Finance blogger JD Roth says a budget makes him want to spend more money, so he uses a "spending plan" instead to map out what cash will go where. JD writes:
To me, a budget is a detailed itinerary. A spending plan, on the other hand, is just a list of places I'd like to go. It doesn't have the same sort of rigidity that I associate with a budget. When I create a spending plan, I tally upcoming income and expenses, and then use these numbers as a guideline for determining my financial direction.
JD includes an actual spending plan he put together three years ago, and although the path he took is different than the one he mapped out, he will still reach the goals laid out in the plan. Any budget-phobes out there manage to plan their finances without feeling tied down? Let us know in the comments.