There’s a few ways to budget. Here they are:
Using a Spreadsheet and some envelopes.
Here is a sample spreadsheet. Save a copy to your computer, go through it, go through the notes. Essentially, at the beginning of the month you enter the values you want to spend, and then keep that amount of money in the envelopes. When you go shopping, use the appropriate envelope and get a receipt. Then put the receipt in the envelope to add to the spreadsheet later.
This is very “low tech”, but it does give us a visceral feel of our money leaving our hands. If you have a lot of problems holding on to money, you could start here.
How much to allocate? Simply enter how much you make and see the sample amounts on the “percentage based” section. You don’t have to use those amounts. Feel free to change them, but that is typically the recommended amounts for a “healthy” budget according to Dave Ramsey, one of America’s leading personal finance experts.
Using a Budgeting Program
There are several programs that can help you set up a budget. YNAB (You need a budget – $60 after 30 day free trial) is the one I use. You can also use Mint.com (free), Dave Ramsey’s own Gazelle ($9.95/month) or Mvelopes (free basic, $9.95/month full version).