AAAH! It can be frustrating and disappointing AF when something you really need (or want) is out of your budget. However, there are several steps you can take to help you deal with this situation and find a solution that works for you.
How to Hande it When Something is Out of Budget
Take a step back and evaluate your budget
Look at your income and expenses and see if there are any areas where you can cut back in order to free up some extra money. Maybe you can cancel a subscription service, or cut down on eating out. Every little bit helps. This is especially easy to do when you use a budgeting app (I use YNAB).
Consider alternative options
Is there a cheaper version of the item you need? Can you rent it instead of buying it outright? Could you borrow it from someone or trade something you have for it?
Think on whether you really need it at all
If you hang back for a week, will you still want it? Do you really, truly, absolutely need it? Can you do without or compromise somehow?
Look for discounts or sales to bring it from out-of-budget to in the budget
If it’s just slightly out of your budget, keep an eye out for sales or coupons that could bring the price down to a more manageable level. Signing up for newsletters or following your favorite stores on social media can help you stay informed about deals and discounts. You can also use browser extensions at online stores like Honey and Rakuten, which can automatically apply coupon codes plus get you cash back.
Save up for it
If what you need is something you’ll use frequently or for a long time, it may be worth it to save up for it over time. This may require some patience, but it can be a good way to make sure you can afford the item without going into debt.
Reconfigure your budget
If it’s not a one-time purchase, you’ll have to reconfigure your budget long-term to fit the expense, either by looking for ways to make more money or cutting other expenses.
Consider financing options
If you don’t have the money upfront, you may be able to finance the item through a credit card or a personal loan. Just be sure to read the fine print and understand the terms before committing to any financing option. This should be a last resort unless we’re talking about a house or a car and, even then, you should take steps to ensure you get the best financing deal possible. Don’t just take the first offer; do lots of research beforehand.
Ask for help
If you’re really struggling to afford something you need, it may be worth it to reach out to friends or family members for help. You could also look into charities or assistance programs in your community that may be able to provide financial assistance.
Summing It Up
Dealing with a tight budget can be difficult, but it’s important to remember that there are usually options available. By taking the time to evaluate your budget, considering alternative options, and looking for discounts or financing options, you can find a solution that works for you.
But the absolute worst thing you can do is ignore the problem by financing the purchase with high-interest debt or by depleting your savings. This will only make you poorer in the long run!
To round things out, here’s a YouTube video on dealing with unexpected expenses: