A budget is your guild to help manage your money and to take control of your finances. Get in control of your money and have your money start working for you.
It’s not important how you create your budget, just that you create the budget. Some people keep track of their budgets using a notebook, or maybe use paper that has columns to help you keep things more organized. You can even use pre-printed budget forms that has a sheet for each month and already have rows showing standard monthly expense items. What you use is entirely up to you, as long as you create a budget. I personally like using a spreadsheet and setup a tab for each month. It makes things much easier to change and if you have some basic spreadsheet skills, you can have the spreadsheet do the math for you.
Once you have control of your income and eliminate all your debt, you now need to start building wealth. Invest 15% or your income into a retirement account. A Roth IRA is an excellent investment for after tax dollar investments. With a Roth account you will not have to pay any taxes on the money you withdraw after your have reached retirement age. If your not familiar with this type of retirement account, start doing your research.
I won’t go into detail, but with the right investment strategy you could have an early and wealthy retirement. For example, if a person starts out at the age of 20 and invest only $2,000 per year, that person can retire early with over a million dollars in the bank. If you are getting a later start in life and begin at the age of 40, you can still invest $5,000 per year into a Roth IRA and retire wealthy with a tax-free retirement income.