Instead of just trying to strictly stay to a budget (and failing) I thought it might be easier to achieve if I set smaller goals or steps to bring me there. Best way is to divide it into long, mid-, and short term steps. Here is what I have come up with so far. Hopefully by trying to follow these achieving my goals may be a little smoother. Probably update as time moves along, but here is my first shot at it.

Long Term (3+ months)
1. Have serious conversations with b/f about what we can accomplish by sticking to a budget.
2. Max out pretax 401k
3. Reduce debt by $22k by YE2008 (~21% of total debt load)
4. Save for non-monthly expenses (ex. Car insurance, car tax)
5. Re-evaluate budget every 6 months.

Medium Range (monthly)
1. Stick to budget and categories
2. Add leftovers to savings and loans
3. Keep emergency fund stocked at $2,000. If go under replenish within 3 months.
4. Goal: Reduce debt by $2,300/mnth
5. Pay bills on time for no fees.

Short Term (daily/weekly)
1. Drink less during the week (aim for 1 beer or less most week nights)
2. Use a wishlist for non-necessity purchases. See if actually want/use.
3. Make lunches 4 days/week
4. Grocery shop with a list and less often.
5. Go to work earlier to beat traffic and save gas.
6. Keep A/C at minimum

Advertisements