Finally, take the information you have learned and create a budget for next month using a monthly budget worksheet. On this worksheet, you will fill in your income along with your fixed expenses, fixed variables, occasional expenses, and installments such as credit card payments. After you total up your income and all expenses you will be able to see if you have an excess at the end of the month or if you are short. If you are short, now is the time to cut back on some occasional expenses as well as some fixed variable expenses in order to operate a working monthly budget.
Mint.com _ The guys at Intuit are at it again and have created a wonderful tool for helping individuals and families track their finances. Their unique and highly secure site enables you to keep track of your spending, set up budgets, shows you how you measure up to your budget, gives you suggestions, and has the ability to set up alarms for you on your financial accounts on any suspicious activity. This is a very user friendly site and works very well for budgeting. _ Wesabe Another good tool to look into is called Wesabe. This is another online application that does a lot of what Mint.com does, but they have added a community touch to it. They say that they "believe that one person's good financial decision can be leveraged to an entire community. Experts call this collective intelligence. And we have a whole community of people reaping the rewards of it every day. Find solutions to your money problems... you're not alone in wanting a better financial life." In doing some research I have found most users feel like their user interface is not as friendly as Mint's. Still a good tool. _ Quicken One of the more popular personal finance tools, Quicken has recently become a free online tool to compete with the other free applications online. Quicken has been around for a while and has many useful applications. _ JustThrive.com _ Not as well known, but very good online application to help you with your budgeting needs and it does so much more. Geezeo _ To finish off the list, Geezeo is another new online tool that is free, like all of these suggestions.