HOW TO RECOVER FROM A BLOWN BUDGET

These six steps will help you get back on track financially

By Ashley Chorpenning

AAA World Article

Budgeting mistakes are bound to happen. Whether you’ve become overzealous with the use of your credit card or a large expense came up that you didn’t anticipate, there will be times in your life that you struggle to stay on financial track. In order to rectify these issues, here are several steps you can take to recover from a blown budget.

DON’T DWELL ON THE PAST
It’s easy to get down on yourself when you make a mistake. However, beating yourself up is counter-productive. The best thing you can do to get your budget back on track is to accept your financial situation and make a plan of action to move forward to repair the damage. Allow yourself a moment to face the facts and then begin taking the proper steps toward recovery.

GET BACK INTO YOUR ROUTINE BUDGET
If you’ve veered off course, it’s important to get back to the basics. Start by implementing your original budget. This will assist you in getting back into executing positive financial habits. Returning to your original plan of action will reinstate the rules you were following and help remind you of how to manage your finances.

MAKE A PLAN
Would you try to lose weight without a proper meal plan and workout schedule? It would be pretty impossible to lose weight if you continued on your current regimen. The same is true for creating a financial recovery plan. Declaring that you’re going to be better with money isn’t nearly as effective as developing a plan of action to combat your current financial circumstances.

Your plan could include everything from cutting back on eating out to working extra hours to pay off a revolving debt balance. Whatever method you decide to use to move forward, make sure you have a plan of attack.

CUT EXPENSES TO RECOUP
One of the best ways to recover from a blown budget is to cut your expenses. Take some time to review all of your expenses and identify areas where you can cut back. For example, you may have a few subscription services that you no longer use. Paying for these services is wasting your hard-earned money on unnecessary expenses. You may also want to consider putting some expenses on hold until your debt is repaid. This will help you quickly get on financial track.

INCREASE YOUR CASH FLOW
Cutting back on your expenses isn’t the only way to recover from a blown budget. Increasing your cash flow can help you speed the reconciliation of your financial mishap. There are plenty of ways you can boost your cash flow. One suggestion would be to start a side hustle. By launching a side hustle, you can monetize your skills and talents. From teaching music lessons to driving for Uber, there are countless opportunities to boost your income. 

Another option is to ask your boss for a raise. This may seem like a daunting task, but with a little preparation and knowledge about your industry, you could surprise yourself with the outcome.

If you haven’t received a raise in the last year, review all of your work place accomplishments. Make a list of ways you add value to your position and to the company you work for. Then, do a little research to determine if you’re receiving a fair compensation for your position.

If you’re prepared and have a valid reason for a raise, your boss may agree to boost your salary. After all, what do you have to lose?

USE A CASH-ONLY SYSTEM
Using a cash-only system can help you take control of your spending habits. When you use your credit card it may not feel like you’re even spending money. On the other hand, when you use cash, it tends to sting a bit more. Additionally, a cash only system will emphasize the point that when the money is gone, it’s gone.

It will help make you more aware of your limitations and encourage you to spend and purchase with more caution. Using this method will help you return to better financial habits, helping you recover from your budget mishap.