Keeping Spending Categories Simple

by anne on July 29, 2011

tracking expensesI track my spending. But that’s only part of the process. I put those expenses in categories. Right now I’ve got over 30 categories that I use both in QuickBooks and in the spreadsheet I use to make projections. Here’s my list with some explanations:

  1. Rent
  2. Phone
  3. Electric
  4. Water
  5. Car Ins
  6. Groceries
  7. Gasoline
  8. Credo cell
  9. Hair cut
  10. Valerie Visit (short train trip to youngest grandkids)
  11. parking/toll
  12. Clothing
  13. Dine
  14. Dining w/clients
  15. Garden
  16. Auto
  17. Household
  18. Self care
  19. misc
  20. gifts given
  21. car wash
  22. Tithe
  23. Tax settlement
  24. Tax savings
  25. Retirement
  26. Prudent Reserve
  27. Nicotine Save
  28. MzTiz Save
  29. Imitrex
  30. Ventolin
  31. Chiropractor
  32. Car repair savings
  33. Gym
  34. New car savings
  35. Kayaking – something I do often in summer
  36. Japan Trip – savings

MzTiz is my cat and she has her own savings account so I can pay for any vet bills easily. A great relief.

Imitrix and Ventolin are prescriptions.

But the point is I can look at my categories and tell what’s going on. For example, as we all know, food has gotten more expensive. Fortunately my income has increased so it’s not a problem for me.

The amount I spent last year on car repair tells me that I really do need a new car, hence the savings.

Your categories will look different than mine, which is as it should be. When I started I had over 100, which was way too many. I may have too many again, although it’s working for me.

Spending categories aren’t meant to be in stone, but be a tool that helps you get clear on exactly how you’re actually spending your money. When you know that you’re in a position to make good decisions.

How do you categorize your spending? 

Love, blessings and abundance,

Anne Wayman



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