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How do I Use a Home Budget Calculator?

Article Details
  • Written By: Keith Koons
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 11 September 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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To use a home budget calculator, either obtain a printed form or locate one on the Internet, and then fill out each of the questions as honestly as possible. Use the home budget calculator to assess several income and expense categories. Pay special attention to the breakdowns of the various sections, because they ultimately define what type of spending a household does—by studying the computations, it allows individuals to spot weaknesses within their spending habits. By discovering poor spending habits, consumers can change almost any budget into one that has more favorable long-term goals and expectations.

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After entering the total household income, the form will walk the user through steps that analyze items like monthly utility bills, mortgage payments, and insurances; these are called fixed expenses because they will be there each and every month. The next category is variable expenses, and it includes everyday shopping habits, credit card payments, and other common expenditures like gasoline and groceries. By subtracting each of the expenses from the total income, a budget can be determined, and if it is a positive number, then there should be money left over at the end of the month. If the number is negative, then sacrifices need to be made in order to cover all of the expenses, and by determining this at the beginning of the month, it is easy to plan an overall budget. For example, purchasing a pack of cigarettes and a few coffees per day may not seem like much of a luxury expense, but a home budget calculator will show that an average of $300 US Dollars (USD) per month is wasted.

Of course, calculating how much money is left over at the end of the month means little if a household is not willing to make the necessary changes to better its lifestyle. A home budget calculator can show how to make those changes, but it is completely up to the individual or family to implement that type of thought process within in everyday life. Many consumers have gone from near bankruptcy to becoming debt-free in a relatively short period of time simply by learning how to budget their expenses, and with the right outlook, it is entirely possible to replicate those success stories.

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