Personal Budget Categories for Personal Finance Software

Applies to Excel templates: "Georges Budget for Excel"

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What Budget Categories should you use?

Personal budget categories should be just that, personal, based on your particular household expenses, spending needs and income sources. Usually you can start with a large category group such as utilities or insurance and break it down from there. How much you spend on each category depends on your personal finance situation. For example, some people may have their mortgage paid off, while others may just be starting off and have a large mortgage so that expense will be a large percentage of their budget. Others may have large medical bills to pay off. Some may need just simple budget categories and other will need more detailed budget category list to keep track of their spending and income.

Sample budget categories

Sample categories are included in Georges Budget for Excel to give you some ideas. You can add, delete, rename your own budget categories to fit your specific household spending in the budget spreadsheet.


  • Bonus
  • Deposit
  • Gifts Received
  • Interest Income
  • Retirement Income
  • Salary
  • Tax Refund
  • Unemployment Income


  • ATM/Cash Withdraw
  • Auto - Gasoline/Fuel
  • Auto - Insurance
  • Auto - Loan
  • Auto - Registration
  • Auto - Service/Parts
  • Babysitting
  • Bank Service Fees
  • Charity - Cash
  • Charity - Non Cash
  • Clothing/Shoes
  • Computer
  • Computer Accessories
  • Computer Software
  • Condo Association - Assessment
  • Condo Association - Maintenance
  • Credit Monitoring
  • Education
  • Entertainment
  • Gifts Given
  • Glasses / Contact Lenses
  • Groceries
  • Home - Appliances
  • Home - Cleaning Products
  • Home - Cleaning Services
  • Home - Dry Clean/Laundry
  • Home - Furniture
  • Home - Lawn Service
  • Home - Linens
  • Home - Misc Expenses
  • Home - Remodel
  • Home - Repair
  • Home - Table/Cookware
  • Insurance - Disability
  • Insurance - Flood
  • Insurance - Home Maintenance
  • Insurance - Homeowners
  • Insurance - Hurricane
  • Insurance - Life
  • Insurance - Long Term Care
  • Insurance - Mortgage
  • Interest Expense/Fees
  • Medical - Doctor/Hospital
  • Medical - Insurance
  • Medical - Prescriptions
  • Mortgage
  • Overdraft Fees
  • Personal Care - Hairstyle/Cut
  • Personal Care - Health Club
  • Personal Care - Massage
  • Personal Care - Products
  • Pet Care
  • Postage
  • Property Taxes
  • Rent
  • Restaurants/Dining
  • Shipping
  • Subscriptions
  • Tax Prep Fee
  • Utilities - Cable/Satellite TV
  • Utilities - Calling Card
  • Utilities - Cell Phone
  • Utilities - Electric/Gas
  • Utilities - Garbage/Recycling
  • Utilities - Internet Access
  • Utilities - Skype-VOIP
  • Utilities - Telephone
  • Utilities - Water
  • Vacation
  • Vitamins


  • Split
  • Not Categorized
  • Retirement Contributions
  • Credit Card Payments
  • Transfers


Help Topic: Category List & Budget sheet

On the Category List & Budget sheet you can create your own categories. Georges Budget for Excel includes a list of sample categories which can be changed or deleted, with the exception of the "Not categorized" and "Split" categories which can't be deleted or changed.

Enter category names and budget amounts by typing them directly in the cells. Do not copy or move data within or to the Category List & Budget sheet.

To delete information in cells, use the Delete key on the keyboard or the "Clear Contents" command. Do not use the "Clear all" or "Clear formats" commands.

Enter Budget Amounts in Category List & Budget sheet as positive amounts. Enter budget amounts for Income Categories and Expense Categories but not for Other Categories. If a category is not allocated a budget amount > $0.00, then enter $0.00 for the budget amount.

If you change (rename) or delete a category in the Category List & Budget sheet that was previously used in the Registers, you must also change (rename) or recategorize the category in the Registers.

The Recategorize button at the top of the Category List & Budget sheet is to recategorize a transaction from one category to another. If applicable, the Recategorize button at the top of the Category List & Budget sheet will make changes in all the Registers and it will only make applicable changes to categories located in the Category column. This Recategorize button will make applicable changes within all the Registers, even if there are Filters applied and rows are hidden. The Recategorize button will remove any applied Filters and make applicable changes to all data in the Registers. This Recategorize button will not work if there are error message(s) in the Balance column of the Registers. This Recategorize button does not make changes to the Category List located in the Category List & Budget Sheet. Make changes to Category List by going to the Category List & Budget sheet and entering /editing the data directly In the cells.

There are also Recategorize buttons within each Register that recategorize items only in the Register that the buttons are located in.

You can also change the category of a transaction directly in the Registers Category column by choosing another category from the drop down menu in the cell.

If you try to recategorize to a category name that is not in the Category List, you need to add it to the Category List first. The Category List is located in the Category List & Budget sheet.

You can also sort the budget categories alphabetically within each category type (income categories, expense categories, other categories) so it will be easy to see and find them in your Category List.

Georges Budget for Excel is a simple budget spreadsheet that allows you to set up, create, and choose your own budget categories that fits your needs. In the budget category list, you can create and edit your own custom categories but not subcategories. However, for both Georges Budget for Excel v14 and Georges Excel Checkbook Register v7, you can create subcategories by grouping budget category items in the custom Pivot table reports thus creating a main category and subcategory report.


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