budgeting and estimating monthly expenses

How to Budget and Estimate Your Monthly Expenses

Sometimes those monthly expenses just seem to sneak up on you. That’s because it takes a little time to sit down and calculate your monthly expenses properly. It is worth that time, however, as this is what is going to help you to get ahead and build a proper ‘emergency buffer’ in your savings. Investing a little time in planning is a very good idea. Let’s talk about how it is done!

Calculating Your Actual Monthly Income

Calculating your actual ‘take-home’ amounts is the first step that you need to take in getting a rein on those monthly expenses. There is an easy formula for doing it based on your payment frequency:

  • Weekly paychecks – Get your calculator handy and you’ll want to multiply your weekly paycheck amount by 52. This is the number of weeks in a year. Next, divide the results by 12 and you have your take-home income for each month.
  • Bi-weekly paychecks – Multiply the amount of one of your paychecks by 26. Take the resulting number and divide it by 12 and you have your monthly take-home income so that you are ready to start tackling those monthly expenses.

What If My Payment Varies from Paycheck to Paycheck?

If your work hours vary from time to time or if you’re getting tips that you need to factor in, then you can still determine a take-home value for setting up your monthly expenses. All that you need to do is add up 3 months of your income and divide it by 3. This will provide you with a fairly accurate assessment of your monthly take-home pay.

Determining Your Monthly Expenses

Next, you want to calculate your expenses, dividing them up into ‘fixed’ and ‘variable’ expenses. These include rent, utilities, groceries, car payments, and such. Fixed expenses are the same every month and you can average out your variables by multiplying by 3 and this can give you a target amount for variable expenses.

Entertainment such as travel, going out, gifts, and little treats that we give ourselves will also fall into the ‘variable’ category when determining your monthly expenses. Once you’ve got a list of your overall expenses then you’ll have a realistic idea of where changes need to be made if you want to keep a proper budget for your monthly expenses.

Thankfully, there is an easy rule that you can use that will build up your savings and make sure that you are always getting the bills paid on time.

The 50/30/20 Rule

The 50/30/20 rule is a handy little trick for making sure that you are putting your money where it needs to go if it is going to take care of you in the future. It basically divides out like this:

  • 50% Necessities (such as rent, car payments, utilities)
  • 30% Things that you want (that new TV, going to a concert, taking that fishing trip)
  • 20% Savings

Couple budgeting and estimating their monthly expenses

While this is a great rule, like every rule there are caveats and in some lower-income situations, you may need to assign a higher value in the ‘necessities’ category. Perhaps you are paying off some specific debts or simply have a high cost of living at this time.

You can still use the formula, but you may have to raise your necessities value to 60% or 70% until the practice pays off and your living expenses are slowly lowered to a more manageable level.

Life does throw curveballs at us from time to time, however, so what can you do if you have a financial emergency expense such as emergency travel, medical expenses, or even house repairs?

At Home Title Loans Has You Covered!

Getting your online title loan from At Home Title Loans is quick, and easy, and you don’t even need to leave the house. To get started on the process, you simply need to make a phone call or fill out an online form on the top right of our website.

Once your form has been submitted, you should be receiving a phone call from one of our loan representatives. You’ll want to get the following items ready:

  • Driver’s license or State-Issued Identification
  • Lien-free title to your vehicle
  • Your vehicle for inspection 

When our representative calls you, he or she will schedule a meeting with a verification agent in one of our store locations nearest to you. The agent will review your papers and inspect your vehicle. The approval process may be completed in as little as 30 minutes, and if you are approved for a title loan you can get your cash the same day!

Bad Credit or No Credit – Everyone Is Considered

We know that times are hard and not everyone has spotless credit, but we give a chance for approval to people from all credit history backgrounds. Even if you are 18 years of age and have no credit, you can be eligible for easy online title loans and $15,000 cash. Representatives are waiting to review your application, so what are you waiting for? Get the emergency help that you need TODAY!

Note: The content provided in this article is only for informational purposes, and you should contact your financial advisor about your specific financial situation.


Louis Tully

Louis Tully is a full-time finance writer offering financial expertise to everyday consumers. He understands the core values of finance and used his writing talents to share his own experiences with money to his readers. His articles teach how financial failures can easily become successes by making new habits and creating realistic goals.