If you’re new to budgeting, you may not be sure where to start or what budget categories you should include. That’s why we set out to compile this huge list of 18 budget categories that you should take into account when building your budget.
These are expenses that you will need to cover every month and should be prioritized, especially if you don’t have a lot of disposable income. These budget categories are essential to your basic comfort and survival.
Food is obviously another essential expense that needs to be in your budget. For this category, we recommend including only essential food you would buy for your household, not eating out, coffee, or other non-essential food expenses.
Utilities are also an essential budget item because you will need to pay them every month whether you own or rent your home. While some utilities will stay consistent, others may vary from month to month or season to season. Try to estimate the most you’d pay every month for each utility, so you’re not surprised by a higher than normal bill.
Transportation includes everything other than an auto loan that you need to pay to get around. While many of these expenses will be irregular, you must include them in your budget, so they don’t surprise you. One way to do that is to allocate more than the known monthly costs so that you build up a cushion for when irregular costs arise.
Insurance is another essential item to include in your budget, although some common types of insurance may not apply to you depending on your situation. Insurance can either be paid monthly, bi-annually or annually.
An emergency fund is a savings account meant to be used just as it sounds: for emergencies. While many things could fall into the category of an emergency, an emergency fund’s true purpose is to help you cover true emergencies such as unexpected job loss or medical bills.