What are Line-Item Budgets? Line Budget Full Guide

July 27, 2022

What are Line-Item Budgets? Line Budget Full Guide

Let's face it, budgeting as a whole can be tricky to wrap your head around. It takes a lot of time, organization, and discipline. A budget that is not fit for your business can cost you more than what you gain from it in the end. It is important that you know what a line-item budget is and how to use one if you are planning on budgeting for your business.

This guide will explain the concept of line-item budgets in more detail and go over everything you need to know to prepare a line budget.

What is a line item budget?

A line-item budget is a detailed list of the various expenses that will be made during a given period. It is most often used to track the costs of a specific project, such as a construction project or an advertising campaign. A line-item budget can also be used to see how much money will be available for other projects or activities.

For example, if you're planning to expand your business, you may need to hire more employees and purchase new equipment. You can use your line-item budget to determine how much money you have left after paying for these other expenses.

Why is line-item budget important?

A line budget is very important in your budgeting process. It allows you to divide your expenses into different categories so that you have an accurate account of how much money is being spent on what. Not only will developing a line-item budget give you an idea of how much money you are spending but you'll be able to see where those expenses are coming from as well.

What are the 3 types of budgets?

A line-item budget is a budget that lists all of the expenses and income in detail. There are three main types of budgets that can fall into this category.

The three types of budgets are as follows:

1. Expense budget. An expense budget shows how much money you spend on different types of expenditures, such as rent and utilities.

2. Income budget. An income budget shows how much money you expect to earn from different sources, such as investments or selling products or services.

3. Cash-flow statement. A cash-flow statement shows how much cash you have coming in and going out each month or quarter, as well as any changes in your balance sheet accounts (assets, liabilities, and equity).

Who uses line-item budget?

Line budgets are used in both the private and public sectors. They are useful for organizations that want to track where their money is going or need to clearly show what they have spent on various items.

For example, a line-item budget could include all expenses related to advertising, including salaries and travel expenses. Line-item budgets are also often used for government expenditures such as grants and contracts with government agencies.

What is a line item budget in government?

Line-item budgeting is a budgeting process in which each expenditure is presented separately, rather than grouped together by department. Line-item budgets allow the government to better analyze how much money is being spent on certain programs and services, thus helping to identify areas of spending that can be cut or reduced without affecting overall government operations.


As the name suggests, a line item budget is a document that lists every single expense and revenue for a business. It's often used by businesses that want to be more transparent with their financials for investors or other interested parties.

A line-item budget can include anything from salaries and wages to office supplies and travel expenses to marketing costs, as well as capital expenditures like equipment and property purchases.


If you want to simplify your financial accounting processes, then be sure to consider LiveFlow. One of the most helpful accounting tools on the market, LiveFlow offers useful templates that make even the most complex accounting processes simple and straightforward. You can even book a free 30-minute demo, so if you’re ready to streamline and automate your financial accounting, then check out LiveFlow today.

Smart Bookkeepers Love LiveFlow...
...and you will, too!
Save 192 hours per year on reports.
Book a demo

Continue reading

Set your financial reporting on autopilot. Goodbye manual work.

Eliminate manual data entry and create customized dashboards with live data.