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How to Estimate Living Expenses

Aug 20, 2008
Whenever you plan a move to a new area or a new home, you have to have an idea of what your average living expenses will be. Even if you stay in the same city and buy a new home, you may have a higher cost of living because of the added costs of paying insurance, transportation costs for you to get to work each day and if you have a larger area to heat, you will have increased energy costs. Anything that causes changes to your daily lifestyle, even adding amenities, will affect your cost of living and you need to be prepared for this in your budget. You have to include the difference in the cost of the mortgage for example, with a larger home or increased interest rates.

The best place to start is to determine what your current cost of living is. It is best to use a calculator for this, even though you can do the addition by hand, but a calculator will eliminate the possibility of making a mistake. When you list all your current monthly bills, such as your mortgage, energy bills, gas for your vehicle, food and clothing, as well as leisure activities, you will be able to see at a glance where you spend your money each month. You also have to include any insurance costs, for your home, auto, health and any other insurance plans as well as any monthly subscriptions or memberships you have. Now that you know what your monthly expenses are, you must total your income. This includes all the income that helps to pay these expenses. Subtract the expenses from the income and you will see how much money you have left over each month for savings or just for sundry expenses.

The expenses that you have are your cost of living. If you have no intention of moving and just want to find out what you are spending each month, this could be a real eye-opener for you. It is important to keep a check on your cost of living so that you can keep your spending in check. For example, with the rising price of oil on the world market, if you have a furnace in your home, you will have extra expenses this coming winter for heating. This will increase your cost of living and you may want to compare the costs involved of converting to some other form of heat, such as electricity.

Your rent or mortgage is the most important factor in helping you determine your cost of living since this will be a significant expense each month. If you plan to buy a new home, you will want to compare the payments ?what you are paying now and what you will pay with the new residence. The same thing applies to deciding to buy a new vehicle. If you have an older vehicle that is costing you a lot of money in repairs, you may want to compare the cost of the repairs each month with what you would have to pay on a newer model.
About the Author
For more information on average living expenses,Arizona living expenses estimates and a calculator that lets you estimate the cost of living in all US states visit http://www.LeavingTheFolks.com
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