I had a long post and lost it- so I'll try again-
I also have/had a hard time budgeting and we bounced a lot of checks as a result.
What worked for me was to quit using the debit card in most situations. I bought a large wall calendar and marked every payday for the whole year. We get paid every 2 weeks, so I split all the bills and wrote how much I needed to pay and which paycheck it needed to come from. (I didn't do it based on the due dates- just when we got paid, so some bills had checks written for several days before I got the actual bill.) If it's a bill that fluctuates, like the water, I used the higest bill and guestimated based on that. If I paid over, it was a credit for the next month, if I paid under, it wasn't too hard to catch up the following month.
If you put money for your saving account as one of those bills, it makes it easier to stick to it. Each payday, I write the checks for each bill and whatever money is left over, I get cash out of the bank. I found that dh spent less if he saw how much we actually had, not just thinking 'well, we just got paid, so we have money' and he'd take money out $20 here, $40 there, and eventually we got behind on bills b/c he had no idea how much money was there. He'd also use the debit card to make small purchases here and there and I'd never see the receipts. If you don't have this problem, you don't need to worry about this.
I started this process in Jan 2003 and haven't had a problem paying a bill on time or bouncing a check since then (except once, when dh thought I deposited a check and took money out, but I had cashed the check instead- oops!) The year before we started this process, we bounced at least $300-400 worth of checks, probably more. I'm embarrassed to write that- but when I figured out exactly how much money we spent on being irresponsible, it made me figure out something that worked for us.
Michelle -mom to Katlyn 4/00 , Jake 3/02, and Seth 5/04