List your expenses starting with the most important to the least important. Listing the expenses in order makes it easier to make cuts in your budget if needed. The most important should be things that cover your necessities. You will need to cover your housing, food, utilities (not including cable television), transportation costs, debt payments, and savings goals first. Then you will list luxury items which can include clothing, entertainment, eating out and gym memberships.
Next list all your variable expenses_those that may change from month to month such as groceries, gas and entertainment. This is an area where you might find opportunities to cut back. Credit card and bank statements are a good place to start since they often itemize or categorize your monthly expenditures. Tip: Record your daily spending with anything that’s handy_a pen and paper, an app or your smartphone.