When Your Expenses are Greater Than Your Income | How To Fix It

Monday, November 12, 2018

How To Fix Your Expenses Being Greater Than Your Income

You're desperately staring at your budget , showing a very BIG negative number when it comes to your income MINUS your expenses. 

You feel overwhelmed and hopeless. You're already taking action to save money and curb your spending, how can you possibly do more?

You are not alone, and there are many ways you can fix this situation.  Sometimes you just don't know where to start.

And today, I'm giving you plenty of places to start.

When your expenses are greater than your income, you generally have two choices.  You can boost your income or you can reduce your expenses.  Since most people roll their eyes at having to take on a side gig, today I'm going to focus on ways to reduce your expenses.
A budget spreadsheet used to adjust expenses so that income is higher than expenses.

So grab your budget (if you don't have one, click here to get your free template by email), and get ready to brainstorm. 

  • You don't have to become a hermit, but you should limit how much you spend every month on "fun things". 
  • Resist the urge to splurge on hobbies.
  • Dine out half as often as you currently do.
  • Spend less on coffee and breakfast in the morning on the way to work by making your own at home and bringing it with you.
  • Try to cut back on salon visits when you can.
  • Try an at-home mani/pedi in between salon visits.
  • For holidays, ask friends and family for gift certificates so you don't have to spend your own money on these regular services.
  • Check out consignment shops and clearance racks.
  • Ask for gift cards to your favorite places for the holidays.
Kids Fun
  • Cut back on the paid events your kids attend.  Look for free or cheap admissions.
  • Determine if every extracurricular activity or club is necessary for your kids.
Kids Clothing
  • Check out thrift stores, consignment stores, and clearance racks.  Remember, just because clothing is available at a thrift shop doesn't mean there's anything wrong with it.  Kids just grow REALLY fast!
  • Ask relatives to purchase clothing or gift cards for clothing at certain holidays in lieu of toys.
FREE Printable menu planner for each week can help save you money on groceries

  • Stick to a grocery list and avoid impulse buys at the check out line and on end caps. 
  • Meal planning your family dinners is a great way to start! Check out my FREE menu planner template and my 30 dinner ideas.  Planning your dinners out and then purchasing only the ingredients you need will help you stay within your grocery budget and even reduce the amount you spend each week!
  • Be mindful of how much of your utilities you use.  Take shorter showers and adjust your thermostat even by a degree or two to see a difference in cost. 
  • Evaluate your current cell phone plan to see how much of your minutes and data you actually use.  Don't hesitate to reduce your plan.
  • Do you need all of your subscriptions like Hulu and Netflix? Any you don't use, get rid of!
  • Many of us have prescriptions automatically filled each month, but do you really need them all? And do you need them that often?
  • Can you choose generic over the counter medicine brands instead of the brand names? You'd be surprised how much you can save.
  • Keep your pets healthy to avoid emergencies.  Attend yearly exams so you can catch any major health problems early.

  • Choose a high quality pet food.  Buy in bulk as well.
  • If grooming is a big expense in your household, consider bathing or cutting nails yourself every other month (if you're able to).

  • Try to cut expenses wherever you can within reason by shopping around for the best deals on things like office supplies and business cards.
  • Evaluate your hosting fees and monthly subscriptions. If you don't utilize them all, get rid of them!  

  • Keep up with your regular car maintenance like oil changes and checking tire pressure.
  • Wash your car at home instead of going to the car wash every week.
Whenever you find a way to reduce your expenses in a certain category of your budget, you can alter the amount you plan to put aside for it and watch your previously negative number get a little closer to the positive side!

Free Budget Template Spreadsheet

You can also get my FREE finance spreadsheets here.
And check out my Facebook group, Fixing Your Finances, for weekly challenges, encouragement and support, and free resources!

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How To Fix Your Expenses Being Greater Than Your Income

Now do you feel a little bit more in control of ways to reduce your expenses?  With a little brainstorming, you can come up with some great ideas and start seeing the results in just weeks!

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  1. I just wrote a post like this on Friday!!! It's amazing how much you can save when you really put your mind to it and know where your money is going!

    1. Once you hold yourself accountable, it makes a huge difference because you're finally aware of your habits.

  2. I do a lot of these. I love shopping the clearance racks.


  3. I think meal planning is such a big one. When I meal plan I save a ton of money. I also try to cut my shopping WAY back too. Great tips!



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