Difference Between Budget Line and Budget Set

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: June 03, 2023


Difference Between Budget Line and Budget Set

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In economics, we often heard the term " Budget". A budget is related to the income of the consumer. The planned representation of monetary income in quantitative values is known as a budget. A consumer plans his or her activities according to a pre-determined budget plan. The wants and requirements of the consumer make the consumer form a budget according to his needs. Many times depending upon the income and related factors can lead the customer to exceed his pre-set budget limit. A consumer tends to be rational in behavior. He will always look for the things and combinations of goods that will provide him maximum satisfaction with good value for the price. We got two terms regarding the budget. One is a budget line and the other is a budget set. At a glance, the two terms look similar but are slightly different from one other. So here we are going to understand how the budget line is different from the budget set.

Budget line vs Budget set

The budget set and budget set are the two important aspects that help in reaching the level of equilibrium. The two terms may seem identical as both are related to the “Budget”. But there are significant differences between the budget set and a budget line. A budget set is basically, the collaboration of all the budget lines. The budget set shows the different available combinations of goods that a consumer can purchase with his income in hand at a given point in time. While the budget line is limited in contrast with the budget constraint. A specific amount of income can be used to combine two different items, which is what the budget line indicates. All the combinations of the two commodities that can be bought are represented by a straight line. On the other hand, the budget set represents every combination of items that may be bought using a certain amount of money while taking into consideration the costs of the commodities. It consists of several items that fall under the budgetary category. A region that is darkened beneath the budget line might be used to represent the budget set. The budget line is where the budget is supposed to stop. This means that points inside the budget line represent what the consumer can afford, while points beyond the budget line show what the consumer cannot afford. The budget set, on the other hand, is made up of several pairings of two goods that aid in drawing the budget line.

Difference between budget line and budget set in tabular form

Parameters of comparisonBudget lineBudget set
MeaningA budget line is said to represent the desired combination of the consumer that he is ready to purchase at a specific price and a specific quantity. A budget set is the combination of all the budget lines. In other terms, we can say it's the bundle of all the desired sets of consumer wants.
Income relationshipThe budget line is always equivalent to the income of the consumer.The budget set of the goods is always equivalent to or lower than the income of the consumer.
Graphical representationThe budget line always lies on the straight line of the graphical representation of the budget line.The combination of the budget set is always below the budget line or on the budget line in the graphical representation of the budget set.
InterrelationThe budget line is the straight diagonal line of the budget set.A budget set is the combination of all the different bundles of the two goods that forms a budget line is known as the budget set.
EquationP1X1+P2X2 = YP1X1+P2X2 ≤ Y
ResultThe budget line shows the maximum or the end limit of the income that a consumer can spend on the acquisition of the goods.A budget set shows all the possibilities of the combination of two goods that are outcomes of the cluster of budget lines.

What is the Budget line?

Budget Line refers to all potential combinations of two things that a customer can buy with a certain amount of disposable income and the cost of the two goods when using all of his available funds to do so.

It can also be referred to as a price line or a consumption possibility line. The bundles show the maximum amounts of the product that can be purchased with the specified amount of money. Put another way, the budget line displays the various choices a consumer has when determining how to spend their money on two different things, based on their available income and the selling price of the products. It aids clients in choosing wisely where to spend their money to get the greatest value out of their experience.

This budget line is a straight line with a negative slope that shows the commodities' inverse association.  Following are the factors depending on either of these two factors, the budget line may change one way or the other:

  • Changes in the consumer's income.
  • Price adjustment for either product or both products.

Change in the income of the consumer

In the case where the customer's paycheck rises, he or she will be able to purchase more of both items. This increase in revenue will cause the budget line to move up or forward.  Prices for the commodities are taken to be constant in this instance. Because of this, however, an increase in the customer's income will cause the budget line to move upward, enabling them to buy more of both things without having to pay more for them. As a result, a rise in income leads to an increase in purchasing power and a movement in the budget line. This allows the customer to buy more of both commodities without having to pay more for them.

Price effect on the budget line

The price change will have the same effect on the budget line as the effect on the consumer’s income has on the consumers. If the price of goods rises, the budget line will shift inward, allowing the buyer to buy less of that good than previously. Similarly, if the price of a good falls, the budget line will shift outward, allowing the buyer to purchase more of that good. This is because the budget line indicates the combination of goods and services that a consumer may afford with their current income and the cost of those goods and services. As a result, any changes in price or income will have a direct impact on the budget line and the consumer's purchasing power.

