Hello everyone! I’m back with another Budgeting article since some of you have been curious about certain budget categories, making me excited to share this list! Budgeting is crucial, especially these days when a global pandemic has placed our finances in a whirlwind.

Do you use a Budgeting System?

Sadly, many are still not following a budgeting method. After taking a survey, GOBankingRates discovered that 52% of men and 45% of women do not follow a strategy. Many of us who have been affected are just starting to recuperate from income loss. Thus, budgeting our remaining cash is of utmost importance if we want to survive until the next payday or when businesses are back-rolling.

I’ve mentioned how I budget in many previous posts. Yup, using the Cash Envelope System has tremendously changed my life! But whatever method you are using – be it zero-based, 50/30/20 method, or others – we have our own unique set of budgeting categories.

Why did I come up with a Budgeting Category List?

I don’t wanna be the bearer of bad news but I’d have to say, you might be missing some MAJOR categories in your budget. My ultimate goal is for you to plan and save money for upcoming expenses instead of using your credit card or dipping into your Emergency Fund to pay for them. By planning these expenses months ahead, you can be on your way to a life of financial freedom. This is also one way where you can see where you can cut expenses.

This list below is extensive. If you notice a few vital categories that are missing from your household budget then don’t be afraid to add or tweak some categories. My list is just a guide but remember, there is no one-size-fits-all strategy for budgeting.

Alright! So here’s the list of personal budget categories that you can use every month to really organize your funds.

List of 100 Budget Categories in the Philippines

Income

You may not notice that some of your income may come from other sources, so make sure to read the list below. Some of the additional income sources are:

  • Paycheck/Salary
  • Bonus
  • Investment
  • Side Hustle
  • SSS
  • Cashbacks
  • Child Support
  • Spouse’s Support
  • Gifts

When you check your payslip, you may encounter these terms:

  • Gross Income – your income before taxes and other contributions and deductions.
  • Net Income – the amount after all taxes, contributions and deductions have been deducted. This is the amount that is credited to your bank account.

Now you won’t get confused with these two terms! When budgeting, it’s best to pay attention to your NET INCOME which we can safely call your “take home” amount of cash.

Give

Just to remind everyone, Wealth Rule no.1.  ALWAYS PAY YOURSELF FIRST.

INCOME – SAVINGS=EXPENSES

Personally, I recommend prioritizing your funds for church offerings as soon as you receive your payslip. All the blessings we have come from HIM – your job, your wealth, your LIFE, EVERYTHING – hence it is truly righteous to give it back and pay it forward.

So here’s a little tweak to that equation:

INCOME – CHURCH OFFERINGS- SAVINGS = EXPENSES

Moreover, other budgeting categories related to “giving” are:

  • Church Offerings
  • Charity
  • Gifts
  • Birthdays
  • Weddings
  • Baby Showers
  • Graduation
  • Christmas
  • Other Occasions

Saving

Using the equation above, your next step is to PAY YOURSELF. We often pay our bills first before saving on what’s left. This “leftover strategy” is actually why most of the time, we don’t get to save a single centavo.

  • Emergency Fund
  • Retirement
  • Investments
  • College
  • Travel/Vacation
  • New car
  • New Gadgets
  • Personal Savings
  • Downpayment
  • Long-term goals
  • Short-term goals

Food

It’s okay to occasionally order from Foodpanda or takeout some pizza you’ve been craving for. But if you really want to free up money in your budget, this is one of the flexible categories to do so. I recommend Meal Planning, though I know not everyone has the luxury of time to whip up a homecooked meal every single day.

