Ask an expert.
I always recommend to check out Dave Ramsey and his financial advice. Financial Peace University changed our lives in the Clarkson home. We used to overdraft nearly every pay check and had zero savings and a boat load of debt. I won’t lie and tell you that our finances are entirely in order, that we are out of debt or have an incredible savings, because we don’t right now. Even after getting things in order, we made some very human errors and it set us back.
The way Dave sets up his budget is very thorough and detailed, but it is on a monthly timeline and if you don’t get paid monthly, and you don’t get paid a consistent wage, this isn’t as helpful. His monthly budget worksheet is still a great tool to show your where all your expenses are, but as a budget to follow, it’s not practical.
For the first time budgeter.
If this is your first time writing a budget, then you want to start by listing out all of your bills and payments in order by due date. Be sure to include what you spend on groceries, dining out, pocket money and gas money. This will make a great tool for writing your budget.
Now start with your payday. Let’s say you get paid on the 1st and 15th; so you take your bank balance for the 1st and you subtract out all your expenses from the 1st to the 14th. Any money left over should be designated somewhere (to savings, or paying towards debts, or into your pocket).
I revisit my budget every few days to make sure I’m on track and won’t need to be concerned about over-drafting my account.