Definition of budget in US English:


nounPlural budgets, Plural Budgets

  • 1An estimate of income and expenditure for a set period of time.

    ‘keep within the household budget’
    as modifier ‘a budget deficit’
    • ‘Can I save £1, 000 a year from our household budget without too much effort?’
    • ‘Over that same period road budgets have increased by 127 per cent and the street cleaning budget has gone up by 76 per cent.’
    • ‘Every company and state body tries to stay within clearly defined budgets and yet, oddly, most individuals don't practise this simple art.’
    • ‘It isn't easy to live within a budget at first - but once you've done it for a few months it will become a routine you don't have to think about.’
    • ‘Since many retirees live on a fixed income, it's also important to create a budget to help decrease discretionary spending.’
    • ‘He developed not only bookkeeping rules but also the procedures for preparing periodic income statements and budgets and performing independent audits.’
    • ‘This made for an expensive month when you take into account that the average European household's budget over the same period was just €725.’
    • ‘The pact required European Union members to balance their budgets over a four-year period - meaning a deficit in one year has to be balanced by a surplus in another.’
    • ‘A raging budget deficit would seem to indicate the contrary.’
    • ‘Take a look at some of the bigger items of expenditure in your budget.’
    • ‘Provide them with a detailed budget showing your income and outgoings, including your other debts, and make an offer to pay what you can afford.’
    • ‘In families with children, it is usually the mother who manages the household budget, which may explain why single men are not picking up the vital budgeting skills they need.’
    • ‘In real terms, personal incomes and state budgets have declined significantly in the same period.’
    • ‘What we have to do is get the expenditure and income budgets right.’
    • ‘It's a negative to have a half trillion dollar budget deficit.’
    • ‘Many parents use the monthly income from Child Benefit to support their overall household budget.’
    • ‘That showing suggests that healthy gains in jobs and incomes are offsetting a big part of the drain on household budgets coming from costlier energy.’
    • ‘However, with a little forward planning, it is possible to keep your clothing purchases comfortably within the family budget!’
    • ‘But health chiefs were told at a board meeting that in the first month of the new financial year - traditionally a quiet period for budgets - the operational budget was already in the red.’
    • ‘What's more, household budgets are being stretched by unsecured debts, such as credit and store cards, personal loans, overdrafts, etc.’
    • ‘Carmona and Macias studied the implementation of budgets and cost accounting procedures in the period from 1820 to 1887.’
    financial plan, financial estimate, financial blueprint, prediction of revenue and expenditure, forecast
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    1. 1.1 An annual or other regular estimate of national revenue and expenditure put forward by the government, often including details of changes in taxation.
      • ‘The earlier Budgets built the platform for stronger economic performance, and we began making huge investments in education and skills training, including apprenticeships for school leavers.’
      • ‘Now those improvements could be put in jeopardy if the economic slowdown continues to intensify - unless the Chancellor is prepared to raise taxes further in future Budgets.’
      • ‘An absolutely fascinating read, it charts all the Budgets since 1945, along with biographies of the various chancellors, how his speech was received and the impact on households.’
      • ‘It will destroy innovation, growth, and wealth creation like no other Budget that I have seen in my 14 years of Budgets in this Parliament.’
      • ‘Supply bills are no longer part of the normal annual routine, but were necessary in the past when Budgets were introduced in August.’
      • ‘On major occasions like a leadership election, Cabinet reshuffles, ministerial resignations, or the Budgets, the strip of turf opposite Parliament on College Green resembles a crowded marketplace.’
      • ‘So that is why we on this side of the House say this Budget is anti-growth and only half a Budget.’
      • ‘But, of course, he has made a fundamental mistake: his Budget looks like the last Labour Budget, not like one with four more Budgets to come after it.’
      • ‘I wonder too whether some of the finicky, micro-reforms in the past two Budgets have been so super-sophisticated that poorer voters simply haven't noticed them.’
      • ‘It is the most forward-looking or progressive Budget of the five Budgets delivered by the minority coalition Government since we came to office 5 years ago.’
      • ‘At the mid-point of our time in office - and with two Budgets remaining after today - it is timely to review the progress made and set a new vision and strategy for the future.’
      • ‘This is the first time we have had a series of Budgets that has invested heavily in the economy, our social infrastructure, and our people.’
      • ‘‘This is a significant allocation and may be updated in future Budgets,’ a Department of Finance spokesman said.’
      • ‘As I have stated in my previous Budgets, I will fulfil the taxation commitments set out in our Programme for Government over the lifetime of this administration.’
      • ‘Obviously, Budgets are not just about budgeting - Budgets are about ideas.’
      • ‘As I said in an earlier answer, the police budget, over five Budgets, is up 19.7 percent.’
      • ‘There is more money in the Budget for the Ministry of Education than there is for schools.’
      • ‘The strong foundations for long-term sustainable social and economic development have been laid in the last three Budgets.’
      • ‘It is an area where this Budget builds on previous Budgets in determining the difference between a Labour-led Government and the rest.’
      • ‘The priority which this Government accords to older people was illustrated by the increases given to pensioners in my first two Budgets.’
    2. 1.2 The amount of money needed or available for a purpose.
      ‘they have a limited budget’
      • ‘Many people measure their position in life by the number of people they control and the amount of money in their budget.’
      • ‘The state legislature found money in its budget to cover the amount.’
      • ‘There is plenty of money available in the federal budget to assist the Northwest.’
      • ‘It means that councils will have to find more of their budget from council tax payers and/or slash services.’
      • ‘But the city has denied the request because there is not enough money allocated in the budget for excess fees.’
      • ‘Although the tracks bring money into state budgets and the racing industry, they suck it out of surrounding communities, Thompson argues.’
      • ‘The extra money made available to school building budgets is welcome.’
      • ‘Mr Speaker, approximately EC $9.4 million dollars have been allocated in the recurrent and capital budgets for this purpose.’
      • ‘Money diverted from food budgets to cover rental costs caused women and their families to go hungry.’
      • ‘Capital budgets have a finite amount of dollars in them.’
      • ‘But the city budget will only allocate money for the dengue eradication campaign, which includes fumigation.’
      • ‘First, they threaten to siphon off money from advertising budgets.’
      • ‘During economic downturns, states tend to balance their budgets by taking money away from infrastructure projects.’
      • ‘Many schools now have bursars to deal with their school budgets, as the amount of money delegated to schools and administration has increased over the last ten years.’
      • ‘Mental health services consistently absorb a disproportionate share of budget cuts during lean economic times.’
      • ‘However, council leaders say this will only help to grit and salt the main routes in and out of the town and not every street because there is not enough money available within the budget.’
      • ‘It cannot be denied that the Government has allocated vast amounts of money to the Health budget over the past few years.’
      • ‘These people need help yet if you look at budgets hardly any money is allocated to groups like ours.’
      • ‘Future education hiring will be constrained by tight state and local budgets as tax revenues fall off.’
      • ‘However, there is a limit on the available budget for Warm Front grants and demand has been high, so local residents are urged to apply now.’
      • ‘And layoffs in the newsroom and shrinking budgets leave few resources available for enterprise reporting.’
      allowance, allocation, allotment, quota, share, ration, helping, lot, slice
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  • 2archaic A quantity of material, typically that which is written or printed.