  • Groceries
  • Meal Plan (pamalengke)
  • Eating out
  • Coffee Shop
  • Child’s Lunch/Pocket money
  • Work Lunch
  • Alchohol/Liquor

Utilities

  • Water
  • Electricity
  • Cable
  • Internet/ Plan
  • Gas
  • Telephone

Transportation

As of this writing, public transportation is limited due to the coronavirus scare – the reason why the government promotes biking as one of the safest means of transportation, just to avoid contracting the virus. You might want to add buying a bike to the list below:

  • Gasoline
  • Car Maintenance
  • Registration Fees
  • Parking Fees
  • Toll Fees
  • Public Transportation
  • Carwash
  • Car Accessories
  • Airfare

Fun & Recreation

What is life if it’s all pure work and no play? I’m sure many of us get thrilled with allocating funds for these categories! Go ahead, treat yourself for learning how to be a good steward in handling your money.

  • Hobbies
  • Entertainment
  • Subscriptions
  • Concerts
  • Sport events
  • Books
  • Travel

Insurance

I do not need to reiterate the importance of insurance since a lot of Financial Advisors in the blogosphere have been raising awareness of having one. The good thing is, there are some insurance companies allowing online applications and virtual meetings to cater a client’s need. Impressive and innovative, aren’t they?

Read this: A pandemic is not enough of a reason to stop you from getting yourself insured.

  • Life
  • Health
  • Car
  • Home
  • Pet Insurance

Loans

Pay close attention to these categories. Incurring debt leads to interest – not the interest that earns you money, but it’s the interest that works against you and causes you to pay more on top of the original cost.

  • Credit Cards
  • Personal Loans
  • Auto Loan
  • Housing Loan
  • Loan to a friend

House

This has got to be the biggest expense category. House expenses are not getting any cheaper. For some housing costs, cheaper may not always equate to being safe. And buying cheap materials might lead you to more expenses in the long haul. So better yet, stock up some cash for quality materials.

  • Rent
  • Home improvements
  • Home Renovations
  • Furniture
  • Home Security
  • Real Estate Tax
  • Property Tax

Personal

Some of these personal items are a must. But this is also where you can cut back on a lot of expenses when you need additional funds.

Remember when we were quarantined at home for two months straight? You survived not having your hair permed nor your nails pedicured, haven’t you? You’ve probably established an effective workout routine at home since your local gym had to shut down.

Yes, you know what I’m talking about.

  • Hair
  • Facial/Derma
  • Nail Care
  • Cosmetics/ Makeup
  • Shopping
  • Toiletries
  • Gym Membership

Education

  • Tuition
  • School Supplies
  • Books
  • Uniforms
  • Fieldtrips
  • Professional Dues
  • Teacher’s Gift

Medical/Health

Have you noticed that doctor appointments and checkups are over the roof now that this new normal will be settling for the next one or two years?

I don’t think their consultation fees will be plummeting anytime soon so you better include some of these in your budget.

  • Dental appointments
  • Other Doctor Appointments
  • Over-the-counter medications
  • Supplements/Vitamins
  • First Aid
  • Contact lenses/Glasses

Pets

Any responsible pet owner would agree that our pets are treated as part of the family. Having a separate fund for their needs is non-negotiable. Hence, we need to set allocated cash for our furry best friends as well.

  • Pet food
  • Veterinary Checkups
  • Pet Grooming
  • Toys
  • Activities
  • Meds

Key Takeaways

  • To create a successful budget, everything should be accounted for. That is, from large expenses like your mortgage to smaller expenses like your Netflix subscription or your meds.
  • You don’t have to include all the categories in the list. We all have unique lives and budgeting lifestyles so pick those that are vital to your budgeting strategy.
  • I hope you found this helpful. Bookmark this page for easy access and I hope you share it with your family and friends.

By Ameena Rey-Franc

Recognized as one of the Top Finance Blogs in the PH. Ameena Rey-Franc (founder of TTP) is a former Banker and BS Accountancy graduate turned Blogger, Keynote Speaker, and entrepreneur. Currently an RFP delegate, she is also the Author of a book about Financial Resilience and has held seminars for reputable companies like GrabFoodPH, Pru Life UK, VISA, JPMorgan Chase& Co., Paypal, Fundline, Moneymax, and many more. The Thrifty Pinay's mission is to empower women to LEARN, EARN, and be FINANCIALLY-INDEPENDENT no matter what life stage they are in.