Do you want to know how to budget when you are behind on your bills? Have you ever wondered how in the world you’re going to get ahead in your finances when you can’t even seem to break even? Bills keep piling up and your bank account balance seems to be shrinking each month.
You try your darndest to stick to a budget, but it seems like all of your money just disappears. If you are tired of running out of money each month, it’s time to figure out what in the world is going on.
1 – Commit to ONLY buy things you absolutely need.
Anything that is a want, and not a need, can wait. Even if it is only a couple dollars here, and a few bucks there. You can’t stop a ship from sinking without first plugging the hole. In the same way, you can’t stick to a budget until you figure out where you are overspending.
What are some things you are spending money on that are not absolutely needed? Make a list of just your needs! And commit to buy only these needs for a few weeks so you can get in control of your finances, instead of having your finances control you!
2 – Sit down at the beginning of the month and decide where every dollar is going.
Take a look at your list of needs and map out your expenses for the month. Cut out anything that is not a need so you can use that money to get caught up on payments. Listen: I know it’s not fun to cut out all of the fun things you get to do in life! But know that is only for a short season. Until you are caught up on all your bills and have set a realistic budget.
3 – Make a list of all of your bills that are behind.
What bills are not current? Write down what bills they are, and how much you are behind. Putting pen to paper and writing these totals down, even if you know them in your head, will make them more real and help you follow through with a plan.
4 – Put any money you can towards the bills that are behind.
If you have truly cut out everything that is not a need, you should have freed up some money in your budget. If you still legitimately have nothing left over, you have two choices. You can a) cut out even more until you have some money left over. This is called lowering your outgo.
Or you can b) sell some things, get another part-time job or find some other way to bring more money in each month. This is raising your income.
Again, it will only be temporary. A little bit of sacrifice will help you make all of your bills current and trim your expenses so that your income is more than what is going out each month.
5 – Take a good look at your budget to see what categories need to be tweaked.
Are you overspending in a category and know you need to reign it in? Is there something you are paying for and hardly using? Are you blowing your perfect budget every month because you don’t have a category that you really need, like taxi fare if you live in the city or toll money for getting to work?
6 – Each month, sit down and look at your numbers.
Make sure you aren’t behind on any more bills. Double check that you aren’t overspending in any categories. A written plan for your money is amazing! But it won’t work if you don’t follow through with it. You have to stay accountable to sticking to your numbers if you want to see a change! My post 5 Tips to Stick to Your Budget will hopefully give you some inspiration if this is a struggle for you.
7 – Lastly, find like minded friends for some encouragement.
Chances are if you are the only one of your friends interested in staying on budget, your weekends and hang out sessions will involve more expensive activities. If you have friends who are also budget-minded, you can find fun things to do together that won’t break an arm or a leg.
Host dinner parties at each others’ houses where everyone brings a side dish. Cook out at the park and play game or sports. Like minded friends can also keep you on track and give you ideas when you need some inspiration. They will celebrate your successes with you and help you reach your goals!
If you made it to the end of this post, congrats! You are either just as much of a nerd as I am or you are dead serious about making a change. Or both. 🙂 If you are intentional with your money, say no to all the extras that blow your budget, and commit to following through with the budget you have set on paper, you will be in a much better place a few months from now.
YOU CAN DO IT! Find people who are in your corner and will encourage you. If anything, please know that I am cheering you on and would love to help in any way I can.
As always, feel free to reach out if you have any questions.
**P.S.** If you are looking for free finance printables to help you stay even more motivated, enter your email in the little box at the bottom of this post to get instant access to the free printables in the Simple Finance Toolkit that is exclusive to my subscribers. Budgeting forms, bill trackers, goal setting handouts. They are yours for the taking and will help you stay organized and motivated.
What are you looking forward to the most by getting caught up? What do you think has held you back from getting there so far?
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