Budgets are not fun or glamourous, which makes it difficult for some people to want to make and follow one. But having a budget is essential for any adult with an income who wants to be in control of their finances. The following tips will help beginners start a budget going that they’ll actually be able to stick to.

1. Get an overview of your current finances

The first thing you’ll need to do before you start your budget is to take a look at how you’re doing currently to see where you’re money is going. You might be surprised at how much you’re spending on certain things that you don’t really care about, or how little you really spend on something that you thought was eating up half of your paycheck.

Once you start to get an idea about what’s going on with your finances, it’s much easier to know what adjustments need to be made in certain areas.

2. Set a reasonable savings goal

When first creating your budget, it’s tempting to want to be as thrifty as possible to save as much money as you can. However, as great as that sounds on paper, it’s not necessarily the best way to start out.

As Karlo Klansan from Yield Financial Planning, points out, “The key with this is setting a goal that is not too hard, otherwise you might find yourself being tempted to just give up altogether. A realistic goal should mean you need to restrain yourself at times but at the same time not sacrifice too much.”

3. Pay attention to what you’re spending

It sounds simple enough, but we often forget to watch what we’re spending on small things throughout the week. Once you’ve created your budget, the easiest way to actually stick to it is to keep track of your daily purchases so that when the end of the month comes, you’re not shocked that you spent $200 dollars on coffee when you only planned to spend $75. The small purchases can add up quickly, so pay attention to your spending habits.

4. Don’t spend more than you make

This tip seems like it should be common sense, but it’s surprising just how many people don’t follow this basic guideline for financial success. The temptation to rely on credit cards for purchases that can’t be made with a debit card or cash is real, but giving in to that temptation only leads to temporary satisfaction followed by plenty of stress.

Overall, remember that it’s much easier to go without a few luxuries than it is to be in any amount of debt. So create a reasonable budget and stick to it.