How to Get Back on Track With Your Budget

The holidays are over. It's a new year. It's time to get back on track with your budget. But how? Use these 3 tips to stay the course!Save more. Pay off debt. Make more money. Spend less.

If any of these phrases sounds familiar, it’s probably because you decided to get back on track with your budget in the new year.

The start of a new year can put into perspective exactly what you want to accomplish.

All of a sudden, everyone has a newfound commitment to make goals and stick with them.

And after the mad craze and spending of the holiday season, January is the perfect month to start new with your budget.

If you’re ready to be serious about getting back on track with your budget in the new year, here are some steps to help you reach your goal.

Fit Your Budget Into Your Lifestyle

Chances are you put your budget on auto pilot last year. You set it up and then you let it do its own thing, and maybe you even lost track of it.

With your newfound vigor and passion for all things budgeting, it’s time to set up your budget in a way that works for you and your lifestyle.

Are you on a laptop all day? Would keeping an excel file or Google doc file help you track your expenses easier? Would it be more convenient to keep an old fashioned pen and paper type of budget? How about keeping a running tab on the fridge so that you are tracking all expenses?

The bottom line is do whatever works for you! Make it as easy as possible for you to stick to your budget by fitting your budget-keeping into your lifestyle.

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Review Your Budget

Everyone does a “life” year-in-review. Now it’s time to review your budget.

Check out last year’s expenses and see what unexpected expenses popped up. Did you find yourself scrambling to pay for the holidays? How about planning ahead this time and creating a holiday savings account, contributing anywhere between $20-$50 every paycheck to help pay for next year’s holidays?

Did you find that you were spending too much on random knick-knacks and fast food items? Try to slash your “extra” expenses by 10% this year, and earmark that money for savings instead.

Make Your Goals Attainable

A lot of people start off the year by creating vast, unreachable goals–practically setting themselves up for failure. My husband and I originally planned to save $20K in cash this year, and then quickly realized that would be a huge stretch for us.

We slashed that in half to $10K – which we would still be happy with – and that amount is still enough of a stretch, but within reach, that we will feel proud to reach it.

Make your goals reachable by cutting them into quarters. Split your goal into four chunks with small stepping stones to reach on March 31, May 31, September 30 and December 31.

It’s great that you’re feeling inspired to get back on track with your budget this year, but make sure that you set yourself up for success by utilizing these tips to reach your goals.

Did you fall off the budgeting bandwagon last year? How do you plan to stay on track now?