When I was growing up, my mother would take out a spiral notebook a few times each month along with a number of envelopes and her check book. My mom was always very good at having a strick budget and paying her bills on time. The notebook was kind of her ledger and each page was titled with the month and a column for each bill such as electric, water and Sears. My mother passed this idea on to me when I was first out on my own and even gave me my first notebook. Now you need to remember this was well before the time of online programs and iphone apps. I used mom's idea for a few years which kept me on track to pay my bills on time and to actually save and have some money left over. My mother instilled in me the importance of money and the importance to have some sort of a budget to follow. Now with automatic bank withdraws and either e-mail or app reminders I am still following a budget thanks to my mom.