Hello, my name is E.C., and I don't like budgets. Oh, in theory they're all very nice. I always get a kick out of the planning, meticulously allocating every cent. I'm even reasonably good at sticking to them, and therein lies the problem.
I get a wee bit too attached to the budget, and then I end up resenting it. By the end of the month I end up kicking myself because if I'm out of money in the dining out category, it doesn't matter if I'm ten bucks ahead of the game when it comes to household expenses, I'll deny myself an eighty nine cent bean burrito. That feels like a moderately stupid way to go through life, and thus the budgeting isn't sustainable.
The alternative that I've fallen into the past few months, making no plan and looking at my balances every couple of weeks and thinking, "Hmm, I seem to be spending money at an alarming rate," and then continuing to make no plan, is clearly an even more stupid way to go through life. There has to be a system that'll work well for me.
I'm hoping my new non-budget will turn out to be that system. Paying myself first seems simple and flexible enough to keep me on track without driving myself crazy. As long as I meet my goal of putting aside one of my paychecks each month, the other will be mine to do with as I please. If I'm saving diligently and paying rent and bills on time, does it really matter what I choose to do with my discretionary funds?