What "buckets" to use?
Variable expenses are a percent of sales, so their dollar amount varies each month as sales increase or decrease. The major variable expense for retailers is Selling Expenses.
Selling Expenses - Variable expense
Examples: Store payroll, including taxes and benefits; Advertising; Bags & boxes; Special events; etc.
Fixed expenses have essentially the same dollar amount each month on average, no matter what sales are. There are 4 categories of fixed expenses:
Occupancy Expenses - Fixed expense, essentially flat $ amount each month
Examples: Rent; Utilities; Maintenance; Security; CAM charges; etc.
Administrative Expenses - Fixed expense, essentially flat $ amount each month
Examples: Management salaries (Owner; General Manager; Buyer) including taxes and benefits; Support staff/services (bookkeeping; IT; warehouse; marketing); Interest on borrowed money; Professional services (legal, accounting); Training; Travel; All other expenses not included elsewhere.
Taxes - Federal, State, Local taxes not included elsewhere.
Depreciation/Amortization - Fixed expense, essentially flat $ amount each month.
These are non-cash expenses, and must be kept separate in order to project the Cash Flow.