Get Back on Track After a Major Splurge

By on January 10, 2018

If you have fallen off the proverbial budgeting wagon, then it is time to take a few steps to recover. April is financial literacy month and with a little spring cleaning in the financial arena, you can get back on track by making a few mid-year corrections.

Here are a few tips for recovering your budget from a spending binge:

Review Spending to Identify How to Adjustment Your Budget

First step to recovering your budget is to add up your receipts and current expenses to pinpoint the exact amount you must recover. Much like budgeting, the key to recovering from your splurge is tracking every penny you earn and apply towards recovery.  Sequestering your spending and making tough adjustments can act as a powerful deterrent the next time you’re tempted to go over your budget goals.

Take Advantage of Discounts & Smart Shopping Tricks

Clip coupons and comparison shop for clothing and household items.  However, not all retailers openly advertise their discounts and return policies in an effort to retain profits – t doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Price-adjustments and price-matching policies mean you could possibly recuperate some of your money post-purchase. Price Match Guarantees will help you find an identical item sold cheaper elsewhere; high-end retailers like Macy’s, Bloomingdales, Nordstrom, and J. Crew all offer price adjustments if the item you purchased goes on sale within a week to 14 days from the time of purchase.

Work a Second Job or Boost Your Income

Time is money when you’re trying to get back on budget.  Check out online independent contractor sites such as FlexJobs to supplement your income in the short-term, or join projects which allow you to put your professional skills to work on your terms. You might even make some valuable connections to help build your experience and professional connections towards a more permanent and lucrative position or second job.

Living with Less in the Short-term

To really get the most out of what you can save from your expenses, think about what you buy on a weekly, monthly, and yearly basis – cut out any non-essentials whenever possible.

  • Cut down on restaurant visits and take-out meals, as well as costly prepared foods from the supermarket.
  • Buying groceries in bulk and preparing your own food from scratch saves lots of money.
  • Bring your lunch to work to save on purchased meals during the week.
  • Try to reduce your home-utility bills by turning off lights when you’re out of the room, being conservative with the thermostat, checking weather stripping to eliminate drafts, or air drying dishes and laundry.
  • Avoid paying costly automatic teller machine (ATM) fees by using only the  ATMs of your bank or their designated partners.
  • Make sure you’re not paying your bank for any service fees for which you don’t want or need.
  • When you can, try do-it-yourself repairs and maintenance around the house or on your vehicles, rather than paying for expensive labor on simple tasks.

Getting back on track can be a challenge, but anything is possible with some diligent planning and self-control.

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About Amanda Jensen

FSN college advice columnist - Amanda gives parents and students knowledgeable advice on college planning, tuition financing and scholarships. With up to date and accessible information covering everything from personal finances to federal government policies, she is determined to make the college experience a painless one for all party's involved. You can find Amanda on !

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