A budget is a sum of money set aside and divided up to cover particular expenses. Like allotting certain amounts for food, rent, movies, and manicures every month to make sure you don't run out of cash.

From the Middle French bougette, the noun budget translated to “leather pouch” when it was first used in the early 15th century. Perhaps a leather pouch to hold gold coins? It wasn’t until 1733 that the word took on the more specific financial meaning it has nowadays. You can budget all sorts of things, including time, money, and energy. Every year, Congress tries to balance the federal budget — but that's no easy task.

Definitions of budget

n a summary of intended expenditures along with proposals for how to meet them

“the president submitted the annual budget to Congress”
balanced budget
a budget is balanced when current expenditures are equal to receipts
Type of:
plan, program, programme
a series of steps to be carried out or goals to be accomplished

n a sum of money allocated for a particular purpose

“the laboratory runs on a budget of a million a year”
Civil List
a sum of money voted by British Parliament each year for the expenses of the British royal family
operating budget
a budget for current expenses as distinct from financial transactions or permanent improvements
Type of:
fund, monetary fund
a reserve of money set aside for some purpose

v make a budget

Type of:
calculate, cipher, compute, cypher, figure, reckon, work out
make a mathematical calculation or computation

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