Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Budgeting Categories

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Budgeting Categories

    I'm moving my budget from spreadsheets to an online platform, so that it's easier for my husband to access and update. (Only I can understand my spreadsheets).

    It's time to update my budget categories. Don't ask me why, but I always struggle with this. I'm in accounting so that may be why I care so much.
    I like to have main categories and sub-categories, but then I get hung up.
    Should medical insurance be under a medical category, or an insurance category? I'm overthinking, I know.

    What are your categories?

    #2
    I try to keep it simple. The word "subcategory" makes my skin crawl. My budget is mostly just what I see as the big categories:
    Taxes
    Housing
    Utilities
    Insurance
    Childcare
    Auto
    Food
    Savings/Investments
    Debt
    Charity
    Entertainment
    Everything else
    "Praestantia per minutus" ... "Acta non verba"

    Comment


      #3
      I don't budget, but if I did, I would keep everything medical under "insurance", including copays and deductibles. Subcategories just confuse things. If it really bothers you, maybe keep a detailed one for yourself and a simple one for your husband?

      Comment


        #4
        I guess it would depend on the purpose.

        I put everything medical (including insurance) under medical. The reason is because we can deduct on our taxes. & I do have sub-categories because I need to know what was for medical insurance and what was for dental expenses, etc. We also have a deductible so I keep track of medical expenses (so I can just eyeball when we've hit our deductible).

        Same for insurance. I have subcategories for insurance, so I can track year over year changes, and helps when shopping around. If you don't have any need to separate out everything medical, then I am sure it's fine to put medical insurance in this category.

        Other stuff I probably largely lump together or don't care too much about because I don't need details. I can look up my categories tonight, and share.

        Comment


          #5
          Since you are changing to an online platform to make it easier for DH to access and update budget information, I suggest you begin with broader based categories as suggested by kork. Our categories are similar but I've divided 'Investments' into 'Retirement' and 'Non Retirement.' We spend significant sums on Travel so it's an added line item

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by annibe11e View Post
            I'm moving my budget from spreadsheets to an online platform, so that it's easier for my husband to access and update. (Only I can understand my spreadsheets).

            It's time to update my budget categories. Don't ask me why, but I always struggle with this. I'm in accounting so that may be why I care so much.
            I like to have main categories and sub-categories, but then I get hung up.
            Should medical insurance be under a medical category, or an insurance category? I'm overthinking, I know.

            What are your categories?
            What are you guys going to be using? An app like YNAB.com , Pear Budget, or Level Money? Or something more retroactive like Mint.com ?

            Here's what I'd suggest and what we use.

            Charity
            Savings
            Housing
            Utilities
            Food
            Clothing
            Transportation
            Medical/Health
            Insurance
            Personal
            Recreation/Entertainment
            Debt (Note: All we have left is our mortgage)
            ~ Eagle

            Comment


              #7
              I don't "budget" I track my spending. Here are my categories:
              Apparel
              Bills
              Business
              Car
              Church
              Date
              FastFood
              Food
              Fun
              Gas
              Gift
              Home
              Invest
              Kitchen
              Medical
              Memberships
              Toiletries
              Tools
              Toys
              Yard
              Miscellaneous
              "Big" (things that aren't really part of the budget and came from savings, most years don't have these expenses, examples: lump mortgage payoff or a new car you've been saving up for)

              Click here to download my tracker in Excel. It has comments to clarify each of the categories. It is a little complicated, but it has served my family well for over 3 years with very little change.
              -Milly
              Personal Finance Blogger, Mechanical Engineer, and Mother of 3 Toddlers
              milly.savingadvice.com

              Comment


                #8
                I use mint and it sort of works. I'm really terrible about it. I tend to throw medical stuff together.
                LivingAlmostLarge Blog

                Comment


                  #9
                  Have you asked your husband what categories he wants to see and what might work best for him?
                  Gailete
                  http://www.MoonwishesSewingandCrafts.com

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I actually like categories and subcategories. I work from gross, rather than take home like most budgeters.

                    Just looking at the spending side ...

                    Insurance
                    Car
                    House
                    Umbrella
                    LTC
                    Life
                    Medical

                    Medical Out of Pocket

                    Groceries

                    Car
                    Gas
                    Service
                    Government Fees
                    Utilities
                    Electric
                    Water
                    Cell Phone
                    Gas
                    Cable/Internet
                    House
                    Mortgage
                    HOA
                    Services
                    HVAC
                    Exterminator
                    Security
                    Household
                    Wares
                    Upkeep/Projects
                    Entertainment
                    Eating Out
                    Activities
                    Media
                    Gifts
                    Family/Friends
                    Christmas/Mega-Day
                    Charity
                    Personal
                    Clothing
                    Care
                    Exercise
                    Work
                    Hobby
                    Incidentals


                    We also have spending that comes out of a savings account:

                    Car purchase
                    Travel
                    Property Tax
                    Charitable Fund
                    Durable Goods

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Like Milly, I just track spending:

                      Note: **Tracked for taxes

                      Spending Allowances (his/her)

                      Auto
                      - Fuel - car 1
                      - Fuel - car 2
                      -Insurance
                      - Registration**
                      - Service (This is a default Quicken category. I figure it encompasses repairs/maintenance)

                      {The thing about this is fuel transactions are numerous and I want to quickly break out per car. But for insurance and registration, it's easy to see what was for which car, since it's just a couple of bills per year}.

