Build a budget worksheet

Categorize your cash and use this guide to help get a handle on household spending.

To create the right budget for your needs you first should understanding where your money is going. To make sure you account for all your family's expenses, including seasonal and occasional purchases, create a budget worksheet with various categories for all your expenditures. We've put together several common categories to help you get started.

Housing

  • Rent or mortgage
  • Heating, cooling and electricity
  • Public services, such as garbage or sewage
  • Maintenance and yard work
  • Furnishings

Transportation

  • Car payments
  • Gasoline and maintenance
  • Auto repairs
  • Auto insurance
  • Public transportation and tolls

Family obligations

  • Child care
  • Education
  • Child support

Entertainment and recreation

  • Computer expenses
  • Cable, videos and movies
  • Hobbies
  • Vacations
  • Kids activities
  • Subscriptions and dues

Health and Medical

  • Insurance
  • Out-of-pocket medical expenses
  • Prescriptions
  • Health and fitness fees

Food

  • Groceries
  • Restaurants and takeout

Pets

  • Food
  • Grooming
  • Vet

Clothing

  • Dry cleaning
  • Purchases

Investments and savings

  • Emergency fund
  • 401(k) or IRA
  • College fund
  • Savings

Debt payments

  • Credit cards
  • Student loans
  • Other loans

Miscellaneous

  • Toiletries
  • Household items
  • Gifts
  • Donations
  • Grooming products and services (haircuts, makeup)
  • Allowance
  • Taxes