Show us Your Categories!

Flopbot Superuser ✭✭✭✭✭
edited August 2022 in How do you Simplifi?
Hey everyone,

I saw this done in a YNAB forum once and thought it was absolutely fascinating seeing how other people approached a common challenge - setting up their Categories.  Some people were minimalists.  Some were hyper detailed.  Some were funny.  In the end, the discussion spurred some good changes to my  own categories.

Which of your categories do you like?  Would you share them with others?  I'll start.

Below are the sections of my Category List that I actually like...about half of them.  The approach I've found that works best for me, personally, is to skew more detailed rather than less.

I have subcategories for many of the common things I buy (toothpaste, shampoo, etc.) since I could never remember where to put them.  Sometimes I'd find toothpaste under Bath & Beauty - sometimes under Home Goods - sometimes elsewhere.  I'd find myself spending way, way too much time tracking down past transactions and scouring old note boxes just to keep everything consistent.  By adding a subcategory for "Toothpaste" - for example - it took out a good chunk of the guesswork.  As an added bonus, it has cut way down on my need to enter notes!  The one downside to my approach is that it forces me to do a lot of splits.  Although, with Simplifi, this isn't a big deal since I like how Simplifi handles splits on the Mobile App.



Auto & Transport ~ Fees, etc.
- Car Insurance
- Car Registration Fee
- Drivers License Fee
- Parking
Auto & Transport ~ Fuel, etc.
- Gas
- Public Transportation, Rideshare, Tolls, etc.
Auto & Transport ~ Maintenance, etc.
- Assorted Shop Fees
- Car Wash
- Oil Changes
- Service & Parts
Auto & Transport ~ Payments, etc.
- Auto Payment

Bills ~ Services
- Cell Phone
- Internet
- Software Subscriptions
- Streaming Service
Bills ~ Utilities
- Electric
- Natural Gas
- Water & Trash

Business ~ Personal Investment

Education ~ Adult
- Bible Study
- Books & Supplies (Adults)
- Continuing Education
- Tuition
Education ~ Homeschool
- Books & Supplies (Homeschool)
- Supplemental Education, Tutors, etc.
Education ~ Memberships

Entertainment ~ Amusement
- Art, Art Supplies, Crafts, etc.
- Books, Magazines, Newspapers, etc.
- Concerts, Shows, etc.
- Games, Puzzles, etc.
- Movies & DVDs
- Music, CDs, etc.
- Party, Events & Gatherings
Entertainment ~ Electronics
- Apps, etc.
- Audio, Video, etc.
- Cables, Converters, Accessories, etc.
- Gadgets, Devices, etc.
Entertainment ~ Mental Reset
- Date Night
- Girl's Night Out
- Guy's Night Out
- Time with Friends
Entertainment ~ Travel
- Adventure
- Air Travel
- Hotel, Vacation Rental, etc.
- Rental Car, Taxi, etc.
- Vacation Spending

Food & Dining ~ Eating In
- Groceries
- Groceries - Filtered Water
- Groceries - Milk
- Groceries - Subscription Box
- Shopping Fee
- Supplements, Vitamins, etc.
Food & Dining ~ Eating Out
- Coffee, Doughnut, Pretzel, & Ice Cream Shops
- Food Trucks, Fairs, etc.
- Restaurants & Fast Food
- Vending Machines

Gift Giving
- Charity & Donations
- Gifts for Birthdays
- Gifts for Employees
- Gifts for Funerals (Flowers, etc.)
- Gifts for House Warming
- Gifts for Mother's Day (Flowers, etc.)
- Gifts for No Reason (Cards, Chocolates, Flowers, etc.)
- Gifts for Other Occasions
- Gifts for Weddings
- Party Decorations, Birthday Candles, etc.
Gifts ~ Christmas
- Christmas Gifts
- Christmas Gifts - For Employees
- Christmas Gifts - For Myself?? (Confirm AFTER Christmas)
- Christmas Greeting Cards
- Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes
Giving ~ Tithe
- Church Tithe
- Sponsorship

Health ~ Bath & Beauty
- Deodorant, Toothpaste, Toothbrush, etc.
- Essential Oils, etc.
- Haircare, Shampoo, Shaving, etc.
- Lotions, Soaps, etc.
- Makeup, Nailcare, etc.
Health ~ Fitness & Wellness
- Bandages, First Aid, etc.
- Exercise, Sports Equipment, etc.
- Eyecare, Glasses, etc.
- Gym, Workout Classes, etc.
- Personal Care Supplies
- Personal Protective Equipment, etc.
- Pharmacy, Medicine, etc.
- Spa & Massage
Health ~ Medical
- Chiropractor
- Dentist
- Doctor
- Health Insurance
- Optometrist

- Air Conditioner (Installed / Uninstalled)
Quicken Desktop user since 2014.
New to Simplifi in 2021.


  • DannyB
    DannyB Superuser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Great Idea!

