A monthly calendar is a great way to keep track of important dates and events in your life. You can even use your calendar to keep track of your goals and habits and increase your productivity. However, did you also know that you can use your trusted calendar to make budgets?
What is a budget calendar?
Budget calendars keep track of the dates and amounts of payments. It’s also a useful way to see how much money is coming in and going out a month. ⁇
There are many free apps and templates online, or you can use the calendar you already have. But whatever tool you choose, make sure your budget calendar includes the following:
- Income. You can add your paydays to your calendar if you receive regular paychecks. Or at least dial when you expect to receive payment.
- Invoices. Keep track of your monthly expenses, such as rent or credit card bills. Don’t forget to include infrequent costs as well. For example, semi-annual car insurance payments and annual subscriptions.
- Savings contributions. Saving for an emergency fund, wedding, or other goal is easier when you schedule transfers to an account in advance.
In addition, you can record smaller transactions and irregularities. However, it can be difficult to write down every cup of coffee or your estimated grocery bill.
The benefits of a budget calendar
Did you know that only 30% of households in the United States have a long-term financial plan? Keeping a budget allows us to control our finances, save money more effectively, and ensure that our money is spent properly.
In addition, according to a report by LendingClub, 64% of US households were living check to check in early 2022, compared to 61% in December and close to the peak of 65% in 2020. Therefore, if you want to escape a payday. -Living to pay, a budget is also essential.
Fortunately, there are many ways to budget. The key is to find a budget style that suits you. Then you will be more likely to achieve your goals and stick to your money intentions.
Budget calendars can help you:
- Establish an expense plan and keep track of expenses
- Point out where you can make cuts
- Evaluate your income
- Create a long-term plan
- Help you pay off your debt faster
- Manage rewards and use of your credit card
- Learn how to better control your living expenses
You can use calendars to keep track of when things need to be done visually. As such, you will avoid losing your payments. They are also easier to use than cheap software. And because more than a quarter of millennials have overdrawn their current accounts, this could be a valuable tool in combating costly late payments.
Signs you need a budget calendar
Budget calendars are good for everyone. Budget calendars are free and easy to use. Most importantly, they are able to reduce financial stress.
Again, you need a budget calendar if you are living check to check. Living check to check usually means you have less than $ 1,000 in savings, or you have a thousand, but you can’t add to your savings. As a result, your account may be overdrawn if you have an unexpected expense. Or worse, any disruption (unexpected expense) would contribute to your debt if you had to use a credit card.
Here is another problem with life from check to check. You may not be comfortable setting up automatic invoice payments. This is understandable, as you do not want to be frustrated if you cannot get the right pitch so invest in a good capo. But at the same time, not paying a bill can lead to late fees. And according to the FICO Credit Damage Data Sheet, missing just one invoice can reduce your credit score by 180 points.
Other red flags?
- Impulsive spending is impossible to control.
- Don’t understand your cash flow.
- You have difficulty saving and planning ahead.
Use your online calendar to make budgets
A budget calendar could be the solution to your budget problems. You can also ensure that bills are paid on time. And if they can solve the savings problems.
Best of all? Using your calendar doesn’t have to be that complicated. You can have one up and running in minutes. And from there, you can easily follow the schedule to keep your finances in order.
Search, create, purchase, or create a calendar.
As for the budget calendar format, you have a few options.
You could go to the old school and use a paper calendar. However, there are also applications designed specifically for the budget. These include Virtual Wallet, CalendarBudget or Moneydance. Or you can download templates from OnPlanners or MyMoneyCoach.
But suppose you already have your work and personal life on an online calendar. Then you can also use it to make budgets. You may want to create a separate “calendar” just for your budget so that it doesn’t get stuffed.
Know what to follow.
No need to create a complex calendar budget. But at the very least, you should keep track of your income and expenses. Automated savings can also be tracked. Keeping track of auto savings really helps because you see your money start to grow and inspire you.
- Income. Whether you’re paid weekly, fortnightly, twice a month, or once a month, you’ll need to keep track of your paychecks and write down how much you expect to be paid.
- Invoices. You’ll need to add due dates and amounts to your calendar to find out which bills to pay with which paycheck. Be sure to include all of your fixed expenses. Examples include mortgage / rental, utilities, debt payments and subscriptions. And, don’t forget irregular bills like vehicle registration. Always overestimate these variable expenses. Better safe than sorry.
- Automated savings. If you remove this money before you spend it, you will be much more successful in saving than if you expect to save what you have left over after you have finished your payments and spending. Once you’ve set up your savings automation, add them to your calendar so you can see how your finances are doing.
Add special occasions and holidays.
Depending on the time of year, each month will be different. However, a budget calendar is not complete without special events, holidays, and anniversaries.
Because? Remember to include these expenses in your budget by doing this. Then you can plan to organize parties or buy gifts for the holidays, birthdays, or weddings accordingly.
Leave room for the non-essentials.
“What is life without a little fun?” Abby Miller asks in a previous Calendar article. “Your online calendar can help you get a lot of fun out of ‘gold bars’ – enough to keep you happy and motivated, but not so much as to spend all your money at once.”
Think about what you want to experience the most. “Maybe it’s a vacation in Tahiti, or maybe you want to walk the Appalachian Trail,” he adds. If you plan ahead, you won’t have to spend a fortune.
“Add the event to your calendar, of course, and add milestones,” advises Abby. “A good way to do that is to attach them to existing savings reminders.” For example, you can set aside 5% of your salary for emergencies and 2% for experiences.
“What if you struggle with impulsive spending?” Leaving aside a few days each month when you can stretch your budget a bit is a good strategy. You can enjoy at the beginning of each month, for example, right after receiving your salary and the job is busy.
Color-coding your calendar.
Keeping up with your budget can be easier by adding a little color to your calendar. Visually organizing your color-coded calendar is possible in a few ways:
- Different paychecks. To indicate which invoices each check covers, you can use a different color for each check.
- Classify expenses according to their types. For example, using one color for monthly bills, you can use another for savings transfers.
- Assignment of invoices. You can use a color-coded joint budget calendar by sharing your expenses with someone else. Each person identifies who is responsible for which invoice.
Schedule regular reviews.
You can’t just set up a budget calendar and forget about it. Instead, you should review it and review it frequently, as you would with other financial aspects. But how often should you do this?
Keep your calendar up to date at least as often as you are paid. The advantage of this strategy is that you can plan your money right away. You can also make timely adjustments to your calendar with each paycheck.
For example, suppose you were making additional payments on your student loans. Unfortunately, your car’s transmission is down. As a result, you need to buy a new vehicle. Therefore, you should save for an upfront payment instead of spending extra money on your student loans.
But that’s the beauty of using an online calendar to make budgets. First, you can set reminders so you don’t forget. Then again, you may receive a notification as long as you are paid. In addition, I would recommend setting a monthly reminder to make sure you are on track and make the necessary changes.
Image credit: Tima Miroshnichenko; pexels; Thanks!
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