Everyone begins at the beginning: setting up a plan for deciding in advance where and how to spend income and deciding how to use any excess for the benefit of self and family. The first step in the process is to keep track of every penny spent for a brief period – usually one month. Next, choose what changes, if any, to make in future months. Keeping track can be done through a bank account, with a special financial planning software, or a handwritten journal. Once it is clear that a preferred pattern of spending and accumulation is in place it’s time to make it official with a system that will guide you in the future. Your system can be as simple as using the envelope plan, a journal, assigning a category for every expense through your bank account, or use of financial planning software.