It happens. You have a budget and something comes along and you fall off the wagon. It might be illness, emergencies or even a spending spree (like the holidays or a birthday). Whatever the reason, it happens. The good news is that you are not alone. The better news is that you can get back on track quickly and easily.
1. Stop spending
Sure, that sounds simple, doesn’t it? The truth is that if you’ve been spending a little too freely, this can actually be difficult. You have to remind yourself to stick with buying the things you only need. Keep it to the things you need to survive. This includes food, utilities, shelter. Don’t buy the extra things like lunch out with friends, that new bag or upgrade your phone.
So, start there – just STOP spending money!
Read more: 12 Reasons Why You Keep Overspending
2. Start over with the budget
Think back to the day you were motivated and sat down and tackled your budget. You had a sense of excitement and anticipation. Getting that back can help.
If you have been using paper and pencil for your budget, maybe it is time to try an app. You might even look at using an online spreadsheet. You could even want to move back to the paper and pencil method from something more high tech.
Whatever you feel you can do to help get your mind set back onto the excitement about setting a budget (that you can actually follow), do it! There is never a one size fits all method of setting up your budget!
Read more: How to Create a Budget
3. Save on your groceries
How often do you go to the store and stock up, just to have food go bad and you throw it away? Probably more times than you care to admit.
Take the time to plan your menu and then, also plan out your shopping trip. Having a plan keeps you on track and ensures you are buying only what you need (and will actually eat).
For some of you, this might mean using more coupons. For others, it could be as simple as changing where you shop. I get most of our food from our local Aldi, where the savings are HUGE. This simple change allowed us to reduce our grocery budget by nearly 50%!! There are a lot of ways you can cut your grocery bill, you just have to know where to start.
Read More: How to Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half
4. Downsize your stuff
If you look around your house, you probably see many things you no longer need or use. Why not sell or donate them?
Having a garage sale is not difficult. It just takes planning. I have had several successful garage sales. You can find my tips on how to have a successful garage sale helpful if you are new to trying this yourself.
If hosting a sale is not for you, you could donate the items you no longer need. Make sure you keep accurate track of everything you give away so that you can save the details for your taxes! This is the perfect way to get rid of the clutter while saving a bit on what you have to pay to Uncle Sam.
5. Don’t be so hard on yourself
The key to making a change is knowing that you need to do just that. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Just get your focus back where it needs to be – your budget. Learn form your mistakes and move forward.
By learning from the mistakes you’ve made and them making changes for moving forward, you can absolutely get your budget back on track again.