20 Expense Categories You Need to Consider for Your Budget

Budget - Complete Controller

When making a budget, you need to make sure you cover every possible expense, so you have the most accurate overview of your income and expenses along with full knowledge of where your money is going every month. If you are easily living within your means, you still need a budget to keep track of your finances. However, if you’re struggling financially, you need the budget to help you identify where the problems are and where you can cut out or cut back. To help you when making a thorough budget, here are twenty categories you should consider adding if they apply to you. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

  1. Rent and Utilities

The most important expenses should always be your rent and utilities. There should be no budget that does not include these expenses unless you have the fortune to live somewhere rent-free.

  1. Food and Groceries

Food is also at the top of the list of expenses on your budget because it is necessary 100% of the time. While it is a necessity, it is not a fixed expense, and if you don’t budget it carefully and stick with it, you can run into a budget shortage.

  1. Daily Incidentals

This could be your lunch from work, gas to get to work, or that latte you can’t pass up. This category covers expenses that can be more random but need to be accounted for in your budget for accuracy.

  1. Irregular Expenses and Emergency Fund

These are expenses that come out of nowhere and are unexpected. Still, if you contribute to your emergency fund each month, you should have enough to cover any irregular and unexpected expenses. Having an emergency fund means you are never caught off guard financially when something unexpected happens.

  1. Household Maintenance

It would be best if you were allocating some of your budget every month to household maintenance. Having this expense and using it regularly will help avoid bigger and way more expensive issues later. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

  1. Work Wardrobe and Upkeep

While this will likely not be a monthly expense, it is good to build it into your budget. You may need clothing for events or other areas besides the workplace. Having a budget will have you ready for any wardrobe need that arises.

  1. Subscriptions & Data

Subscriptions to music services, streaming services, and online publications are an expense almost every household has, so it needs to have its category, so you don’t forget them. Most of these are automated, so you need to make sure you know the amount and the charge’s date to ensure it is covered.

  1. Guests

The guest’s category won’t make everyone’s budget; however, if you are a person who often entertains guests, whether, for dinner or overnight and holidays, you need to include the extra expenses in your budget.

  1. Travel Expenses

If you travel and your work doesn’t cover your expenses, you will need to allocate some of your budget. This could also be where you expense a vacation.

  1. Memberships

The membership category is where you would cover your memberships, such as the gym. These are not to be confused with subscriptions or dues mentioned later. This category covers any money you pay to be a member of a physical place.

  1. Prescriptions and Medicine

If you are on regular medication, this category will be relatively fixed. However, you can’t predict illness and may not know you will need the expense, so allocating some of your income to this category can ensure you have what you need when you need it.

  1. Pet Care

This category will only be included if you have a pet. This would be expenses for food and pet care, including vet visits.

  1. Bank Account Fees

Some banks have regular monthly fees. If this is the case for you, then you need this category on your expenses.

  1. Parking

Parking is another expense that will not be on everyone’s budget, but if you regularly pay for parking, it needs to be included to keep track of spending. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

  1. Car Registration

Car registration is not a monthly expense, but you need to make sure you have it on your budget for the month it is due to save and not be forgotten.

  1. Entertainment

The entertainment category is unnecessary; however, it is okay to have some fun built into your budget. It is the first cut when you have struggles, but living within your means, there is a place for it in your budget.

  1. Birthdays

Being prepared for the birthdays of the important people in your life will ensure you put some thought and time into their special day.

  1. Holiday Gifts

Many people wait until the last minute to go holiday shopping. However, if your budget for it a little throughout the year, you won’t need to create debt to cover all your gift-giving needs.

  1. Charitable Contributions

If you are one who is charitable, you will need this as part of your budget. This expense can cover donations and church tithes and offerings. Keep in mind all of these can be written off on your taxes, so keep your payment or donation receipts.

  1. Dues

Dues could include union dues or Homeowners Association fees and any other dues you pay monthly or yearly.

There could be other customized categories that you need to add to your budget. The important thing is that every single expense has a place on your budget, so you don’t forget to pay them, and so you know what income you need and where to cut if you need to save or close a gap.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual bookkeeping, providing service to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks™️ file, critical financial documents, and back-office tools in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of certified US-based accounting professionals provide bookkeeping, record storage, performance reporting, and controller services including training, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, process and controls advisement, and bill-pay. With flat-rate service plans, Complete Controller is the most cost-effective expert accounting solution for business, family-office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers