Step 4: Make a plan. Use the variable and fixed expenses you compiled to help you get a sense of what you’ll spend in the coming months. With your fixed expenses, you can predict fairly accurately how much you’ll have to budget for. Use your past spending habits as a guide when trying to predict your variable expenses.
You might spend more on "wants" than you think. A threadbare minimum of warm clothing is a need. Anything beyond that, such as shopping for clothes at the mall rather than at a discount outlet, qualifies as a want. Yes, the rules are tricky, but if you think about it, they make sense.