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So you have been doing a great job of staying on track with your spending plan. You have paid off some or all of you debt and are starting to build your emergency fund. And then it happened – a month that got away from you. Your emergency fund disappeared and you have over drafted you checking account several times. As the frustration and feelings of failure come over you, fight the lies and get up and get back on track.

Here are 4 ways to get back on track and stay on track.

Use a check book register

It does not matter if it is online, software or handwritten use the old fashion check book register. We have to stay on top of our checking account balance and this does not mean just looking at our online balance. We get ourselves into trouble by checking our balance online and forgetting about outstanding checks and the next thing you know we have overspent and bounce a check or 2.

Distribute your budget

Okay, so many may be saying “what you are taking about” or “that is way too much work”. It does not need to be and once you have done it a couple of times, it will be very easy. So what I am talking about is this, once you have your budget done, go through each paycheck and spend that check on paper. Now you know when you get paid on the 15th you are paying these bills and have the remaining cash for groceries, gas, entertainment etc.

Learn to say “NO”

No one likes to say no – whether it is to us or our kids. Unfortunately there are times when we need to say no or not right now. Things come up every month that we forgot about or did not plan for when this happens we need to ask ourselves this question. Is this very important and must be done this month or can it wait until next month? If it has to be taken care of now have a budget committee meeting (if you’re married) and decide what we are going to eliminate to take care of this. If it can wait till next month, make a note and put it in the next budget.

Define Want vs. Need

This has to be one of the hardest things for me to do. When I want something usually a new electronic gadget I work very hard to justify the need and why I must have it to accomplish something. In reality, it is my inner selfish child coming out and the reality is I do not need it. As for most things we buy outside of daily necessities, there is very few items I need. This goes for our kids as well. We need to be having ongoing discussions about what we or they want and how it is or is not a need. Do not get me wrong, if you have the income and are debt free and the need works into the budget then go for it, however do not put yourself in a bad financial position just because you justified it well.

If you are having trouble staying on track and need someone to help hold you accountable, or if you have trouble putting these ideas into place drop me a line or give me a call 317.858.7270 and let’s see if and how I may be able to help.

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