A budget maps out the money you plan to take in and spend over a period of time -- usually a month. If you're not comfortable with creating a budget all on your own, use an online tool to piece it together. Get all of your bills together as well as information about your income sources, and start crunching those figures until you come up with a plan that works for you.
Create a monthly budget using CNN Money's Ideal Budget tool. Here you can piece together a monthly budget step by step by clicking tabs, including one for income, another for home debt and another for living expenses. Each time you finish inserting your bill amounts, click "Calculate" to add it to your budget sheet at the bottom. It calculates the percentage of your income dedicated to each element of your budget, and when you click "See Full Results" you'll view the entire budget including amounts and percentages.
Enter details about your monthly earnings and expenses into the budget calculator tool at Mapping Your Future. After entering all of your key information the tool displays both your monthly and annual discretionary (extra) income. You can then use this "at-a-glance" information to make informed decisions about your financial expenditures and goals.
Use Mvelopes to create and manage your monthly budget online. This program allows you to list your monthly expenses and income as well as specific transactions you make from your financial accounts. It shows your entire year (12-month view) of paychecks and the various bills you pay each month in a neat spreadsheet format. You can also use this program to determine your updated net worth.
Louise Balle has been writing Web articles since 2004, covering everything from business promotion to topics on beauty. Her work can be found on various websites. She has a small-business background and experience as a layout and graphics designer for Web and book projects.