                      Charity**
                      Clothing
                      Dining Out
                      Education (school supplies and summer camps)
                      Gifts Given
                      Groceries
                      Gym/Fitness
                      Gymnastics (I eventually decided to separate this out, extra-curricular for child. Like I said before, I largely lump things together unless I find a need for more details)
                      Hair Cuts
                      Home Repair
                      Household (Don't use much. Last year was for ant traps and light bulbs)

                      Insurance
                      - Disability
                      - Home
                      - Life

                      Medical**
                      - Dental
                      -Insurance
                      -Other

                      Misc
                      - Misc - Big Purchases
                      - Other
                      - Data Backup
                      - Concerts/Events (is where we spend a lot of our money, so warrants its own category)
                      - Electronics
                      - Kids
                      - Movies
                      - Photos
                      - Tolls & Parking

                      Mortgage Interest**
                      Mortgage Principle
                      Property Taxes**

                      Utilities
                      - Cable TV (we cut the cord a long time ago, but put all TV subscriptions here. Initially was just for year over year comparison when we first switched. I suppose I could rename this category)
                      - Gas & Electric
                      -Internet
                      -Telephone
                      -Water

                      Vacation
                      Veterinary Care

                      {I use Quicken, so this is not time intensive. If using something less electronic/automatic, I would probably simplify and use less categories}.
                      Last edited by MonkeyMama; 06-09-2017, 06:18 AM.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Interesting, since we don't have a budget per se. I keep spiral bound notebooks that are good for a few years. Each page is dedicated to a month and for each Wednesday in the month I have a section for what bills will be due. SS recipients get their checks deposited on Wednesdays so when I went from Friday paydays to Wednesdays I just changed the dates. Usually I have 4 section taking up a quarter of a page and in a month like May I squeeze in another 5th section. At the beginning of the year I go through and write in under the appropriate date for when a bill needs to be paid so not to be late, each regular item like the mortgage on our house, the rental property, Christmas Club (whether we use it for Christmas or not, it is always nice to have that towards the end of the year. I write down when the medical insurances are paid and how much, we pay for life insurance every November so it gets put into that section in January, we have a business insurance policy that gets paid in February so it goes with the date just prior to it. Then as utility bills and credit card bills show up, they are written down where they belong. Utility bills are written down where they go as does the care, fire and rental fire insurance. Property taxes, go in April and Sept. and estimate income taxes in their sections.

                        By the times that January starts all the big bills have been written down when they will be due. Only for some is the amount not known, but I know it is coming and so I know to look for it if it hasn't shown up. I have been doing this for 20+ years and it was the only way to deal with our horrendous finances when married to the money spending ex. Now I know with our limited pay, what needs to be paid when, with just a glance. When income comes in since we are self-employed, we tuck 30% of it in a tax savings account, we have 'spare' money from the rental in another account in case the furnace blows or whatever, and I invest a % of any profits from my pattern business.

                        Things like gifts, entertainment and eating out are budgeted by looking in our wallets or checking account. I've tried regular budgets and they would drive me batty, as you usually are following someone else's method for dealing with a budget so there are many line items things that we won't be saving for such as travel, although I'm very thankful that I got to travel a lot in my college student days since I'm not up to it now. If we have spare cash and nothing big is coming up in the next few weeks, we can make extra payments on the credit card bills.

                        Not people’s usual concept of a budget, but it does what a budget is supposed to do and that is make sure your finances are paid correctly, that savings is taking place, that retirement funds are being set aside, and bills are paid on time. When I first started this system, one of my old books shows that at one point I was paying $1100 in minimum payments on credit card bills, $900+ on the mortgage, $400+ on a car, plus utility bills, etc. I was bringing in $900 every two weeks. I never had a clue what “dear’ hubby would be bringing home as his pay depended on his load and he would take up to $100 a week in cash advances! But on average he made about $300-400/week take home (before those cash advances). Don’t even ask me how I was managing to feed 5 people, and pay for anything needed like the meds I was on at the time.

                        For me doing it this way works
                        Gailete
                        http://www.MoonwishesSewingandCrafts.com

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by MonkeyMama View Post
                          I put everything medical (including insurance) under medical. The reason is because we can deduct on our taxes.
                          We don't budget, so I can't answer the question, but I wanted to comment on this.

                          I realize you know this, MonkeyMama, but for the benefit of others, whether or not you can deduct health insurance premiums depends on how you pay them. We pay ours pre-tax so we get the tax benefit upfront. We can't deduct those costs later. So if you want to separate deductible from non-deductible spending, keep that in mind.
                          Steve

                          * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                          * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                          * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Steve, Is that due to the HSA that you spend pre-tax? This is one of those things that I don't understand why these accounts aren't open for anyone that wants one. Why only people that have an employer and not the self-employed, etc. I realize you didn't make the decision, but it just doesn't seem fair that people due to less income perhaps are cut off from savings like that.
                            Gailete
                            http://www.MoonwishesSewingandCrafts.com

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Gailete View Post
                              Steve, Is that due to the HSA that you spend pre-tax? This is one of those things that I don't understand why these accounts aren't open for anyone that wants one. Why only people that have an employer and not the self-employed, etc. I realize you didn't make the decision, but it just doesn't seem fair that people due to less income perhaps are cut off from savings like that.
                              No. It's not related to the HSA. It's just that my health insurance is through my employer and the premiums are taken out of my paycheck before taxes. My previous insurance, which was through my other employer, was also taken out pre-tax.

                              I actually no longer have a high-deductible plan with an HSA. I got rid of that when I switched my insurance to a policy through my urgent care job. I actually only had the HSA for 7 months. We still have the account. We just can't contribute to it anymore. We can draw from it for medical expenses though.
                              Steve

                              * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                              * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                              * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X