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.
If you don't allow for a certain amount of mad money for you and your spouse soon resentment will start to set in. Each party will get very frustrated about having to stick to such a strict budget and not having any money for fun. Likewise, even if some money is allocated in the budget for fun, one of the partners may get tired of not being able to spend some money how he or she would like. This special money even allows you to save some money for a larger purchase you may want to make. _ Even if money is extremely tight in your monthly budget, it is highly recommend to allow each spouse a small amount of mad money to help make the budget work. Everyone is more willing to save and track their spending if they are allowed a certain amount of mad money to spend how they wish.