By now we are fully aware that money does not create happiness. But, lack of money certainly doesn't make us happy either!
Properly managing the income that we do have is absolutely essential if we are to have financial peace of mind and to be able to plan for the future. Failure to do this leads to debt, poor credit, lack of retirement funds and unbelievable amounts of stress. And wouldn't you agree that money problems doesn't create happiness either?
I've posted before about budgeting forms found on Vertex, and the apps Mint, You Need A Budget and Level. However when you are just starting out, nothing beats writing your monthly income and subtracting your monthly expenses on a piece of paper.
There is something about seeing your own writing staring back at you telling you how you're doing financially. I break my client's budgets by pay periods and each one of them have stated how they had no idea they were able to meet their financial goals, save, have fun and be happy all at the same time!
Budgeting takes practice, but if you want any form of financial security, it is not a choice, it is a necessity.