12 Top Budget Categories You Need In Your Plan

A budget can mean different things to different people depending on how financially literate they are. Someone who owns a small business thinks of a budget differently from someone who works a 9-to-5 job.

Why Do I Need A Budget?

The most obvious reason to make a budget is so you are never caught off-guard with more bills than money throughout the month – especially towards the end of the month or right before you get paid.

Housing Expenses

Be aware of the expenses you have. Check out your bank statement, your cash (if you carry any around), and any subscriptions and automated payments you may be making.

Top 12 Budget Categories

This is a pretty easy category to place in the highest priority as it impacts so many aspects of your life, with your health and safety being one of the most important. Of course, you also need a stable housing situation to perform well at work, which is necessary for maintaining shelter, creating a circular dependency.


While a shelter is arguably the most essential expense you might have, utilities are not far down the list and often seen as a housing-related expense. There are a couple of reasons for this, but the ability to live comfortably in your home is just as crucial for your health as actually having a home.

Transportation Costs 

This might be the next most important expense after housing, given how American population centers are designed and structured. While some areas may allow you to get away without having your own vehicle, rarely can you get away without having some form of transportation.


This is likely one of the last categories that we consider necessary for survival, though it is far from the last one we consider essential. Other categories below are arguably equally important, but you can often get by without them – for a time – before they eventually become a necessity.


This is one of those categories that we referred to prior where you do not need it for your physical survival, but it is still a societal necessity and should be considered a high-priority. This broader category covers numerous sub-categories that may or may not apply to you.

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