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Budgeting 101: Personal Budget Categories

When it comes to creating a personal budget, it can feel like there are a million financial categories to consider. In order to create a successful budget, everything should be accounted for, from large expenses like your mortgage and car payment to smaller expenses like your gym membership and Netflix subscription.

A list of recommended personal budget categories is a great place to start when creating a budget. Here are two ways you can get the most out of the list:

  1. Go through the list and check off each category that applies to you, then add those categories/items to your personal budget spreadsheet.
  2. Create a comprehensive list of everything you spend each month, then go through the categories list to see if there is anything you might have forgotten and need to add to you personal budget spreadsheet.

Recommended Budgeting Categories

Consider including these categories when you create your own budget:

Housing

Transportation

  • Car payment
  • Car warranty
  • Gas
  • Tires
  • Maintenance and oil changes
  • Parking fees
  • Repairs
  • Registration and DMV Fees

Food

  • Groceries
  • Restaurants
  • Pet food

Utilities

  • Electricity
  • Water
  • Garbage
  • Phones
  • Cable
  • Internet

Clothing

  • Adults’ clothing
  • Adults’ shoes
  • Children’s clothing
  • Children’s shoes

Medical/Healthcare

  • Primary care
  • Dental care
  • Specialty care (dermatologists, orthodontics, optometrists, etc.)
  • Urgent care
  • Medications
  • Medical devices

Insurance

Household Items/Supplies

  • Toiletries
  • Laundry detergent
  • Dishwasher detergent
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Tools

Personal

  • Gym memberships
  • Haircuts
  • Salon services
  • Cosmetics (like makeup or services like laser hair removal)
  • Babysitter
  • Subscriptions

Debt

Retirement

  • Financial planning
  • Investing

Education

  • Children’s college
  • Your college
  • School supplies
  • Books

Savings

  • Emergency fund
  • Big purchases like a new mattress or laptop
  • Other savings

Gifts/Donations

  • Birthday
  • Anniversary
  • Wedding
  • Christmas
  • Special occasion
  • Charities

Entertainment 

  • Alcohol and/or bars
  • Games
  • Movies
  • Concerts
  • Vacations
  • Subscriptions (Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, etc.)

Get Professional Personal Finance Advice

Give First Bank’s free MyMoney tool in online and mobile banking a try to get started on your budget or to calculate your net worth. If you need guidance from a professional when creating your budget, find a First Bank near you. You can also learn more about different types of banking services, personal budgeting, saving money, investing and more using First Bank’s online Financial Education Center.

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