Typical Household Expenses

Typical Household Expenses

If you are trying to plan for the future you may be wondering what are some common household expenses, so that you can create an appropriate budget. Whether you are renting your first apartment, or taking the leap into homeownership for the first time. There are some household expenses you should consider when creating a budget for the next phase of your life.

What are Typical Household Expenses?

Household expenses, are expenses that are required to maintain your household. The most common household expenses are Rent, Mortgage, homeowners Insurance, utilities, insurance & transportation.  Some other expenses you may have depending on your housing situation are property taxes, maintenance, parking, house cleaning, lawn care, garbage removal & snow removal.

Household Expense: Rent/Mortgage

Your Rent or Mortgage Payment is typically the largest household expense. If you are a homeowner that has paid off your mortgage, or has purchased your house with cash, you are off the hook for this large household expense. CONGRATULATIONS!

Household Expense : Insurance

If you have a mortgage on a home you will be required to carry homeowner’s insurance. If you rent, your landlord may require you to have renter’s insurance. Whether you are required to or not having insurance on your home is a great idea whether you own it or are leasing it. Recently, I had a friend who lost everything in a fire at her apartment. She did not have renter’s insurance, even with the support of family and friends, it was difficult to replace everything she lost.  She was at home when the fire broke out, and she is forever grateful that she made it out safely with no serious injuries. In hindsight she wished she had invested in renter’s insurance so that she could have gotten on her feet more quickly.


Your grocery budget will vary depending on household size and how much you eat out.

Household Expense: Utilities, Gas/Electric/Oil/Water

If you are a renter, review your lease to determine if any utilities are include as part of your monthly payment. When I has renting gas & water were included as part of my lease. I The only utility I was responsible for was electric. As a home owner you will have to factor in at a minimum Electric  and Water. Oil & Gas will  depend on the type of appliance you have in your home and if/how your home is heated.

Gas & Electric

Some rentals may include gas and electric in the cost of the rent. If not you will need to factor Gas and Electric into your household expenses.

Household Expenses: Water

Similar to Gas & Electric if you are renting, water may be included in your lease. Review your lease agreement to determine if  water is included as part of your rent.

Property Taxes

As a renter you will likely not be responsible for property taxes.  The property has likely factored the price of property taxes into the monthly rent they charge. If you are a homeowner you need to determine if your property taxes have been rolled in to your mortgage payment, or if you  can pay them directly to the town.

Household Expenses: Maintenance

If you live in a condo or a town home, in addition to your mortgage you may be charged a maintenance fee. This maintenance fee covers the upkeep of common areas such as the lobby, landscaping, parks inn the community or building that you reside in.  It also covers snow removal from common areas, trash removal, & elevator upkeeps. Maintenance fees vary widely between different complexes. If you are considering a town home or condo, be sure to consider Maintenance as part of your monthly expenses.

If you own a home, you will not have to pay a monthly maintenance fee. It is till a good idea to consider areas in your home that need to be maintained. Your HVAC system may require yearly  maintenance, Gutters need to be cleaned periodically, vents and ducts need to be cleaned, outdoor decks and patios also need to be cleaned. There also may be the unexpected household repair. While you are technically not required to pay a monthly maintenance fee, you may want to consider putting a little aside each month for maintenance, so when it is time to have maintenance done on your home, it is not a huge imposition.

Household Expenses: Parking

If you own a single family home, parking will not be a household expense that you need to consider. If you live in an urban area, in an apartment or condo, there may be an additional fee for parking. Be sure to inquire when looking at apartments and condos. Ask if, parking is included, or if there will be an additional fee.

Household Expenses: Cleaning

I have someone come into my house bi-weekly to deep clean my home. Prior to having my son I tackled this on my own. After having my son, working full-time, and attempting to build an online business, I decided it was best to have someone come and clean my home. Home Cleanings are a completely optional expense.  

Household Expenses: Lawn Care

Some people take pride in caring for their lawn and tackle this task themselves. In that case lawn care expenses will be limited to equipment necessary for lawn care. These include items such as a lawn mower, fertilizer, hedge trimmers, rakes, and leaf blowers.  

Household Expenses: Snow Removal

You will be responsible for removing snow from your property. Driveways, stairs, and often the sidewalk in front of your home. If you decide to tackle this task yourself, similar to lawn care, you will be responsible for equipment and products necessary for snow removal. Typical tools for snow removal include salt, shovels, a snow plow, or a plow attachment for a truck or SUV.

Household Expenses: Trash Removal

If you are renting, Trash Removal should be included as part of your monthly rent payment. Talk to your landlord and review your lease to determine if this is the case.  If you pay maintenance fees in your condo or townhome this should be included.

For homeowners this will vary based on the town you live in. In my town, trash removal is included as part of our property taxes.  One town over, homeowners are responsible for finding a company to handle trash removal and are required to pay an additional fee.  To find the most up to date information about trash removal, visit your town’s website or speak with neighbors to determine how it is handled in your neighborhood.

Mimi D.

Mimi D is the creator of Dream Plan Smile. An NYC native, she is a wife and mom with a passion for crafting. She holds a Bachelor's in Engineering and a Master's in Project Management. In her current role as a working wife and mom, she is getting a crash course in budgeting, planning, & organization.

Recent Posts