Budgets and Money

Put That Budget on a Schedule, Too

It's no secret there are ways to making a budget plan and sticking to it. A calendar makes it easy to track those components so you can be ready for upcoming payments.

4 Simple Ways to Make a Budget Calendar

#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.

Need more advice about creating a budget, a budget calendar, or perhaps actually sticking to a budget? You can find all the helpful info you need in the Protective Learning Center.

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All Learning Center articles are general summaries that can be used when considering your financial future at various life stages. The information presented is for educational purposes and is meant to supplement other information specific to your situation. It is not intended as investment advice and does not necessarily represent the opinion of Protective Life or its subsidiaries.

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