I’m a financial coach and there are 5 steps I recommend to clients when they overspend

Even the best of budgeters overspend on occasion. 
As a financial coach, I recommend clients first put a freeze on their spending to figure out what happened.
Then, I suggest looking at all your accounts to see if you can make adjustments to other categories. 
The best way to avoid overspending is to use your budget as a guide and check in on your accounts more frequently than once a month.
This article is a contributed piece as part of a series focused on millennial financial empowerment called Master your Money.
Have you ever taken a look at your bills or bank account only to realize you spent more money than you intended to?If you’ve found yourself in this position, it’s not too late to get back on track.Here are five steps to recovering from overspending:1. Stop the bleedFirst and foremost, put a freeze on your spending. No more grabbing coffees or drinks, eating dinners out, or checking out on Amazon. Put a full stop on all spending until you can get a better idea of what happened.Just because you overspent doesn’t mean you need to give up for the remainder of the month. Take it one day at a time and make the best decisions you can now to prevent more damage than necessary. 2. Take inventory OK, so you spent more than you should have and now it’s time to go through all your accounts and determine where you actually overspent. Was it too much at coffee shops? Groceries? Gifts? Random purchases from Target? It can be more comfortable to ignore what’s going on, but facing your situation head on will help you get a grasp and take steps to move forward. 3. Create or update your budgetIf you don’t already have a budget now is the time to make one. The easiest way to do so is to add up all your fixed expenses (think bills) and subtract from your take home pay.What you have left over is to be used for all variable (discretionary) spending such as food, groceries, shopping, etc. You can split the total into amounts for each category. If you already have a budget then make sure everything is updated and accounted for so that you can move onto the next step. 4. Beg, borrow, and steal (your own money)Once you have a budget set up you can move money around from one category of spending to another. Let’s say you overspent on coffee and dining out, but have underspent on your allotted monthly allowance for shopping and groceries thus far.You can now shift the amounts you have left over for shopping and groceries to help combat the overspending in the other areas. If money is tight everywhere and you don’t have a lot of wiggle room, it may be time to consider taking up a side hustle to cover the difference. 5. Prevent future overspending A budget is a guide, but no one has it down 100%. The best way to prevent future overspending is to have a plan and check in on your spending on a regular basis. By knowing where your money is going you can make adjustments in real time instead of waiting for the end of the month to realize you overspent. Overspending is something that happens on occasion to even the best of budgeters, but by following these steps you should be able to get back on track quickly without having to take on unnecessary debt. Katie Oelker is a financial coach, personal finance writer, and member of BI’s Money Council.

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