Press "Enter" to skip to content

ADHD Finance Tricks – Online Banking Or App Banking

Either don’t allow bills to be pulled from a checking account – send the payments out from the account so you can see all the pending activity OR

Only allow bills to pull out of one separate checking account – then transfer the money for that bill to that account – that money is spent and not available

If you have a regular credit card you use, figure out what your required or usual minimum payment is and schedule that to be sent from your bill pay automatically (recurring) so worst case you’re charged interest instead of late fees + rate hike + interest + getting your credit score dinged. Then if you remember you can just edit the amount up to either the last statement balance (to avoid interest fees) or the full current balance. To help remember, set a recurring alarm, reminder or calendar item at least 3-5 days before your statement date (which should always be the same date).

The other option is to set the card to autopay from a separate account, and anytime you spend money on the card, transfer that amount to the separate account.

Use an ADHD friendly credit union (non-profit) or bank that have free accounts with no minimum balance and allow multiple accounts, cards or buckets (envelope method) to help you sort/track and have bill pay.

Also check that on debit accounts they don’t have “courtesy overdraft” – or ask them to turn it off – otherwise when you use your debit card, it won’t be declined if the account is empty. Much better to step out of line after getting declined and to take a moment to check your account while they ring up the next person than to spend the money you don’t have and end up with various overdraft fees.

Shopping scripts for those who want them:
“I’ll have to get this another day, it can all go back, thanks.”
“Please ring up the next person while I double check my account, thanks!”
– Step aside and check your account online then one of these three:

  • “I’ll have to get this another day, it can all go back, thanks.”
  • move money if you have it set aside then ring up
    “All set, let’s try again, thanks.”
  • if you have only part of the money you need, tell them which items are go backs*
    “<X> and <Y> are go backs and we can try again with the rest thanks.” or “I’ll just get <C> and <D> today, thanks.”

*”Go backs” are a standard part of retail – folks change their minds or notice something is not the right type or their kid grabbed it without them noticing – it’s much easier for the workers and less costly for the business to collect go backs at the register to put away than to have to find them left randomly on shelves and in the case of freezer or refrigerator items they might have to trash the item if they’ve been left out an unknown amount of time.

Go backs are a kindness and a form of conservation/sustainability/eco-friendliness.

Thanks instead of sorry – express appreciation for others instead of deprecating yourself:

It’s ok if the usual ways don’t work, Try Different (The Fish Song – A Song For ADHD Brains – YouTube).

If budgeting the usual way makes you feel like your brain is melting, try building one based on where you live and household size:

Places to start your search if you need to change banks:

  • Credit Unions (ex. Safe Credit Union, Redwood Credit Union, whatever union you’re eligible for that offers free accounts)
  • Banks (Ally Bank – buckets, USAA if you’re eligible, Best Free Checking Accounts – Bankrate)
  • Other options: Famzoo or other refillable prepaid cards as the updated version of envelope tracking

None of these are paid links, just trying to share info that has helped me.