Living with ADHD can cost an extra £1,600 a year because of difficulties managing your money

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Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a condition that can affect your behaviour. If you have ADHD, you can feel restless, you may have trouble concentrating and can act on impulse - which can all make managing your money difficult.

We worked with YouGov to commission a survey of people living with ADHD across the UK, to learn more about the extra costs caused by their condition. The majority (60%) of people told us it directly impacts their financial lives because of issues with money management, costing them on average an estimated £1,600 per year.

With an estimated 1.8 million UK adults living with ADHD, the overall annual cost could be as high as £1.74bn. 

If you have ADHD, you’re four times more likely to frequently impulse spend

Impulsivity is one of the most commonly-reported symptoms of ADHD. Money-wise, it can mean buying lots of little things you don’t really need, or large extravagant purchases, without thinking about whether you can afford them.

48% of people with ADHD we spoke to said they do this often, compared to 12% of those without it.

Mobile banking features like instant notifications and seeing your balance update in real time can help, simply by giving you more visibility over what’s happening with your money. 79% of people living with ADHD we spoke to rated the ability to bank on their phone as very helpful or helpful.

If you have ADHD, you’re almost three times more likely to miss bill payments

Forgetfulness is another common symptom of ADHD, which can make it tricky to stay on top of your regular outgoings. We found that people with ADHD are almost three times more likely to miss bill payments, with 49% saying they do this occasionally or often - compared to 18% of those without ADHD.

As well as the extra cost of late fees, it can also damage your credit score if you miss repayments for things like loans or credit cards or phone contracts. That can make it harder to borrow more money in future, or mean you have to borrow at higher rates. 

Setting calendar reminders and having bills that automatically renew can be helpful, but it can also be handy to have visibility on future payments in case you need to move money around in time. 77% of people with ADHD said they found banking app notifications about upcoming bills very helpful or helpful.

These challenges mean that people with ADHD are also more likely to struggle with debt

The difficulties that people with ADHD can face with impulse spending and managing bills can lead them into debt. This can lead to new problems as the added costs from fees and charges pile up.

31% of people we surveyed reported struggling with debt, compared to 11% of those without ADHD. 

And if you’re struggling with debt, it can feel impossible to get out of, especially if your other symptoms are making it hard to stay on top of your day-to-day spending.

Techniques like budgeting can usually help you work your way out of problem debt. But we also found that people with ADHD are three times more likely to find it difficult sticking to a budget - at 50% vs 15% of those without ADHD.

If you have ADHD, you’re twice as likely to suffer from anxiety as a result of managing your personal finances

The extra costs of living with ADHD don’t just affect your wallet. Being in debt and feeling out of control of your spending can be extremely stressful. You might even feel guilt from blaming yourself.

And 76% of those we spoke to said that it causes them mental health issues, compared to 38% of those without ADHD.

People with ADHD don’t feel supported by their current banks

Sadly, people with ADHD often don’t feel supported by their bank, with less than 1 in 5 saying their bank gives them all the tools they need to manage their money effectively.

The good news is that modern banking features are making money management easier for everyone, especially people living with ADHD.

In particular features like:

  • Instant notifications and balance updates can help with impulse spending by giving you real-time information about how much you’ve spent, and what you’ve actually got left.

  • Upcoming payment reminders mean you don’t have to remember all your outgoings, and can make sure you have the money you need ahead of time.

  • Places to set money aside automatically (like Monzo Pots) can give you greater visibility over where your money is and what it’s doing - which 76% of the people with ADHD we spoke to said that having a place to set aside money automatically, like a Pot, is very helpful or helpful.

We'll keep learning and sharing our findings

We'll be running listening sessions with neurodiverse customers to explore other ways the Monzo app can support their financial well-being.

If you have ADHD, you can speak with our specialist teams directly by using the Share With Us tool through our in-app chat.

We’d love to hear from you too. If you’re living with ADHD and have a story to share, come and join the conversation on our social channels on our online community.