How to fix a broken budget.
Struggling with a broken budget??? We have all been there, and I’ve definitely been there more times then I would like to admit! It might have happened because we gave into spending temptations to many times, or perhaps we let lifestyle creep sneak in. Or, there could have been a lot of unexpected expenses arise. There are so many reasons why we go over budget, it happens to everyone! Going over budget is normal, not great, but normal….but only if it happens occasionally. If you are looking for ways to fix a broken budget, I’ve got you covered! Keep reading for 7 simple ways to get your budget back on track (for good this time!).
How To Get Your Budget Back On Track
It is possible to fix a broken budget! Follow the steps below to get your budget back on track once and for all!
1. Stop Unnecessary Spending
The first step you need to take to get your budget back on track is to put a pause on all unnecessary spending. This doesn’t mean you cant pay your bills or buy food. It means that you will only spend money on things that are necessary for living. But, things like entertainment. going out to eat, home decor, etc. should be completely stopped.
2. Track Your Spending
If you aren’t already tracking your spending, now is the time to start! Tracking your spending is one of the most important (but easily skipped) steps to fixing a broken budget. Writing down every purchase that you make will hold you accountable to your purchases, making it much less likely for you to impulse shop.
I recommend taking time every single day to write down what you bought that day. Then compare your purchases to your budget to make sure you are staying within your goals.
3. Use Cash Envelopes
Anything thing that really helps me fix a broken budget is to start using cash envelopes. The cash envelope system is really fairly easy to use!
First, look through your budget to determine the amount of cash you have left to spend for the rest of the month.
Next, you will need to go to the bank and take out that exact amount of cash out of the bank. Divide the cash into different envelope categories. Once your envelope is empty, you literally can not buy anything else (no cheating!). I explain more about how cash envelopes here.
And, yes, you CAN use cash envelopes for online purchases! I explain exactly how to do so in the video below!
4. Give Yourself A Reward
I’ll let you in on a little secret about me…..I love to reward myself! It motivates me to work hard and reach my goal. Whenever I start struggling with my budget, I set up a reward system to help me stay focused on my money goals.
Choose your reward by thinking of something fun, but frugal, that you would enjoy getting. I love to reward myself with a treat from my favorite pastry shop or by buying myself a new small piece of jewelry.
Set up your reward system in a way that will help you get back on track with your budget. For example, if you go 10 days without splurging on any unnecessary spending, then you can treat yourself to your small reward.
5. Return Recent Purchases You Don’t Need
Do you have any recent purchases that you regret buying? Or perhaps that you don’t regret, but know deep down it wasn’t the best decision to buy? Return these items to the store ASAP! This is the quickest and easiest way to fix a broken budget caused by impulse spending.
6. Sell Clutter In Your Home
Another option for getting more money back in your pocket is to sell clutter around your house that you don’t need or use! My rule of thumb is that if I haven’t touched it for a few months, it needs to go!
Use the money you earn from selling your clutter to get your budget back on track, don’t spend it on something frivolous, put it to use in a budget category that needs it.
7. Use An Accountability Partner
One of the best ways to get back on track with your budget is to find an accountability partner to help you reach your goals. An accountability partner could be your spouse, a friend or everything in between. Ask the person you choose if they will help hold you accountable to your money goals. Share with them your desire to fix your budget and what you need to do to get there.
As you go about your day to day routine, make sure to check in with your accountability partner regularly. Make sure to always call this person to help you when you get the urge to spend, they can talk you through your spending choices to help you make the one that will help your budget best!
8. Focus On Your Goals
The most important things to remember is to stay focused on your goals. Set a goal of where you want your budget to be, write it down and then hang it up somewhere so that you can see it regularly. A bathroom mirror or phone lock screen are great options for this!
When you stay focused on your BIG goals, it’s easier to say “no” to the temptations that come along.
You Got This!
Please don’t beat yourself up for getting off of your budget. Like I mentioned earlier, it DOES happen, and there IS hope for fixing it. The fact that you are reading this article shows me that you want to stick to your budget and make it work.
I know that through a little bit of work, some sacrifice and following these steps you can fix your broken budget!