Best 100+ Budget Categories, Budgeting is Fun!

Budget Category Flatlay

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My husband and I have been compiling this budget category list for the past eight years. We love budgeting, and budgeted our way out of $266,000.00 of debt ! I now share the same level of enthusiasm for budgeting as I do for chocolate, running, and dancing, if you know me….that says alot.

This post is meant to start you on your debt-free journey with a list of budget categories.  Clearly, every family is different, however you can easily replace the categories to the needs of your family.  If you find this post to be beneficial and want a master budget category worksheet, sign up for my email list and I will email the budget category worksheet!

As a result of using the master budget worksheet for many years and expanding the categories, this detailed budget worksheet, has determined our family expenses and at the same time, minimized unexpected financial surprises.   

Categories that are marked with an asterick: * are categories that we budget for at the beginning of every budget meeting, and most of these categories have a set amount. For example: Electric bill vs. life insurance.  The electric bill varies month to month based upon our usage; we budget for it at the beginning of every budget meeting because it’s a utility that we would like to be paid regardless of how big or small our income is that month.  Our Life insurance is paid annually, which is a set amount, and it’s funded over a year’s time. If our Life Insurance is $400 annually, we add $33.34 into that category every month ($400/12 months per year).

A couple of things to note: We budget what we made this month, for next month.  If I made $4,000 in the month of April, then I budget $4,000 for all of May’s expenses.  

Budget Category Flatlay

Last thing I’m going to mention before we get started is that we love YNAB for budgeting (You Need a Budget). This is the budgeting application we have been using for the past 8 years. The app does have an annual fee that of $84, and it’s worth every penny. Other apps out there that I have heard about from others, are Personal Capital, Mint and Every dollar.

Monthly Budget Worksheet

This post is meant to give you a start with your initial budget categories.  Obviously, every family is different, and by no means is this the perfect list of budget categories for everyone.  My goal is to give you different options, and categories to make your own family budget successful.

Simple Budget Categories


If this all seems overwhelming to you, I understand, that’s how I felt when I started. I would start with all of the budget categories we have listed as *master budget categories.  This will give you a strong foundation of figuring out your own category list, and you can begin to customize to your family needs accordingly.

The simple monthly budget template I designed only has the master budget categories to get you started on your debt-free journey (link a few paragraphs above). Eventually I will be creating an in-depth monthly budget template for those that have already established their budget categories.

Budget Categories

I structured this post the same way that my husband and I structure our monthly budget. First step: use the master budget category listings; then add all of the subcategories. This layout has worked best for my husband and I, however, feel free to use this format or change it to suit your family needs.

Also, please give yourself grace as you begin this financial freedom journey. Please note, if took my husband and I at least 6 months to feel comfortable with budgeting.

Income (Master Budget Category)

Household Income *:  List all money earned, whether it’s dual or single earners. This is especially critical for those whose earned income varies month to month, due to overtime or salary deductions

Sold Goods income: I have been flipping some household items (appliances that are in good condition but no longer used, and clothing). These sales have added to our extra income to the top of our overall budget! It has been great so far! My favorite apps to use are Mercari (they only have a 10% commission, and in the past month, I’ve made over $200 selling clothing I wasn’t using ), and Ebay!

Other income:  Whether it’s blogging income, babysitting, survey-taking income.  Anything else you do as a side hustle can be entered here.

Food (Master Budget Category)

Rice bowl, one of many meals we make at home.

Coffee/beverages : We keep our coffee and alcohol separate, because if it’s a tight month, we skip the alcohol all together. We don’t regularly budget for beer or wine, usually it’s every other month. Coffee is something that we budget for regularly, and we buy ours from Costco.

Groceries: This is the total amount we spend on dining-in as a family.  To keep costs down, I meal plan first and go with a shopping list. This initial step avoids wasting food.  This amount has fluctuated over the years, and what keeps the cost down is being diligent on shopping sale items, and planning around that. If you don’t have time to shop, I would highly suggest Instacart!  They buy everything on your shopping list, and you don’t have to leave your house! Saves so much time, and time is money!

