Most people don’t budget because they think it’s too hard. Let’s just say it is hard (which it isn’t), wouldn’t it be worth it if it means you’re living within your means and not stressing out about money every day/week/month all the time? I’m going to give you a short, simple budgeting method you can use.  You don’t need a spreadsheet software. All you need is a pencil (in case you need to erase), piece of paper, and calculator (you can even use the one of your computer).

Fold the paper in half.

On one half, write down your monthly income. This includes wages (after taxes), child support, alimony, money from hobbies, whatever you bring into your home each month. Add it all together and label that number Total Income.

On the other half, write down your expenses. Include everything you must pay for during the month – rent/mortgage, utilities, food, transportation, day care, child support, alimony, etc.  Add those up.  If you have money left over, allocate most of it to savings, then entertainment, clothing, and hobbies.  It’s ok to use your money leisurely when you have enough of it.  Finally, add together all your expenses and label it Total Expenses.  Your total expenses should equal your total income.

There you have it.  Your simple budget.