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Preparing a Budget by Harvard Business School Press

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Categorizing Expenses

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A BIG PART OF preparing any budget is anticipating and categorizing various types of expenses. Below are some suggestions for making sure you’ve covered all the bases when it comes to expenses for your department or unit.

Fixed and variable costs

In preparing budgets, you need to differentiate between fixed costs and variable costs. Fixed costs are those that remain fairly constant within a wide range of production or sales volumes. Examples of fixed costs include:

  • Rent
  • Basic utilities, including electric and telephone service
  • Equipment leases
  • Depreciation
  • Interest payments
  • Administrative costs
  • Marketing and advertising ...

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