Throw that budget away and focus on this four-step process to learn how to save money fast.

Tell me if this sounds familiar: You've just taken inventory of your current financial situation. You aren't doing poorly, but you think your situation could be much better. You resolve to save and invest even more in the year to come. To do that, you want to find out how to save money fast, and budgets are usually the first thing you turn to.

The problem is that although you excitedly built an uber-detailed budget at your kitchen table in January, you throw the whole process out by late March. Maybe it's because you used unrealistic expectations or because you were focusing on numbers instead of behaviors.

Whatever the reason, it's important to know that there are ways of dramatically increasing your savings without the pain and drudgery of budgeting.

Here's how to really save money fast
Over the past seven years, my wife and I have come up with a way of saving money that is two parts trial and error, and one part scientific research. It has helped show us how to save money fast, and with a little practice, it could work for you, too.

Of course, everyone will have their own variables to add to their plan, but this four-step process should help you find a way to save that doesn't involve any budgeting.

Photos: Dedda71, Tchchiba, Evil Erin, all via Wikimedia Commons.