Expense Categories

Here’s two examples of categorizing your expenses.  Since using Quicken, I have a Main Category and Sub Categories.  So my Dining Out category has sub-categories (lunch, dinner, coffee). This helped clarify which meal time we spent the most on.  Since my husband loves coffee, we were also able to tell how much a month he was spending specifically on coffee.  The important thing when creating your categories is coming up with the order or grouping that best suits your life.  Instead of using the words “dining out”, you may prefer “eating out”.  We have a budget for purchasing books, so it’s important for us to track how much we spend on books.  You may never buy books but spend a lot on knitting, in which you really need a separate category instead of grouping it with something else.  If your categories match your life, you have a accurate picture of where your money is spent.

  • Auto – insurance, fuel, loan, service
  • Children – sports, college, education supplies, toys
  • Bank/Finance  Charges
  • Cell Phone
  • Childcare
  • Clothing – shoes, accessories, dry cleaning
  • Dining Out
  • Debt – credit card, student loan
  • Donations – church, ministries, other
  • Entertainment – camping, golf, movies, parks
  • Gifts Given – birthdays, Christmas, other
  • Groceries – food, paper products, cleaners, toiletries
  • Haircuts
  • Hobby – photography, scrap booking, knitting, gym membership
  • House – furniture, mortgage, improvements, pest control, garden, power washing
  • Life Insurance
  • Material Things – magazine subscriptions, books, music, décor
  • Medical – dentist, eye dr., yearly checkups, prescription medicine
  • Office – postage, printer supplies, computer supplies, internet svc
  • Pets – shots and food
  • Telephone – including long distance
  • Utilities – electric, gas, trash pickup, water, cable
  • Auto – insurance, fuel, service
  • Clothing/Health – shoes, accessories, dry cleaning for adults/parents, haircuts, toiletries, gym membership
  • Debt – credit card, student loan, car loan, bank and credit card finance charges
  • Donations – church, ministries, other
  • Recreation – dining out, camping, golf, movies, parks
  • Gifts Given – birthdays, Christmas, other
  • Groceries – food, paper products, cleaners
  • House – utilities (elec/gas/phone/cable/internet), furniture, décor, linens, mortgage, improvements, pest control, garden, power washing, lawn mower, repairs
  • Medical/Life – insurance, dentist, eye dr., yearly checkups, prescription medicine
  • Office/Hobby – postage, printer supplies, computer supplies, scrap booking, knitting, books, music
  • Investments/Savings
  • Education/Travel

“If a person gets his attitude toward money straight, it will straighten out almost every other area in his life.” Billy Graham

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