To effectively manage your money, you must have a budget. But, getting started with budgeting can be a bit confusing if you don’t know what budget categories to include to track your spending.
Determining what budget categories to include can be personal. However, there are some budget list items that should be standard for every budget.
It all can be overwhelming, but once you have a comprehensive list of things to budget for, tracking your funds can be a breeze.
In this post, I’ll share must-have budgeting categories that you need to organize and track your spending.
If you want to learn more about creating a budget, I recommend reading our ultimate guide for creating a family budget.
Must Have Budgeting Categories
The categories listed below aren’t in any specific order and are by no means all-inclusive. Again, budget categories are specific to your personal finances. Feel free to add more categories and items as needed.
Income should be the first time that is listed on any budget.
After all, if there is no money coming in, you won’t be able to pay for any of the items listed in your budget categories. There are various ways to generate income. Here are a few that you should note on your budget:
- Bonus Income
- Passive Income
- Alimony/Child Support
- Dividend Income
- Rental Income
- Interest earned
- Miscellaneous Income (Gifts, refunds, etc.)
How to Group Your Budget Expenses
Your expenses can easily be divided into 15 larger groups. Putting your budget list items into groups allow you to total up expenses for that group at the end of the year to determine where the majority of your money is going.
Organizing your finances this way enables you to easily see where you can possibly cut expenses to save more money to allocate elsewhere.
15 Expense Groups for your Budget
- Personal Development
- Personal Care
- Household Items
90+ Budget Categories
Once you outline the groups to be included in your budget, it’s time to start adding the spending categories. Below are 90+ money spending categories that you can use to create your budget. As you spend, you should document how much you spending in each category.
I wrote a post on how much you should allocate for each category. You can read that here.
Long Term Goals
Short Term Goals
Final Thoughts on Budget Categories
This list may not capture all of the expenses that you may incur within your personal finances.
It also may include things that don’t apply to you, such as debt or children. Only use this as a guide for creating your budget.
Posts Related to Budget Categories
- What is the zero-based budgeting method?
- Create a Budget in Excel
- The 4-Step Budget Method
- What should your budget percentages be?