This budget category does not include food for parties or potlucks. Those categories will be discussed below.  If you don’t know where to start with meal planning, I would highly suggest Sara Forte’s Sprouted Cooking Kitchen Club.  She does all of the meal planning for you, gives easy-to-follow recipes, and a grocery list! She couldn’t make it easier! Her recipes are seasonal, healthy, and delicious!!! I just purchased the cookbook “5 Ingredients: Quick & Easy Food” by Jamie Oliver, and it’s been another awesome weeknight resource for meal planning.

Dining Out : This category typically fluctuates per month, and covers all the money we spend dining out as a family. We don’t spend is more than $125 a month, some months we spend all of it, others we don’t spend any. The beauty of regularly planning your meals is that we always have a plan, and I have backup frozen meals for busy nights.

Work Food : This is the money my husband uses when he is at work. He works at a fire station, and they either go out to eat, or cook together.  We keep it separate from our family groceries. Our grocery category covers what we spend dining in at home, not at work.  We like to keep this money in a separate category so he can be mindful of how much he is spending at work.

Costco Membership * : We budget for this all-year long (we take the price of the executive membership and divide it by 12).  We are executive members as we spend quite a bit of money at Costco on groceries and household supplies. WE LOVE COSTCO!!!!!

Transportation (Master Budget Category)

Budget Categories image

Fuel : This category varies month per month.  I have to take a good look at the calendar to see how often we are working, and if we have any trips planned to estimate how much we should budget for gas for both of our cars

Car Registration * :  Another category that we budget throughout the year.  We divide up the registration for both cars into 12 months based on last year’s car registration

Car Insurance * :  We save money on this category by paying the premium annually, because a discount is offered if payment is done yearly.  We budget the same amount every month for car insurance

Repairs, Tires & Maintenance :  This could be considered an emergency fund for our cars.  We like to add money in this category when we have extra money in the budget, especially when we know that things like tire replacements and oil changes are due. We don’t want this category to be empty.  Both my husband and I work outside of the home, and having reliable transportation is a must. We find peace of mind knowing we have money budgeted in the event that something goes awry with one of our cars

Violations : This is definitely not our favorite category.  I definitely think that I have been the biggest offender in this category. My husband will never let me forget the time I parked across the street from a friend’s house on a street sweeping day where a sign was clearly displayed “No parking on Tuesday’s from 8am-12pm”, whoops

Recreation (Master Budget Category)

This category is where we fund lots of fun activities and things that bring us joy! Particularly memberships, and fun money.

Mammoth Pass Family * :  This is a new one for us.  My husband loves snowboarding, and we love traveling together as a family.  We saved enough money to buy mammoth passes for the kids and my husband. Mama will be enjoying hot cocoa in the lobby while reading some books, Ha! I am going to try skiing this year, as my ventures in snowboarding have historically not been successful.

His Fun Money : Every month my husband and I budget for money that we use for ourselves.  His money is generally spent on big ticket items like surfboards, surf skis, surf trips, and mountain bikes.  This category can be catered to your individual interests: golfing, watches, whatever your heart desires

Her Fun Money : This category is equally matched with “His fun money”, however, I check the calendar and see if we have anything coming up, and budget accordingly.  As an example, if I’m going to have lunch with a girlfriend for lunch, then I would use from this category.  Other examples of things I spend my money on include coffee, home decor, books (my most recent purchase was “Girl, Stop Apologizing“, journals, magazines (I love HGTV, Food Network, Sunset, and Real Simple), and I recently started purchasing Fab Fit Fun because it’s as awesome as everyone says it is, and their packages are well curated and incredibly fun, and functional!!!

His Fun Savings * : Every month $60 is budgeted to each of our individual savings.  This money is usually reserved for trips, or anything that we do independently.

