Start by identifying all sources of income, including your salary, freelance work, side gigs, or investment returns. Make a comprehensive list of these income streams and calculate the total amount you earn each month.
Use personal finance apps or spreadsheets to simplify the process. A few of my favorite apps to track your expenses include Personal Capital, Fina, and Mint. This exercise will help you identify areas to cut back or adjust.
Identify short-term goals, such as paying off credit card debt or building an emergency fund, and long-term goals, like saving for a down payment on a house or retirement. Assign specific timelines and monetary values to each goal.
This will give you a sense of direction and motivation to stick to your first budget.
Remember to prioritize your goals based on their importance and feasibility within your current financial situation.