My advice (not that I am any expert) but I have read allot of articles on this topic, you can create an effective budget by doing 3 keys things.
1) Write out the bills you have to pay (for example: Tithes, Electric, Water, Rent, Car Insurance, Car- payment and Cell phone. If you are behind on anything write that out also. Next write out the dates the bills are due, your paydays, the amount you should get paid and then start playing the scheduling game. Don't get discouraged if you don't have enough. Make partial payments. Most companies are willing to work with you (even if you are a repeat caller)
2) Estimate how much you should spend on gas and food. (A very helpful tip is to plan your grocery list for 2 weeks or a month and estimate the cost of each item) Only take that amount with you to the grocery store. (leave the checks and debit card at home)
3)Don't make your life harder then it should be. If you can't afford to pay (the un-necessities for example: A pay advance place) call the company and make an arrangement. Tell them what you can pay and if you can't pay anything then you can't. My motto is not to commit to an amount, that way if I can only afford to pay 10.00 then that is what I pay. There job is to collect-Don't take it personal!