Her Fun Savings * : Same as above, $60 every month…..however unlike my super saver husband, mine magically disappears most months.  I have a tendency to spend my money on everyday experiences, coffee, and dining out with family and friends.

Entertainment :  This category is specifically for movies, concerts, or any other kind of shows.  We don’t use the money from this category frequently, but we always like to have it funded with enough money to buy movie tickets which comes in handy for date nights.

California State Park Passes * :  We are a beach family.  We live about a mile from the beach, and we go all year long.  We go so often that we budget for two separate California State Park Passes, one for myself, and one for my husband.  For some families, this might be the equivalent of a Disney Annual pass, or for others, this might be a National Park Pass

Mission San Juan Capistrano * : We are fortunate to live very close to this popular tourist site, and it’s beautiful.  When we go to the Mission, it feels like we have transported to a different time and place, even though it isn’t far from our home.  Many times we will pack our lunch, have a picnic, and take in the beautiful landscaping and architecture, and kids hands-on activities.

Amazon Prime * :  No question, Amazon Prime is my best friend, hands down! No question. I find comfort knowing that I can order something online and it will show up at my doorstep in a few days.  It saves me time, has, and shipping costs! It’s a huge convenience when I don’t feel like getting dressed, and for that I am truly grateful

Ecology Center * :  We live close to another fun place for family fun time. The local ecology center is changing the world for the better, and they have created a beautiful place to teach us how to be environmentally friendly!  My favorite activity they have is their “U-pick” strawberry days and the whole family can go and pick our own strawberries

Personal (Master Budget Category)

Budget Category Pin

Toiletries : Personal items such as soap, shampoo, conditioner, and lotion fall into this category.  We have a separate category for our kid’s toiletries. The amount budgeted also varies depending on what the current needs are.

Christmas Gifts * :  I cannot tell you enough what a game-changer this is.  We budget for Christmas ALL. YEAR. LONG!!!!!! Christmas is no longer a stressful surprise.  By the time December rolls around, we are fully funded and ready to buy presents! I highly recommend having this be on your top priority for items to budget year-round.

Non-Christmas gifts : This category requires looking ahead at the calendar to see what gifts will be needed for the following month. Whether it’s a family or friend birthday, wedding, baby shower, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, the list goes on.  If it’s not Christmas, and it doesn’t pertain to work, this is the category that it’s funded from.  This category requires looking ahead at the calendar to see what gifts will be needed for the following month. For example, next month includes Mother’s Day.  My husband needs enough money in that category to treat me like a queen for a day (just kidding….kind of), as well as for our moms.

Marriage Investment : This is one of my favorite budget categories.  My husband and I are intentional about our marriage, whether it’s reading marital books, going to marriage conferences, or having date nights.  We make this a priority and choose to plan and budget appropriately. Where should you start? Figure out what works for you. One date night a month? Is there a good marriage book you have been wanting to read together? Be flexible and realistic in adapting it to your specific lifestyle and goals

Family Stuff : This one has notoriously been a hodgepodge of different things.  From annual family photos, to Disneyland trips, or admission fees to museums.  We typically don’t budget for this every month, but we do have some money in this category in case we want to do something fun together fun as a family.

Hair Care :  I tried to cut my husband’s hair a few times, and it didn’t go too well.  Turns out that I was not blessed with haircutting skillset. I find the $11 we budget monthly for his haircut to be well worth the disaster that would ensue if my hands were the ones doing the cutting!  Because my hair is typically more expensive, I only get it done 2-3 times a year, and I like to put some money towards my haircare every month.

Sweat with Kayla * :  I will sing the praises of this app from the rooftop!!! Kayla is my homegirl, and she has changed my life.  I wake up early and exercise with this app from my home everyday (almost everyday)! The app is only $20 a month, or $120 a year (that’s a nice sized discount if paid for annually). This has been my saving grace, since it has allowed me to exercise regularly without needing childcare

Bank Charges : We have some money in a bank that doesn’t have very many ATM machines.  We can withdraw cash from other ATM’s, but they charge us a convenience fee and our bank ends up reimbursing us for the inconvenience.  We have found the interest earned from this bank is well worth the effort.

