Budgets tend to be boring, one-size-fits-all affairs that are incredibly tough to stick with because they don't really scale with you. Blogger Alex Recker and his wife were looking for their own solution, and drew on the game Civilization to find their answer.
The crux of the system work on assessing daily spending. He started by entering in fixed expenses, breaking it down by the days in the month, then figuring out the cost per day (an $8 Netflix subscription is about 26¢ a day). He then went in and created a system for semi-regular and irregular purchases. The goal with all this was to create a simple, "turn-based" system that updated every day:
At the end of the day, it was safe to say that the sum of Column C represented how much money I made that day . If it were negative, that means I spent more money than I make in a day. If it were positive, that means I saved.
What I had here was more instant feedback. Now I was keeping track of how much I was saving every day.
Since starting as a spreadsheet, he's moved the calculations to a web application that generates a ton of different graphs. He's also building a more public version of the app if you're interested. Check out his blog post for the full breakdown of how it all works.