4 things to do when your spending gets off track

I am rerunning this post from September. I just feel like the message fits right into our series on better savings and spending habits. Sometimes you are just so tired of being frugal. But you have to keep going. Here is a littleencouragement. 

We all do it. We all intentionally or unintentionally spend money somewhere on something that is outside of our budget. 

It happens. In fact, I did it one Thursday night. 

It had been a long week. Jason has been traveling and I was home alone with two kids who were alternating illnesses. It was raining, I was exhausted and I had had it. So I put the kids in their car seats and drove to Zaxby's where I spent $20 on a garden salad and two kid's meals. $20!?!???

I immediately regretted that decision. As most of you know, we were, for a long time, saving up money to put a new roof on our house. And we are actually doing pretty well without savings, however, we thought we would use a spending freeze as a little push to get that money saved even faster. 

And it has been going pretty well. Until my Thursday night meltdown. Now I realize that $20 in the grand scheme of a new roof isn't going to make or break us. But it was the principle of the matter. I felt soul-crushingly guilty. (Dramatic, I know. I do have a flare for the dramatics.)  

I know you've been there, right? We've all been there. So here are four tips for getting back on track when the wheels fall off. 

1. Stop the behavior. 

It's so easy to spend an extra dollar or buy something outside of your budget and then say "well I've blown the whole month!" 

I do the same thing with donuts when I'm on a diet. 

But just because you spend $20 one night doesn't mean the rest of your day or week has been blown. Just correct the course and keep going. 

2. Remind yourself WHY you're saving money

What is your why? Is it to get out of debt? Buy a new car? Pay for a semester of school? Focus on that as you get back on spending track and don't get lured further down the rabbit hole of unnecessary spending. 

3. Reevaluate your current plan  

Maybe deciding not to spend any money at all for an entire month is just way too restrictive. Maybe instead, you say I am going to cut XY and Z out of my budget but still leave AB and C. 

Or develop a plan B. For nights when I am super tired and I don't feel like cooking I might keep a frozen pizza in my freezer. Or if we need a change of scenery we might have a front porch picnic. 

4. Give yourself some grace

I'm not perfect. You're not perfect. We are going to screw up. We are going to make bad decisions and we are going to lose focus. It happens. It doesn't make us bad people or failures.

Just prioritize and move on. 

What about you? How do you get back on track?