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.
Deal with Your Debt. Few people get far in adulthood without accumulating some form of debt: credit cards, student loans, car loans, and mortgage payments are common. In fact, debt can be a good thing (who has the money to buy a house outright?), but the key is to use them wisely. Credit cards and other forms of debt can be an essential part of your financial toolbox, but you must exercise care when using these tools. Understanding the difference between good debt and bad debt will go a long way in making sure you create and maintain a good credit history.