What to do when you go over budget?

18 April 2017

It may feel like defeat if you’ve gone over budget, but the good news is that you can take necessary steps to gain control again. There are five proven steps which assist in recovering from overspending.

  1. Figure out what happened:It is important to figure out why you overspent and ask questions like; was the expense necessary? Why did it happen? Research proves that the aforementioned questions come out of a budget that does its job by accurately tracking spending. Essentially, this implies that you must have a plan (budget) before the process even begins. Simply put, have a budget that make ends meet.
  2. Do adjustments for the following month: Many argue that for behaviour to be altered, there needs to be consequences. For instance, a lot of people may overspendi this month by buying Mother’s Day gifts for the special women in their lives. If you find that you overspend one month, learn from this and adjust the following months budget. This ensures that the the budget stays alive and proactive.
  3. Make goals and plans: For anything to be successful, be it work related or in your personal life, it needs proper planning. You need to plan how you will use your disposable income. For example, people who particularly enjoy eating out need to cut down on unnecessary expenses and know that they have less money to work with. Furthermore, try to spend less on entertainment to ensure that you don’t break the budget again.
  4. Adjust your budget permanently if you keep going over it: In some instances, you might find that you consistently overspent what you budgeted for a specific budget category such as groceries and if this happens you need to alter your budget. Some argue that small changes to the rest of your budget can often do the trick. So when you go over budget in one area, you need to trim an equal amount from another area. So if you planned to use R300 on entertainment and you actually spend R350, then decrease your spending elsewhere by R50.
  5. Avoid cutting your saving amounts: In the instance above, you might find you need extra money to by essentials such as groceries. Where will the money come from? Some people might opt for the reduction of savings route which leads to a worse off position. Before you even begin to think about cutting your savings amount, think about what you intend to put your savings towards and if those savings are really necessary. It is essential to note whether or not you are liberal with the money you spend on entertainment and clothes. For instance, if your life cover goes up do not just dip into your savings account without proper consideration.

The above- mentioned steps will help you gain control of your finances again after spending more than what you budgeted for.