The "Budget" for Those That Don't Want to Budget
Budgeting is effective but it’s hard and many people do not want to set up and maintain a budget. It is possible to work without a budget if you take the following steps, in this order, each month:
First - Pay Yourself
Sign up for your company retirement plan on day ONE and contribute 10% of your pay. If you don’t have a company plan, open an IRA and auto transfer 10% of your pay to your IRA each paycheck, up to the maximum allowed ($6,000 in 2020, plus $1,000 more if you are 50 or older)
Auto transfer 5% of your net paycheck to a bank savings account until you have 6 months’ worth of living expenses. This will build your emergency fund. It will take about 5 to 6 years if you have no emergencies.
If you have a large purchase you anticipate in the future, like a first home down payment or a new car, divide the amount you need by the paychecks you have in that time and auto transfer that amount each paycheck to a bank account (this is a separate account from your emergency fund).