Postage : Our biggest expense in this category are Forever stamps. We only budget for this a few times a year, as we rarely use postal services.

Makeup * : This only recently became an asterisked category.  As I continue to advance in age, I decided that I wanted to regularly save money to buy high quality products for my face.  My biggest ticket items are concealer, moisturizers, eye cream, and high quality sunscreen

Gym Membership * :  My husband and I have killer deals on our Gym memberships that we purchased many moons ago.  I enjoy going to the gym and use the cardio equipment; my gym has very affordable childcare.

Clothing (Master Budget Category)

His Clothing :  This is not an asterisk category because we don’t budget monthly for clothing. We budget according to what our needs are, and we always match the same amount in each of our clothing categories.  My husband is notorious for rarely using his clothing money, and instead transferring it to “HIS” recreation account for bigger ticket items.

Her Clothing :  As a frugal shopper I generally buy my clothes on sale, on the app Mercari, or at garage sales.  I also buy clothes at Target because I feel that they are reasonably priced, and I because I love Target with all of my heart.

Laundry : This category is funded solely on our needs for laundry detergent, fabric softener, and if we need to get anything dry cleaned.  There are months when it isn’t funded because we don’t need anything.

Children (Master Budget Category)

We decided to keep most of the kids expenditures in it’s own separate budget category.  This way we can track the on-going purchases of our little ones.

Clothing : Any clothing spent on the children comes out of this category.  I follow the same principles that I use for myself: I love family and friends hand-me-down clothing, shopping on Mercari, garage sales, and Target for the niños

Diapers/Toiletries :  I am happy to announce that diapers will be eliminating diapers from this category next month!  Praise the Lord! Hallelujah! Shampoo, and lotion for the kids are spent out of this category

Furniture/Nursery:  We don’t budget here regularly.  Things like beds (which we usually buy from craigslist), mattresses, nightstands, lamps, etc., comes out of this category

On the Go/Gear/Toys:  Things like bikes, scooters, helmets, and legos come out of here.  We are currently budgeting for a mountain bike for my son and we will be checking craigslist

Medical (Copays and Medical fees):  All copays (primary doctor, urgent care, emergency room), medical fees and dental fees are budgeted here.

Child #1 Education Savings *: Every month we budget an equal amount for each child’s education for this category.

Child #2 Education Savings *: Same as above.

Books/Learning: We should consider making this category an asterisk category because our family loves to read.  Our favorite places to purchase books are the “Friend’s of the Library” bookstore, and Kindle (my husband prefers to read to the kids from his kindle).  The months when we budget for this category, it’s usually no more than $10-20. I just recently shared on my Instagram page about how I purchased 8 books from the “Friend’s of the Library” bookstore for $4.50! They were gently used and they were the books that I was searching for!   Had I purchased these books online in mint condition, it would have cost me at least $50! I saved $45!! Woohoo!

Babysitter: Thankfully, we don’t need to budget in this category as we have family and friends that graciously watch our kids when we work and for date nights. I do know many of you do not have the same flexibility and require monthly childcare, so this category name could also be changed to “childcare”, “Preschool”, etc.

Kids Activities:  Our son is currently enrolled in Jiu-jitsu class, and my daughter is in ballet.  Last year the kids were enrolled in swim class, so anything extracurricular for our children, is funded in this category.

Kids Recreation/Going out fund *: We made this category an asterisk because many times we would be out, and I would buy the kids a snack out of my personal recreation category.  I love my kids, but this isn’t fair. We now budget a little extra amount every month so that I can buy the kids admission to a play area, parking for special beach trips, parks, donuts, croissants, or ice cream without dipping into my fun money. Anything fun that I do solo with the kids, (when my husband is working) comes out of this category.

