What to do If You Go Over Budget

What to do If I went over on my budget? Did you go over on your budget? I did too! Here are a 15 ideas to try when you went over budget. Figure out what went wrong- Where did you overspend? Why?
Photo Credit: freeimages.com/Wojciech Sadlej

Did you go over on your budget?  I did too!  Here are a 15 ideas to try when you went over budget.

  1. Figure out what went wrong–  Where did you overspend?  Why?  Was it a one time deal or something that keeps happening?
  2. Make adjustments for next month– Talk to your significant other and family members about the issue and try to adjust for next month.
  3. Set a goal/plan–  Set a goal to spend XXX next month.  If you went over on pleasure, make a list of things you will buy next month.  Over on food, plan a weeks worth of cheap meals.  Over on Date, find some free/cheap date ideas.
  4. Has going over on budget been happening a lot?  Permanently adjust budget to account for it.
  5. Don’t Cut your Savings–  Never a good idea!  Try to pay your savings first, then bills.  So you feel that “tight squeeze” on how much you really have left to spend.
  6. Stay Motivated– It happens to be best of us.  Did you really try hard that month to stick to your budget?  If so, acknowledge that you did your best but sometimes that’s all we can do.  Did you not give it your 100%?  Acknowledge that and try better next month.
  7. Adjust Categories– Were you under in some?  Adjust those numbers during the month.  For example: if you know you’ll be over on gas for a vacation, but will be low on home improvements because you won’t be home.
  8. Know how to stop spending– Have someone to report to that you did or did NOT spend money.  Don’t go to the store if you don’t need anything, usually that ends up in buying something you weren’t planning on getting in the first place.  We tend to be over budget all the time because we quickly buy stuff on our phone useing the Amazon or Ebay app… DON’T DO IT!
  9. Limit trips to the grocery store– Plan  your shopping trip. If its once, twice, or four times a month and STICK TO IT!  Or try out some ways to cut your grocery bill.  There are so many times I have been over budget from an extra trip to the grocery store.
  10. Try to limit your Credit Card uses–  I use a credit card… and I go over sometimes… but I never NOT have enough to pay for it.  I use a credit card for the befits it gives us, and because it has a limit (I feel safer when using it for online purchases).  Make sure you can PAY off your purchase THAT day with what is in your bank account.  Credit cards are great to use, but sometimes they can be the deal breaker causing to to go over budget each month.
  11. Know EXACTLY how much you went over– then you know how much you might be able to subtract from next months funds to cover for it.  DO NOT TAKE IT OUT OF SAVINGS!!!
  12. Return extra items–  OR items that were impulse buys and you really don’t need
  13. Look for ways to earn extra money to make up for it– If you know you are going to be over before the end of the month try to make up that extra money.  You can sell stuff on Ebay, or pick up some extra shifts.
  14. Train Yourself.  Give yourself a consequence–  You might keep doing the same mistake because you aren’t “suffering” from it.  If you went over, go without something as a consequence.  For example:  Date night has to be free without going out to eat. Car pool to work a few days to save money on gas.  Skip a grocery shopping trip and eat what you have in your house.  Make it hard on yourself when you go over budget!
  15. Try disabling Over Draft–  So you CAN’T use your debit card.  If you are in line with $50 worth of stuff in your cart and you have to return it because you can afford it… the embarrassment might keep you from going over gain.

One other tip could to Try using Cash Only– Try using cash only for the categories you tend to ALWAYS go over on.  Read my newest post on 48 ways to stick to your budget for many more ideas!

Finances can be tricky but don’t get discouraged!  Even the best of us are still figuring things out.  Some months are great, while others aren’t so good.  Refocus, and try again!  You can also read Should I Update the Budget for a few signs that you may need to update it, which is why you’re over budget.

What are your tips and tricks for when you go over on your budget?

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Further Reading:

Why Your Budget is Failing

8 Reasons Why you are Over Budget

Make Cash Fast

Ideas from:  Financial NutL Bee and the Money TreeBusy Budgeter,

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