Quand l’équilibre du budget ne va plusMay 17, 2016

When You Cannot Balance Your Budget

The budget is your best tool to keep track of your incoming and outgoing cash flows. However, it is very possible that things do not go as planned. Sometimes you can spend almost all of your pay on things you want, but don't really need, or you may forget to pay off your accumulated debts. It is very easy to lose control of your expenses. A lack of vigilance on one or two occasions can be very costly, very fast! Fortunately, there are solutions to help you recover from your bad situation. Here are some helpful tips to put into practice to correct the situation.

Learn to Discipline Yourself and Keep Your Commitments

Learning to live within your means and respecting your budget may require that you change your habits.  That means learning to say “no.” Even when stores bombard you with sales or when you frequently want to go out to dine in restaurants, you must learn to resist and not immediately give in to temptation. Instead, learn to delay gratification. For example, instead of going to a restaurant every day for lunch, reserve an evening – or, better still, one afternoon –  towards the end of the week. You can then enjoy the expense all the more, while sticking to your budget.

Sometimes you don't always succeed the first time. Don't be discouraged if it is difficult at first. The important thing is not just to make a budget and then file it away and forget about it. You have to refer to it from time to time.

As we mentioned in a prior post, we must have (at a minimum) enough to feed, clothe, and shelter ourselves (after all, it's not for nothing that we call these needs the “essentials”). If some purchase prevents you from fulfilling these needs, you must eliminate it.

When Expenses Exceed Revenues

It can be tempting to go wining and dining the moment your paycheck appears in your account. If you have that tendency, we urge you to review your expenses. When we live above our means, it is not our budget that needs to be revised, but how we spend our money. Each time you buy something, think about its cost in relation to your income and ask yourself if you really need the item or not.

A good way to do this is to divide the total amount of the purchase you have in mind by your hourly wage. Trust us, when you know that such-and-such an item will cost you several days of work, it may well put a damper on your urge to spend!

Give Yourself Time and Set Realizable Goals

Finally, give yourself time to breathe! You can't simply rid yourself of old habits overnight. Anyone creating a budget needs to give themselves a period of adjustment. Disrupting your habits normally destabilizes people. So give yourself at least three months to adapt to the new situation and the new way of managing your money. It won't help you to hurry things along and end up stressing yourself.

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