A Guide to Balancing Your Budget

Wednesday, October 6, 2021


By now, most of us have some sort of budget in place.  You know, the kind where you're SUPPOSED to stick to a set amount for certain expenses each month, but somehow you always come out negative and you can't get your sh*t together enough to have any extra money AT ALL left over to go towards debt or savings.  You aren't alone! 

So how do you REALLY balance a budget?  

For this post, I'm assuming you've already got a budget and if you don't, catch up quick and use my free budget spreadsheet template and my guide on how to get on a budget

Remember, the whole goal of a budget is for your number leftover when you subtract your monthly expenses (including savings categories for irregular expenses and estimated grocery costs, etc.)  from your monthly income to be either ZERO or a POSITIVE number.  Honestly, if yours is negative, just focus on getting it to zero right now.   And eventually you will want to work on getting it into a positive number meaning you have money leftover each month for your financial goals. 

So how do you balance a budget that's out of whack? Well... 

Start with Cutting
Cut any expenses you don't need.  Seriously...go through each expense you have each month and really ask yourself if you still need it OR if you can cut it back.   Make a list of every expense you have.   Next to it put a check or an x. And X means it can't be changed (like a sewer bill where you have the same basic fee every month) and a check means you can potentially look into it.  

Next to the items with a check, jot down a few action items to take to see if the expenses can be lowered.  This might be checking to see if there's a lesser plan for a subscription service, if you really need the expense at all, or if you can contact the company to negotiate a lesser rate.  

Take Action
Now you need to actually start trying to get expenses reduced.  
If you are spending way too much on groceries, consider meal planning.  
If you never watch TV, cut your cable bill in half. 
There are so many ways to cut expenses and here are 36 ways to cut spending I came up with!  

Re-Balance Your Budget
Once you've completed the items on your action list, see what your new budget looks like.  If you have a positive number leftover, determine if you want to put it towards debt payments or building up a savings fund.  If you balance out to zero, make sure you already account for savings and debt (if you have any) each month. 

Re-balancing your budget just takes a little thinking, planning, and action but most people are able to reduce their expenses by a little bit each month. 

Does your budget need balanced? 

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