1. Keep it simple! - Break down your proposed budget into broad categories and attempt to not exceed predefined percentages per category. Those percentages vary from person to person, but I will give examples.
- Housing should not exceed 20-30% of net income.
-Donations/gift giving 5-10%
-Transportation (car payments, gas) 10-15%
-Debt 10-15% (you want this number as low as possible!)
When creating budget make sure totals do not exceed 100%.
2. Remember spreadsheets are your friend! Making a budget on a program like Microsoft excel is quite simple. They have templates already built which allow you to play around and see where there is room to improve. Creating a budget by hand is alright, but how easy is it to lose a piece of paper? Also, you can only erase so much before it becomes illegible, these problems don't exist on the computer.
3. Make saving automatic - If this list was in order this would be number 1! The primary reasons people do not save enough is they put it as an afterthought! If it helps to save, label it as a "bill" and include it in your budget. Those who say, "I will put what's left over," never have anything left over! In the economic climate we live in, most don't have any money left over, and if they do I am sure a way to spend it will pop up.