Money Matters

#MoneyMasterClass Recap-Week 39

Following up on last week’s topic of budgets, Gail gave some advice on what to do if your budget doesn’t balance. Gail also spent part of this week having us evaluate where we are at and also answered some participant questions.

How Much is Enough?

Cutting Expenses

When it comes to budgets they are of no use if they don’t balance. So if it doesn’t balance, that’s when expenses need to be cut. Gail has spent a lot of this year emphasizing what is a need versus a want. When cutting expenses, these are things to look at.

With that determination Gail is talking about, look at where you might be throwing money away.

Do you return your bottles for deposits?
Do you throw away a lot of food left overs?
Do you combine all of your errands into one trip to minimize gas expenses?
Do you pay ATM fees?

These little things aren’t going to conquer tens of thousands of dollars in debt, but as you are paring down your budget, they are worth examining.

Make More Money

If you’ve cut your expenses and you still cannot make the budget balance, it might be time to look at making more money.

This can be done by finding a higher paying job, finding a side hustle or second job, or even asking for a raise if you are due one.

Evaluating Where You’re At

Money Gives You Options

One of the reasons I’m such a big fan of budgets is that they give you options. Being aware and in control of my finances allows me to freely and confidently make choices for my life.


Gail reminded us that she is going to be answering our questions next month and she also got a head start on some of them this week.

You can find the tweet to the last question here, but since it was hard to read as an embedded tweet, I’ve got it typed out for you:

Participant Question
“Is it ever okay to step back and say ‘what I have is enough?’
I have no debt, my emergency fund is full, I have a pension and the budget balances, is it okay to focus on other priorities? Like working part-time to remote school the kids…instead of picking up extra hours? It has no effect on benefits and minimal effect on my pension.”

Gail’s Answer
“Absolutely. This is why a sound financial base is so important: it gives you options. You’ve got your ducks in a row so go ahead and make the changes (adjusting the plan accordingly) to have the life you want.”

That Critical Inner Voice

Some more life advice from Gail to end the week. Being aware of negative self talk is so valuable. That critical inner voice, as Gail calls it, can sabotage and derail our best of plans–financial or otherwise.

How is your budget looking? Have you been able to create a balanced one?

Missed last week? Find it here: Week 38 Recap

New to the Money Master Class? There’s still time to get started!
Check out this Twitter Archive to see all of Gail Vaz-Oxlade’s #MoneyMasterClass tweets from the start.
Find the resources, spreadsheets, and quizzes here: Money Master Class
Check out my weekly recaps to get caught up.
Start here with the Money Master Class Intro and Week One Recap

Check out Gail Vaz Oxlade’s books here:*

Money Rules
Debt Free Forever
CEO of Everything
Money Smart Kids


  • Ellis James Designs

    “Imagine you were moving into a home that could hold half of what you currently have. What would you take with you? What would you give away, sell, donate to charity?”

    Oh, this is a good one. But it seems every time I try to declutter anything in my life my mind always has excuses ready why I should keep it. Trying to be better at this, though!

    • A Sustainably Simple Life

      It is a hard one! There are so many reasons to justify holding onto something. I often have to talk myself through how I can replace or borrow the item if I were to need it again.

What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments!