Some people find budgeting a bit daunting, but just remember: you have choices. They might not be easy or fun or even good choices, but they're choices and they're yours to make. Today you can choose to get your financial house in order.
I always say the best place to start is with your goals. It's one thing to know you want to “save money”, but it's very different to know why you're saving money. Keeping your goals in mind provides motivation and allows you to see concrete progress. You probably have some goals in mind already, and that's why you're here. Some goals I often hear are buying a house, taking a trip overseas, paying off debt, having children, exercising more, giving more money to charity, not living paycheck-to-paycheck anymore, paying for a wedding, buying a car, and retiring at a certain age. These are other people's goals. What are yours? List them all out, then choose 2-5 to focus on first. (Hint: if you have debt other than a mortgage, paying that off should be one of your first priorities.)
After you set your goals, the next step is to figure out where you stand now financially. You know where you want to go, so first you have to determine where you are. Download this worksheet into Excel as a starting point. (There are instructions on the first tab, then use the second tab to figure out what you own and owe, and use the third tab to figure out what you earn and spend.) Add in more categories that apply to you. Figure out exactly how much you have and how much you owe.
Now that you know what you have and what you want to have, the question is, how do you get from one place to the other? If you want to pay down debt or increase your savings, the answer is simple: you have to spend less than you earn and save the difference. There are two ways to do it: spend less or save more.