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How to get your finances back on track

If the budget you set yourself has fallen by the wayside, now’s the time to get it back on track.

The longer you wait, the harder it may be to get to where you want to be.

Here are some tips to help get your spending back under control.

How to budget your money

1. Set a new financial goal

Give yourself a specific goal to work towards. Your target could be anything from wanting to save more to reducing any debts you may have. It can be as big or as small as you like, just make sure it’s realistic.

2. Take a step back

Look back at your finances and see where your original budget went wrong. Were you too strict, or not strict enough? Were there other factors at play, such as unexpected costs?

Reviewing your spending over the past few months can help you see where things haven’t gone to plan. You could also look at each of your spending categories to see whether you met your target for each.

Based on these insights, you should be able to better prepare yourself for the future. For example, if your original budget had an unrealistic target for spending on food, you could change this in your revised version.

Also look at how you tracked your money. Did you write down all your purchases, or check your balance at the end of each day? Keeping tabs on your spending can help you stay within your spending limits.

Explore: Understanding your spending

3. Create a new budget

Whether you want to use elements from your previous budget or prefer to make a fresh start, creating a new budget may help you get back on track.

Make sure to use what you’ve learnt from your previous plan to help create your new one. You could also use our budget planner to help plan your new budget.

4. Create a long-term savings plan

Setting a long-term savings goal can give you something to aim for when it comes to putting money away. This could be saving for a house deposit, for retirement, or building an emergency fund.

Opening a savings account will give you somewhere separate to keep your money, so you’re not tempted to spend it. Even saving a small amount can soon start to add up.

Explore: Your financial action plan

5. Reduce your overdraft

An arranged overdraft can be a useful way to cover unexpected costs in the short term. But if you’re regularly using your overdraft to make ends meet, it could create issues. You may be charged interest for using your overdraft. Going over your arranged overdraft limit can also have a negative effect on your credit score

Getting out of your overdraft may feel challenging but there are steps you can take, such as creating a repayment plan and considering any other borrowing options available.

6. Get motivated again

Think about the reasons why you're using a budget to help you stay on track. You could write down your goals and keep them somewhere visible, like your fridge, as a daily reminder. You can also set mini deadlines to review how close you are to achieving your target.

If reducing your debt is your priority, there are a few ways you could pay it off faster.

We also have mobile money management tools in our app to help you keep an eye on your spending and stay on top of your finances. Not only could they help you keep within your budget and improve spending – they may also help you grow your money and achieve your financial goals.