DEFINITION of 'Budget'

An estimation of the revenue and expenses over a specified future period of time. A budget can be made for a person, family, group of people, business, government, country, multinational organization or just about anything else that makes and spends money. A budget is a microeconomic concept that shows the tradeoff made when one good is exchanged for another.


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A surplus budget means profits are anticipated, while a balanced budget means that revenues are expected to equal expenses. A deficit budget means expenses will exceed revenues. Budgets are usually compiled and re-evaluated on a periodic basis. Adjustments are made to budgets based on the goals of the budgeting organization. In some cases, budget makers are happy to operate at a deficit, while in other cases, operating at a deficit is seen as financially irresponsible.

  1. Revenue

    The amount of money that a company actually receives during a ...
  2. Performance Budget

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  3. Chasing Nickels Around Dollar Bills

    A slang term describing what a company's management does when ...
  4. Zero-Based Budgeting - ZBB

    A method of budgeting in which all expenses must be justified ...
  5. Cash Budget

    An estimation of the cash inflows and outflows for a business ...
  6. Capital Budgeting

    The process in which a business determines whether projects such ...
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  1. Is the Social Security administration a government corporation?

    The U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) is a government agency, not a government corporation. President Franklin Roosevelt ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What mobile apps are best for tracking your cash budget?

    Several personal finance apps are available to help individuals manage their money on the go. When it comes to managing cash ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Is there a difference between the cash budget and a credit budget?

    A cash budget outlines the funds available to a business as cash flow. Cash flow may be from revenue or credit received by ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What role do shareholders play in a capital budget?

    Shareholders play an important role in a capital budget because they're the source of equity capital. In corporate finance, ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What's the difference between budgeting and financial forecasting?

    Budgeting and financial forecasting are financial planning techniques that help business personnel in the decision-making ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How does a bank determine what my discretionary income is when making a loan decision?

    Discretionary income is the money left over from your gross income each month after taking out taxes and paying for necessities. ... Read Full Answer >>

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