First, track your spending and expenses for the next 30 days. You can begin by recording all your purchases on a weekly expense report worksheet that you fill out each day. Save your receipts from each purchase and then record a description of the purchase, the amount, its category, and how you made the purchase; whether by cash, check, or credit card.
Tip _ Allow Yourself Some Mad Money _ The best tip you can have when creating a monthly budget is to allow some mad money for yourself and spouse in the budget. This is the number one reason most budgets fail and people do not continue using a monthly budget. The resentment of not being able to spend any money makes people frustrated and then they stop tracking their spending all together. If you allow yourself and your spouse even a small amount of money to be spent on anything you wish without having to confer with the other person, your budget will have a much better chance of being successful. If money is tight just allowing a very small amount will help keep the resentment at bay.