Characteristics or features

Further, we will talk about some of the salient features or attributes of the budget line which are as follows:

  • A straight line that appears on the budget line denotes the maintained rate of market exchange for each group of bundles.
  • The total income and purchasing power of a consumer are shown by a straight line in the graphical representation.
  • Budget line graphs display a downward slope that implies an inverse relationship between the purchasing price of two specific goods.
  • Budget line graphs display a downward slope that implies an inverse proportionality in the amount spent on any two specific commodities.
  • Consumer's equilibrium is a position on the budget line where the budget line behaves as a tangent to the indifference curve.

What is the Budget set?

Budget Set is a collection of the two commodities represented by the Budget Line. It is located below the Budget Line and aids in determining the amount of each item that a consumer can purchase based on their income and the market worth of those two things. All potential pairings of the two goods that a buyer could reasonably purchase given their available income are included in the Budget Set. Budget lines on one side and axes on the other two sides define the boundaries of this collection. Every point that falls within the Budget Set is within reach, but every point that falls outside of it is not. The Budget Set is a crucial idea in microeconomics because it assists customers in making informed decisions about how to allocate their scarce resources. Customers may maximize their utility and utilize their revenue as effectively as possible by understanding their Budget Set.

There won't be any change in the budget set if the consumer's income and the cost of the goods both double; the effect will be the same because the double price will be balanced by the double income. The budget set can be represented by the budget constraints. The budget constraints are the mathematical representations of the cost or price and the income of the consumer.

Further, we will discuss some of the features or characteristics of the budget set which are as follows:

  • The budget set is also known as a budget constraint which represents the different attainable combinations of goods and commodities that a consumer is ready to purchase at a fixed price.
  • The budget set includes the budget lines. One can have all the budget lines in the budget set.
  • One of the features of the budget set is that it is linear.
  • The budget set has a direct relation with the income of the consumer.
  • The budget set can be represented with the help of a mathematical equation.
  • Consumer preferences and tastes affect the budget set. As consumers prefer to choose that bundle or set which will give them higher satisfaction. A customer will always look for his benefit.
  • The substitute goods get affected by any possible changes in the budget set.

Difference between the budget line and the budget set in points

  • With the use of a graph, the budget line depicts every possible combination of both products that a consumer could consume by devoting all of his fixed income to them, at the going rate. However, a buyer can afford any combination of the two products that are on or below the price line, and as a consequence, that range is known as a budget set.
  • Let's take the case of someone who desires to buy items X and Y but has a budget of a thousand rupees overall. The budget line depicts every combination of X and Y that a customer could buy within their available spending limits. On the other hand, the budget set comprises all the reasonable pairings of X and Y that the customer can afford, including those that fall beyond the budget line as a result of sales or discounts.
  • The cost of the package deals that make up the budget line corresponds to the consumer's income. Contrarily, in the case of a budget set, the sets of the commodities that are on or below the budget line show that the total cost of the two goods is less than or equal to the consumer's income.
  • During a graphical representation, the budget set can be easily identified as the shaded area on the graph. In contrast to the budget line, there’s a straight line for the graphical representation.


In light of everything that has been discussed in the aforementioned information, there will be no difficulty in concluding the distinction between a budget line and a budget set. Both are the part of quantitative representation of money known as budget. The cluster of budget lines constitutes the budget set. Both are important for establishing a consumer equilibrium. Both concepts are important yet different at the same time.

Income is a very crucial aspect when it comes to the budget line and the budget set. Income tends to have an inverse relationship with the pricing of goods and other amenities. For attaining a consumer equilibrium one must have sufficient knowledge regarding the budget set and the budget line. Only then one can establish or conclude the equilibrium. Fluctuations in the price change and the change in the taste and preferences of the consumer can be easily identified with the help of these two concepts. Overall we can say the differences are the bare minimum yet important to pay attention for efficient outcomes.


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"Difference Between Budget Line and Budget Set." Diffzy.com, 2024. Fri. 23 Feb. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-budget-line-and-budget-set>.

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