14 If you have an income and expenses, it's a good idea to create a budget. Many people are uncertain as to how much they spend, what they can af- ford, how much they earn, and what they owe. They spend more than they can afford, and then wonder how they’re going to pay off all of their debt. The first step in avoiding this situation is to create and maintain a budget. Creating a Budget First select a tool To create a budget, you need a way to track your income (money coming in) and expenses (money you spend). You can go old school and create a simple pen and paper entry system, or use an online spreadsheet such as Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets. Budgeting apps are a popular option among young adults, and there are dozens of them (e.g., Monefy, Mint, Money Lover, Goodbudget). These tools offer convenience. Every time you make a purchase, with- draw cash, or deposit a check, you simply enter it on your app. Select a time period Some people organize their budget by the month (or six months); others prefer to create a weekly budget. Select the time period that works best for you. A budget is a plan A budget is simply a plan used to decide the amount of money that canbespent—andhowitwillbespent.Abudgetinvolvesmanaging your money by tracking your income and your spending, and living within your means.