ADHD-Friendly Ways to Keep Holiday Spending Under Control

Boy, holiday spending can get a little “out-of-hand”, especially if you have ADHD (aka ADD). Folks with ADHD are known for being inattentive and impulsive– this can be a disastrous combination if you’re trying to keep your eye on your budget and curb impulse purchases.  So what can you do to  reduce impulse purchases and overspending?   Follow these 7 simple tips:


  1. Set limits.  Create a budget and review it before you go shopping.   Don’t forget to track your spending as you go.
  2. Make a list and check it twice (or however many times you need to).  That’s right–always shop from a list.  Make your list and stick with it.  If it’s not on the list, don’t even look at it.
  3. Use cash as much as possible.  Review your budget and withdraw enough cash to cover your holiday expenses.  When the cash is out, you know it’s time to quit.
  4. Limit credit card use.  Carry one credit card for emergencies only. Cover it in duct tape. Only take the duct tape off if you truly need to use the card for an emergency.  If you’re shopping online, don’t store your credit card information online, make yourself type it in each time.  If you follow this tip you’ll give yourself time to think over each purchase.
  5. Take a shopping buddy with you.  Have your shopping buddy be your accountability partner.  Make sure you take someone who is likely to keep you on track with your goals, don’t take a marathon shopper.
  6. Don’t shop when you’re bored, emotional, or hungry.  You’re more likely to spend more if you do.  You don’t want shopping to turn into a pastime or “retail therapy.” You also don’t want to blow your budget buying $6.00 pretzels at the mall.
  7. Be very intentional.  Focus on how great the holidays will be knowing you won’t have debt hanging over your head again. Pay attention to your goals and priorities and act accordingly.  Go shopping with a clear head and a clear plan.   Get your shopping done before the last minute so you don’t have the pressure to buy just any ol’ thing–give it some thought.  Like they say, “It’s the thought that counts.”  

Follow these tips and have a wonderful holiday season!

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