Many people spend more money during November and December than they do other months of the year. That can really wreak havoc on their finances.
The silly thing is, we all know those higher spend months are coming. After all, Thanksgiving and Christmas occur at the same time each year.
Still, it’s not always easy to stick to a strict holiday budget when money is already tight. Additionally, if you do go over your budget, you may feel buyer’s remorse.
Luckily, there are some things you can do if you spend more than you should over the holiday season. Here’s what to do when you overspend your budget.
1. Stop Procrastinating
After spending more than you should for the holidays, or for any other reason, you probably experience feelings of guilt. That’s a normal reaction to the situation. Sure, you may feel badly about it, but what’s done is done and can’t be changed.
But the first thing you should do when you overspend your budget is to stop procrastinating. Face up to the fact that you splurged and fix your finances.
2. Examine Your Finances
Once you examine your finances you might find you didn’t overspend your budget that much. On the other hand, you might have gone way overboard.
Either way, there’s no better time to get your finances in order than right now. So, pull out all of your unpaid bills and invoices and compare them to your income.
3. Update Your Budget
After you’ve faced the music and looked over your bills, it’s time to update your budget. You may only have to make small, temporary changes to get back on track. Of course, it’s also possible you will need to make bigger changes to get your household budget in line.
Start by cutting out all spending that isn’t absolutely necessary. Salon trips, morning coffees, and even cable television might be on your chopping block.
Look for cheap or free alternatives for services you already get. Walk instead of going to the gym so you can eliminate that expensive monthly gym membership. Check into switching your phone plan to one that costs less. Forgo eating out altogether and cook at home instead.
Say “no” to things that cost you more money. Bad habits, events you don’t really have to attend, and shopping trips because you’re bored should all stop. The only way you’ll get your overspending paid off is to stop doing what costs you extra money.
4. Pay off Debt
When you spent too much, did you use a credit card or charge the purchases in some other way? If so, use the extra money from the budget cuts you made to pay off debt. In fact, throw every bit of money you can at those bills so you can eliminate them.
Start by using the snowball method to pay your bills. Pay only the minimum on all bills except the smallest one. On that one, pay as much over the minimum as you can until it’s paid off. Then do the same with the next smallest bill each month until you get your debt paid off.
Using this technique to pay your bills helps you build momentum as you pay them off. One by one you’ll see the payments you make get larger and larger while your debt shrinks.
5. Start a Side Hustle
Another thing you can do to help your finances when you overspend your budget is to side hustle. Many people find side hustles they can do in the evenings or weekends to supplement their income.
The great thing about finding a side hustle is that there are so many different things you could do. Think about things you like to do or are good at. This will ensure that you enjoy your side hustle and stick with it so you can pay your extra bills.
You don’t have to feel alone when you overspend your budget. It happens to just about everyone now and then. Fortunately, there are lots of things you can do when you feel that your debt is taking over. Try this plan to correct your finances when you overspend your budget and get back on track financially.
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Have you every overspent your budget?