Money Mondays: Don't pay the ADHD tax

It’s not exactly a tax, but it's the price we pay when we aren’t mindful of the (emotional and/or financial) investment we put into it. Usually impulse buys are the main culprit of ADHD tax.

jemellee is putting away her groceries with both the fridge and freezer door open behind her
grocery runs are now becoming a game to me 😅

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Happy Labor Day!

I hope y’all are having a great long weekend. I didn’t have a lot of plans and I actually needed to get housework done, so I got A LOT done since I didn’t get invited to any BBQ plans or going to the ARC music festival which my EDM friends were attending.

I figured I would take advantage of this long weekend to catch up on editing my vlogs & personal hobbies like climbing & journaling.

i hate heel hooks, but i gotta do it if it feels right

One of the errands that I did this weekend was finally going on my Trader Joe’s run since I finally got 💸PAID💸 last week. My fridge was looking empty and I didn’t stock up on any of my usual quick bite dinners, so off I went.

One of the biggest things that I’ve kept in mind since moving out was picking out food that would make sense for me, especially because of my ADHD. I find it funny that most of us hate cooking and we all pay an ADHD tax at some point of our lives.

What’s ADHD tax?

It’s not exactly a tax, but it's the price we pay when we aren’t mindful of the (emotional and/or financial) investment we put into it. Usually impulse buys are the main culprit of ADHD tax.

For example, buying a book about a Filipino gay kid that you plan on reading, but never reading past the first chapter. Or buying a new piece of tech like a microphone for vlogs or streaming, then never using it again because of how much work it needs to set up. Or even buying groceries such as fresh fruit and veggies that you plan on eating, and then letting it rot in the fridge.

Yeah, things that totally never happened to me 🙈

the book is a literal comic book too

If you want to read more about ADHD tax, here are a few resources that I found that were useful that explains it a bit further:

What is ADHD tax? -

Does the ADHD Tax Need to Be So High? - How to ADHD

The ADHD tax -

One of my favorite YouTubers, How To ADHD, recently came out with an ADHD Friendly Rubric to help with your decisions.

Basically, it’s a quick “quiz” to understand if your new hobby, purchase, etc is worth the investment for your future.

I recently used this for my current Short Story Box subscription, and I can go a little more in-depth with it in a future blog post, so hang tight!

My ADHD Trader Joe picks

Ok, so back to my grocery run. If you’re like me, a single derp person with ADHD, frozen foods are your best friend.

Here are my go-to frozen foods:

  • Dumplings
  • Samosas
  • Potato pancakes or latkes
  • Buffalo Wings (I had them for a while and finally ate them yesterday. See no spoilage!)
  • Ice cream (ok, ok, these are treats/rewards)

But if you do want something fresh like veggies & fruit, plan on eating them within the first few days so you don’t pay the ADHD tax. Here's what I got:

  • Pre-made salads
  • ONE container of fruit (I learned that 2 containers is no good for me)
  • Yogurt

The salads and fruit, I have always bought 2 different kinds, but 1 will always get spoiled. 😭 I'm training myself to pick one for the week and making sure I eat it as much as I can. Yogurt was recently added, so I figured it will help me get through the strawberries I picked up.

yes, i got the ube spread cus i wanted to see for myself if it's good or not

And here are my other go-to items that I usually would pick up, but I forgot because I SHOULD’VE made a grocery list 🤦🏽‍♀️ These are usually quick and easy to make or ready-to-go:

  • Deli-food slices (turkey, ham, etc) for sandwiches
  • Mac-and-cheese
  • Ramen
  • Pasta
  • Veggie straws or chips (for the healthy snacky choice)
  • Cereals bars
  • Hummus & baby carrots

Not everything I purchased are shown above, but if you're tracking along with me at how much I spent, it was all under $100👍🏽Right under my budget!

Honestly, all of this food could be considered as a whole “girl dinner” 😂

When that trend that was happening a few weeks ago, it cracked me up because it’s literally how I would eat on a daily basis before I moved in with my ex. (He made sure we ate food even if it was take-out. For example: he would get annoyed at me when I tell him that ate a piece of chocolate the whole day 😅)

But now that I’m on my own and no one to hold me accountable if I’m eating well or not, this is what I have to do in order to make sure I’m a functioning adult.

Budgeting/Savings update so far

Since I did get paid right before the long weekend, I actually think I’m doing a great job on resisting my shopping addiction.

I did make a few Amazon purchases and a CVS run but they were necessities that were needed like ear plugs (-$14) for an upcoming music show, and eye drops (-$5 a steal cus it was on sale) cus the ones that I had were expired since last year.


Another ADHD tax example: I do own a pair of Loops and the XXS plugs (-$50), but they STILL kept falling off my ears 😭 It's an ADHD tax because I truly thought the investment would be worth it, and these things won't stay still.

But since I have done my food shopping, I’ve been doing a great job in telling myself, “YOU HAVE FOOD AT HOME” so that I won’t have to spend more money on fast food.

GG on me, and I’ll keep you posted on my purchases for the next blog post! Hope y’all have stress-less short work week!


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