“Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves.”
- Dorothy Parker
Everyone under the sun can give you advice on budgeting. Everyone has a system, and it will or won't work for you. Budgeting is like dieting, though - it's an exercise of self-denial and when ego depletion hits you'll blow it all.
There's a scene in It Could Happen to You in which Bridget Fonda has lost it all to her scheming ex-husband but what really hurts is the macadamia nuts. An obvious frivolity, a luxury beyond compare, giving up the macadamia nuts is more than the straw that breaks the camel's back, it's the thing that kills her psyche. It's the one last bit of surplus good that gets purged.
Any budgeter worth their salt will tell you to purge your recurrents - the daily espresso, the Netflix, the PSPlus. This is why budgeters are all shitheads. There's a real Lutheran drive amongst money people to crush all the fun so that you can go fuck yeah budgeting and feel more fiscally responsible than the next guy, and that's why they should all be lined up and shot.
Take a long, thoughtful look around your place. Note the stuff that matters to you, and the stuff that doesn't. Go through your day and analyze "this matters to me" and "this doesn't." You may discover that the high point of your morning is artisanal toast with Kerrygold butter. You may discover that you're totally cool walking rather than riding the bus. You might decide your clothes are irrelevant to you but your shoes really matter.
Smells matter to me. I buy a $5 bar of soap every three or four weeks, and my shampoo is Aveda. Even when money was tight, our shampoo was Aveda because, in my wife's words, "from a daily expense standpoint it isn't much and hair matters." We're doing pretty well now and I offered to upgrade her car - and she's 100% cool with an '09 fit with 150k miles on it because she gives no fucks about cars.
Decide what makes you feel like you and defend those things with your life. The things that don't matter, go ahead and neglect them. You can buy new jeans when your phone falls through your back pocket.
Obviously this fucks with the idea of a "granular monthly budget" but I have not had regularly scheduled income for eleven years now and I do fine. Live within your means, save when you're poor, reward yourself when you're not. Anticipation is powerful: you don't need to buy that new computer to enjoy it. You can plan to buy it for months and then when it's time, it's equally satisfying.
The one good financial rule I've never heard from anyone but intermittent income folx is "do not buy depreciating assets on credit." Buy the car you can afford to pay cash for. Do not put clothse on credit. Etc.
Suze Orman can bite my shiny metal ass.