    Here is our category set up:

    Charitable Giving (captures all our planned and unplanned giving)

    Food & Household
    • Eating Out
    • Groceries & Household ("Household" includes things like toothpaste, tooth brushes, cleaning supplies, toilet paper, etc.)
    • Gym
    • Health Care providers
    • Health Insurance
    • Pharmacy
    • Home Insurance
    • Maintenance & Repairs/Improvements
    • Property Tax
    • Utilities (gas, electric, water, city utilities)
    • Gift Giving (birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, special days)
    • Petty Cash (what I mean by this is a monthly cash "allowance" we use for whatever, just to have some cash in our pockets)
    • General Expenses (this catches all the stuff that doesn't fit an any particular category... this would be Simplifi's "Other Spending")
    Personal Income Taxes

    Quality of Life

    • Books & Videos (we read a lot of books!)
    • Entertainment (this is where I budget for theater, sporting events, concerts, etc)
    • Internet, TV, Phone
    • Media Subscriptions
    • Other Fun Stuff (to capture anything that doesn't fall into the above)
    • Grandchildren Custodial Accounts
    • Surprises & Miscellaneous
    • Taxable Investment Account
    • Car Insurance
    • Gasoline
    • Registration
    • Replacement
    • Service & Parts (this could be "Service, Repairs & Parts since this is where I budget for repairs)
    • RV Expenses
    • Vacation/Monthly Getaways


    Simplifi user since 01/22

    Budget: a mathematical confirmation of your suspicions.” ~A.A. Latimer

  • SRC54
    SRC54 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2022
    Expense Categories

       Car Insurance, Fuel, Licenses, Maintenance

       Apps, Devices, Fees (all kinds, postage, bank, courtesy, membership), Life Insurance, Presents (includes non-deductible donations)

       Charity, Church

       Furnishings (Durable Goods), House Insurance, Pets, Supplies (Consumable Goods) , Upkeep (lawn, garbage, services, repairs), Utilities

       Clinics (doctor, eye, dentists, etc), Health Plan, Hospitals, Prescriptions

        Apparel (drycleaning, jewelry, etc), Beverages (I used tags to differentiate), Food, Sundries (spending money and what it buys: toiletries, personal items)

        Classroom (teaching supplies), Meals, Miscellaneous, Travel

        Books&Magazines, Dining, Events (theatre, concerts, football games, etc.) Music (CDs and streaming),    
        Tennis, Trips (vacations), Video (Cable and Streaming)

        Federal, Medicare, Property, Sales, Social Security, State, Vehicle

    Income Categories

       Mileage (Reimbursement), Rewards, Settlements

        Salary, Social Security, Retirement

        Capital Gains, Dividends, Interest

    ***I go back and forth on some of the names.  I have used Ancillary for Coincidental as they go across categories.  I came up with Vouchers, Wages and Yields to put my income categories last. I would say Housing instead of Home but Pets are home expense but not a housing expense.   Personal could be called Needs or Basics.  

    Simplifi-ing since 2021

  • DannyB
    DannyB Superuser ✭✭✭✭✭
     my income breaks out this way

    • Paycheck
    • Pension/SSA
    • Interest Earned
    • Room & Board


    Simplifi user since 01/22

    Budget: a mathematical confirmation of your suspicions.” ~A.A. Latimer

  • Coach Natalie
    Coach Natalie Administrator, Moderator admin
    edited June 2022
    I'm pretty basic when it comes to my Category use -- I use the generic "Groceries", "Auto Insurance", "Pet Food & Supplies", etc., as well as have a couple of family members listed as Categories. However, I place all hygiene and household items under "Shopping" instead of tracking these items individually. And pretty much all expenses outside of my normal or necessary spending, such as going out bowling with friends, or even purchasing birthday presents, get placed under "Extras".

    AJ (family member)


    Auto & Transport
    • Car Insurance
    • Car Payment
    • Car Wash
    • Gas & Fuel
    • Registration
    • Service & Parts
    Charity & Donations



    Farm Bureau

    Fees & Charges
    • ATM Fee
    • Service Fee
    Food & Dining
    • Fast Food
    • Groceries
    • Restaurants
    • Chiropractor
    • Dentist
    • Doctor
    • Eyecare
    • Pharmacy
    • Rent
    Kelly (family member)


    Personal Care
    • Hair
    • Nail Salon
    Personal Income
    • Bonus
    • From Kelly
    • Interest Earned
    • Paycheck
    • Tax Refund
    • Pet Food & Supplies
    • Veterinary
    • Clothing
    State Taxes Owed (I haven't owed any Federal Taxes since using Simplifi 🙏)

    • Gas & Electric
    • Internet
    • Phone
    • Sewer/Trash
    • Water
    Vacation (I track all vacation expenses under this Category instead of individually)
  • Flopbot
    Flopbot Superuser ✭✭✭✭✭
    @DannyB, @SRC54, & @Coach Natalie,

    Thank you so much to all of you for being willing to share your categories!  It's been interesting seeing this little glimpse into your setup and thought processes.  I implemented some good ideas from each of you!
    • "Quality of Life"
    • "Durable Goods"
    • Named Family Members
    Lets keep this thread going!

    Anyone else willing to share some of your more interesting, odd, funny, & unique categories?
    Quicken Desktop user since 2014.
    New to Simplifi in 2021.
This discussion has been closed.