Quick confession: I made this last week because I knew that I wouldn't feel like putting on makeup/doing anything while I was at the beach. I did kind of go for the beachy wave look though :p
Set a goal for why you want to budget—you won’t stick with anything unless there is a reason for it. So whether it is saving, getting a healthier relationship with money, getting out of debt, or anything else (reasons can run the gamut), you need to have something that puts
Get the big picture of your income and spending habits—You can do this by either going through your bank account and tallying things up, or for a much easier/effective way you can sign up for mint.com, which when linked to your bank accounts will give you a comprehensive view of what you’ve been spending on.
Review expenditures. Each expenditure class from previous months should be placed in one of 4 categories: keep at the current amount, cut, postpone, or get rid of. Note that postpone is really only an option for certain things like: if you are planning on taking a trip soon or making a big purchase. If you look at your monthly expenditures and you’ve been cutting into savings or accumulating debt you need to really consider cutting a lot. You may look at your spending habits and decide that you want to keep all of them and as long as its in your means to do so and you still have room for saving then keep what you want. Even for people who fall into this category, budgeting each month can still be really helpful (see 5 reasons to budget).
With your results from the last step at hand, you can write up your initial monthly budget!