Anyone can struggle with money management. A one-size-fits all financial advice can make neurodiverse people (also known as neurodivergent) feel stigmatized or helpless when it comes to managing their money.

Financial wellness is possible if you use financial tools strategically and leverage resources that target the neurodiverse community.

What’s neurodiversity?

Maria Davis-Pierre is a licensed mental counselor and the CEO/founder of Autism in Black. Davis-Pierre is neurodiverse. She is autistic with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Neurodiverse individuals have brains that work in ways that are different from “neurotypical” people. According to the Cleveland Clinic neurodiverse conditions include autism spectrum disorder, ADHD and dyslexia as well as bipolar disorder, social anxiety, bipolar disorder, and many others.

Neurodiversity doesn’t seem to be uncommon. The National Cancer Institute estimates that between 15% and 20% of the world’s population are neurodivers. Although organizations may have different definitions of neurodiversity than the one commonly used, it is generally accepted.

How neurodiversity can affect your finances

Neurodiverse people have many different needs and strengths. This is also true for money management. Even neurotypical people have problems managing their finances. Support may be able to help you navigate your finances in a way that suits your needs.

Certified financial planner Elizabeth Yoder stated that “most people have a lack understanding when it comes down to their finances.” Planning Across the Spectrum provides financial services for people with disabilities and neurodiverse individuals. She is the director of financial planning.

She said that although neurodiverse people have the same difficulties as everyone else, they tend to have different problems. “For instance, neurodiverse individuals may struggle with future thinking. They might have trouble thinking about why and how they should save money.

Other financial challenges could include:

  • Struggling to remember to pay your bills on the due date?

  • Impulsive spending.

  • Avoiding non-prioritized financial tasks like budgeting.

It can also put your job security at risk. Davis-Pierre stated that “typical work environments are not accommodating for people with ADHD and autism, and it’s difficult to be successful without accommodations.”

She points out that neurodiverse individuals may have to take time off work due to other disabilities. This can affect their ability to make a steady income.

The high cost of healthcare can also affect financial well-being. Davis-Pierre stated, “I spend nearly $2,000 per month on ADHD medication with insurance.” “I have financial privilege because my husband is a licensed doctor and I am a licensed clinician. But it’s still a lot, so think about what it would be like for someone who can’t afford it span>

People may not be able to pay for medication or care. This can impact their ability to work and make money.

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You can now see all of your accounts from one place, without having to log in to the bank.

How can you improve your money relationship?

If you are neurodiverse, the community can be a great resource to help you get your finances in order. Talking to others about your financial situation can give you reassurance.

Yoder stated that neurodiverse people sometimes believe they are less fortunate than they really are. Yoder notes that her neurodiverse clients tend to be more in control than they think. Improvements can often be made when they feel empowered and able to seek help.

These are additional strategies that can help you improve your financial situation.

Make things simpler

If your problems with forgetfulness, procrastination, or general overwhelm are a result of not paying bills on time can automate bill payments . However, you must ensure that you don’t have an inordinate cash flow.

You might consider categorizing your savings goals if it is difficult to see all of them in one account. Yoder stated that banks sometimes allow you to set up savings buckets without opening new accounts. This allows you to create multiple categories within one account, such as “travel” and “emergency funds” instead of trying to manage multiple accounts.

She said, “Make things easier for yourself, consolidate accounts wherever possible, consolidate multiple retirement plans and get all your information in one place.”

Do not force yourself to use tools you don’t like

Every person is different and not every piece of financial advice or tool will work. Yoder stated, “If a financial tool does not work for you then move on,” Yoder added.

Recognizing that something isn’t working for you can help you take control of your finances.

Request accommodations

“We live in a world that shames adults for needing accommodations. So be honest with yourself, and make sure you understand the accommodations you need to succeed,” Davis Pierre said.

You might request to bring your own lamp to work if the lighting causes sensory issues.

Asking for accommodations in everyday life might mean asking someone to give you instructions on how to file taxes or make it easier.

Find support

You can rely on the support of resources that are available to you. Look for support groups in your local area for neurodiverse people.

Support may also be provided by working with financial institutions that serve neurodiverse individuals, such as Planning Across the Spectrum or with a financial therapist .

Other resources include information about neurodiversity and government assistance.