How can I remain calm, focused and accurate when dealing with personal finances?
June 10, 2011 5:19 AM Subscribe
How can I get more organized about money and more on top of my budget when my brain freezes up at the sight of bills and bank statements?
posted by sucky_poppet to Work & Money (17 answers total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
I don't know if it's ADHD or anxiety or a combination of both. I've been evaluated for ADHD and told I don't have it, but I certainly have the chaos, disorganization, and distractability that are its hallmarks. I do have GAD.
I forget to pay my bills. I freak out because I don't have the money to meet my expenses. My regular job pays less than $20K. I'm looking for supplementary part-time work and plan to ask for a raise after I've been at my job a bit longer. My bills are all piled up in a box and just the thought of opening them freaks me out. I think I'm going to go broke just paying my utilities.
If I had the money to pay someone I'd get some sort of life coach/accountant for regular hand-holding while I sort through all this stuff, but I'm afraid I'm on my own. There's no one I trust enough to ask to do this with me.
I don't think of myself as a practical person. I don't trust my own ability to do math. Also, if I have to call creditors to ask about unexplained charges or payment plans or whatever, I freak out. I end up sitting on the phone waiting for a human to come on the line, and when they do I can barely hear them because of a bad connection or understand them because of their accent, and my cell phone will drop the call. I don't have the money to get a landline, and I have to make these calls from work because places are only open during business hours, and I have to use my cell for privacy. These things stress me out more than they should. I know everyone goes through this. How do people cope?
I am just SO bad at this practical stuff. Is there any way I can get better at it, or should I try to find some sort of free or cheap help with this? I've gone to Consumer Credit Counseling Services in the past, but my impression was that their purpose is to empower people to take control of their own finances, not to be an outsourced budget service. This simply didn't work for me. I'm embarrassingly old to be having this problem and I really think there's something wrong in my brain, otherwise I would already be able to sit down and make a budget, and remember when things are due, and keep numbers in my head.