It happens. You are going along and doing well with your budget and working hard at paying down your debts and BAM! You realize you forgot to budget for all of the back to school items you need! GAH! Now what? The first thing to do is relax. You can get through this.
It is easy to forget to budget for this event. But it doesn’t have to blow your budget nor does it need to take you off track from getting out of debt. You just have to adjust your budget for the next month (or two) and then get back on track again. Face it, it just happens. You have to confront it head on, deal with it and go on. And of course, before you even think about grabbing your credit card to just take care of, DON’T! Look at what you’ve done so far and how good you are doing. Don’t take 2 steps backward. You’ll jst end up kicking yourself.
When it comes to looking at what you need for school supplies, take an inventory of what you have left over from the prior year. Can you clean up the school box? Are the scissors still in good shape? Can the backpack take a quick dip in the washing machine and survive a while longer? These are some easy things you can re-use from the prior year to help save a little this year.
Make sure that you really watch those sales. There are so many deals on back to school supplies right now (and hopefully your teachers aren’t too picky so that you can cash in on them). If you just watch your inserts (and even here for our weekly back to school recap), you can find the best deals closest to where you live.
When it comes to paying cash for these things, what you can do is change where you spend your money. Do you budget $50 every two weeks to eat out? Just take a temporary leave (if you will) from eating out and apply that money towards back to school supplies. If you take a good look at your budget, you might be able to do some slight shifting to help you pay for it all.
The last resort is to take a break from debt payoff. Just continue with the minimum payment for this month or the next or two and apply any additional payments towards your back to school purchases. I know that this can be discouraging – but it beats the alternative of increasing debt to get back to school.
What is great is that these tips can be applied to any of those unexpected budgeting hurdles that might present themselves to you. Just take a good look at what you can do to modify your budget to help you get through it. Then, when you are over that hurdle, you can go back to your original budget and keep on with eliminating that debt!
I know how challenging it is to get rid of your debt. You have all come so far and I know you can do it. If you need more help than what you can find here, I’d recommend you visit with the experts at CommunityAmerica Credit Union — because they can help! They understand what you are going through and have great tools and resources to help you in any way that they can — for free! So, keep on keepin’ on! You can do it! Before you know it, you will be able to shout “WE’RE DEBT FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
(I am not a financial advisor and the information listed within these Debt Challenge posts is not to be construed a financial advice. This is knowledge we gained through our own personal experiences and information as outlined in Dave Ramsey’s Financial Makeover — and is being shared as such. Participants are not required to follow any steps listed if they do not wish to do so. Financial concerns/issues should be addressed with a professional in order to receive advice and assistance.)