The Only 3 Budget Categories You Really Need

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If managing our personal finances becomes complicated, it’s less likely we’ll stick with it. While you can get pretty high speed with a range of budgeting apps and financial planners these days, the basics are really all you need. And with a range of other family, work, and financial challenges on our plates, paring down to the budgeting essentials feels like just the minimalism we need right now.

 

1. Essentials

This is the largest expense area for most of us, and should account for about 50 percent of our budget. Housing, groceries, insurance payments, and any child care expenses go here. These expenses can be harder to shift quickly or cut back on in a pinch, so grouping them together can be a helpful way to see what your personal fixed expenses generally look like month to month.

Housing isn’t just rent or your mortgage payment—it’s insurance, repairs, utilities, and…

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