By Rick Green
Why don’t we ever have enough of it? And why does what we do have to keep disappearing?
Is it really the economy? Or competition from China and India? Or Wall Street playing fast and loose with our savings? Perhaps. Probably. That’s part of it, I’m sure.
But here’s the thing, even at the best of times, when the economy was booming, before the sleeping giants of Asia had woken up, and Triple A rated Funds were worth the paper they were printed on, I never had enough money. No matter what my income did.
Working in show biz meant my income soared and crashed more often than Brittany Spears career.
It didn’t just rise or fall by 10 or 20 percent.
It doubled. Even tripled. Then did the reverse, dropping by half or two thirds. My accountant actually looked forward to seeing me, because it was always an exciting revelation. T otally unpredictable. Boom or bust? Congratulations or condolences?
The only thing that was consistent was that my income was never quite enough. It always seemed to get spent. The question of what to do with ‘discretionary income’ was never one I had to answer, cause there never was any.
Putting extra money into retirement funds? That was something happy people talked about in commercials. Thankfully for me, the Actors Union and Writer’s Guild automatically deducted a tiny percentage of my income, so I may not end up homeless when I’m old and grey. Okay, yes, I know, I’m already grey, but I’m not old. Okay, yes, I’m older. But hey, every day we are all older… Sorry, I digress.
I’VE SEEN GOOD TIMES AND BAD
My prosperous years usually occurred during recessions. (Apparently when things are tough people like to laugh.) When the economy was booming people felt good. So they wanted to watch drama, crime and horror. If I wanted horror, I’d look at my income for that year.
What’s interesting is that despite having good years, I never got ahead. Clearly it wasn’t a matter of income. It was a matter of where it went. Or, if I want to take responsibility, it was a matter of what I did with it. And what did I do with all that money? Here’s the thing—I don’t really know. Or I didn’t know at the time. Sure, at the end of a good year, I could sift through the heaps of receipts and realize, “Oh, right, we sent our daughter to that summer camp. And we bought a second car… It was a used K-Car, but still that was $900 right there…”
There were other factors beyond China and India and Lehman Brothers. One of them was my ADHD.
One study showed that as adult with ADHD we earn less than our neuro-typical peers. If you’re a high school grad, you earn an average of $4,000 a year. If you’re a college grad, it’s about $10,000. That’s a lot of money. Over a million dollars if you had saved it an invested it. Or if I had.
So it’s time to take on our finances. We’re making this – February For Financial Freedom at TotallyADD.
And yes, I know, money isn’t everything. It’s why we’re only spending one month on it. (Though we may come back to it later in the year.)
But money is a bit like food–when you have enough, you don’t think about it, you can focus on enjoying life. You can even sell the K-Car and upgrade to a Geo. But when you don’t have enough it is scary. It limits you. In so many ways. (Not unlike ADHD.)
[ADHD specialist Dr. Stephanie Mouton Sarkis joined us for a 3 part webinar series on the financial challenges that ADHD folks deal with, and how to overcome them. Three! If this were a course in finances, which it kind of will be, you’d pay hundreds of dollars for it. If you had hundreds of dollars. You can find the 3 part webinar series here.]
I’ll blog about the highlights of this course in building wealth, because I didn’t just introduce the webinars, I did all of the exercises, because I know the value of her message.
Stephanie’s book, ADD and Your Money is available in our shop by clicking here. If you can’t afford to invest in your retirement funds, invest in this book. It’s a quick read. So valuable! My copy paid for itself many times over. Unlike that Email I got about a huge inheritance from a long-lost relative that was waiting for me in a Nigerian bank…
IN THE MEANTIME…
… let’s start talking. What is the biggest money issue for you? How does your ADHD cost you, financially? What would make a difference? What is missing? What would you love to change?
And what would you do with an extra $10,000 a year?