Utilities (Master Budget Category)

Utilities below are straight forward, I will add some commentary for a few of them below.

Electricity *

Gas *

Internet *

Cellular Phone *: Are you a firefighter, nurse, veteran, military, police officer or any other First Responder? It never hurts to call up your cell phone provider to see if they offer discounts, and if any of them apply to you!  We have saved lots of money by reaching out to service providers!

Water/Sewer *

Propane LPG: In our backyard, we use propane for both our firepit and heat lamp.  The funding for this category often varies, as we use it mostly during late spring, summer, and fall!

Trash *

Online Storage:  This fee covers extra icloud storage, 1 TB of online storage (as a backup for our files and pictures), and commercial free music streaming (we listen to music all the time at home).  

Pest Control *:  Every quarter we have a company come out to spray for ants.  We had lots of Argentine ants in the front and backyard of our home, and those little guys bite!!

YNAB *:  We budget for YNAB because we love it, it has been an incredible tool and resource for keeping our finances organized.

Lifesource Water Filters *:  We have a whole house water filter, and the actual filters are a bit pricey to replace, so we budget for them all year round.  

Housing (Master Budget Category)

Property Taxes April *: Yes, we budget for our biannual property taxes all year long.  They can be quite expensive since we live in Southern California.  We find that if we tackle it all year long, it isn’t a big deal.

Property Taxes December *: Same as above! We save money all year long so it isn’t so difficult come time to pay.  

Mortgage *:   Before we started tackling our debt, one of the first things we did was refinance our mortgage.  We changed it from a 30 year loan to a 20 year loan, and I’m so glad we did! We have saved thousands of dollars from doing this!

Homeowners Insurance *:  We take advantage of a yearly discount by paying our Homeowner’s Insurance once a year.  

Maintenance and Repairs:  If something breaks down around the house, and needs to be repaired, then we budget for it in this category.

Household Supplies: Things like toilet paper, paper towels, foil, and parchment paper come out of this category.  

Home Improvement (Master Category)

Tools:  My husband is incredibly handy (they used to call him Bob Villa at one of his places of employment), so we occasionally budget for more tools for him.

Supplies/Wood:  When we have new projects that we are doing, we budget for the supplies here.  For example, my husband will be building an island in our closet, and we would fund the wood and supplies for that project here.  

Decor/Furniture Savings:  One of my favorite categories to budget for!  If we need a new sofa, rug, art, frames, anything to furnish or decorate the house, it comes out of this category.

Health and Medical (Master Budget Category)

Copays: This category is for my husband and myself.  Any ER visits (we have each had our fair share, unfortunately), urgent care, or doctor visit copays would fall under this category.  

Prescriptions, Vitamins, and medications:  We usually buy multivitamins, and we like to have tylenol and ibuprofen on hand, beyond that anything else that was prescribed from a physician comes out of this category.  

Optometrist:  My husband and I are both waaaaaaaaaaaay overdue to go to the optometrist.  I have a feeling that we both need glasses. I’m going to keep eating my carrots for now until I make it a point to make an appointment.  

Dentist: Thankfully we don’t have any copays at our dentist, but we have had dental bills that we have had to pay when my husband has had some dental work done.  

Doctor Bills:  The dreaded fees that our insurance doesn’t cover.  Thankfully we don’t get too many of these bills, so it’s only funded as these encounters happen.

*Health Insurance *: We don’t have to budget for this category, as our benefits are covered by my husband’s employer. I understand that health insurance premiums can be expensive.

Insurance/Taxes (Master Budget Category)

Disability Insurance *

Id Theft Insurance *:  We have used Dave Ramsey’s advice by including this category.  Thankfully we have never had to deal with ID Theft, but if it does occur, we would be prepared. This gives us peace of mind, knowing we have a team of people fighting for us.

