If you don't allow for a certain amount of mad money for you and your spouse soon resentment will start to set in. Each party will get very frustrated about having to stick to such a strict budget and not having any money for fun. Likewise, even if some money is allocated in the budget for fun, one of the partners may get tired of not being able to spend some money how he or she would like. This special money even allows you to save some money for a larger purchase you may want to make. _ Even if money is extremely tight in your monthly budget, it is highly recommend to allow each spouse a small amount of mad money to help make the budget work. Everyone is more willing to save and track their spending if they are allowed a certain amount of mad money to spend how they wish.
Include all variable expenses now, car maintenance, electricity, heating, these can vary throughout the year you need to calculate them and come up with an average monthly amount. None essential expenses like eating out coffee at Starbucks, weekend getaways, extravagant vacations, fancy clothing, motorcycles, ATV's, if you use them, write them down, realize these are wants, not needs. Now total these all up, fixed expenses, variable expenses, and non_essential expenses,there you now have your total expenses.