Many people start the year right on a good budget but things get out of hand quickly. When it comes to budgeting, falling off track is a common problem. Going over budget is a major problem even for businesses, but it’s not the end of the world.

You can recover and get back on track if you take the necessary steps and actions. Overspending is often a learned behavior. And just like other habits, you can break and build new ones. The real secret to financial success is to spend within your means and learn to recover successfully once you overspend.

1. Assess the financial damage…fast

If you have overspent, it means you have spent more than you earned. If a budget is overspent the first thing to do is investigate the reasons for the overspend. The only you can quickly recover from a financial problem is to know exactly how much you spent and where the money came from. List every source of borrowed money and how much you overspent.

Did you use a credit card? And how much interest do you have to pay? What did you buy? Do you actually need everything you bought in the last few months? Are you still overspending today? The details of your past and current spending habit can help you make better financial decisions in the future.

2. Start cutting back as soon as possible

One of the best ways to avoid the debt trap is to cut back immediately. Financial recovery is a process. It takes time. It’s not impossible. The best decision you can take right now is to plan to stop spending and make prudent choices right now. Learn from your mistakes. If you have to buy an item, look for a bargain.

Stop treating your friends and family if you don’t have the means to do it. Look for ways to save. Skip paid entertainment and opt for board game nights or free concerts. Downsize an important, not necessary category, such as cable tv, expensive groceries, etc., and live on less.

3. Find other sources of income to pay off your debt

The good news is, you can make up for the overspending. You can sell off everything you don’t need. It doesn’t matter how much you earn. Every cent counts. Take stock of your old stuff and sell things you haven’t used in years or don’t intend to use in the future. Find both big and small items you can sell and list them on eBay or Craiglist. It takes 5-10 minutes to list something on eBay. If an item doesn’t sell in three weeks, you can relist.

4. Start a side business

Sometimes getting a part-time job or side hustle is the only way to get your feet back underneath you.

Identify alternative sources of income/funds that could be used to cover the overspend. Expenditure should then be transferred to the alternate source(s) to fix the over-spend. You could take on a freelance job.

“Perhaps you can ask your employer for overtime opportunities. Even something like renting out your home, or car, can produce a good amount of extra income” says Check Into Cash, a payday loans Lexington company.

5. Make planning a priority – know what you need and want

Don’t go out shopping without a plan. Not knowing exactly what you need is the most common reason you overspend. A quick run to the grocery store turns into a big bag of “nice-to-haves” every single time I let my mind estimate what my pantry needs.

Plan as many of your purchases as possible. Planning your weekly menu really helps with grocery shopping. Set a financial limit on other purchases. Without a budget or an upper limit, you are likely to overspend. Recovering from overspending can be tough, but it’s possible. Get hold of your finances, again. The future is in your hands. You alone can take the necessary action to lead a debt free life.