Life happens no matter how much we plan, and it can wreak havoc on our finances. Even if you had the best laid financial plans, life can get in the way, and you may find yourself wondering how to get back on track. Is everything lost if you’ve fallen off track, stopped saving money, or have had to use every dollar earned to pay bills?
Fortunately, we can tell you the answer is ‘no, it’s not all lost.’ There are plenty of ways to get back on track even when you feel lost. Everyone experiences the feeling at one time or another. The important thing to remember is your financial hardship is temporary, and with a few adjustments, you can get back on track.
10 tips for how to get back on track financially
So, are you ready to take charge of your finances? Here are 10 tips on how to get back on track when you feel lost!
1. Reflect on your mistakes
Have you ever heard that mistakes are opportunities to learn? It’s true. You can look at a mistake as a complete and utter failure, or you can look at it as a learning experience. Look at it and decide what you could have done better. What could you change?
Use your mistakes as stepping stones to improve your life (and your finances), and don’t let them hold you back. While it won’t help you get back on track immediately, it will help you grow as a person and make wiser choices moving forward if and when life kicks you again.
2. Create a habit tracker
If you’re the type that starts a habit and then falls off the wagon after a few days or weeks, use a habit tracker to make it easier to stick to. You can even set up rewards for specific milestones. For example, if you stick to your budget for two weeks in a row, reward yourself (with a small reward, nothing that will break the bank).
If you notice on your habit tracker that you can’t stick to your budget or you quit your ‘good’ habits after a few tries, figure out why. Is there something specific going on in your life that makes it impossible to stick to your desired habits?
Take an honest look at your life and figure out what’s causing the roadblock and see what you can do to work around it.
3. Review your budget to get on track
Sometimes the budget that seems right is all wrong. If you can’t stay on track with your finances, it could be because you set up the wrong budget. Even if you followed a template or did what your successful BFF did, it doesn’t mean it will work for you.
Take an honest look at your spending. Pull your bank and credit card statements, determine where you’re going over budget, and understand why. Did you make your budget too restrictive? Do you need to rearrange how much you have budgeted for certain categories?
You may find you have to cut back on certain costs. List your costs by priority and decide how you’ll cut back. It could be small things, like cutting back on your grocery spending or eating out less. Finding the right budget method is how to get back on track when you feel lost about your finances!