Budgeting isn’t fun. There’s no way around it. But budgeting is something that we do need to undertake in order to gain financial awareness and, ultimately, control both spending and saving. The process of making a budget can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be, but you’ll want to record overall monthly inflows- take-home pay as well as other income sources- and outflows- amounts spent- at a minimum… “The key to budgeting success is using a system that works for you. It can be a ‘paper and pencil’ worksheet such as our Rutgers Cooperative Extension worksheet or an Excel spreadsheet or a phone app. The tool that is used is not as important as its consistent use. Spending plans (budgets) provide ‘guard rails’ for your spending,” said Barbara O’Neill, Distinguished Professor and Extension Specialist in Financial Resource Management at Rutgers University Cooperative Extension… Budgeting is a core skill in personal finance. If people don’t manage their cash flow wisely, it is unlikely that they can proceed to other financial milestones such as saving for retirement.