Think of it this way…
- Spending freeze. I use this a lot. Let's say we have a “bad week” and I go over-budget (many times it's on groceries). I will FREEZE my spending that next week; make a conscious effort to avoid spending any money for a few days…half the week…or even the entire week to make up for it.
- This is NOT impossible! (It's amazing what you can do when you put your mind to it.) You may have to say NO to tough things (a great sale…lunch with the girls…morning coffee at the drive through…) but you chose to “eat the cake”, so you chose to pay the price somewhere else!
- If you go WAY over-budget, you might need to have a serious freeze, for two weeks or longer…however long it takes to make up for the over-spending. Other than absolute necessities, NO spending, no matter what!
- For meals, I simply dig through my pantry and freezer and only cook with things I have on-hand…no grocery trips allowed! (Meal planning tools HERE)
- Check your mindset. You need to step back and assess whether you're truly motivated to succeed or not. You can't think, “Oh, it's ok for me to buy this even though I'm over-budget, because I'll just figure it out later…it'll work itself out.”…that defeats the purpose of a budget! If you're going to do it, do it right. Don't set yourself up to fail! The Diet Principle is to help you be realistic about your diet…not to help you cheat on it. “Overeating” may feel good for a time…but are the lasting effects worth it?
- Re-assess your budget. Let's be real, here. If you are constantly, consistently going over budget (and you're really, actually, truly trying not to), then your budget might just need to be upped. Be reasonable, but be realistic. Watch your budget for 3 months before making any changes so you give it a fair shot (explained HERE). BUT – if you up your budget on something, that means you will have LESS budget for something else. Give and take, people!
- Avoid over-spending next time. As you know, I am a big believer in credit cards (as explained HERE). I love them for the security, benefits, and the digital tracking. BUT, over-spending with cards can be waaaaaay too easy. One of the best tools I can think of are Visa Prepaid cards. They give you all the perks of a card (safety, tracking, etc.) but you can automatically load money on the cards and when it's gone, it's gone! GENIUS!
Piggy bank photo source HERE
I am blogging on behalf of Visa Prepaid and received compensation for my time from Visa for sharing my views in this post, but the views expressed here are solely mine, not Visa’s. Discover more at http://www.VisaPrepaid.com or view more Visa Prepaid videos at http://www.youtube.com/