If the idea of creating a budget is too overwhelming, start small.
Begin by planning a budget for a special event. It can be an overnight trip, a day at the zoo, a Red Sox game or a day hiking. What ever it is, start by planning out you time. If your event is a day at the zoo, we will need to plan for a day.
First, let's set a goal for what you are able to spend on this day. How much are you able to spend for a day of fun? Be realistic.
Plan out your transportation. How will you travel? A car will need gasoline, a bus or train will need a fare. Plan an amount for that item in your budget. Next we will need to plan for lunch and snacks. Will you buy lunch and bring snacks? Does the zoo allow outside food inside? You will need to find out what your options are here. Maybe you can grab a snack at the zoo and grab some fast food outside the zoo. Do some research and plan that amount in your budget. What is the admission to the zoo? Do they offer reduced rates at certain times? Do children get in free? Plan that as a budget item. Another consideration if you are driving is do they charge for parking. Budget this as well. Lastly, you will need to discuss if you will be purchasing souvenirs or extra shows or events held at the zoo. Budget for this if necessary. This will involve an understanding before you arrive so you are all on the same page and avoid a breakdown on your fun day!
Now review all of the items in your budget. How does it look? Is it more than you originally planned for? If it is just as you had expected, great! If your budget exceeds your original expectation, how will you adjust? Hopefully, you will review your budget and make adjustments to bring it down to your goal.
Congratulations! You have created and managed a budget.