There is a variety of budgeting software available online, some of which is free. But in today’s modern family, the best way to construct your budget is to simply look at the things you purchase or pay for with checks and charge cards. It’s not the best way to begin creating a budget, but for many it’s the best place to start. Most budgetary items are monthly, some quarterly and others semi-annually. Most income is bi-monthly, so the goal is to split your monthly expenses evenly between the first and latter half of the month.  Hopefully this will create less pressure on your cash flow. Many graduates from high school and college are shell shocked when they receive their first paycheck and notice their net proceeds are far less than they anticipated, so a budget is determinate on the net proceeds not the gross. You may want to consider increasing your exemptions to a point that you have no refund, but you do have increased cash flow. There are basically three budget categories: Essentials, Savings, and Discretionary. Essentials Expenses are the obligations of life: housing, utilities, food, medical, transportation, clothing and basic education costs from kindergarten to senior year in   Read more…