verbbudgets, budgeting, budgeted

[no object]
  • 1Allow or provide a particular amount of money in a budget.

    ‘the university is budgeting for a deficit’
    ‘corporate planning and budgeting’
    • ‘Paying by direct deposit helps us to budget by allowing us to spread the cost of bills, avoid missing payments and save time.’
    • ‘She says companies are now planning and budgeting for ways to implement more stringent protections for their stored data.’
    • ‘The company said it was budgeting for costs of $30m for the coming quarter, saving a quarterly $5m over its current burn rate.’
    • ‘The harrowing scenes of grief at the funerals of the young victims were a dreadful reminder of the complacency that placed safety in second place to budgeting for so long.’
    • ‘And budgeting for hidden extras as well as day-to-day expenses can be quite tough.’
    • ‘Readers will be budgeting for Christmas, so please ask people to make a donation this month.’
    • ‘Automated payments help me to budget by allowing me to spread the cost of bills, avoid missing payments and they save time.’
    • ‘The difficult investment environment was also not helping efforts to meet budgeted investment income targets for the fiscal reserves.’
    • ‘But the licences will allow the stations to budget on five-year plans, recruit staff and buy better equipment.’
    • ‘The Canadian company has been budgeting for damages by setting aside money in an escrow fund.’
    • ‘But it is not too late for companies to take action and this is the time to start budgeting for increased security in companies.’
    • ‘It's essential we bring in as much tax as possible so we can provide the services we have budgeted for.’
    • ‘Strategic planning forms an integral part of the entire planning, budgeting, monitoring and reporting framework.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, being aware of this danger does not necessarily make budgeting for your holiday any easier.’
    • ‘Had I been told more than a month ago when I phoned, that there were problems I could have budgeted to allow for it, but as it is I can't.’
    • ‘That organisation would be budgeting for a 10 percent decrease every year.’
    • ‘School fees are budgeted for, and I keep an eye on what else is coming up - this month is a car service and licence renewal.’
    • ‘The ending of the Cold War has resulted in diminished interest in, and budgeting for, civil defence in the traditional sense as a response to military attack.’
    • ‘With a little planning, families can budget in advance for the extra purchases at this time of year.’
    • ‘When budgeting for operational supplies, there are standard factors to consider.’
    allocate, allot, assign, allow, earmark, devote, designate, appropriate, set aside
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    1. 1.1with object Provide (a sum of money) for a particular purpose from a budget.
      ‘the council proposes to budget $100,000 to provide grants’
      • ‘When the employer refused to consider the union's proposals, the local decided to budget its own funds to prepare a clear language version of the contract.’
      • ‘A further $70 million in capital expenditure is budgeted for the remaining phases of the roll-out.’
      • ‘The money was budgeted out of council funds with the aim of improving tourist facilities in the town.’
      • ‘The government has budgeted the fiscal deficit for the current financial year at Rs 1,16,314 crore.’
      • ‘Another major issue is how to budget the money to pay for all the security needs.’
      • ‘As we fight a war today, we need to budget money to take care of the health needs of the men and women that are fighting that war.’
      • ‘It will require us to budget funds to pass over monies that the government doesn't have, to a central monetary fund.’
      allocation, allotment, issuing, issuance, awarding, grant, granting, administration, earmarking, designation, setting aside, budgeting
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  • attributive Inexpensive.

