What Is a Budget Format?

by Cheryl Withrow; Updated September 26, 2017
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Consider a workable format before undertaking the task of preparing a budget, whether it's for your home or place of business. Budgets are structured in a variety of ways, each aimed at a specific result. Budget models for home finances focus on income and expenses. While business budgeting is similar, the primary business budget formats include a cash-budget model that sets up a business’ operating scenario, a proposal budget for the purpose of obtaining a grant and a line-item budget that creates a comprehensive overview of all income and expenses associated with a particular department of a business or municipal operation.

Personal Budget Format

Determine the way you want your budget set out and search for a format that addresses your needs. Software programs often offer a budget template to get you started. A comprehensive format includes slots for income from all sources, including salary, bonuses and other income, such as profit derived from the sale of a used car. It also addresses expenses, from basic needs such as mortgage, utilities, food and clothing, to other essentials such as medical bills, insurance and gasoline. Any detailed budget has space to enter savings and miscellaneous expenses as well.

Cash Budget Format

Preparing a cash budget is an essential aspect for any business operation. A cash budget forecasts cash intake and expected expenses. Having a cash budget in hand is necessary if you plan to expand and depends on a bank for capital investment financing. Formatting a cash budget is a relatively simple task and is generally done on a quarterly basis. Begin with a cash-on-hand column and design a format that includes cells for cash sales, collections from credit sales and any other inflow of income for the business. Set up an outflow scenario that encompasses expenses such as supplier invoices, loan payments and payment of dividends to investors. Your estimated cash balance or bottom line is the difference between the sum of inflow versus outflow at the end of the cash-budget period.

Proposal Budget Format

Preparing a proposal or grant application budget is necessary for any business or government entity applying for an endowment from private or governmental sources. A proposal budget is generally grant-specific, but most grantors ask for an explanation of revenue and support that includes any other contributions anticipated and in-kind contributions expected. Expenses should include items directly related to the grant application, including, but not limited to, such things as salaries, benefits paid, equipment and supplies. The agency providing the grant supplies the correct proposal budget format for the designated project.

Line-Item Budget Format

Begin formatting a line-item budget by inputting expected revenues. Expenses follow, and include payroll obligations, allowing for Social Security, health insurance and retirement. There are also office supplies, professional dues, training and travel expenses. In addition, expenses include all utilities, building supplies, vehicle maintenance and any other obligation specific to the department. Each aspect of the budget, both income and expenses, is listed on a separate line, hence the term "line-item budget." This format gives the observer an all-inclusive snapshot of a department’s financial stability.

About the Author

Cheryl Withrow is a writer in Michigan’s untamed Upper Peninsula. Following a teaching career she served alternately as editor of the "Washington County News" and the "Geneva County Reaper," and as associate editor of "Bay Life" magazine. Withrow holds a Bachelor of Science in business with a major in accountancy from Wright State University and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Ohio University.

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