This will sound super common-sensical but whenever I mentor one of my clients, this is what we do:
We set up a list of ALL the expenses - yes, also the 50 bucks you put on your sisters's bank account for your nephews.
We then add the numbers and see if they match with your income. They probably don't and like in most cases, your expenses are higher than your income.
So then, let us draw up an action plan. Use the color red for all the expenses that theoretically could be eliminated. I am not saying you will have to renounce to them (yet :)) but let us at least admit which expenses are optional, ok?
Then add them and subtract them from the total of your expenses. Are you expenses still higher than your income?
YES: Well then, the bad news is: for the time being, we will have to get rid of ALL those expenses, BUT: we can find a solution of replacement for each one of them. You have to be creative. Maybe instead of a magazine subscription you get the online version or the old one of a friend? Or you find free online content instead? Make a list and have your whole family and all your friends help you with this.
NO: Yay, that means that you can keep some of your optional expenses! Just make sure you keep the right ones so you dont exceed your income ;)