Of course, now you must differentiate between which expenses are "needs" and which are "wants." Basically, any payment that you can forgo with only minor inconveniences such as your cable bill or back_to_school clothing is a want. Any payment that would severely impact your quality of life, such as electricity and prescription medicines, is a need.
Step 3: Set your goals. Before you start sifting through the information you’ve tracked, make a list of all the financial goals you want to accomplish in the short_ and long_term. Short_term goals should take no longer than a year to achieve. Long_term goals, such as saving for retirement or your child’s education, may take years to reach. Remember, your goals don’t have to be set in stone, but identifying your priorities before you start planning a budget will help. For example, it may be easier to cut spending if you know your short_term goal is to reduce credit card debt.