Learn to Reduce Spending. Developing your budget will help you spot areas where you're spending more than you realized. But the next step is more difficult: cutting your spending on unnecessary items. This will require some soul_searching on items both large and small. For example, do you really need a ŭ coffee every morning? (Some will say yes, while for others the answer is no.) Could you make do with a smaller, older car? Instead of an expensive vacation this summer, could you try a "stay_cation," where you stay home (much cheaper) and relax there? All these choices are very personal and many factors come into play, so there's no right answer for most of them. But laying them out will help you prioritize your spending, and that will help you spot places where you can save money.
Step One: Calculate Your After_Tax Income. Your after_tax income is what remains of your paycheck after taxes are taken out, such as state tax, local tax, income tax, Medicare, and Social Security. If you're an employee with a steady paycheck, your after_tax income should be easy to figure out. Look at your paystubs. If health care, retirement contributions, or any other deductions are taken out of your paycheck, add them back in.