1. Save money.
Having a savings is the best and least often used way to bail out your budget. People who struggle with money management never seem to get better off because they do not save. Then, when the unexpected happens, they have no money to turn to, and thus, budgets get tighter, debts get larger, stress gets higher. Save money!
2. Stay out of debt.
If you want to bail out your budget, stay out of debt. Debt is basically a nice way of saying you are paying to have money. So, if your budget is already tight, rather than paying $1.23 for every $1 worth of stuff, pay $1. Do not buy things unless you have enough money to do so.
3. Don’t fear coupons.
Do not let pride, or embarrassment stand in the way of you getting a discount that is available to you. Coupons are a great way to bail out your budget. You can find coupons for everything from carpet cleaning, to groceries, to eating out. Use them whenever you can, and you will save a lot.
4. Get rid of extras.
Extras in your lifestyle often cost you more than you realize, and are very expensive, making budgets tight. So, start cutting back. Check out books from the library instead of buying. Watch television rather than going to the movies or renting movies. Cut back the number of channels you subscribe to, or the extras on your phone plans. Cutting a little here and there can make a big difference in your budget.
5. Create a spending plan.
If you want to bail out your budget you need a spending plan that acts as a guide and helps you know how to allocate your money, and when you are in danger of going into debt, or making things hard on yourself. Create one, and stick to it.
6. Track your money.
You can’t bail out your budget if you are not paying attention to where your money is going each month. Many people complain that they spend all of their money and have nothing to show for it. So, if you track your spending you will be able to find the leaks in your budget, and plug them. It might be that $4 cup of morning coffee, or the trips to Redbox, and forgetting to return the movies on time.
7. Use cash.
Cash makes it difficult to overspend. If you run out, you quit spending. It means you might go hungry the last week of the month, or sit at home with nothing to do, but if you can’t seem to bail out your budget with your own discipline, then use cash to help force the issue.
8. Pay off existing debts.
Debts are costing you money in interest. So, aggressively pay off debts to help your budget to have more room.
9. Reduce and simplify.
If you are living beyond your means, your budget won’t be bail out able. So, reduce your lifestyle, and simplify your spending so that you are not purchasing things that you do not need, living in too large of a home, or buying stuff that you already have because you are not organized enough to know where it is.
10. Plan for emergencies.
Emergencies kill budgets faster than anything else. If your kid needs a trip the the ER, that will cost you, and can leave a big gap in y our budget. So, have an emergency fund where you plan for just such events: car break downs, medical emergencies, etc. This will help to keep you from going into debt, or from blowing the budget you have worked so hard to stick to.