I am quite good at budgeting but I think I find it easier than many people because I don't own or car, nor smoke or drink alcohol. It helps that I am naturally frugal, as were my parents. For about the last 10 years I have had an emergency fund. I try to keep it at $3000 but it is down to $2500 at the moment because I had to dip into for it for some vet bills. The only thing I would consider emergencies are expenses to attend a funeral, vet bills, or if my washing machine or fridge break down. One of my friends was annoyed because I wouldn't dip into this account to go on a holiday with her.