How many of us have run into people we suspect suffer from ADHD? Whether it’s a child or full-grown adult, people who appear easily distracted may have difficulty following through on mundane tasks. I recently read an article targeted toward ADHD adults, “Managing Your Money When You Have ADHD.” The article listed a few solutions for forgetful, distracted folks, but it made me think about how this could lead to a potential niche job market; Financial Managers for ADHD clients.
It’s not surprising to know that ADHD is on the rise (or at least its diagnosis). Whether it’s because we diagnose more readily or because of environmental factors, it’s something future generations will have to deal with in one way or another; individuals that are highly distracted.
Yet, through some creative thinking, I realized this could potentially open up a new niche market for those who need extra assistance with managing everyday tasks. It’s not like those individuals with ADHD one day grow out of their condition. Instead, they learn ways to cope with their inability to block out distractions or control their impulsive behavior.
For the unfortunate group who continue to be easily distracted even in adulthood, the mundane tasks like paying bills get lost in the shuffle. These folks might need someone to help them organize their bills, handle their money, or initiate steps to help them meet their future financial goals. A financial manager who understands ADHD can work with individuals to create a plan to minimize financial disasters, whether that means setting up a reminder system or actually paying their bills and handling their money for them.
Here’s a likely scenario (this is inspired by someone I know with ADHD):
Leslie likes purses. Every time a new bag hits the stores, she immediately starts talking about all the benefits of the new purse. Though she owns quite a few already, the new one is, well, new! She has to have it and she rationalizes needing the new purse for her new job.
Unfortunately, she’s short on cash.
Instead of saving up for the purse, she opens a new department store credit card that she barely qualifies for. On her way to pick up the purse and make the purchase, she gets side-tracked and instead decides to buy some new jeans. She leaves the store with a few pairs of jeans, a jacket that caught her eye, and some new perfume all charged on her store credit card…sans that new purse.
Over a year goes buy and she is still paying on the store credit card for items that she didn’t intentionally want in the first place, she just got distracted and her impulse took over. It also is taking longer to pay off the card because she’s not motivated; she didn’t really want those items in the first place, so why bother paying that card off quickly. (The idea of compounding interest eludes Leslie).
Too many financial mistakes Leslie has encountered have had a similar pattern; distraction and impulse take over leading to more debt.
The point of this example is that people with ADHD are sometimes a financial mess because they can’t focus long enough or think about the future clearly enough to make a plan for correction.
Yet, people interested in finance could potentially start a niche job market to help those that need assistance. And that, my friend, could start a revolution in the job market.
Do you suffer from ADHD or know someone who does? Are they able to handle their finances adeptly?