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.
You will first complete the "Monthy Budget Amount" column to the best of your ability for the next month. These should be your best, informed estimates. Should a certain category not apply to you, you can simply leave it blank or enter a zero Ɔ' in the box. Over the course of the month, track your income and spending. At the end of the month, complete the "Monthly Actual Amount" column and compare it to your original estimates. Did you overestimate how much you'd spend on clothing, but underestimate the amount you'd spend eating out? Record the difference. Though you do not need to go through this exercise every month, it is extremely helpful at the start as it helps you to develop the most accurate monthly budget to reference moving forward.