Write down what you spent last month. Use Categories like mortgage, food, entertainment, clothing, transportation and savings. Savings is an important category. Is there something you should be spending your money on that you didn't last month, but that you think you should. Already the process begins to uncover things you want to know Write down what you expect to earn next month. If you are on a variable income, it might be helpful to put this in three columns: The minimum you expect, an average of what to expect, and the highest amount you expect to earn. Don't count on the highest number, but it is a great goal setting exercise to strive for that high number on a monthly basis. Write down what you KNOW you will spend next month. Fixed expenses like mortgages, property taxes are known amounts. They are constant every month and don't change. While you can change your rent or mortgage amounts by moving, it is unlikely that you will do this next month. So consider these Fixed expenses.
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.