Create Budget Subcategories and Main Categories Using Pivot Table Group Ungroup
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Why use personal budget sub-categories
When creating a personal budget, you have to choose your budget categories, including both your income budget categories and expense budget categories. Many money management budget apps and budget spreadsheets will have a main category and subcategory setup. Each sub-category is a subset of a main category (sometimes called a parent category or primary category). For example, you can have a main category called Food and under the Food category would be a Groceries subcategory, Restaurants and Dining Category, and a Coffee Shop Category. This allows you to get subtotals for each subcategory (Groceries, Restaurants, and Coffee Shops) and a grand total for the main category (Food). Other budget apps only have categories with no ability to create subcategories which some people may find easier when creating their budget and tracking their spending.
How to create subcategories by grouping your categories
The Excel templates, Georges Budget for Excel v14 and Georges Excel Checkbook Register v7, allow you to create your own categories and edit your category list. In the category list, you can only create income categories and spending categories (not main categories and subcategories). However, in the custom pivot table reports section of both Excel templates, you can group your custom categories, thus creating a main category / subcategory report. For example, if you created in your budget category list items called Car Loan, Car Gas, Car Insurance, and Car Repairs, you can create a custom pivot table report showing subtotals for those categories. You can then group (and ungroup) those categories and get a main grand total of those categories and call it Total Auto Costs. See sample video below on how to group and ungroup pivot table items in the money management app and checkbook app to create a main category and subcategory report.
How you set up your personal budget in your money management app depends on the features of your personal budget software or simple Excel budget spreadsheet. If your budget app or checkbook app allows you to create subcategories, you can then decide if that is the level of detail that you want to use for tracking your speeding and income. Setting up a budget should be unique to each person and family. Some people like to track only a few budget categories and some people like to track lots of budget categories to be see where the money is spend whether it be on a monthly budget, weekly budget, or biweekly budget. The pros (benefits) of using budget subcategories is that you can get a better picture of your spending on the micro subcategory level and also a better picture of total spending in a broad expense category group such as total spend on cars, housing, food, vacations, etc. The cons of using main category and subcategories is that the more categories you use, including creating subcategories, the more personal financial data that you have to analyze such as comparing spending trends both in prior years, current year and future time periods. The key to budgeting is finding the best budget app and best checkbook software that meets your needs and wants to manage your personal wealth growth, help you save money, and reduce debt and cut spending.
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