I originally published this post four years ago, but thought it was worth repeating. If you’re on a debt payoff or wealth building journey, and have spent the last month (or more) totally screwing up your budget – or if you read my post from Monday and are ready to start taking MASSIVE action, read this first.
Greetings, friends!!!! I’ve been largely AWOL this week in the PF blogisphere, due to some personal happenings that I will likely share about tomorrow, but I did want to get in this post today. As a preface to our July recap, let me just say that we’ve absolutely blown our July budget to bits, some our fault, and some not our fault.
But since I know it happens to so many others, I wanted to especially encourage those of you who are on getting out of debt journeys and have fallen off the wagon, so to speak. It’s easy after falling off the budget wagon to want to throw in the towel on your debt free journey, but please….DON’T. You can pay off your debt. You can succeed at being debt free.
Here are some tips for you if you’ve trashed your budget in a particular month and are feeling like giving up.
1. Stop Focusing on the Fail
Epic fail or not, it is what it is, as my little brother likes to say. You’ve completely trashed your budget for the month. Or for the quarter. Or for the year. This is not the time to sit around feeling sorry for yourself or beating yourself up for your mistakes or for caving when life throws financial crap your way. That won’t help.
Getting back up on that horse will, however. You’ve made it this far, don’t stop now!
2. Make a Recovery Plan
You’ll hear more about the specifics of our epic budget fail in our July recap, but the important part of dealing with a fail is making a plan to recover from it. Sit down, figure out the specifics of your mess, as in, how much you blew your budget by. If you’ve accumulated credit card debt after a commitment to not use the cards, figure out a plan to get back to where you were before the budget blow. Find ways to reduce your spending this month to make up for last month’s extra expenses. And find ways to earn extra money for your recovery plan.
Related Reading: The Frugal Farmer’s Guide to Feeding Your Family for Less
Frugal living at its best:
3. Get Extreme, and Get Committed
Just for a short period of time, say 30 days, decide that you are going to do everything in your power to make up for last month’s overages in spending. Find ways to earn $100 fast. Cut your budget, extreme-style. Commit to a no-spending month, or a necessity-only spending month. Or commit to working lots of overtime or selling lots of stuff to make up for the shortages in cash.
If you’re really motivated, get extreme for the long haul by learning how to take MASSIVE action.
Be prepared to change. Remember: the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. If you really want recovery and permanent financial change, choose to do things differently.
In short, don’t let your fail define you, let the fact that you chose to overcome your fail define you. You can do it!