Create a Budget
Nobody likes to be on a budget, so it takes a mental flip to view a budget as a positive thing. Think about a budget as freedom instead of something that confines you. "A budget can tell you what you can and cannot do so you have a parameter, but not a rule," Singletary said. Start with a simple ledger that tracks money you bring in, spend and put in your regular savings, emergency and "life happens" funds, and it should equal zero -- no money left over, she said.