The April 15 tax deadline for 2018 has now passed. As many went through their pay stubs, credit card bills and other financial information, the common refrain was disbelief at how much was spent and how little was saved.

There are a variety of reasons why we lose sight of our financial goals, including illness, unexpected travel, unemployment, or simply not enough fiscal restraint. Nevertheless, it is not too late to adopt better financial habits for 2019, so we have provided lists of dos and don’ts of making a workable budget.

The dos

These include:

  • Look at the numbers you crunched for taxes and evaluate the amount of versus the amount of expense. No matter what the balance is, set some personal financial goals for improvement.
  • Prioritize your goals, which can mean paying more into a 401(k) or paying down a mortgage instead of both.
  • Limit your budget projects to just a few months out until you become comfortable with the concepts.

The donts

These include:

  • Do not set that budget in stone because unexpected issues arise and need to be addressed.
  • Do not create a budget that is so strict that you will have great difficulty adhering to it.
  • Do not be surprised if you overlooked or forgot some expense when fashioning a budget.
  • Do not use someone else’s budget because it likely will not work for you.
  • Do not give up if you do not succeed right away.

Bankruptcy can be a viable option

Sometimes it is simply too late for a budget to stabilize your financial foundation. In cases such as these, an experienced bankruptcy attorney can provide guidance on strategies for filing bankruptcy that minimize the impact.