Have you got your budget nailed?  There are so many budget categories that could possibly apply to you, it’s easy to miss some.

I have had a budget for years, but I’ve not always been that brilliant at managing to stay on budget.  One of the reasons I’ve slipped up before is not putting money aside for things that I regularly spend money on (stationery was a repeat offender).

Working through the budget categories can help anyone!

As a seasoned budgeter, compiling this list was fascinating for me.  It definitely showed me that there are some areas that I should be accounting for in my monthly spend.  So hopefully, you will find it helpful too.

So work your way through the list, and tweak your budget if you find some categories that apply to you.

If you just want a visual, scroll to the bottom of the page for the infogram…

Further reading: If you need some help making a budget or finding out more try “The Ultimate Guide to Budgeting

INCOME

The first and best of all budget categories!  Income.  I’d be highly surprised if you miss anything off this part of the budget.  Most of us are highly aware of all the money coming our way…

  • Wages/salary
  • Bonus
  • Dividend income
  • Alimony/ child support
  • Side hustle income
  • Tips
  • Gifts

HOUSING

This is one of the most expensive budget categories, but did you remember to account for garden costs in the summer?  Or for occasional payments for repairs to shared areas?  Or for those lucky enough to have a pool – what does this maintenance cost?

  • Rent
  • Mortgage payments
  • Property taxes
  • Household repairs
  • Common parts fees
  • Gardening
  • Pool costs

FOOD

Of all the budget categories this one can vary hugely from family to family.  It’s also the category that’s easiest to make cutbacks in if money is tight.  Drinks includes drinks on nights out and also coffees in the day.

  • Groceries
  • Fast food
  • Restaurants
  • Drinks

100 budget categories you don't want to miss

UTILITIES

This is my nomination for the most boring of budget categories but all very necessary.

Don’t forget to shop around for cheap cell phone deals – once your contract is up, time to scope out the market…

  • House phone
  • Cell phone
  • Internet
  • Electricity
  • Gas
  • Cable
  • Garbage
  • Recycling
  • Water
  • Sewage
  • Security

TRAVEL

Getting from A to B is an important budget category that can eat up more of our budget than we realise.

Regular expenses like commuting are easy to account for but often there are hidden annual expenses such as maintenance, or parking season tickets.  See if any of these jog your memories…

  • Car payment
  • Gas/petrol
  • Car maintenance
  • MOT/ car health check
  • Toll fees
  • Parking
  • Car tax
  • Car insurance
  • Taxi/ Uber
  • Train
  • Bus
  • Metro
  • Emergency roadside assistance

INSURANCE

The older I get, the more insurance I seem to have.  Maybe it’s the fear factor, maybe I’m just a bit more sensible…

Do you have all these insurances? Are there more that you have that I haven’t listed here?

  • Life insurance
  • Health insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Optical insurance
  • House insurance
  • Contents insurance
  • Income protection

MEDICAL

  • Drugs
  • Medical devices
  • Braces other medical care

HOUSEHOLD 

I tend to include household supplies and cleaning stuff in my grocery budget, but I often forget to account for nick nacks and tools.  These are only occasional spends but they all add up.

  • Toiletries
  • Cleaning products
  • Tools and maintenance
  • Kitchen items
  • Household supplies – detergent, paper towels
  • Accessories e.g. vase

100 budget categories

PERSONAL CARE & GROOMING

This is one of the budget categories that can really add up.  Previously I included a lot of these sorts of products in my grocery budget, but it deserves its own category of budget because you can (and should if you can afford it) spend a fair whack on looking after yourself.

(I’m not suggesting you have a massage every day, but looking and feeling good does wonders for your self esteem and get up and go).

  • Hair products
  • Salon/ barber
  • Gym
  • Personal trainer
  • Makeup
  • Creams and serums
  • Waxing
  • Nails
  • Eyebrows
  • Massage/ facial
  • Clothes
  • Shoes
  • Dry cleaning

GIVING

Another of the budget categories that I discovered often stiffs me on the budget is “Children’s Parties”.  Every time my son goes to a party we have to buy a present, wrap and card – and sometimes an outfit too.

These days there is at least one party a month, so worth budgeting for…

  • Charity direct debits
  • Tithing
  • Spontaneous giving
  • Birthday
  • Anniversary
  • Children’s parties
  • Wedding
  • Christmas
  • Special occasions

EDUCATION

  • School supplies
  • Tuition
  • School fees
  • School parking
  • Exam fees
  • Childcare

Over 100 budget categories to help nail your budget

HOME OFFICE

Printer ink… sometimes more expensive than the printer…

  • Stamps
  • Stationery
  • Printer ink

DEBT

I can’t wait til I pay off my debts.  This is one of those budget categories that I would love to see the back of permanently!

  • Student loans
  • Credit cards
  • Personal loan
  • Overdraft

ENTERTAINMENT & FUN

Many of us are chronic under-estimaters of what we spend on this category.

It’s important to budget enough for fun and entertainment.  Life is for living.  We all need to work towards our financial goals, but if we can’t enjoy things on the way, what’s the point?

Having said that, knowing what you can spend on fun and then sticking to it means there is balance in the universe.

  • Holidays
  • Holiday spending
  • Passport
  • Sporting events
  • Concerts
  • New tech
  • Hobbies
  • Games
  • Books
  • Going out
  • Eating out
  • Dating

NB Did you know dating is different for men and women when it comes to spending?  Read more in “The Cost of Love: Differences in Dating Expenses Between Men and Women”

SUBSCRIPTIONS

Subs all add up! They might be small amounts, but if you have a few, they can easily cost $50 or £50 plus every month.

So make sure you know what all your subscriptions are, and perhaps you might find some that you don’t need any more and save a few bucks in the process.

  • TV subs Netflix, Hulu, Now TV
  • Magazines
  • Societies – annual fees
  • Amazon prime
  • Spotify/ music
  • Sports subs
  • Computer subs
  • Dropbox/ cloud storage

SAVING

You usually know how much you’re putting aside for savings, but watch out for direct debits for small savings pots.

For example, I put a small amount into my son’s pension every month.  It’s listed in my budget now, but wasn’t always!

  • Retirement
  • Emergency fund
  • Saving for large items e.g. car
  • Saving to protect income
  • Kids savings

KIDS

Kids.  They’re expensive little critters.  Worth every penny of every budget category though.

  • Childcare
  • Allowance
  • After school clubs
  • Learning instruments
  • Kids clothes
  • Diapers
  • Formula
  • Babysitting
  • Uniforms
  • Sports gear
  • Toys

100 budget categories

PETS 

  • Pet insurance
  • Pet food
  • Pet toys and treats
  • Vet fees
  • Vet meds

ASSISTANCE

  • Financial adviser
  • Accountant
  • Lawyer
  • Carer

INTEREST

  • Overdraft/ credit card interest
  • Banking fees

Budget categories summary

Well I hope these budget categories have helped you understand some of your spending areas that you might have overlooked.

If there are any I’ve missed let me know!

Further reading: If you want to know a bit more about organising your personal finances try “Anyone can be good with money, here’s how to start”.

Budget categories infogram

If you’d like a graphic version of all the above info, here it is!  Please pin it or share it if it’s been useful.

100 budget categories you don't want to miss