How To Get Back On A Budget When You Have Gotten (Way) Off Track

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I used to be really faithful with my monthly, zero-based budget. Then I got married. We don’t live beyond our means, and we will be completely debt-free within 6 months, but we have definitely lost our “gazelle intensity.”

We would like to buy our first home within the next year or two, so we NEED to regain that intensity and start saving.

Getting back on a budget has been more difficult for us than getting on one in the first place, for whatever reason. Maybe some others of you have experienced this too, so I am going to share the steps we are taking to get back on the right track with our derailed budget.

Put it in your schedule.
We have actually scheduled out time to sit down together and work on our budget. And we will continue to set aside some time every Sunday to go over the budget and see where we are at. In the busyness of life we have put off and procrastinated, so by writing it in our schedule we can’t use the excuse that we don’t have time.

Get help.
My sister guest posted here a couple of weeks ago, so you know that she is an expert on the Dave Ramsey budgeting system. She and her husband have agreed to sit down with me and my husband and help us get our budget down on paper. We KNOW how to do this, but having a fresh pair of eyes look at it will help us decide what the best path is to our goals.

Make goals and keep them in focus.
It’s hard to not spend money just for the sake of being responsible. But when you have a real goal to aim for it’s a lot less painful to put that purse back and put the money in savings. Right now we are paying off our last debt, which is my car. I have been making more than double the payment and we haven’t even thought about spending that money. It’s just a given that we want to throw it at the car loan, because the end is in sight! Within less than 6 months the car will be paid off and we will be 100% debt free.

Change your ways.
You can’t keep doing the same things and expecting different results, so realizing that your system is broken is a big step. A lot of people I talk to don’t really want to change their behavior, or try to justify everything. “Oh, we NEED a new car so it’s reliable.” “I CAN’T pick up a second job or I will never see my kids.” Like Dave Ramsey says, financial problems are not math problems, they are behavior problems. Realize that the sacrifices you make will only be for a season, but you will HAVE to change your behavior.

Our journey to get back on a budget hasn’t been hiccup free, but we are determined to get there!

If you need a little help getting started, check out my free budget form here.

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Hi! I'm Melissa!

Melissa is a former hairstylist of 20 years who has a passion for living a simply creative life. She loves inspiring others to pick up a planner and get their lives organized, to clean out a closet and minimize their clutter, and to clean up their physical and mental space to lead their most fulfilled life. She is a wife, mom, and crazy dog lady who constantly rewatches The Office.

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