The Money Makeover : Tip #1 – The Budget Calendar
Here’s a little tip that I thought I would share. One of the key things with our money makeover is to avoid surprises. We do this in a number of ways, we create a new budget each month, we have our emergency fund 1 and allocate savings for upcoming/possible events.
However, I still found I was getting caught out – why? Because it’s very easy to just plain forget about events that aren’t as big as Christmas or the next vacation. There are also instances when you get those sneaky 5-week months and you forget to budget an extra weeks groceries and whatnot.
So how do we normally remember such events? Well duh, a calendar!
Here’s what I do:
- Create a new calendar called “Budgeting” on Google* (see below for instructions).
- Add all recurring financial events, whether it’s things coming off of a credit card, direct debits, travel costs or whatever. Using a digital calendar normally makes this very easy and with most of the options we would require for financial stuff out of the box (e.g. “repeat X times” or “repeat until Y”)
- When doing your monthly budget, you can then see at a glance exactly when money is going to be coming out of your account and when.
- While budgeting it is then easy to also see when other events are occurring in your life that might require some cash – for example, Joe’s birthday, a gig or that it’s international talk like a pirate day and you need to buy an eye patch.
- When adding any upcoming personal events, think about the financial implications and also add those to your budgeting calendar.
* I recommend Google because it’s free, its easy, it has a nice UI and you can sync with most mobile devices. But, you can obviously use whatever you like – you can never beat good old pen-and-paper!
Creating a New Calendar on Google
- “Calendar Settings”
- “Create new calendar”
So there you have it. Create a budgeting calendar, make your monthly budget easier and quicker to create and have less financial surprises!
One other point to note..
Make sure you keep the calendar private ;)
- Open your Google calendar.
- Click “Settings”
- Click “Calendars”
- Calendars are private by default, you can double check via:
- “Calendar Settings”
- “Budgeting” (or your name)
- “Share This Calendar”
- Ensure “Make this calendar public” is unchecked.