Create a spreadsheet that includes:
- Income sources
- Insurance and taxes
- Loans including mortgage
- Grooming & Personal expenses
- Variable expenses (usually these are the things that are in your control like groceries, entertainment etc.
Adopt a budgeting method with priorities.
- After taking care of monthly expenses, balance what's left at the end of the month between
- an emergency fund - you should save at least 3-6 months of worth of your monthly obligations. This is in the event of a catastrophic loss (job loss or sickness), you have enough money to get buy until you get back on your feet again.
- paying off debt over and above normal monthly payments that you're already paying towards debt. Any amounts paid over and above go directly to the principle and will save you a lot of interest in the long run.
- a contingency fund towards future expected expenses so that when the bill comes in you've got the money set aside - in the Dave Ramsay world, this is called "Sinking Funds". Some examples would be:
- major appliance replacement
- computer etc.