Life Insurance-Him* : Something to note about this category is that we chose to insure ourselves with term life insurance that is 10 times our current income, and covers us for 30 years from the time we first starting paying for the insurance (8 years ago we purchased it).  The logic behind that is, our current home will be completely paid off by then, and our retirement will be increased substantially and coincides when our term insurance plan expires.

Life Insurance-Her *:  Same as above.  If you are looking for Term Life insurance! I would suggest checking out Ladder! They have a 5 minute, instant decision process if you want to see if you qualify.  

Taxes & PrepFees *: We pay an annual fee to have our taxes done.  As the tax laws change we need professional help in itemizing our work expenses and deductions.  In addition, the professional services also provides assistance now that my blog is turning into a business.  We find that paying a professional who is thoroughly knowledgeable in this arena is well worth the expense, and saves us time and stress.

Work Miscellaneous (Master Budget Category)

“His” Work Misc: Items that my husband has to purchase for work is deducted from this budget category

“His” Work Uniforms:  Every few years we need to replace my husband’s uniforms and they are pricey.  We start budgeting for these several months before we purchase them

“Hers” Work Misc *: I pride myself on packing my lunch 99.9% of the time when I work.  This covers anything extra involving work: ie, potlucks, work gifts, showers, birthdays, etc (someone usually collects money for a big gift).

“Hers” Work Uniforms: Thankfully, my employer provides me with the uniform tops, and sweaters that I need. I am a brand ambassador for JAANUU, and they provide me with lots of cute and comfortable scrub pants and outerwear as well, so I no longer budget for this category.

Nurse License Renewal *: They just raised the fee on this bad boy……rats!!! We budget for 2 years because it is a bigger expense, and I have to renew every other year.

Computer/Software/Phone replacements: We both use our computers and phone for work (scheduling, notices about meetings, sick calls, etc).  We itemize these things on our tax deductions, so we claim a small percentage of these expenses. In the past, we have purchased new computers and phones, and paid cash most of the time.  We start budgeting for replacement computers and phones as soon as possible, because they are expensive, and we buy them with cash. We made a commitment to not have any other debt payments, except our mortgage.  

Debt Payoff (Master Budget Category)

*We don’t have this in our budget, but at one time we did, and I know that many people do.  Three main sources of debt are below:

Credit Card Payment *:  Our Plan for paying off debts, five years ago, started with the smallest debt and that was paid off first. We placed extra money towards the principal until it was paid off, then we debt snowballed that amount to the next debt.

Car Payment *:  We purchased brand new cars as a newly married couple.  This was the biggest financial mistake we have made.  According to Carfax, brand new cars can depreciate over 20% in the first year of ownership!  20%?!?!?!?!? My husband’s brand new car was $45,000, so we lost $9,000 in the first year of owning that car!  The things we could have done with that money! Lesson learned, and we will never buy a new car again!

Student Loans *:  We are incredibly thankful that we didn’t have any student loans.  My parents graciously paid for my tuition at Cal State LA (I paid my tuition at the junior college level before I transferred while working part-time jobs), and my husband paid cash for his education at junior college as well and later on when he went back to school for his Bachelor’s degree (his employer covered a good chunk of that tuition).  If you do have student loans, I would recommend checking out Sofi.  They have competitive rates for refinancing. They have a great reputation, and amazing customer service.  

Mortgage reduction: Our budget has a category called debt reduction. Under that category we have “pay off the house fund”.  This would be the final debt snowball if your goal is to become completely debt free. Our goal is to have our current home paid off in 7-10 years.  

Vacations (Master Budget Category)

Camping Fund:  We are a family that loves to camp, so we try to have a few hundred dollars in here at all times.  Having the time off from work to go camping is a different story, but if we have money in this category, we can book a local campsite spontaneously.

Vacation Savings:  We are currently putting money aside in here every month as we have 4 trips planned before the end of the year.  It’s much easier to budget if it’s spread out throughout the year. However, It is not an asterisk category that we budget for at the beginning of every budget meeting.  If our income is low that particular month, then our vacation is no longer a priority and we simply can’t afford to budget for it.

