All these categories….what is most important? I think this picture says it best….

The actual answer may surprise you. Food is #1. Now that doesn’t mean you go to the Hungry Heifer and get the Feeding Frenzy For Two as soon as you get paid, because Today You Learned that food is #1 in your budget. It means make sure you have allocated money for groceries for the month first, before doing anything else. If you are struggling with your money, eating out is the last thing you should be doing.

Here are the Top Five categories, in order:

  1. Food
  2. Lights and Water (main utilities)
  3. Transportation (Gas, oil change, car payment, insurance)
  4. Rent or Mortgage
  5. Basic Clothing (only if you really need to buy some, not just because Kohl’s has a sale going on. I’m talking BASIC clothing)

These are the first five categories you will fill out in your Zero-Based Budget each month. In the next post we will fill out a complete practice ZBB.