The ADHD money diaries: The ADHD tax

Picture of a rotten apple
Wasting food costs a lot of money

Most people are aware that ADHD can cost people productivity, and the stress associated with feeling like your brain has 1,000 tabs open on the browser. What isn't discussed is the impact that just having ADHD has on our finances.

Many people across the community have coined this the "ADHD tax". Let's dig into a few popular areas where people with ADHD tend to waste more money vs the general population. I have used reddit as my source of information.

The rotten food problem

Wanting to cook food and actually cooking food are two very different things. Can't say how often I have bought a weeks worth of food, only to see 30% of it go rotten at the bottom on a veg drawer. At the same time, mans gotta eat. So I end up buying takeout instead. My annual takeout bill is disgusting. This person on reddit gets it.

Top Tip: Freeze stuff

Imaginary hobby problem

I wrote about this in a little more depth here but long story short. People with ADHD get obsessed with shiny new hobby for two weeks. Only after spending tonnes of cash on it do they lose interest.

Top tip: Book a class instead of buying equipment

Fees for forgetting

Oh I really must do X or pay X by X date. Good luck with that without an iron glad reminder set-up. Some things that are popular to forget amongst ADHD'ers are:

  • Library late fees
  • Parking fines
  • Paying bills
  • Updating insurance policies
  • Tax deadlines
  • Returning items you regret buying
  • Cancel unused subscriptions when free trials end
  • Brushing teeth leading to big dentist bill
  • Losing objects and replacing them (then finding them again)

Top tip: Reminder apps and doubling up habits (think brushing teeth when you shower).