This is the most crucial step in the process. Having a budget provides an understanding of what is coming in and what is going out. By doing this we can establish what surplus we have each month. To help with this we have developed a budget planning spreadsheet.
However, if there is a deficit there may be ways to reduce outgoings, to try and turn it into a surplus. For example, if debt is the issue then there are repayment plans that can be put in place to reduce it, or if it is simply that expenditure is higher than income the question is how to reduce the outgoings.
Only once the books are in order can we consider the goals.