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Planning your financial future

4 simple ways to make a budget calendar

Make a budget plan and stick to it with a calendar that makes it easy to be ready for upcoming payments.

#1: Account for your expenses

Before you can make a budget calendar, you’ll need to create a budget. Sit down with your spouse or significant other, and pull out your billing statements. Then, make a list as to what you owe and to whom on a monthly basis, and don't forget about your quarterly or annual expenses. Weigh what you owe every month against your total monthly income. That magic number represents what you can conceivably save or spend over the course of the month. Now, look at several of your most recent bank statements to get a realistic picture of where your money typically goes every month.

#2: Schedule your payments accordingly

Consider when you receive your regular paychecks. If it’s monthly, obviously most of your bills will have to wait until you get paid. If it’s bi-weekly, try to divide up your bill cycles in more manageable, two week segments. See if you can change a few due dates in an effort to make weekly budgeting easier. Some creditors will allow you to change due dates, so be sure and ask. Not only will this make your monthly budgeting easier, it can save you a bundle in costly late fees. Once you get the dates hammered out, mark them on your calendar.

#3: Sync your calendar with the rest of your life

Rather than leaving the bulk of your financial life attached to the fridge or in an ever-growing stack, you could choose to store all that info in digital calendar such as Google Calendar or Apple iCal, and be sure to mark each bill’s due date as recurring. Now you can schedule as many email or pop-up reminders for each bill’s due date as you deem necessary.

#4: Get alerts

Go paperless, and sign up to receive regular email or app alerts from your lenders, creditors, and banks in lieu of paper bills. By doing so, you don’t have to rely strictly on your own budgeting and calendar-keeping skills. You can even sign up for alerts that notify you when you have an upcoming payment, when you’ve made a payment, when you've transferred money, or when you’ve simply made a purchase.


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