A budget can help you understand your income and expenses, which will help you find ways to save. Start by listing all your income: employment, annuity or other. Then determine your fixed expenses, such as monthly payments on your car loan, cell phone bills or mortgage payments.

Once your fixed expenses are subtracted from your income, what is left is the amount you can use to budget for your various variable expenses – groceries, movies and clothes, for example.

Sort your variable expenses into categories (entertainment, travel, food), then set a monthly budget for each.