Make a BudgetThere is one thing more painful than learning from mistakes (our own or somebody else's):  Not learning from them. - Barbara Johnson
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Make a Budget

See a sample budget worksheet.

Here's a sample worksheet you can use to make your budget.

MAKING A BUDGET – EXAMPLE WORKSHEET

BUDGET   ACTUAL   DIFFERENCE   CATEGORY
            ESTIMATED INCOME:
            Wages and Bonuses
            Interest Income
            Investment Income
            Other Income
            Estimated Total Income
             
            ESTIMATED EXPENSES:
            Essentials
            Mortgage / Rent Payment
            Car Payments
            Transportation Costs (bus, train, gas for car, etc.)
            Car Maintenance Costs
            Groceries
            Health & Medical (copays, prescriptions, etc.)
            Telephone
            Utilities (Gas, Electric, Water)
            Healthcare
            Home Maintenance Costs
            Insurance Payments
            Child Support / Alimony Payments
            Education Costs
            Other Payments
             
            Discretionary
            Internet, Cable TV, Satellite, Tivo Service
            Cell Phone, Pager
            Entertainment (movies, dining out, etc.)
            Vacation
            Gifts
            Other
            Estimated Expense Total
            You may have all or only some of the expenses listed above. If you have additional "essential" items that are not listed above, add them up and put them under "Other Payment". For those items that are paid once per year, divide the total cost by 12.
             
            INCOME minus EXPENSES equals Surplus or Shortage

Because changes happen frequently, review your budget periodically.

Keep on top of things so you always know where you stand.

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