Overspending like crazy?
We’ve all been there! It can be incredibly frustrating to work so hard to make a good paycheck and feel like it flies out the window every month no matter how hard you try.
Does any of this sound familiar?
- At the end of the month you wonder what you spent all your money on
- You keep swiping or spending money even though you wish you could stop
- You’re not able to send as much money to debt or savings as you want to
- You wish you were more patient and better at telling yourself “no”
- You’re spending more than you make
- You simply feel like you need to get your spending under control
If you said “yes” to any or all of these, it’s definitely time for a budget + spending reset! Wouldn’t it be great to be able to start fresh? Get on a budget, stick to it, and at the end of the month feel proud of how you did instead of defeated and frustrated?
Today, I’m going to help you reset your spending so you can do just that!
Create a Personal Budget + Spending Reset Plan
To create your own budget + spending reset, choose 4-6 of the following ideas that you think would help you the most. Reading these tips alone won’t help you reset your spending, though! In order to complete a true and effective budget + spending reset, you need to write your 4-6 ideas down in goal format (i.e. balance the budget twice a week). This will be your personal spending reset plan! Implement it for one month and keep track of your progress on each goal throughout the month. Check each one off when it’s completed, or if it’s something you have to do all month long, check it off if you’ve succeeded at the end of the month.
10 Ways to Reset Your Budget + Spending This Month
1. Balance your budget twice as much as you normally to
If you normally balance your budget once a week, start doing it twice a week. It may feel like you’re babysitting your budget, but knowing the real status of your budget and spending at all times will stop you from making purchases. You probably spend sometimes because you think “I’m sure we still have enough money left in the budget,” when in reality, there isn’t enough! If you don’t have a budget yet, get started here.
2. Sit down and have a budget and planning meeting with your significant other
Even if you talk about money regularly, sit down and have a real face-to-face budget meeting to discuss your spending, goals, and budget. Make sure both of you know how much you’ve budgeted for the month, how much you have been spending lately, and the goals for the new month. You both need to face the numbers and be accountable to each other! If you’re single, talk to your BFF or a close relative!
3. Start using cash in the areas you overspend
If you’re a card user, switch to cash for a month! Even if you can’t justify cash for every category of your budget, switch to cash in the areas you tend to struggle or even just one category like “restaurants” if that’s a budget buster for you. It doesn’t have to be all cash or all card, find a mix of both that keeps you in check!
4. Put money into savings/toward debt as soon as you get it
Do it, and then commit to not pulling from it, using credit cards, or pulling from your Emergency Fund! Force yourself to stick to the budget you made.
5. Say “NO” to impulse purchases
Make it a goal to think about each purchase for at least 3 days before you buy! No impulse purchases during your budget + spending reset, no exceptions! If it wasn’t planned, it’s a “no” for now!
6. Cancel all unnecessary subscriptions and bills
Comb through your entire budget and get rid of every single subscription or bill that you don’t use, don’t need, or don’t want to pay for anymore. If you subscribed to an Amazon channel to watch one movie and then forgot to turn it off, now is the time to turn that channel off and minimize those subscriptions. Even if you budget monthly, review it and take the time to do this.
7. Have a no spend month
Commit to a “no spend” month where you only spend money on essentials. Make a list of everything that is allowed during your “no spend” month (rent, bills, gas, food, etc) and everything that isn’t allowed (coffee stops, clothing, craft stores, fast food). Make the list of everything that isn’t allowed very specific to the areas you tend to overspend!
8. Find an accountability friend and check in with each other weekly
Find a buddy in real life or in the #debtfreecommunity on Instagram who wants to reset their spending too, and check in with each other on a weekly basis!
9. Cut out 3 things from your budget that you normally allow
Cut down on the fluff! All the fluff spending here and there adds up and is eating away at your savings or debt payoff goals. Cut out 3 things this month and see if you miss them next month! Fewer transactions = less money spent.
10. Write and put up a “Stop Spending Money” note to yourself
Write a note to yourself that says “Stop Spending Money, YOUR NAME!” and put it wherever you’re tempted to spend money! If you pull out your wallet and cash a lot, put a sticky note that says “stop spending money, YOUR NAME!” right in your wallet! If you shop on your phone, make a cute little text image and set it as your lock screen! If you shop on your computer, put a sticky note on it or next to it!
I completed a budget + spending reset recently using these exact rules and it was the best budget month we had had in a long time (and it was even near Christmas!). Here are the goals I chose for my spending reset:
- Put money into savings as soon as we’re paid
- Check spending + Balance budget 2x a week instead of 1x a week
- Have a budget meeting with Derek to review last months crappy budget and the upcoming month
- Cash only for restaurants, no swiping (check in on Derek daily)
- Cancel unnecessary subscriptions
- NO impulse purchases all month
At the end of the month, I was so proud of how we did! No month is perfect but I gave myself full credit on each one because we didn’t overspend. Even with Christmas fast approaching we were able to stay within our budget and even had $180 extra left at the end of the month! This is a huge feat considering I had already sent money to savings so this was just extra money we were able to save on top of that. This was especially good for us because lately we had been a little lazy with our spending and had been pulling money from savings when we went over budget. This spending reset whipped us into shape!
Okay, now that you’ve read through the 10 spending reset ideas and I gave you an example of how it would look when implemented, it’s time to pick 4-6 of them that you think would help you the most.
I hope you have your best budget month ever using these ideas!