It happens to the best of us: One day, you’re doing great with your finances. Then, a few months later, you realize you’ve completely fallen off your routine. But don’t let an Amazon shopping spree or a month of ignoring your bank account derail your financial goals. Here’s how to get back on top of your finances.
Why We Sometimes Falter With Our Finances
Nobody’s perfect, but there’s nowhere that’s more apparent than in our finances. There are a number of reasons you might “fall off the wagon.” A few of the big ones are…
Bad money habits. Bad habits are hard to break. Even if you’ve made a lot of progress in your bad habits – like spending without thinking, saving too little, or ignoring your finances altogether – you might slip up sometimes. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, and it doesn’t negate any of the progress you’ve made.
Your money story. If you grew up with very little, you might be tempted to splurge sometimes, even if it’s outside of your budget. That’s okay! The best thing you can do is accept it and move on.
What’s currently happening in your life. When you’re under a lot of stress, it’s easier to fall out of your routines.
No matter the reason, don’t sweat it! Just because you’ve fallen out of your routine doesn’t mean you can’t get back into it.
How to Get Back Into a Finance Routine
STEP 1: Start slow.
Don’t expect to jump right back into a full-fledged financial routine. Take it slow, and start with the most important tasks:
Checking your balance once a day.
Reviewing your expenses and budget once a week.
Paying your bills on time.
Once you get back in the swing of that, you can start adding on other tasks from your bookkeeping routine. But don’t put too much pressure on yourself at the start!
STEP 2: Reassess your goals.
If you’ve taken a few months off from your regular routine, chances are you’re a bit behind on your goals. That’s okay! Take some time to reassess and get back on track.
If you’re not already writing down your goals, this is a great time to do so! Set goals that are just a bit outside of your comfort zone, and set a timeframe in which you want to achieve them. Then, work backwards from that date to determine which milestones you need to hit along the way.
Once you have your big goals and smaller milestones set, it’s easier to push them back to accommodate any delays. Simply move around the dates and get back to work!
STEP 3: Make it enjoyable!
Maybe you’re bored of your financial routine. Managing your money isn’t always fun, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make it something you look forward to! Set aside time for “money dates” in your calendar, and use that time to pamper yourself while you pamper your bank account. Grab a cup of coffee, light a candle, turn on your favorite music, and settle in for an hour of money management. The more enjoyable your money routine is, the easier it will be to keep up with it.
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