I was recently diagnosed with ADHD (and autism, but we’ll talk about that on another day) and have been doing lots of research in the past few months to try to understand myself a bit better and also make my life easier. It has been wonderful to finally understand why I do some of the things that I have tried to stop myself from doing for YEARS. I hated the fact that I was always late, always forgetting things, couldn’t remember where I’d put anything or even what an address was for more than what felt like seconds… and so many other things. Finding a community of adults like me has been eye opening and absolutely lovely. Being able to understand why I do the things that I do and how to help myself stay on track in this world a bit better has been so helpful, especially with my new job.
When I moved into this new position earlier in the year I was having such a hard time finding a rhythm and keeping myself on track. Without many set deadlines and a much more open schedule to do the projects that would benefit the company the most, I would either go down a rabbit hole into a project for days at a time or find it difficult to get started at all, there was little in between. I was floundering for the first time, career-wise, in my life. I spoke with a colleague about it and she suggested speaking to my supervisor and asking for more structure… but I wanted to make it work. I had run my own business for years, I could do this! I could, just give me a couple of months to figure out how to make my brain work the way I needed it to!
Well, yes, I did figure out how to make my days more effective and how to feel productive in general, but it took more than a little bit of time. It took realizing that I may have ADHD, learning about it, getting diagnosed, and then diving head first into learning about the diagnosis and what it meant for me. I’ll talk about the process and what made me realize this may be something I needed to look into in another post but for today I wanted to just pop in a little bit of backstory before getting into today’s topic as I haven’t mentioned having ADHD before.
This week I was listening to another content creator on YouTube, How to ADHD, as she discussed what she referred to as the “ADHD tax” and it made me wonder how much ADHD had cost me financially over the years. There is no way to know for sure, as much of the financial costs that I came up with were due to simply losing or forgetting about things and I never thought to track those instances. If I forget the coupons or grocery list on the counter when I went to the store… how much did that cost? $20? $30? Nothing? I have no way to know for sure. What about when I traveled to Canada and forgot my charger or the time I left my headphones at, well, who even knows where? Or the cost that all the different organization methods I’ve tried over the years has cost me? Its rather ridiculous when I think about how much money I wouldn’t have spent if I had known what I know now about myself and could have set up better systems sooner.
I was able to come up with a list of items that were purchased this year that I know were due to my ADHD as well as a list of some other estimated costs to give myself a hopefully accurate guess-timate if you will on 2022’s cost so far.
Looking through my expenses, the following costs are directly attributable, and totaled $313.09:
The Flare Calmer, Headphones and Silent Clock could probably go halfsies with the autism but for now, we’ll leave them here.
Organizational costs included items such as a planner, key holder, extra sets of markers so that they were always at point of use, labels, a whiteboard calendar, clear boxes for storage, and etc. This category ended up costing me a minimum of $336.15. There were a few purchases that I didn’t include as well as some organization costs that I didn’t count towards this year’s costs as I was already doing them in 2021 but would definitely go there. This also doesn’t count costs when my employer paid for things like the copious amount of sticky notes that I have gone through this year.
The final costs ended up being purely estimates as there was no way to really track them, as mentioned before:
If we add it all up, the total was $3,219.74 and I didn’t even account for everything. For instance, I didn’t really have any medical costs this year that hit my budget directly as I tend to spend all of my out of pocket max on medications and appointments for my other medical issues very early in the year, but if ADHD was the only thing I was spending on I can see how medications and appointments would easily eat into my budget there as well. There are so many things that I didn’t realize about my spending habits, even being as deep into budgeting and analyzing my spending as I am, until I started looking at it with this lens. I will definitely start looking into other areas of my life from new angles going forward as this was enlightening.
Until next time,