Any unexpected expenses that come up throughout the month—like a surprise medical bill or sudden car repair—are not fixed expenses. Sometimes creating and sticking to your budget is a matter of a few clever tricks. Although it may be easier in theory to minimize variable costs, it may actually be easier in practice to lower fixed costs. That’s because it’s harder to change your decision when it becomes part of your lifestyle. Plus, it might not feel like a sacrifice, while cutting back on your fun spending probably would. Although variable costs are quite often discretionary expenses, some may be necessities.

  • Doing so will help organizations deal with tough situations or emergencies.
  • If you know how to use spreadsheet software, you can make your own ledger.
  • If you’re looking for a way to plan for occasional variable costs, like buying Christmas presents, you might try setting up a sinking fund.

A basic budget has been defined as a budget which is prepared for use unaltered over a long period of time. This does not take into consideration current conditions and can be attainable under standard conditions. Flexible budget provides a logical comparison of budgeted allowances with the actual cost i.e., a comparison with like basis. (iii) Where the undertaking is suffering from shortage of a factor of production such as materials, labour, plant capacity etc. The level of activity depends upon the availability of such a factor of production.


One of the critical parts of that budget is your listing of fixed and variable expenses. In this article, we’ll look at the overall budget and how to separate out those fixed and variable expenses, and how to understand their value. Many of your variable expenses may end up being fairly predictable. So, if you go through the previous year’s credit and debit card statements, you may begin to see a pattern.

So, for example, if your business sells more of your product than anticipated, the cost of goods sold as a percentage of sales will vary since you’ll likely need to spend more on raw materials, labor costs, etc. That said, larger businesses will have much different budgeting needs than a very small business. A large business may have a master budget and individual top line vs bottom line in business budgets such as cash budget, labor budget, operating budget etc. A 2020 Clutch survey found that half of small business owners surveyed said they don’t have a business budget, with the smallest businesses least likely to have one. A cell phone bill is a fixed expense because you know how much it will cost each month and can depend on when it will come due.

This budget is defined as a budget which is prepared for period less than a year and is very useful to lower levels of management for control purposes. Such budgets are prepared for those activities, the trend in which is difficult to foresee over longer periods. Cash budget and material budget are examples of short-term budgets. Cost ascertainment at different levels of activity is possible because a flexible budget is prepared for various levels of activity. A flexible budget is very useful for purposes of budgetary control because it corresponds with changes in the level of activity.

  • Substitution, in contrast, keeps the basics while cutting down costs.
  • Create your budget then track actual results against budget amounts..
  • Cash budget and material budget are examples of short-term budgets.
  • Business or Float which you can use with popular accounting software resources.

A static budget is easy to implement as you do not have to update changes in your account books or software. It also allows the companies to compare their expenses and revenues and implement the necessary strategies in the future. When you’re creating your budget, you may come across the terms “fixed budget” and “flexible budget.” Understanding the key differences between the two can help you as you develop and track your business budget. To fix your finances, you need to get a handle on your outlay first.

Fixed expenses are any budget items where the amount doesn’t vary much. For instance, your mortgage payment and gym membership usually will stay the same. To illustrate a fixed budget, let’s assume that a company pays a 5% sales commission on all of its sales. If the company prepares a fixed budget and it is projecting sales of $1 million, the budget for sales commissions will be fixed at $50,000.

What Is a Fixed Budget?

• As said earlier, a fixed budget is based on previous data so new businesses may face problems while implementing and fixing the budget. As you go through your budget and evaluate your fixed versus your variable expenses, you’ll want to look at each category to see where you have room for savings. Altering variable expenses often requires that you change your lifestyle.

Fixed Expenses Definition

Living your budget may mean rethinking wants versus needs to avoid overspending. But the advantage of doing so is that you end up with a balanced budget without the risk of racking up high-interest debt. • The level of activity tends to change with the shortage of raw material, sheer competition, and other internal & external factors. However, fixed budget usage is very less because the output is completely different from that of the budgeted output.

Examples of Variable Expenses

If you don’t have any major savings goals (upsizing your living situation, starting your own business, etc.), it’s hard to drum up the motivation to stash away extra cash each month. However, your situation and your attitudes likely will change over time. Thanks to budgeting software, you don’t have to be good at math; you simply have to be able to follow instructions. If you know how to use spreadsheet software, you can make your own ledger. It’s as simple as creating one column for your income, another column for your expenses, and then keeping a running tab on the difference between the two. A budget, also known as cash flow, is arguably more important than the actual cash that you have in your bank and investment accounts.

Ways to Budget When You’re Broke

On the other hand, zero-base budgeting is not based on the incremental approach and previous year’s figures are not adopted as a base. Taking zero as a base, a budget is developed on the basis of likely activities for the future period. A conventional budget is developed mainly on the concept of incrementalism.

One advantage of a fixed budget is its simplicity, as it can be easier to create and understand. It doesn’t adjust for changes in sales volume or other business conditions, which can lead to inaccurate performance evaluations and potential misallocation of resources. For this reason, many companies prefer flexible budgets, which adjust to reflect actual business conditions and performance levels. If you’re looking for ways to save money each month, start by finding ways to cut down on both your fixed and variable expenses. Variable costs are usually easier to adjust, while fixed costs can be more challenging.

• It lacks when it comes to allocating additional resources, and keeping up with the increasing sales volume. If you are young, however, the rewards of investing in higher-risk, high-return vehicles like stocks can outweigh most low-interest debt over time. (vi) It may lay more emphasis on short term benefits to the determinant of long term objectives of the organisation.