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Ask Dave

Home Maintenance Budgeting

Rhonda wants to know what the rule of thumb is for home maintenance budgeting. Is there a formula? Dave says no.

QUESTION: Rhonda in Virginia from My Total Money Makeover wants to know what the rule of thumb is for home maintenance budgeting. Is there a formula? Dave says no.

ANSWER: No, there’s not. Home maintenance is like car maintenance. It’s going to depend on the individual home. If you’re driving a beater, you’ve got to put more aside for maintenance of a beater. Once you get a nicer car, it doesn’t cost as much to operate it. You’ve just got to judge your situation and say, “What’s the reality?” A good way to do that is just go back and look and see what you spent in the last year. Do a checkbook test. Once you see what’s in the checkbook, then that kind of gives you an idea of what you probably have coming up—give or take what you think is not going to happen again.

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