List of Monthly Household Expenses– For Busy Families

example of household expenses

Example of Household Expenses

When you are working to create a budget for your family, it can feel difficult, complicated and down right frustrating. I get it. You have probably read through the steps of setting up a budget, perhaps even seen examples of budgets, but it just doesn’t fit your situation.

Every family is different. This means that every budget is going to be different too. Your budget is personal and customized to fit your life. So it won’t look like anyone else’s. That is exactly as it should be. 

But that can also leave you feeling a little lost on how to get started.

For this reason I wanted to create a list of some standard monthly household expenses to help you get started on creating a budget that will work for you.

Remember, your budget and financial priorities will not match the next person’s priorities. Don’t try to make your budget the same as someone else’s. 

sample monthly household expenses list

Sample Monthly Household Expenses List

To get started budgeting, is is easiest to start with a list of the standard expenses in a basic budget, for the average american family. We use the expenses listed below in our own family’s budget each and every month.

If you want to get started budgeting using pen and paper, you can get our free printable budgeting planner here, and start writing out your own monthly household expenses on the budget sheet.

The following are the household expenses I recommend including on any basic family budget when you are creating your budget. Of course you will want to add more expenses that apply to your particular situation, but this is a good basic list to get you started.

  • Rent/Mortgage
  • Utilities
  • Grocery/Food (groceries, eating out, take out, etc)
  • Entertainment
  • Auto/Transportation (gas, car maintenance, car insurance, etc)
  • Debt Payments
  • Tithing/Giving
  • Vacations
  • Kids Activities
  • Clothing
  • PreSchool/Child Care
  • Dental/Medical Expenses
  • Other Insurance (Disability, Life, Etc)
  • Free Spending Money
  • Miscellaneous
  • Savings
  • Investing
  • Subscriptions
  • Gifts
  • Housing Maintenance
  • Hobbies (adults and kids)
  • Pets

If you want to be SUPER detailed, then many of these monthly expense categories can be broken down into more specific items. For example, you may want to list out each of your debt payments, especially if you are working on paying down your debt. But I also know that can get very overwhelming, when you are just starting out budgeting, to have too many expenses to track.

So, to start with, I recommend keeping your expense list more broad. As you get more comfortable with budgeting, you can definitely separate the expenses more to see where your money is going for each item. For example, I separate out all of our utility bills so I know when to expect our electric bill to go up, and can plan accordingly. 

I will say that having an easy way to manage your household expense list, and tracking your spending, makes working on your budget SO MUCH EASIER. Which is why I LOVE using this family budget spreadsheet. This is the spreadsheet we use each and every month to plan our budget, track our spending, and see our savings grow.

Check out the BEST Family Budget Spreadsheet HERE.

Monthly Family Expense Categories–Use this List as a Reference

This list was created using the actual family budget expense categories that we use, and have used, in our family budget. But remember that this list is a sample of the expense categories you can use. You will want to make sure that your budget, and expense list, reflect what is going on in YOUR life and with your family.

If there are extra expense categories that you need to pay for each month, then of course you need to add them. Your family, and your life, look different than anyone else’s. If you have more kids, your expenses, in relation to your children, will take more of your budget and income. If you have lots of pets, you will need to pay for their vet bills, grooming, etc.

The bottom line is to make sure you include all the expense categories you spend money on each month. Forgetting expenses can really throw off your budget in a hurry. 

Best Tip for Monthly Expense List Sample–Start Now!

The best time to start budgeting is right now. The best time to get back to budgeting, if it has been awhile, is right now.

Don’t wait any longer to get your financial life in order. This sample list of household expenses is meant to help you get started, and to make budgeting less scary.

Budgeting finally started to click for me when I really took to the time list out our monthly household expenses, and then track all of our spending.

While this task can seem SO daunting at first, it became SO easy (and even fun!) when I started using the Family Budget Spreadsheet.

Being able to see how our expenses compared to our income every month, before the month began, gave me peace about our finances. And then being able to easily track all of our expenses kept me on top of the budget so that we stopped being over budget each month!

Check out the Easy Family Budgeting Spreadsheet, and see if it will work for your family too. It was such a game changer for us.

Click Here to get the Easy Family Budgeting Spreadsheet

Final Thoughts on List of Monthly Household Expenses

I hope this list of monthly household expenses has given you a good place to start when it comes to creating your budget.

I know that budgeting can feel daunting, and overwhelming. But by keeping your budget more simple, with a standard list of monthly expenses, the process becomes easier over time.

You got this! Let me know if I can help. Leave a comment with any questions!

List of Monthly Household Expenses For Busy Families