Financial Organizing is one of those things where I once again use free software to really get an idea of things. One of my favorite tools to use is mint.com. This is a simple aggregate software that dials in to individual bank accounts, credit card accounts, student loans, retirement, etc., to make checking accounts a one-stop-shop. (here is a review which goes more into detail with how mint works)
I pair this with my favorite tool of all time - google documents - where I have multiple google spreadsheets set up.
First, I have a simplified budget set up:
I have everything color coded (this works best for the way I think). Utilities are Green, Loans yellow, spending blue, saving orange, and income pink.
This is incredibly useful for me to gauge what my spending should / shouldn't be on a monthly basis.
The second useful item for me is my overall financial tracking spreadsheet. This is a sheet that goes through each day in the year. It keeps track of the overall balance of bank accounts, and is easy to "fill ahead" for the year. Think of it as a digital checkbook balancer. When I write a check, pay a bill, do anything - I input it into the spreadsheet.
I use simple rules to keep track - highlight yellow when the date / event has passed. Highlight blue when i write a check, and change it to yellow when the check clears. Highlight automatic payments (mortgage, student loan deductions) light purple, and change to yellow when they are pulled out of my account.
This spreadsheet works perfectly with mint.com because I can go sign on to mint.com, see what has cleared over the past day / week / however long it has been. And update my sheet accordingly.
(Also, if anyone wants a copy of the already-formatted spreadsheet - shoot me an email - i'm more than happy to share it!)
Edit: Linking to Home Decor & Organizing Link Party