Part of the reason so many people avoid creating a budget is because it can be a drag itemising everything that demands your money. Instead of focusing solely on how much things cost, also factor what you value into your budget to help guide where your money should be spent.
Photo by Neil Cummings
As personal finance blog Money Ning points out, we all value different things in our budget. Certain things will make some of us happier than others. While we all value things like shelter and food enough to make them large portions of our budgets, a foodie would be more willing to splurge in this area because it's satisfying. Similarly, if you value outdoor experiences, reducing your movie and TV budget in favour of something more fun might be more fulfilling for you. You can spend the same amount of money, but get more value out of it.
When you spend money based on your values, you feel good about your purchase. Spending on your values uses money as a tool to achieve your goals, and not something to just spend mindlessly. Money is a vehicle to enhance and empower your life and shouldn't make you miserable.
Ideally, budgets would help you limit your spending so it never gets out of control. But keep in mind that getting the most out of life is also an important goal of your budget. If you're not factoring in how much you personally value something into your budget, perhaps it's time to give it a try.