In the spirit of simplifying life I have once again attempted a simplified budget for this year. When I first started budgeting I had a crazy budget that was extremely detailed I had sub categories within categories and the budget was just really too complicated to sustain for very long.
I realized that I needed a simplified budget if I was going to maintain any interest in tracking my finances. I have tweaked the budget multiple times and in this iteration I think I have something that gives the level of detail that I want but is still easy to manage.
My current budget has the following seven categories:
Auto and Transport
Food and Dining
Bills and Utilities
The categories are the default ones from Mint, which is what I use as my budget management tool. I think the categories are pretty self explanatory and each one holds the expenses that I have on a monthly basis right now.
Home: this is where I account for rent and when purchase a home it will account for my mortgage.
Auto and Transport: this is where I account for all things related to the car. This includes the car loan payments and car insurance, gas, maintenance, and repairs.
Shopping: this is where I account for any purchases for the home, as well as clothing and shoes. I will also put pet supplies in this category because they cannot go into the Food category as I do not eat the cat’s food.
Food and Dining: this is where I account for groceries and the occasional restaurant or fast food purchase.
Education: this is where I account for tuition and books because it makes it really easy to round up for tax purposes.
Bills and Utilities: this is where I account for electricity and phone bills. Internet and water are included in the rent amount so there is no way for me to know what the monthly amount would be.
Miscellaneous: this is where I account for things that do not fit neatly into any of the categories above. I am not really sure what would go in here but if I buy stamps Mint classifies it as shipping, which is not in the categories above. When I give money at church Mint also classifies it as gifts so that would also fit into this category as there is not a space for it above.