- If your income changes from month to month, add up your total monthly deposits for the last 3 months and divide that number by 3 to get a monthly estimate. Enter that amount in the budget calculator. If the last 3 months were unusually high or low, add up all your deposits for the past year instead and divide by 12 to get a better average.
If you have additional income such as a side job, child support, alimony, or other supplemental income, add the monthly amount you can spend in the monthly budget calculator under Other Income.
The rest of the budget maker is dedicated to capturing your monthly expenses. Some of these will be specific numbers. Others will be estimates.
Mortgage or Rent: Enter the amount of your monthly mortgage payment in the mortgage box, or the amount of your monthly rent in the rent box of the budget calculator.
If youre a homeowner and your property taxes are not included in your More Help mortgage payment, divide those taxes by 12 and add that amount to your mortgage to make sure your property taxes are covered in your monthly budget.
HOA Fees: HOA fees are homeowners association fees, but the budget calculator is flexible, so you can use this box however you need to.
You can leave the box blank if it doesnt apply to you. However, you can also use it for things like storage rental fees, monthly pet fees or parking fees from your landlord, or any other home-related expenses that arent otherwise covered in this section of the budget maker.
Home insurance: Use this box for home insurance or renters insurance. If your home insurance is included in your mortgage payment, dont enter it again here. Each expense should only be captured once in the budget calculator.
Repairs/Maintenance: Most renters dont need to pay for repairs and maintenance on their rental property. If that applies to you, leave this section blank.
If youre a homeowner, or a renter whos responsible for your own maintenance and repairs, this can be a difficult amount to estimate. In many months, you wont have any maintenance costs.
- Do the best you can to estimate a monthly cost
- Choose an amount to set aside every month toward a maintenance “fund”
- Use your “emergency fund” to cover maintenance and repairs
If you decide to use your emergency fund, leave the box blank. There will be a box later for your emergency fund contributions.
Water/Gas/Electricity: For many people, these bills change from month to month. If that applies to you, estimate an amount for each one based on the last 3 months of payments or the past year, whichever makes the most sense for your bills.
In others, you might need to replace a major appliance
If you live in a hot or cold climate and these bills vary a lot between winter and summer, you can also add your most expensive month and your least expensive month together and divide that number by 2. That should give you a good average.
Water bills often include a sewage fee. If that fee is separate for you, include it in the budget calculator using this line item.
Cable/TV/Internet: For some people, this will be one bill. Simply enter the monthly amount in the budget calculator here. If you get TV and internet service from different providers, add those bills together and enter the amount here.
Phone/Cell: If you have both a home phone and a cell phone, remember to include them both. If youre creating a joint budget and you each have separate cell service, remember to include both bills in the budget calculator by adding them together.