An often-overlooked factor in your monthly cost of living is how much you spend on utilities.

Electricity, water, and internet can add significantly to your monthly living expenses, so it's important to budget for them.

Take this expert advice into account when creating utility cost estimates: – Create a realistic budget for cable, electricity and air conditioning. – Ask the right questions to predict your average utility bill. – Account for other variables.

Credit counselling agencies recommend spending 5 to 10% of your annual income on utilities. It can be difficult to predict how much your electric or water bill will be each month.

Electricity. Electricity is your priciest monthly utility. Price, season, and usage affect this bill. Equal billing, or budget billing, can reduce electric bill surprises.

Heating and air conditioning. Winter electric and heating bills are higher due to high natural gas prices. They're skyrocketing. Electricity prices rose 4.2% from December to January and 10.7% from the previous year.

Internet and cable. Faster Internet costs more. According to, 25 Mbps costs $35 per month. 100 Mbps costs $47 a month, and 1,000 costs $77.

While you may have a rough estimate of how much your utilities will cost each month, there's a simple way to take the guesswork out of calculating such fees.