While making a budget, you may uncover some unwelcome truths about your financial situation. Luckily, the skills you learned for conquering mental obstacles that keep you financially stressed out will serve you well when it comes to meeting the challenges that budgeting can present. When your budget shows you that you have more month than money, the solution is to cut expenses.
With the right attitude, cutting expenses can actually be fun. Make a game of it. Encourage little Robby to earn his own scout dues by mowing lawns. Allow teenager Janie her own smartphone -- if she gets a Saturday job to cover the bill. Divide up the grocery list and have the family split up to see who can find the biggest bargain. (Winner gets to enjoy Dad humiliate himself by breaking into a rousing chorus of "King of the Road" in the checkout line.)
There are also free online resources to help you save; we'll talk more about those later. With a little ingenuity and a hopeful attitude, you can and will successfully cut your expenses, leaving you with more money at the end of the month to devote to other financial planning basics. We talk about eliminating debt next.