Charity (Master Budget Category)

Tithing *: At the beginning of every budget meeting.  This is the very first thing that my husband and I discuss and budget for.  We have donated 10% of our income since we got married, 10 years ago. This is something that is important to us, and has served our hearts in remembering that money is fleeting, and what’s really important in this life is bringing joy to others.  We give money to our church and to other nonprofit organizations that we care about.

Potluck/Serving Others: Food is my love language.  I love to serve others with food.  Whether it’s bringing a family a meal who just had a baby, or buying a friend a coffee, or making food to bring to a potluck or shower, it fills my heart to be able to provide food for others.  

Random: When we have a little extra income from working overtime, we like to budget for random, anonymous gifts.  From giving our awesome neighbors gift cards, to funding mission trips. We love to find opportunities to serve others with our money when we can.  

Wish List (Master Budget Category)

This is where we put anything extra that is a one-time event.  Some examples: birthday parties, showers that I am hosting. These are usually big ticket items (over $200), that we would prefer to budget for over a few months.  

Mama’s Birthday Party: This is a great example.   For my birthday, I would like to throw a dance party for my birthday in 3 months.  This is going to happen in 3 months. We will start budgeting for this category at the end of this month, and continue to do so for the next 3 months until my birthday month rolls around.  My goal is to cash-flow most of this category with sales I’ve made from Mercari.

Emergency Savings (Master Budget Category)

Pin on 100+ Budget Categories

Emergency Fund:  As Dave Ramsey recommends, start by saving $1,000.  Once your debt has been paid off all except your mortgage, your next step would be to save 3-6 months of your income for a bigger emergency fund.  

Blogging (or self-employed business, Master Budget Category)

These categories are very specific to my blogging business, I’m still in the process of figuring out all of my categories, and will be starting my own separate budget (away from the family’s budget) by the end of the year.  

Tailwind *:  I love tailwind so much!  It has had a huge impacy on bringing in traffic to my blog.  If you have a blog, or are looking to start one, I would highly recommend purchasing tailwind and upgrading to unlimited tribes, and at power up to add at least 200 pin shares in the tribes! The amount you pay is well worth the traffic it brings.  I budget for this all year long since it’s an expensive item.

Blog + Social Media Generated Income:  At this time, I have been using rewardstyle, Google adsense, Viglink, Wordads, and Bluehost to generate income so far.  My goal is to become an affiliate partner with 20 companies that I love, by the end of this year.

Salary:  Right now, we are still keeping quite a bit of income to reinvest back into the business. We keep anywhere from 0%-20% as salary that can be used towards the family’s total income.

Expenditures: Any expenses related to my blog/social media such as: courses, software, editing tools, camera props, conferences, etc.  This is where I find myself stoked during tax season because I kept track in YNAB all year long!!

Tax Savings:  Part of having your own business means that you have to set aside money for taxes.  We have been setting aside 30% of all income earned for taxes. The last thing I want is to come up short when tax season comes.  

Domain Hosting Fees: I use Bluehost for my domain registration and hosting, and I love it.  It’s incredibly easy to use, and their customer service is excellent!  I pay annually, so we budget for this category all year long.

That’s the end of the budget category list.  If you have any categories that I have not listed, please leave them in the comments so I can add them.  Also, if you have any questions, please also leave them below in the comments so I can incorporate them!  

Remember…..budgeting is fun! The first few months can be challenging, but once you get over that hump, it’s so worth it!  You have the ability to take control of your money, and tell it what to do…..not the other way around!

As Dave Ramsey said it best: “A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.”

Thank you so much for stopping by!

Lauren

4 comments on “Best 100+ Budget Categories, Budgeting is Fun!

