep everything in a folder throughout the year. This should include any tax forms you receive in the mail from your employer, bank, mortgage lender, investment firms, college or university, etc., as well as records of any charitable donations. (20 minutes)
  • File your taxes or bring your information to a tax preparer. If you file your taxes yourself, you might want to use software that will guide you through the process and help you find ways to get a (bigger) tax refund. The amount of time this takes depends on whether you complete your taxes yourself.
  • After you’ve filed your taxes, organize your information, including a copy of your tax forms and related paperwork. Store it in a labeled box or large envelope; you should keep records of your taxes for seven years. (20 minutes)
  • Look over your spending and saving for the past year and make an honest assessment of how you did in meeting your goals. (30-45 minutes)
  • List large expenses you may be facing in the coming year, such as buying a new car, sending a child to college, making home repairs or related purchases, or travel and vacations, so you can start saving for them. (30 minutes)
  • Make a list of ongoing debts (home, car, school, medical), including how much you still owe and when you expect to pay each one off. It’s important to keep track of your debts so you can track your progress in paying them down. (30-45 minutes)

 

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