When you think about being responsible with your money, a budget may be one of your first thoughts. In my Beginner Series, I tell you, point-blank, that you need a budget.

Can you really live without a budget? The title of this article makes it seem like I was misguiding you when I said that you need a budget, doesn’t it?


Money and the Masses

First off, NO! I am not misguiding you, because most people do need a budget . I wouldn’t misguide you, honest! A budget is necessary for the majority of the people who are wanting to get out of debt and/or invest some money, but they aren’t for everyone.

Let me say that again:

budgets are not for everyone.

You are probably not used to hearing that you can be successful in your finances without a budget, but it’s true, you can.

If budgets stress you out, then maybe you shouldn’t use one.

You may also want to check out: The 5-Minute Budget.

So what is the best way to live without a budget?

Total Automation

Automate everything! Automate as much as possible.

This will require you to set everything in place one time and then you can set back and know that you are living responsibly without using the “B” word. Of course, you will still want to monitor your finances, but they will be set.

You may be able to automate more than you think.

  • Bills can be paid automatically through the company or through online banking.
  • Investments (index funds, mutual funds, retirement accounts, etc.) can be drafted automatically.
  • Savings can be deducted every month automatically
  • Giving can even be deducted from your checking account monthly through your church, charity, organization or online banking.

What’s left after all of that?

Your spending. That’s it. Once you automate all of the things above, then you will know how much will be coming out of your account every month. That’s when you know how much money you have left for spending.

If you are a visual person, I suggest pulling out all of your spending money in cash. That way you can see it dwindling down throughout the month. When you run out of cash, you stop spending. Not having money to spend makes it easy to not spend money, right? It’s one of the best ways, really.

Instead of saying you are living without a budget, you could call this the “Automatic Budget”. Of course, if you hate budgets, you probably don’t really like the word “budget” and you probably wish I would stop saying budget so much.


Sorry, I couldn’t resist, but you knew that was coming.

Automatically Debt-Free

If you are in debt, this plan can still work for you. All of your debts can be paid automatically the same way you pay your other bills. Just make sure, if you are doing the debt snowball, you change the amount you pay to the next debt every time you pay something off. This will still give you the snowball effect, but it will be automated.

Automated snowballs? Sounds fun!

Related: How to Pay Off Your Debt: The Debt Snowball Vs. The Debt Avalanche

Of course, if you are in serious debt and you have a very complicated situation, you may want to stick with a regular budget…at least for now. Though budgets may not be the funnest things in the world, they can help you organize your finances in a way that nothing else can. If it makes sense for you, use a budget!