Step 1: Note your net income. The first step in creating a budget is to identify the amount of money you have coming in. Keep in mind, however, that it's easy to overestimate what you can afford if you think of your total salary as what you have to spend. Remember to subtract your deductions for Social Security, taxes, 401(k) and flexible spending account allocations when creating a budget worksheet. Your final take_home pay is called net income, and that is the number you should use when creating a budget.Tip: If you have a hobby or a talent, you may be able to find a way to supplement your income. Having an extra source of income can also be helpful if you ever lose your job.
Envelope Budget: An envelope budget is a budget where you assign money to each category and deal with cash for several of your expenses. You take the cash out for each month and put the money into different envelopes labeled for the category. When you run out of money in that category, you stop spending. This is a good strategy if you are not good at tracking your expenses. Most people still pay their bills online through their checking account. In order to make this work, you cannot use your debit card for the categories that you have envelopes for.