Is your cash management difficult to track? When there is a lot to do, it can be challenging to allocate your funds effectively. Unfortunately, money is often the first item to go.
Having a financial plan can be beneficial, as Americans feel more secure financially when writing one down. Let’s be real, it will get done when you have it on the schedule.
That’s where a budget calendar comes into effect. This handy tool can help you get back on track with your finances, break the cycle of paychecks, and reach your financial goals. Let’s first explain what a budget calendar is.
What is a budget calendar?
A budget calendar is like a regular calendar, but it helps to organize financial tasks. In this way, it’s like creating a budget in calendar form.
Budget calendars can be useful for managing monthly expenses and preventing budget disasters. They can also be an effective way to set goals and reach financial objectives.
You can schedule every payment to your savings prefix until you have saved enough to meet your goal. You can also set it up so it functions as a cash calendar to track your real cash flow.
Why should you use a budget calendar?
A budget calendar may not be for everyone, but there are many reasons to try it.
1. A budget calendar is a visual reminder of when your bills are due
It can be difficult to keep track of every bill that is due to be paid every month. However, missing payments can result in late payment charges and lower credit ratings. In reality, just a single past due bill can decrease your score by 150 points!
And while automating your bill payments can be beneficial for preventing late payments, it is still important to be aware of your own finances. A budget calendar serves as a visual reminder of your expenses.
You can view the upcoming month’s earnings and expenses and know when you are paying them. It is a handy budgeting tool that utilizes paycheck information.
2. A budget calendar helps you plan ahead
Most people conceive of their financial plans only on a weekly or monthly basis, but the key to getting big savings is mapping out larger plans in advance.
First, a budget calendar can help you prepare for large annual expenses. Did you recently get surprised by an annual or a biannual bill, such as car insurance or property taxes? They’ll be coming every year. Somehow, they overlooked you.
These costs can really throw off our budget if we don’t plan ahead for them. However, when we consider the entire year, we can start saving and planning for these costs early.
A budget calendar can also help you save for major financial goals. You and your friends have discussed taking a girls’ trip to Europe next year. But if you wait until 2021 to begin saving money for your overseas medical evacuation, it might not be possible by then. You can begin setting aside money monthly now.
3. A budget calendar helps you break the paycheck to paycheck cycle
Many Americans are currently living paycheck to paycheck. In fact, about 59% of American adults live paycheck to paycheck, according to a survey by Schwab in 2019. It’s an arduous task, but if anyone who’s been there could do it, they could.
A budget calendar can help you to break that cycle. First, it keeps you aware of when money is entering and exiting your bank account. Knowing where your money is going is the first step in getting ahead.
A budget calendar can be useful to kickstart and adhere to a savings plan. For example, if you believe that you have no more money at the end of every month, you might designate the leftover funds to savings. But at the end of the month, there’s never anything left.
A budget calendar allows you to actively plan your savings without using good spending habits. Put a repeating event on your calendar to transfer some funds, even if only a little, to your savings account as soon as you are paid each month.
When you see your savings account increasing, you will have the drive to keep saving money and aim for bigger goals.
How to create a budget calendar
You want to set up a budget calendar because it offers numerous benefits to your budget. How do you begin? There are many factors to consider, such as whether you’ll go paper or digital and which goals you will set.
Budgeting with a calendar is useful regardless of your budgeting style. Whether you budget weekly, biweekly, or monthly, a budget calendar can be of great assistance. Let’s get started.
Budget calendar options
There’s no such thing as a ‘right way’ to set up a budget calendar. And thanks to technology, we’re now loaded with options.
A paper planner is a great way to get started on your budget.
There are several free and paid budget and printable calendar templates online, many of which are specifically created for budget calendars.
If you appreciate technology, consider utilizing Google Calendar, which is a helpful tool for budgeting.
Budget calendars have become so established a concept that companies are now releasing mobile apps to help you manage them.
What to include in your budget calendar
Once you’ve determined a calendar format, it’s time to figure out what content to include. Items on the list may differ from person to person, depending on your finances and intentions.
Keep your budget spreadsheet updated as you receive your pay stubs every month.
Include each of your bills – this includes rent and utility bills, as well as less frequently occurring expenses like annual memberships.
If you’re aggressively paying off debt and making additional debt payments, including those on your calendar.
Having money set aside for emergencies is necessary. When building up your emergency fund, be sure to schedule your transfers. You can also use your calendar to schedule transfers to savings for financial goals such as a vacation or the down payment on a house.
Put it all together
After you’ve determined which budget calendar format to use and what information to add to it, it’s time to put it all together! Setting up your calendar for the very first time can be time-consuming work.
Your expenses will include paying your bills every month, every half a year, and every year. You can also include any relevant upcoming events that you may want to save for. Setting up your obligations on your calendar makes it easier to accomplish them. You can also cash in on digital cash envelopes by syncing your calendar with online wallets.
Design elements for a great budget calendar
Including the appropriate design elements in your calendar can actually be helpful at helping you remember to use it. You’re not merely able to utilize pictures to make your calendar more appealing, but images can also be useful tools to guarantee you stick to your schedule.
Select a good size
Choose a size for your financial plan calendar that makes it convenient to follow. The solution will be different for every individual! It can be cumbersome to carry, and you may often forget it.
Use color coding
Modifying your budget calendar by adding some color to it is a great way to stay with your spending.
Reviewing your budget calendar
A budget calendar isn’t a one-time solution. Just like other parts of your budget, it’s something that should be reviewed and adjusted periodically. So, let’s talk about how often you should be reviewing your budget calendar.
How often should you review it?
A good plan is to reevaluate your calendar as often as you are paid. This method enables you to create a financial plan as soon as you receive your paycheck. Checking your payment stubs with every month’s check also enables you to make alterations and adjustments.
Let’s suppose you made an extra payment on your student loans. You put that payment on your budget calendar but your vehicle broke down. Rather than making that additional payment, you instead put that money toward car maintenance.
When estimating your upcoming budget, you can modify your plans to account for future expenses associated with car maintenance. You might decide to fund these expenses with your next check, or beef up your emergency fund to prevent future car problems from affecting your budget.
Use calendar reminders
Let’s not kid ourselves; sometimes things don’t go as planned when we’re trying to stick to a new routine. Whether it’s keeping our budget on track or following a workout routine, let’s admit it â€” sometimes we fail. One of the best ways to stick to your budget plan is to create calendar reminders for yourself. And there are a number of different ways you can use them.
First, you can set calendar reminders to remind you to review your budget calendar. Set a regular calendar reminder for payday so you won’t forget to check in with it. You can also use calendar reminders to help you stick to your budget calendar. A budget is just as strong as your follow-through.
Once you have organized each of your monthly expenses in the calendar, calendar reminders can make certain that each task is accomplished. Did you need to pay rent on the 1st of every month? Schedule a reminder to make sure you make the payment.
Utilizing a calendar approach can be a great way for you to budget, stay within your budget, and meet your financial goals. Remember, successful budgeting is all about finding the right approach for you!