written by | May 13, 2022

What is Budget Surplus - Meaning and Examples

A budget surplus refers to a situation that has revenue higher than expenditure. Income is greater than the expenditure in the same time frame, such as the fiscal year or financial quarter. The federal government will be in a surplus budget if the tax revenues total exceeds the amount of government spending.

Anybody can be a victim of excess in their budget, whether it's a business or a firm, an individual or even the government. A surplus in the budget occurs because the fiscal rules of the Federal Reserve Bank generate more cash than it can spend.

Did You Know?

Consumers will have less money to spend if most of their money is spent on taxes. Reduced spending can harm firms and investments, slowing the economy. Finally, a budget surplus is beneficial in times of high inflation, but it can be harmful if used for an extended period.

Also Read: Zero Based Budgeting Meaning, Process, Advantages, Costing & Examples of ZBB

What is Budget Surplus?

First of all, let’s start with the budget surplus meaning. If income exceeds expenses, we experience a surplus in the budget. People can have "savings" rather than a "budget surplus," hence the term is often used to describe their financial condition. A surplus is a sign that a government is managing its finances efficiently.

It's possible to use a surplus from the budget to make an acquisition, pay off debt, or save future funds. The city's government which has a surplus in its budget could use the money to enhance the city's conditions. The revival of an empty park or the downtown region is a good example.

A budget deficit is when spending exceeds revenue. If there's an imbalance, money is borrowed and interest paid, similar to when someone has to spend more than they earn and has to pay interest on their account balance on a credit card. If income and expenditures are equal, the budget is in balance.

A surplus in the budget is when the government can collect more money than it uses. In other words, it collects more tax than it uses for welfare, education, or defence. We sometimes call it a positive balance in the budget.

Very few countries have an annual surplus in their budgets. Most opt to pursue expansionary policies while operating the risk of running a deficit in their budgets. This results in massive government expenditure to boost the economy but not receiving enough tax revenues to cover the expenses.

According to OCED statistics, most European countries are in budget deficits. They all have a higher expenditure on public programs than they earn through taxes. Germany, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland are the only nations with a budget surplus. On the surface, a surplus in the budget is an attractive thing, and it's just good economics to spend the same amount as you earn. It could, however, be subject to its challenges.

Do you know what budget surplus government options are? Check the following section to learn more.

Budget Surplus Government Options

A budget surplus indicates economic health but not having one does not necessarily mean that the economy is declining. The economy may also be more productive when the government's expenditure exceeds its revenue. This happens in emerging economies where quick infrastructure investment is necessary to stimulate the economy.

When the government has a surplus in its budget, it can reduce taxes or use the extra funds to clear national debts. The debt settlement process can be beneficial for the economy because it decreases costs in the form of interest payments. Additionally, the government could use the money for other purposes, such as launching fresh projects, securing the funds for future needs, or financing infrastructure.

Uses of Achieving Budget Surplus

The usage of budget surplus depends on the person who has a budget Surplus. A budget Surplus can be accumulated through a government, a company or an individual in many ways.

Have a look at the options available to the government if they can achieve a surplus on their budget. The government may reduce its tax burden once it experiences a surplus. Additionally, it may decide to use Surplus to finance and start new programmes.

They may also use Surplus to construct a solid infrastructure for business, and it will enable more foreign companies to enter the nation and encourage economic expansion. In addition, the government can use Surplus to reduce its debt.

When it comes to business, it has different strategies to handle Surplus. Businesses sometimes use Surplus to expand their business operations by investing in ongoing operations or to develop new products for the marketplace. It is also possible to practice business integration by incorporating different business practices in addition to the one they are currently using. Additionally, the business may invest in stocks or pay out excess profits in dividends to the owner. They may pay off business obligations if they exist. You will understand the advantages of a budget surplus in the following section.

Advantages of Budget Surplus

Below are some of the best advantages of a budget surplus. They are:

Greater Adaptability

In times of economic downturn, government agencies often implement measures to boost the economy and bring people back to work. Countries with surpluses in their fiscal balance during good times have more flexibility in stimulus spending in a recession.

If a country is more than its budget, it can use it to help stimulate the economy and possibly reduce the downturn's duration. However, when a nation goes into recession but is already deep in debt, the country will have fewer options to stimulate the economy. All stimulus spending has to be financed in the future, further exacerbating an already bleak economic situation.

Financial Self-Management

A balanced budget or, better yet, having a surplus suggests that the business is fiscally accountable. Lenders are concerned about the health of the business and its ability to manage its resources responsibly. A good reputation for fiscal responsibility and solid financial planning can result in the ability to take out loans at low rates of interest.

A business with good financial health is more attractive to investors, and it can lead to an upswing in the stock's value and the business's worth.

Also Read: Business Budget - Definition, Types & Why Is It Important for a Business

Reduced Interest Rates

If a business or country is always in debt, it is spending lots of money just to pay interest on the amount it owes. Even if the interest rates are low, this can cause issues, and a massive budget gap can be unsustainable if the interest rates go up.

Instead, by reducing debt and running an excess budget, the company could reduce or even eliminate those costly interest payments. This puts the government or the business on a stronger financial footing soon.

Investment Possibilities

If a company has cash in the bank, it can take advantage of a fantastic investment opportunity. It means that the business could buy another business to gain an advantage or purchase stock or other potential investment opportunities.

If the company can't raise additional money, these investment choices are more challenging. Each investment decision adds to the already heavy debt load in this scenario, and it could restrict the company's options.

Disadvantages of Budget Surplus

A surplus in the budget resulting from an unneeded increase in tax burden can be detrimental to the overall economy if tax administration is excessive, the power to spend on the population decreases. This leads to a decline in demand and supply of products.

This can cause a recession as employment growth and wage growth depend on supply and demand. Thus, it is in the government's interest to regularly revise and review its tax policy. 


A surplus in the budget is if a government, business or individual, as a certain amount of money is left after subtracting their stated expenses from their total income or revenues.

Many people could ask, "What is a budget?" A budget is an expenditure plan for a certain sum of cash. Budgets are usually used to break down income into categories for expenditures like food items, rent, use and many more.

What do you think about the economic effects of surplus budgets on the country's economy? Tell us your thoughts in the comment box below.

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Q: What is the biggest disadvantage of a surplus of money?


The biggest disadvantage is lower levels of Investment.

Q: What is the budget surplus’ biggest advantage?


The biggest advantage to a budget surplus is that it provides greater flexibility to the economy during economic crises.

Q: What’s the budget surplus definition?


A budget surplus happens when income exceeds expenditures, and a surplus indicates that a government is effectively managing its finances.

Q: What about budget surplus vs budget deficit?


As we mentioned, in a budget surplus, the income exceeds expenditure, and in a Budget deficit, the exact reverse of that happens.

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