Budgeting tips: week two of the month and worried?

So you've got through your first week of budgeting without suffering any major catastrophes. You should now have a feel for how much money you've got coming in, how much you've got coming out and, perhaps more importantly, where you're likely to slip up. Knowing your weaknesses is the key to managing your money and you should have picked up plenty about your spending self already. 

In the second week you should look to learn from any mistakes you've made and aim to put them right before it's too late. There's no point in continuing to overspend until a major scrimp on the fourth week as even if you do succeed, you'll have learnt little from the experience. You need to prove to yourself that you can spend a consistent amount each week without having to resort to drastic measures.

After working out whether you'll have to scrimp or just keep on saving, you'll be ready to put yourself in the correct mindset for week two of your budgeting – and here it comes.  

The meltdown?

So you overspent in your first week? Have no fear; there's still plenty of time to repair the damage.

If you know exactly where you went wrong, then you should look to restrict spending in this area immediately. Perhaps you actually tried to save in this area but came up short – there's every chance your initial calculations could have been a little off the mark. In that case you'll want to look at areas where you may have been a bit generous and allocate the money elsewhere.   

However, if you simply felt like you had too many weak moments during the first seven days, here's where you'll need to prove you can save before the time runs out. Think of the second week as a second chance and you'll be on the right track in no time.

Concentrate

If you're lucky enough to have sailed through the first week without any major bumps, you must keep your eyes on the prize. Keep your rewards small and aim to replicate the formula that put you on the right pathway.

Complacency has a habit of taking over inexperienced savers as they're unaware of what a couple of treats can do. They're barely halfway through the month and they're already thinking about ways to celebrate. It's in these times that concentration is paramount.

Keep to cash

One of the best ways of being conscious of your spending is to pay for as much as you can in cold, hard cash. It's easier to turn down a takeaway or a new outfit when you're looking at how much it will take out of your pocket. Card readers make it seem like money's just numbers on a screen – don't let them dupe you (at least not yet).

Get clever

Budgeting apps will keep a watchful eye on your money if you allow them to. If you've trialled a few in your opening week then it might be worth assessing which have been worth your time and which could be worthy of the trash folder. Week two is a good time for getting used to an app before you realise it could helped you much sooner.

Gain support

Finally, seek support from anyone who's willing to give it. Things always go better if you've got someone cheering you on, so look to your partner, parents or friends for inspiration. In addition, if you find yourself surrounded by people who overspend, it might be worth distancing yourself from them in certain scenarios. You know – when they hit the pub after work, as they place their fast food order, when they head out to the shops. Be your own person and you'll stay on budget.