Yes, this is an actual budget that you can create for yourself in less than 5 minutes.

An actual 5 minute budget.

It begins, as every budget begins, by writing down your income for 1 month, then write down your expenses for 1 month.

I hope you like the picture at the top, I figured it was more peaceful than the typical pen with a paper budget picture.

Budgets don’t have to be boring, and this one is so quick, it doesn’t have time to get boring.  Back to the budget…

You can track your expense for a month to get an idea, or just estimate for this budget.

If you are in the group of people who spend more than their income, which many people are, you will have to eliminate the least important things, until your spending is equal to or less than your income.

The Important Money

Now decide what is important to you.  We will use an example budget with a net income of $2000.  If giving or tithe is the most important to you, then determine how much you will give each month.  Let’s say the typical 10%, which is $200 in our example.  Now you will need to invest or at least save for retirement, so we will assume 20% for that, which is $400.  Now add any other large saving item.  Let’s say you are saving $200/month for a car.

Everything Else

Now that you know what is important, let’s add up the budget.  This is what it looks like:

  • Total Net Income: $2000
  • Giving: $200
  • Retirement: $400
  • Car: $200
  • The Rest of the Money: $1200

That was easy, now to make this work from this point, all you have to do is pay these important items first. These items need to come out of your check before anything else.  Now you have to force everything else to fit in the rest of the income ($1200 in our example).

That’s it!

To summarize: you take the important items out first, then force yourself to fit everything else in the rest.

This may not be the most effective budget, but it does the job and it is a great start.  This budget doesn’t work for every situation since it is not very detailed, but many people will find it useful.

If you want more details, read this quick detailed budgeting series.

If you still hate budgets, read this.

Budgeting Tools We Recommend

Personal Capital: Track All of Your Spending in One Place
Goodbudget: Track Your Spending With the Digital Envelope System
Mint: Connect Your Accounts and Automate Your Budget