  1. Great list! Probably the most detailed I have seen. It is obvious you put a lot of effort into it. One item I was looking for is what % are you budgeting for retirement? I know working for a fire department and the hospital, they probably have some type of plan as my husband was federal civil service and a military reservist, both have retirement benefits, but we still had additional money out of our pay put away. So are you taking out the retirement savings before you see the monthly pay? That is a great way to do it as you don’t miss the money as you never saw it in your bank account. We are very much DIYers and our plans include growing a lot of organic fruits and vegetables in our garden, keeping bees to sell the honey and chickens for eggs to sell as well as our own use. I fully understand giving up doing the home barbering as I bought a set of Wahl clippers figuring I would give my two boys their monthly haircuts after each got three horrible haircuts at the barbershop by “licensed professionals”. I watched YouTube videos with my guy and was ready. Then when I had clippers in hand I got flustered and had my guy finish giving my younger his haircut and then on my older son, I handed off to my now husband to finish the scissor cutting portion. The end result was two great looking haircuts, but next time my boys told me I was fired, they wanted my guy to cut their hair. I understood, he does a great job, he had been cutting my hair for me since we first started and I got compliments on my hair. So my frugal mommy plan to cut everybody’s hair failed to work. But the good news was that several years later, he continues to give both of my boys their monthly haircuts even though both are now teenagers. They both like his work, he seemed to have a knack for cutting hair. He also gives haircuts to my best friend and my mom on a regular basis as well, and both are very picky about their hair. I figure it saves me close to a grand a year as boys get their haircuts every 3-4 weeks and mine every 8-10 weeks. My hair reaches past my elbows and they would hammer me with a long hair extra surcharge and I don’t trust the scissor happy hair stylists, that gave me way too many bad haircuts. My hubby also is very handy with tools, he has done repairs and upgrades with electrical, plumbing, painting, carpentry, tile and hardwood flooring. The labor costs can be several times the cost of the materials in a project. So sweat equity is a good investment as you save even more as they are after tax dollars.

    1. Hi! Thank you so much!! Yes, you are completely correct about many things! We do have 15% of our gross income automatically taken out of both our paychecks and placed into a 401K account. As a fireman, my husband will get a pension when he retires as well. So awesome that you are DIYers, and quite the gardeners! My goal is to get a garden up and running in the next year, as that could save lots of money, and I enjoy cooking with lots of fresh herbs! I admire your desire to try to cut hair for your family! After I tried a few times, I realized it was definitely not my gifting, lol. I also have a handy husband that I’m very thankful for! He has saved us lots of money with various projects! I love that you guys have bees, and chickens! That sounds like so much fun!

  2. Thank you for such a thorough list! It has made me rethink my own budget categories. I also use YNAB (for about 2 years) and love it but I know I’m not utilizing all its benefits. I basically just use it as a monthly budget but I know there are tools like reports you can generate and savings goals. i keep saying I’m going to take the time to learn it better, but I haven’t yet! I have a couple questions. 1) On the 3-6 months of savings… is this 3-6 months of our gross or net salary. 2) Do you use cash or an envelope system at all? We mostly use our debit cards. 3) My mom wants me to help her do a budget as my stepfather recently passed away. Do you know of a place I can print off a budget to fill in or a basic online budget. YNAP would be too complicated for her. She just wants to make sure she can live off of her pension or if she needs to take money monthly out of her other funds. Thank you so much. I have enjoyed following you on instagram!

    1. My pleasure, and thank you so much! So glad you found it helpful!! To answer your questions: 1. I would recommend saving 3-6 months of your net salary. The goal of this savings is that if all of the income in your household were to suddenly stop, the bills would still be paid for those 3-6 months. 2. I used to use a cash envelope system for certain categories like groceries, my fun money, entertainment, and a couple of other things. I stopped using it because I lost it twice, and thankfully, it returned both time fully intact with the cash that was in it. I have been contemplating making my own cash envelopes again and only using it for a few things. Yes! There are a couple of good, free budget templates out there! I plan to make one in the future, but I’m a bit away from that. This blog post has alot of great resources for budget templates: https://thesavvycouple.com/budget-templates/ Thank you so much for your encouragement!

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