Creating a Budget

When you create a budget, you plan how much you want to spend for each need so that the total you spend is equal to or less than your income.

The first item, at the top of your expenses list, should be savings.

Use what you are spending now as your starting point, compared to your income.

If you have to reduce your spending to match your income, try to cut in each category where you have some flexibility. Long term, you may want to move to a less expensive place or make another major cost-reducing move.

Use the budget calculator to plan the way you'd like to be spending.

If you want a more detailed computer-based program, try QuickBooks®, Microsoft Money®, or a free budgeting tool that's available through your online bank account, if your bank offers one.
Check your bank's web site or your online banking web pages for FREE calculators or budgeting tools. These may work interactively with your overall savings or checking account balances and show you your expenses vs. your savings.