Don’t Let Overspending Take over Your Life with These Three Tips
My Husband came to me the other day and said, “Ok, it’s going to be $175 and he can do it right now. I know it’s not in the budget… should we just wait? Or do it?”
“Do it. I’ll figure it out.” I replied.
Today I want to share with you what really goes on behind the scenes of managing our money in a smart, intentional way.
It’s not always smooth sailing and it takes a lot of work. In fact, I joked the other day that I often feel like “OZ” managing our money. Shifting levers, moving things around and constantly juggling.
Honestly, that is just what it takes sometimes.
The $175 in question was for a tree in our backyard that we have known we needed to have removed for a while. We knew this year, this season, it needed to happen.
And our neighbors happened to be having some tree maintenance done and their guy happened to have two extra hours and was able to take care of our long-standing to-do right on the spot.
So no, it wasn’t in the budget, but it would have been a huge waste of time and energy to reschedule and get him back another time.
And this is life.
Life is knowing when you need to say “yes” and figure out later.
Lately, I’ve been doing A LOT of that as I feel the time quickly ticking towards the due date of my Son in May.
So when I have the time, energy, or opportunity to check something off the list I do it and figure out the money part later.
Maybe you have experienced seasons like this as well. Any big life change tends to re-order your priorities and requires an uptick in spending.
The key to managing a season of high spending is checking in regularly and managing the follow through.
You HAVE to be willing to take stock and assess the damage that you create through the things that you say “yes” too. And you have to be willing to make the tradeoffs that come with it.
It takes discipline and diligence to get ‘caught up’ and not make it a habit of saying “yes” more than is necessary.
Managing your money is an art.
Sometimes it’s smooth sailing and sometimes it takes a lot of work to manage the priorities of life AND how to financially make them happen.
So if you feel like OZ sometimes, that’s ok. But remember these three things to make sure that you stay on track during periods of overspending.
1. Have a system in place that you can fall back on
You can’t ‘figure out how to make it work’ if you don’t have a system to track the inflows and outflows of your household spending. I have the tools in place for me to be able to accurately figure out where spending needs to shift to make it all balance.
2. Get on the same page as your spouse
My Husband knew the $175 wasn’t in our budget because we had just had a money date and reviewed our budget together. While I manage more of the data entry on the budget, he is 100% involved in the strategy that comes with prioritizing our spending. He knows what we have planned for and what we haven’t so we can have quick conversations like the one about the tree, to keep each other informed.
3. Stay disciplined and follow through on the trade-offs you need to make to catch up
Because of the tree (and several other things that have popped up lately), some extras I was hoping to get (like housecleaners before the baby comes!) probably isn’t going to happen. We also thought twice about the eating out we casually planned for the weekend among other smaller shifts. If I continued with all that planned spending, we would just be piling on. But by making the sacrifice to course correct, we will stay debt-free and not have to dip into our savings accounts.
At the end of the day, a period of overspending should not become your normal, it should be a short season. And it’s up to you to managing your moving pieces to make sure that overspending and prioritizing your ‘yes’ over your budget doesn’t become a way of life.
It’s a delicate balance… that sometimes takes a lot of work.