You know the saying, "If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck." Well, the same thing applies to a budget.
But...most people hate the word budget. That is one of the biggest problems with budgeting. Not only do people have negative thoughts about the word budget, but they also think it means control, no fun, austerity, and frugality. That's not true. As I suggested in "A Spartan Lifestyle...NOT", one idea that works very well is to create a budget for splurging. So you don't have to forego having fun.
Another thing that would help is to call it something else. When I was eight I had to go on a low-carbohydrate diet because I was diagnosed with low blood sugar. My mother told me it was NOT a diet, but an eating plan. Okay, so here we go: how about a spending plan? Or, perhaps call it your personal cash flow; that's exactly what cash flow is: money coming in and money going out.
It will still work just like a budget is supposed to work because it is a budget; it will be easier to use because you won't be referring to it by the dreaded "b" word. So, when are you going to set up your personal cash flow?