I'm creating an expense form which asked for costs but in either monthly or yearly amounts. I was thinking I would first create a currency field to ask for the amount. Then add a Choice Box with two options "Monthly" or "Yearly" to designate what that amount is. I will have a list of these expenses such as utilities, insurance, etc.

So at the end of the form, I want to be able to calculate their total expenses. But how do I calculate if an amount is a monthly or yearly value? If it's monthly, then multiply by 12, or yearly, divide by 12. That way I can provide total expenses in monthly and yearly numbers.

1 Answer 1


I am a developer for Cognito Forms.

Assume you have a Currency field called Utilities and a Choice field called Timeframe, with the options Monthly and Yearly. Your calculations would then be:

Monthly Amount

=Utilities / (Timeframe = "Monthly" ? 1 : 12)

Yearly Amount

=Utilities * (Timeframe = "Yearly" ? 1 : 12)

And of course you can just keep adding on additional items to the calculation for each type of cost.

  • Hi Jamie, thanks for the response. This is great, but the calculations are still not quite right which I can look into. But let me ask what does the "1 : 12" do? I'm trying to understand the syntax. Thank you!
    – Tim C.
    Commented Feb 12, 2015 at 23:09
  • @TimC. this syntax has been a challenge for many of our users, so we may introduce another way to handle conditional statements, like If(condition, true result, false result). The ? : syntax is called a ternary operator and is used to return one of two values based on conditional logic. The syntax is <condition> ? <true result> : <false result). This comes from the C language and therefore also exists in JavaScript as well so it is very familiar to web developers. However, like I said, it is cryptic so we may provide an alternative syntax. Commented Feb 13, 2015 at 13:02
  • Hi Jamie, thank you again, this helps out a lot! I was able to get the form to work. If I may ask a followup question? I split up some of the questions to multiple pages to keep the form looking clean. How to I reference variables on different pages? In other words, have a page for Housing budget and a page for Auto budget. But I want to now have a total, how to I add these pages together? Thanks!
    – Tim C.
    Commented Feb 18, 2015 at 12:10

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