Budget calendar – The most hated, yet most important aspect to a successful financial life. Managing personal finances is not an easy task at all and can be the worst at times. The main difficulty is due to income being uncertain or sometimes just not enough! As we nearly approach the end of 2020, it is important more than ever to review your personal finances. This year has been nothing but full of surprises, which has taken people off guard with people relying on emergency savings to survive.
So why do you need a budget calendar?
In a nutshell, a budget calendar is a financial tool designed to help you remember all of the important dates in your life. From the days when you can expect pay checks to arrive to the days that bills are due. The key benefits of creating a monthly budget calendar are:
Improved cash flow
By tracking your fixed expenses and bills, you can develop a better sense of you cash flow. By looking at past account statements and expenses and taking stock of monthly bills, you can easily pinpoint when significant expenses are due and set reminders to avoid late fees.
Fewer missed bills
With a well laid out tracking system, you’ll be less likely to forget important bill due dates. As a result, you can avoid hefty late fees and even help boost your credit score if you’re no longer missing key payment due dates.
If you highlight key dates on a monthly calendar and set reminders, you’re most likely to put cash aside for your retirement savings or to gradually fund your kid’s college education.
How do I create a budget calendar?
Creating a budget calendar is easier than you think! In fact, I’ve started looking forward to creating mine each month. I feel much more organised and less stressed when I can see all my bills and paydays in one spot.
Below are my 7 simple steps to creating your own budget calendar.
Step 1 Grab a blank calendar to start creating your budget
You can easily grab a free printable calendar online or use a large calendar you already have. Most budget are done by spreadsheet, but we prefer to use a calendar for several reasons. Spreadsheets can be just too formal, and you will feel less inclined to update it monthly. Plus, calendars are easier to read and use.
Using a calendar to create your budget will be an easy-to-follow tool that you can use as a daily spending guide to take some of the headache and discipline out of managing your money.
Step 2 List out your paydays on the calendar
No matter how often you’re paid, list out every single payday on the calendar. You can even write out how much the paycheck will bring in as well!
- If you’re a salaried worker – your income is usually predictable, so filling in your income should be super easy.
- If your pay does vary a little bit – use your best judgement and write down the minimum amount you think you’re likely to receive. You may have to do a little extra homework to get plausible numbers for your budget.
- If your pay varies greatly – Knowing your exact pay for the last three months should help you come up with an educated guess when it comes time to do your budget calendar.
When in doubt, always use the more conservative figure when estimating your income.
Step 3 List out your bills on their due dates
Think about your regular bills (mortgage, electricity, etc.) and your irregular bills (quarterly payments like insurance) that are due for the upcoming month. After that, total your other costs, like food, electricity, and entertainment. Every pound you spend should be accounted for.
You’ll want your budget calendar to be as accurate as possible. Start off by logging into your accounts and write down when each bill is due. It would be helpful to create a list of all your bills and due dates so that you can look back on it each month. Then, add these bills and expenses to your budget calendar.
Step 4 Include any automatic savings to your calendar
If you have any money being automatically drafted out of your account and into a savings account, then include these as well!
Step 5 Add any special birthdays or holidays
The last thing you want to do is completely forget that you were supposed to buy your mother a birthday gift. Bu adding any birthdays, holidays or special events to your budget calendar at the beginning of the month, you’ll be more likely to not forget these gifts when you can write your budget each paycheck.
Step 6 Check for annual subscriptions
Be sure to include any annual or bi-annual subscriptions that might be coming out this month! Its best to keep a list of these types of subscriptions handy so that you can refer back to them often.
Step 7 Colour code your calendar
Once you’ve included everything on your budget calendar, it’s time to keep it organised by colour coding it based on your paydays.
Ok but do I really need a budget calendar?
Of course not. You need to budget, but nobody needs a budget calendar. If somehow you can manage your money in you head and still put away money for a rainy day, a holiday, your retirement, an emergency fund and have money left over for fun purchases and whatever random surprise purchases pop up in your life, more power to you.
The main thing is to find a way to manage your money that works for you. A budget calendar is just one useful tool that you might want to consider embracing.
But it’s crucial to have some sort of budget, whether you keep, track of the numbers in your brain or on a budget calendar and maintain it if you want to live comfortably. That applies whether you’re rich or poor.
Budgeting can be an intimidating task at times. It can be hard just to get started and even harder to stay consistent. Making and maintaining a budget calendar is easy and will help elevate the stress of what to pay and when and eliminate overdraft and late fees from forgetting to pay things.
Once you get in the habit of making it, it will become second nature to know when to pay each bill.
Once you get the schedule worked out to what works for you, your life will be so much easier! Stay calm and BUDGET ON!