In some ways, your "Battle of the Budget" does have some parallels to real war. You have tactical decisions to make, and some strategic ones, too. And when it comes to dealing with debt, your weapons can range from "small arms" like keeping a budget to "the nuclear option" of personal bankruptcy.
If you put yourself in the role of commander of your fiscal forces, you will soon realize that not every difficulty you encounter will require a nuclear response. In fact, in the context of debt bankruptcy can have "fallout" effects that can linger on long after the discharge of your debts in a Chapter 7 or the creation of a payment plan under a Chapter 13. Your credit rating may suffer a serious hit, and it may be difficult not only to borrow money again but also to find employment or new housing. To avoid such unintended consequences, you will want to learn how to use tactics and strategies that can solve financial problems while minimizing the collateral damage to yourself.
There are many ways to avoid getting into overwhelming debt, most of which involve being aware of what you are doing with the money that you have available. They range from creating a budget to living on a cash basis to shopping around for the best interest rates, but they all have in common the need for you to know at all times what you are doing with your money.
An experienced bankruptcy attorney may be able to help you to go over your choices if you are in over your head financially, and may be able to help you to find ways short of a petition in bankruptcy to manage and even reduce your debts. Or, an attorney can help you to choose the best bankruptcy option if lesser means are not a practical solution for your circumstances.