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

  • Mortgage or rent
  • Property taxes
  • Household repairs
  • HOA fees

Transportation

  • Car payment
  • 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

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

Insurance

  • Health insurance
  • Homeowner’s or renter’s insurance
  • Auto insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Disability insurance

Household Items/Supplies

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

Personal

  • Gym memberships
  • Haircuts
  • Salon services
  • Cosmetics (like makeup)
  • Babysitter
  • Subscriptions

Debt

  • Personal loans
  • Student Loans
  • Credit cards

Retirement

  • Financial planning
  • Investing

Education

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

Savings

  • Emergency Fund
  • 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

If you need guidance from a professional when creating your budget, find a First Bank* near you. You can also learn more about personal budgeting, saving money, investing and more using First Bank’s online Financial Education Center.