Staffordshire County Council bosses say turning around its finances a prevented a forecast £3.2million overspend.
That was the prediction at the start of the 2018/2019 period.
But the authority has ended the financial year with an underspend of £3.5million on its overall budget.
It will be used towards balancing the books over the next year, with a squeeze on finances leaving the council looking to save £35million over the next 12 months.
Staffordshire County Council’s finance leader Mike Sutherland said: “It is encouraging that over the course of the year we have managed to improve our financial position which is essential as we progress through the current year.
“Like councils up and down the country we are managing the constant increased pressures and continuous demand for both our adult services and children’s services. We therefore introduced spending controls early on across county council operations while ensuring we protected vulnerable people in Staffordshire.
“As a responsible authority we must live within our means. This includes maintaining levels of our reserves to respond to any sudden changes in the economy.
“Of course, we will need to make some difficult decisions in the future to meet the challenges ahead. People can be assured that we will make every pound we spend count for our residents and businesses.”