If you can't balance your budget then you'll soon be starting a new City as the game will just stop!
There are a few major considerations to help you along the way to being a successful Chancellor of your City:
1) Don't Overspend on Expensive Services
We'd all love to add the best services to our City and pimp it up as soon as possible but these great services such as a Hospital, University, Large Fire Station, Street Cars, all come with high daily running costs, if your hourly budget meter is always in the red then it's only going to be a matter of time before you are forced to raise taxes and enter a vicous circle of high taxes, abandoned buildings and emigrating sims
2) Keep one bond available for emergencies
Something always seems to crop up in this game, whether it's a meteor shower, an outbreak of HazMat Fires, your Power Station needing an upgrade or a plethora of other things. So with this mind it's always good to keep one bond back for a rainy day when you are down to your last simolean it's always good to be able to bust out the final bond to install that emergency requirement. Of course you don't always have to keep one bond back (when you are running a high surplus for example), but in lean times it's a good thing to be able to call on.
3) Don't tax too high
May sem like a good way to get extra cash but if you leave your taxes too high for too long you'll soon see an exodus of Sims, industry and commerce from your City, leaving abandoned buildings and taking their taxes with them. Find a nice balance of taxes around 9 or 10% is usually acceptable, however if you have the Finance Department at City Hall available to you in your region you can tax your sims according to their wealth level.
Once you've got your recycling center and trading depot set up you are good to start reaping the rewards of trading your recycled trash, this brings a very welcome buck or two to your City on a regular basis, and is especially handy when you are running am hourly budget deficit.
Success in the City! Money is rolling in
The image above shows how we roll in the good time. This is the same City that we began with in the Introduction - the one where we borrowed about 300,000 Simoleans to set up power, water and Avenues everywhere. You can see from the chart there are no bonds (these have all been paid back early), and there are no great budgetary expenses. The Mass Transit program has no Street Cars yet, and the bus service is adequate for the size of the City as are the other social services. We've also managed to keep tax at 9% to encourage faster growth. At this stage it is easy to think spend spend spend, but before you know it you've purchased a ton of services with high hourly cost requirments and you are close to running an hourly deficit - So even in the good times, remember to be prudent.