July Topic of the Month: What Is a Budget Calendar and Do You Need One?
When it comes to keeping track of things—doctor’s appointments, family events, after-school activities—many folks turn to the trusty calendar. While this date book might be full of places to be and people to see, do you use it to include things like “pay gas bill” or “buy Christmas presents”? Your calendar, though, can be a good place to track your budget as well.
A budget calendar asks us to look at what we’re spending in order to keep track of what bills need paid right away and what is yet to come. When you track your budget this way, it ensures that not only are your bills paid on time, but that you are not struggling to make ends meet between paychecks.
When you use a budget calendar, you are essentially tracking all days when money comes in and out of your household. The outcome is improved cash flow—by knowing when money comes in and out you can avoid late fees, avoid missing bills, and start to set more money aside for retirement funds, savings accounts, college funds, and so forth.
What should you track in a budget calendar? It’s quite simple. Anything that comes in or out financially—so your pay checks, any bills, shopping trips, etc., and whatever money you are putting into savings funds.
Is this something you have to have? No. But if you are someone who ever finds yourself wondering where your money goes, you could benefit from a budget calendar. Or, conversely, if you have ever missed a payment, forgotten when payday was, or just generally wanted to have more knowledge about your finances, you might find this type of strategy helpful. And finally, if you have important budgeting goals, a budget calendar can help you meet them.
You can create a budget calendar using any paper calendar of your choosing. You can make one using software like Google Calendar, Microsoft Excel, or a pen and paper. There are also apps you can download, both for free and for a fee, and websites you can find by searching “budget calendar.”
If you’d like to strategize how to use a budget calendar, call Orsinger Investment Group, Inc. at (724) 588-9067 today to schedule an appointment.