    ‘a budget guitar’
    • ‘This makes the majority of Microsoft's software line-up in the territory cheaper than the PS2's budget titles.’
    • ‘Rewritable CD drives are cheap enough now that they are generally included in most budget systems.’
    • ‘Once considered too far off the main flight paths for budget travellers, Ryanair now offers cheap direct flights from Britain.’
    • ‘Now ticket prices are dirt cheap, if you book carefully with budget airlines, and we're using aircraft like our cars, for quick trips away for the weekend.’
    • ‘And the Lonely Planets are good for regions/whole countries, budget travel, and more off-the-beaten-track trips.’
    • ‘I found nine offers of cheap ink, ten for budget cameras, 15 that talked about American loan rates, and 7 that offered me an American mortgage.’
    • ‘The Youth Hostel Association says 39 hostels are loss-making and the same number again are borderline, and there is a market for budget accommodation in city centres.’
    • ‘This is an exhilarating CD and a bargain at Naxos's budget price.’
    • ‘Discount travel on budget airlines is real and finally cheap, although there is a potentially troubling lack of genuine competition.’
    • ‘Every Australian was a backpacker once, so it's no surprise that the place is well set up for budget travel, with a good network of cheap accommodation.’
    • ‘There was also a demand to introduce budget airline and shipping services to the Gulf countries, which would be affordable to expatriates from Kerala.’
    • ‘One reason may be the advent of budget airlines in the region.’
    • ‘Now headquartered in Dallas, he at once set about improving the product and delivery of service, in the belief that a budget product need not be a cheap product.’
    • ‘The growth in budget airlines and cheap car hire means travel is not difficult.’
    • ‘A smaller luxury version of an inexpensive gift is better than a budget version of something bigger you cannot afford’
    • ‘They offer me budget airline service at non discount prices.’
    cheap, inexpensive, economy, economic, economical, low-cost, low-price, low-budget, reasonable, reasonably priced, cut-price, cut-rate, discount, discounted, bargain, bargain-basement
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  • on a budget

    • With a restricted amount of money.

      ‘we're traveling on a budget’
      • ‘The bottom line is both stores offer good value if you're feeding a family on a budget - especially if you shop carefully and look for the best deals.’
      • ‘No charge for this tip particularly if you come to Rio on a budget.’
      • ‘The downside is they don't have a ‘search by price’ which would be very useful, if you're on a budget.’
      • ‘The team, who have christened themselves the Can Cook Will Cook gang, are learning how to cook simple, healthy meals on a budget.’
      • ‘If you're on a budget, go on a Wednesday afternoon, when the gallery is open well into the evening and entrance is half price from 3pm.’
      • ‘Vacationers on a budget can find lodgings and activities that will fit within their price range, too.’
      • ‘Feeding a family healthy food in minutes can often seem like mission impossible, especially when you're on a budget.’
      • ‘Adobe masonry is heavy work, so limiting the square footage of the adobe walls is important to building on a budget.’
      • ‘The shop sells some of the best fake jewellery anywhere, enabling you to look spectacular on a budget.’
      • ‘Immediately we hopped on a public bus, a sure-fire way to see a city on a budget.’


Late Middle English: from Old French bougette, diminutive of bouge ‘leather bag’, from Latin bulga ‘leather bag, knapsack’, of Gaulish origin. Compare with bulge. The word originally meant a pouch or wallet, and later its contents. In the mid 18th century, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in presenting his annual statement, was said ‘to open the budget’. In the late 19th century the use of the term was extended from governmental to other finances.