A Master List of Budget Categories

Creating a budget helps set you up for financial success. You know where your money is going and how much you can save for your emergency fund, big purchases, and for other things.

But when listing out all of your expenses, it might feel like there a million different categories to consider. It is easy to forget a category, but it is important that every expense is accounted for.

Big expenses like rent or mortgage payment down to small expenses like your Netflix subscription. That way your financial goals aren’t derailed. And you aren’t left scratching your head wondering where your money went.

There are two different ways that you can use this list.

  1. Go through the list and make a note of the ones that apply to you and your family’s needs. Then add them to your budget.
  2. When making your budget make a detailed list of everything you spend each month. Then go through the list and see if you have forgotten any categories that need to be added to your budget.

Yes, there will be categories on this list that will not apply to you at all. And that’s okay. Skip those. The important part is that you add all of the categories that align with your lifestyle and spending habits.

Related: How to Build a Budget in 4 Easy Steps

How Many Budget Categories Do You Need?

Don’t get overwhelmed by this list. There are so many categories because everyone’s needs are different. Your budget will be personalized to your family’s needs.

Which means you can make it as simple or as complex as you would like to it to be. If you want to lump some of the categories together to make it one big category, you can do that. Or if you need everything seperated, that works too.

Try not to get too caught up in the details. But find what works for you. Remember, once your budget is made, it is not set in stone. It will require tweaking, small or big adjustments and patience to get it where you want it to be.

A Master List of Personal Budget Categories – Over 125 Different Ones


  • Paycheck
  • Side Hustle
  • Alimony
  • Child Support
  • Cash Gifts
  • Job Bonuses
  • Tips
  • Self-Employment


  • Mortgage/Rent Payment
  • Home Owner Association (HOA) Fees
  • Lawn Care
  • Home Maintenance/Repairs
  • Home Improvements/Upgrades
  • Pool Maintenance
  • Property Taxes
  • Home Security System Service
  • Home Warranty


  • Electricity
  • Gas
  • Water
  • Sewer
  • Heating
  • Garbage
  • Recycling
  • Internet
  • Cable
  • Phone


  • Groceries


  • Car Loan
  • Gas
  • Car Maintenance/Repairs
  • Oil Changes
  • Annual Car Fees (Inspection, Emission, Registration)
  • Parking Fees
  • Public Transportation (Subway, Bus, Taxis)
  • Uber/Lyft
  • Roadside Assistance (AAA)
  • Tolls


  • Dry Cleaning
  • Adult Clothing
    • Tops
    • Bottoms
    • Underwear
    • Socks
    • Shoes
  • Kid Clothing
    • Tops
    • Bottoms
    • Underwear
    • Socks
    • Shoes


  • Toys
  • Baby Necessities
    • Diapers
    • Formula
    • Wipes
  • Daycare
  • Babysitter
  • Extra-Curricular Activities
  • Lunch Money
  • Kids Sports Gear
  • Allowance
  • Tuition
  • School Uniforms
  • School Supplies


  • Doctor Appointments
  • Prescriptions
  • Over-the-Counter Medication
  • Hospital Visits
  • Dentist Appointments
  • Glasses
  • Contacts/Contact Solution
  • Vitamins
  • Supplements


  • Mortage
  • Renters
  • Vision
  • Dental
  • Medical
  • Car
  • Life
  • Property
  • Disability
  • Pet

Household Supplies

  • Furniture
  • Pet Supplies
  • Home Decor
  • Cleaning Products
  • Paper Products
  • Tools

Personal Care

  • Hair Appointments
  • Manicures
  • Pedicures
  • Massages/Spa
  • Makeup


  • Gym
  • Magazines
  • Netflix
  • Hulu
  • Disney +
  • Amazon Prime
  • Music (Spotify/Pandora/Google Play)


  • Restaurants
  • Coffee Shops
  • Fast Food
  • Alcohol
  • Bars
  • Books
  • Hobbies/Crafts
  • Movies/Concerts/Sporting Events
  • New Technology (phone, computer, TV)


  • Food
  • Medication
  • Toys
  • Vet Visits


  • Tithing
  • Charity


  • Holidays
  • Birthday
  • Wedding
  • Wedding Showers
  • Baby Showers


  • Baggage Fees
  • Vacations
  • Trips
  • Souvenirs
  • Airplane Cost
  • Gas for Road Trip


  • Student Loans
  • Personal Loans
  • Medical
  • Credit Cards


  • Emergency Fund
  • Retirement
  • College
  • Investments


  • Financial Adviser
  • Lawyer
  • Accountant


  • Postage
  • ATM Fees
  • Family Pictures

What are some of the categories that are included in your budget? 

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