Now that you have made the decision to budget you should put your money to work.
I mean REALLY work.
Every dollar should have a specific function whether it be to
* pay bills
* have fun
* build savings
This is also known as the zero based budget and it means that once you total the income and the ‘expenses’ the difference between them should be zero.
It is a good idea to put in your savings as a bill because then you feel more inclined to actually put money in savings if it is treated like a bill. I have ING transfer a small amount to my savings accounts and since savings are a ‘bill’ this gets ‘paid’ on a regular schedule like the rest of my bills.
This might be hard at first and you may end up with some overages so you simply put the overage as an expense as well and then you end up with a zero when you are done.
Every month my overage is transferred to a sub account in ING that is reserved for overages and coupons and it grows interest. My checking account is reset to zero and the zero based budget begins again.
This method allows me to live within my means because I have the discipline to not dip into the overage amount. I realize that this might not work for everyone, but I think that over time you can train yourself to treat the money as gone so that way you do not touch it.