February has been an extremely expensive month for us. Between several birthdays and great sales on some home reno supplies, we have definitely gone over budget. Not just by a little bit, but by a lot. That is why it is very important that we get ourselves back on track for March. There are several methods we could use to do this.
1. Make extra money to offset the deficit.
Because I do some freelance ghost writing on the side that we don’t include in our budget, we could use that money to offset the deficit. This is definitely not my preferred method, as I like to save that money for school supplies and our little wants that we don’t seem to ever see as enough of a need to buy. However, making extra money can be a great way to get your budget back on track.
2. Go on a spending freeze.
Going on a spending freeze means only buying what you truly need. Limit your groceries to what you need to supplement what you have in the house and only buy the items you need for survival. This is not an easy thing to do, especially if you are someone who then binge spends after the freeze, but is a great method to quickly get back on track.
3. Only freeze certain budget categories.
Another thing we could do is only freeze certain categories for spending. For example, we had issues with going over on entertainment, so we would not have any entertainment spending next month. Can you only use one car on certain days or carpool? Reducing the miles you put on your car can reduce gas costs.
4. Analyze your budget and make sure it works for you
Whenever you go over your budget, you should make sure it is still a valid budget. We ended up realizing that with all of the items we were buying for the house that we should probably allocate more money to that to make our budget match our reno time table. I am not saying that you should just change your budget to fit your spending, but perhaps there is a category that you are going over consistently. That should be fixed whether it is giving up certain items or making the budget match the usual spending pattern.
What tricks do you have for getting your budget back on track? Do you have trouble with staying in budget? Let me know.