Calendar template

The budget calendar: what is it and do you need it?

One of the first and easiest things you can do with your finances is to create a personal budget calendar.

Budget Calendar This is an efficient way to understand what your income and expenses look like, without having to try to remember them by heart.

Usually, you think you’ll remember everything and be able to manage your money without writing anything down.

I was certainly thinking the same, but I quickly realized how badly I was handling everything when I was more tactical.

So what are the benefits of creating a budget calendar? How can you start with one and keep it going for the foreseeable future? Enter below to find out more!

Contents

  1. What is a budget calendar?
  2. The benefits of a budget calendar
  3. Steps to Create Your Own Budget Calendar
  4. Budget calendar steps
  5. Budget calendar templates
  6. How to maintain your budget calendar
  7. Do i need a budget calendar?
  8. Share this post:

What is a budget calendar?

A budget calendar is similar to your daily calendar, except that it tracks the dates of your income and expenses. For example, you will note the days when your salary starts, the day each invoice leaves your account and when the subscriptions are paid, etc.

Any good budget schedule will include:

  • Your income – How much you earn on each paycheck or what you earn if you work for yourself.
  • Current expenses – Typically, your bills will fall on similar days each month. Planning them on a calendar gives you the big picture.
  • Current savings – How you plan to plan money to save in your emergency fund or other investments.

You can certainly go a little further, but at a high level these three areas will take you much further with your finances than people who don’t budget at all.

But this budget calendar idea exists to let you take a more money-conservative approach, build a simple family budget, and plan a budget that fits your lifestyle.

The benefits of a budget calendar

Can you believe that just 30% of American households do you have a long term financial plan? Budgeting allows us to track our income, save money better, and make sure we spend it where we plan.

Also, if you are looking to escape paycheck to paycheck living and then having a budget is key.

Fortunately, it’s not just a way to budget. Finding a budgeting style that works for you is important as it will help you stick to your financial intentions and achieve your goals.

Choosing a budget calendar should help you:

  • Track expenses and create an expense plan
  • Highlight where cuts can be made
  • Review your income
  • Planning for the future
  • Help you deal with any debt faster
  • Better understand your living expenses

Calendars are great because they help you visually notice when things are due to avoid late payments and can be much simpler than budgeting software. For more than A quarter of millennials overdrafted their checking accounts, this could be one way to fight the late payment panic.

Steps to Create Your Own Budget Calendar

Creating your own budget calendar is actually quite simple, and you can accomplish a simple one in just a few steps. If you have no idea where to start at all, I recommend you check out our budget 101 item.

Budget calendar steps

  1. Find, craft, buy or create a calendar. It could be a physical hard copy, an app on your phone, or an online calendar on a program like Excel. Just make sure it’s presented in a monthly format with dates and plenty of space.
  2. Mark the days you will receive income (through your salary, dividends, interest, or whatever) and how much you expect to receive. Optionally code this color so that your income stands out from the expenses.
  3. Mark your fixed expenses on the calendar, along with their amounts. This will include things like your energy bills, phone bills, rent or mortgage payments, etc. It would help to do this in a different color than the income above.
  4. Finally, write down the dates you plan to save money or pay off debt, and the amounts. Again, choose a distinct color to make sure it stands out.
  5. For variable expenses, those that may fluctuate or may not have a fixed amount, always overestimate the amount on your schedule. It is better to have more than not enough.
  6. Don’t be afraid to mark your calendar as needed. Color coding and notes can be visually very powerful for you when working on your budget calendar.

Budget calendar templates

If you don’t want to build your own or want more organization, there are budget calendar templates. Below are some good template variations that you can download and use to make your life easier.

  • MyMoneyCoach has an awesome downloadable template that’s absolutely free! The template is created in Excel, so it is easy to use for most people. All you have to do is enter the exact numbers for your situation and watch the budget calendar do its magic. Download the budget calendar here.
  • 101Planners published a budget workbook, one of the pages of which is devoted to a monthly calendar. If you are looking for a physical copy, this printable calendar might be the one for you. Plus, it’s color coded so you can draw a clear line between income and expense. Download them here.
  • If you’re looking for something simple, OnPlanners has created a number of calendar budget templates, including a monthly follow-up and one daily expense tracking. Both of these are printable and easy to navigate, so you really have no excuses!

How to maintain your budget calendar

It can be difficult to allocate time for budgeting consistently, especially if you are not someone who gets enthusiastic about numbers. But it doesn’t have to be such a chore!

Maintaining your budget schedule can actually be quite easy.

Start by devoting a morning or an afternoon each month to your budget. Maybe the day after your payment, or maybe you want it to be the 1st or the last day of the month.

Having a fixed date can help you stick to your budget schedule. Write your budget at least a month in advance, but if you can budget more, go for it.

To successfully use a budget calendar, work with the payments you wrote down. Start planning your payments on the dates you’ve set to make sure things are going smoothly and you can be proud of being on budget.

Taking the time to do this will be valuable in the long run, as you’ll build good financial habits, become more financially stable, and be on track with your financial goals.

Do i need a budget calendar?

Now that you know what it is, its benefits, and how to start and maintain one, do you need it? Honestly, it is up to you personally and how much responsibility you need with your finances. But this budgeting system may be just what you need to achieve your long term goals.

For me I have used spreadsheets and apps like Personal capital to help monitor how things are going and my net worth. And you might find that the budget timeline is not enough and you might want to try the cash envelope system, for example.

However, a budget calendar can be a great start to organizing your money, managing your sources of income, controlling recurring expenses, and helping you prioritize how you save and spend money.

Working on a budget might not be glamorous, but give it a try and see how it works for you!

This post was already published surinvestwallet.com.

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Photo credit: iStockPhoto.com


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