When I was getting started this year, I was drawn to the simplicity of the 60% Solution budget which is built around the following ratios: 30% toward savings, 60% toward committed expenses, 10% for fun. This is very similar to the method described in the book All Your Worth of 20% savings, 50% committed, 30% wants.
These are really just two "two-line" budgets when you boil it down...you are deciding to "pay yourself first" either 30% or 20% depending on which budgeting method you are trying out (and I am sure there are many other permutations) and the rest has to cover all your expenses committed or fluff. Easy peasy....in theory.
This year I've been aiming for the 60% solution which is really all about saving 30% of my income. Between maxing out my 401k (15%) and catching up on maxing out my 2005 Roth (7%) - both long term savings - I need to find $637 for short term savings in order to be saving 30% total. That's felt like a stretch, but by some quirk of fate and math that is exactly what I put into savings last month.
I've been trimming bills here and there to try to get closer to that $637 every month and I feel thwarted by increases beyond my control (health insurance, natural gas) but it's a clear target. And I am finally getting the hang of paying myself first.