Happy with your budget categories? Please share!

I'm curious to know how people organize their budget categories. Thinking of making some changes for 2018 and would love to see what people use (and don't use).

What are your budget categories?

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  • I do two things differently than most posters here:

    1. I do have a reimbursement category for work and friends. As these (should) zero out I don't want them to meddle with my reporting or income. That way they stay separate and I always know who owns me. ;-)

    2. Under True Expenses I list all yearly recurring expenses by month (Like Amazon prime, YNAB, car registration, car insurance, house insurance, property taxes, birthdays, thanksgiving, christmas). I have like 26 of them.   That way I always have the money when it's due and it doesn't bloat the other categories with money which I can't spend.

    3. I do have a category for next month budget. I found it very important to have as this is the category which gets funded first with the first paychecks which come in. This money goes into TBB on the first on every month and gets spread over the budget (one click budgeting!) When there is left overs they will go to savings. When I run out of budgeted money and can't move money between the categories I will tap into the savings. That hurts mentally every time as I see my savings amount getting reduced with every overdraft!

      • Daily Impressions
      • YNABer since Jan 2020
      • daily_impressions
      • 11 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Navy Blue Stallion I follow the same technique as you for points #1 and #3.  I posted my current categories in a separate post below.

  • I simplified this year... screenshot is huge (not sure why)

    Like 1
    • Brown Dog Your budget makes me smile! So simple and love the emojis! My budget is full of them, too. And glad Scouty Brown gets a full category all their own. 🐕 

  • After 1 year and various re-organizing my categories, I using these now.  It helps will budgeting and I like how the categories work for historical reporting as well.  I can cover my monthly budget so when I get paid it goes into the "Next Month Budget" category until the month rolls over.   

    Like 1
    • Daily Impressions ooh, a Wine Club! 🍷 I just found a category missing from my budget! 😉

      I'm seeing a few categories (like parking, or ones associated with sold property) that seem like they my no longer be relevant. Have you considered hiding these?

  • Been working to make it as simple as possible.


    Monthly - Recurring Variable

    Planned:   Irregular Variable

    Fixed:  Recurring Fixed

    Savings: Irregular Variable (Moved to Planned and deleted when ready to spend)


    Plan out expenses for the month or future months by adding categories into the Planned category. Delete these categories when they are spent, and move the transaction to Planned: General.

    I haven't been able to find a real point to tracking irregular variable expenses in separate categories as they don't influence future spending or budgeting decisions. Doing this cuts down time thinking about where to categorize irregular variable expenses and cuts down the number of categories. 

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