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Archived ADDvice Newsletters

February 2005

Welcome to ADDvice for ADD-Friendly Living

Each month, ADDvice will provide tips, tools, and strategies to help you live well despite your ADD. This month, we focus on finances. Contact us at with other issues you would like to see discussed in future newsletters.

Getting Control of Your Finances

Having ADD has many costs. Often, none more devastating than the impact it can have on finances. Every year, ADD symptoms put a dent in your budget. Late fees, interest penalties and impulsive spending are the price tag you pay for procrastination and disorganization. Whether you are a college student, a young adult living on your own for the first time, a single mom or an adult with ADD, getting control of your finances may seem impossible.

The following strategies are presented to help you to take back the controls and avoid late fees and penalties:

Pay bills (including traffic tickets) on time. Easier said than done, you say. Well, there are now ways to help out here.

  • Automated bill paying can be set up with your bank so that repeating payments such as car loans, mortgage, or rent can be paid and deducted from your checking account automatically. TIP: Bigger is better. Make sure your bank is reliable and that the kinks of on-line bill paying have been ironed out. Many banks including Bank of America, for example, have a free bill paying service with over 11 million users. Quicken also has automatic payment reminders built in. A great feature for those with ADD!

  • Set up a bill paying station. This system may be as simple as 13 file folders - label one for each month and one for tax papers. As bills come in throughout the month, place them in the appropriate file folder immediately upon opening the mail. Keep checks, envelopes and stamps handy nearby. When you get a traffic ticket, avoid the temptation to put it in the glove box in the car (remember, out of sight is out of mind). Instead, bring it into the house and put it with the bills for the month.

  • Pay bills twice a month - Pick two days that work for you - on the 1st and 15th or the 2nd and 4th Fridays, for example. Pay bills only on those days and when you are at your bill paying station.

  • File paid bills back into the monthly folder. At the end of the year, you'll be organized and have all your paid bills in one place to get ready for taxes.

  • File tax information in the 13th folder. As tax information comes in, 1099s, W-2s, interest income from the bank for accounts, interest paid for mortgages and home equity loans, etc., file in your tax folder to sort when you get ready to do your taxes. (More about tax organization next month).

Tip #1: Avoid late fees - use a service that pays bills for you!

...The company I have found ( allows me to set up a totally mindless system. My bills go directly to them. When a bill comes in, I get an email notice. I can login and pay it them or, if I ignore it, thinking I'll do it later, I get another email prior to the bill being paid late, to really log in then. Like most systems you can set up recurring payments so you never have to think about them...This is the one system that has eliminated my late fees.

Ellen, Charlotte, NC

Page 136
Survival Tips for Women with AD/HD
by Terry Matlen, MSW

Click here to order.

Tip#2: Reduce the number of bills you must pay

Reduce the number of bills you must pay by using one credit card for all purchases, including gas and groceries. Pay it off each month. Your bill paying will be quicker, and you'll have an automatic record of your expenditures. (And no interest fees if you pay off the balance each month!)

Page 234
ADD-Friendly Ways to
Organize Your Life
by Kathleen Nadeau, Ph.D.

Click here to order.

Tool: Hanging file box

Handy File Box - Blue  

Description: Holds letter hanging files. Contains an easy-carry handle, snap-tight buckle, reinforced lid, and is lockable. Size: 13 1/2"wide x 5 3/4"deep x 11 3/4"high $10.99

Click on the image to order.



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