A list of your income and expenses, no matter how complete, is not a spending plan, but is the information you need to create a spending plan. And, a paycheck_by_paycheck spending plan will help ensure the success of, or at least help prevent the failure of your budget.
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.