What is a Zero-Based Budget?

finance Oct 13, 2021

 Simply Put:

Monthly Income – Monthly Expenses - Monthly Savings = ZERO

This is how we have more money at the end of the month than month at the end of the money!

Simply stated this is...

Having a plan for EVERY penny that comes in... and tracking every penny that goes out!


  • Easy way to track every dollar spent
  • Allows you to see your ENTIRE financial picture and make adjustments (cut spending, save more, etc.), as necessary.
  • Allows you to treat yourself guilt-free!


  • The zero-based budget is not a set-it-and-forget-it type of strategy. This is something that needs to be updated each month.
  • Hard for irregular or seasonal income
  • You have to know your numbers which may take some time

Here is my 5 STEP process to building a budget...

  1. Income (use your most consistent income)
  2. Subtract:

• Fixed Expenses: monthly expenses that do not change

• Expenses: estimate based on your average spending the past 3 months

• All Debt Payments

• Sinking Funds: % of savings for future expenses

  1.  Make sure it equals zero!

• If total is negative, reduce your expenses.. start with reducing variable expenses and getting rid of any unnecessary fixed expenses.

• If total is positive, put any extra towards debt or throw it in savings (if you are out of debt).

  1. Break up your expenses (by due date) and spread them over however many paychecks you get! Make sure it equal zero!

  2. Track spending DAILY & close out each paycheck to zero each month (divvy out excess the same as step 3)!

Some people feel restricted by the idea of the budget.. but, honestly, we didn’t really start living until we got a handle on our money!

Life is SO much better when YOU tell your money where to go vs. being told where your money is going! & for most people, it will feel like you got a pay raise!


Need help creating your budget or a debt repayment plan that will work for you?

If you are needing support/accountability on this journey, I have so many ways I can help you...

Budget Worksheet - you not only get the worksheet but you get the videos that help you fill it out;

Optimize Your Money - financial accountability group that includes a monthly live

training, separate live Q&A to answer your specific questions and weekly 30 minute work sessions to keep you tracking!

Or, I provide a complimentary 20 minute consult to see if one on one coaching is a good fit for you!

If you aren’t sure what you need, snag a free consult, let's chat!


Are you ready to get your financial life together?!

Enter your email below to be the first to know when my budget worksheet is available (& when my complimentary in person and virtual workshops are happening).

P.S - When you enter your email below, you are agreeing to receive a series of emails giving you information about the budget worksheet & related workshops.