My 12 budget categories

Today, I want to share with you the details of my monthly budget and the categories that I use. Inspiration comes from a question I received during a live interview with Fire Belgium.

The categories

I have different main purposes of monthly expenses. Some are for spending in that month, other are for pre paying yearly or quarterly expenses so that budget wise they as smooth across the year. The full details on this are discussed in a recent post.

I have currently the following categories

Insurance – this is a monthly amount that I set aside to have a small pot of money to pay insurance billes when they come. Most of these have an annual payment cycle, rather than a monthly cycle. I do not really mind what way it is. I transform all in monthly cycles. I have home and family insurance, travel insurance (I just cancelled this one) and I have an income protection in case of sickness or accident. I this category there is also the cost for the mandatory health insurance (ziekenfonds)

Electricity – I pay this every month. And once a year there is a final bill and the delta is settled that month. For the time being, the delta is in my advantage, so I could actually lower this one.

Hospitalisation plan – Here I pay a monthly small amount into a saving plan (that I do not like) It guarantees me that I will be accepted at any point in the future into the hospitalisation plan, without a medical check at that time. That is for me a great mental advantage that I want to exchange for a small monthly fee in a way too expensive savings plan.

Water – Monthly saving to pay the quarterly water bill so that is smoothly distributed across the year

Kids – This is the amount of money I pay each month into the shared kids account as part of the divorce settlement. It pays for the major kids expenses like cloths, medical expenses, school, hobbies,…

House tax – This is a monthly reserve for the yearly housing tax we have in Belgium

Internet – Monthly internet bill

Cleaning Lady – A luxury that I allow myself to have. I pay with state sponsored cheques.

Discretionary expenses – This is what my monthly expenses report is about. It covers all that is not listed here like grocery shopping, restaurant, bars, parties, kids items I pay for, medical expenses, gifts,…

Life happens – this is a special fund I have. It is monthly saving for those unexpected costs that pop up and that are not predictable. This way, I have some money without the need to touch my emergency savings . Sample expenses from the last 2 years are: new glasses, a coaching course, furniture for the room of my youngest.

pension saving – This my monthly contribution to my tax advantage pension plan. I contribute the 960€ pet year not the max amount of 1240€.

god child saving – I set aside each month some money for my godchild in a savings plan. These are active managed funds. Not the best choice. I wanted the money to be physically and mentally separated from my own money. This money appears nowhere in my Amber index or other overviews I have internally. Technically it is ms my money with a clause that he will get the money when he turns 30. Till then, I can always cancel everything and keep the money.

How do you organise your categories?


2 thoughts on “My 12 budget categories

  1. mine is simplified in 4 big categories: I have the housing bills (mortgage, energy, net+ mobile, school/summer stages etc etc), then savings., some annual expenses (insurance, mutuelle, private pension, tax for the aprt, 2 medical checks per year, 2 big holidays – for all these I put monthly savings), and an amount for weekly food and monthly fun. It is fun that having more holidays is not going more expensive: we cut from the monthly FUN, from energy, from water, from summer stages and from food (but I cut from revenue too, ssssst).
    Having these big categories keep me very visual: more than a quarter is going for housing.


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