The number of expense categories should be made after considering your personal needs given your resources for record keeping. If you are not using software, and you are short on time, you might decide upon a few major categories like Utilities as opposed to more specific categories of Water, Gas, Sewer, etc. If you have software that you can easily use, it can save time in the long run to use very specific accounts like Water, Gas, Sewer… instead of a more generic Utilities. When an umbrella account like Utilities looks odd, it is often necessary to analyze it to see which of the expenses posted to it are unusual. When the accounts are more specific, you can more readily identify which of the utilities is the culprit right away. Typically, a household budget would include: housing, food, clothing, health/medical, utilities, taxes, transportation, insurance, recreation, travel, professional fees, miscellaneous. In some cases, interest, donations, memberships & dues, work expenses, child care and tuition are significant enough to be a consideration.