Do you use a cash calendar? More Americans than ever before are falling in love with budgeting, with more and more now using a formal budget according to studies.
This is brilliant news and shows just how easy it is to manage your finances, stay out of debt and save for the future. But if you're still having trouble making the most of your money, maybe you haven't found the right budgeting tool yet.
That's where the cash calendar comes in, as a money management tool that helps you visualize exactly what's going on with your finances.
This budgeting trick will take your head out of the sand and give you a clear layout of your income and expenses each month. The best part? You’ll never worry about running out of cash too quickly again!
What is a cash calendar?
A cash calendar works like a regular calendar, but you use it to keep track of both your payment dates and payment amounts.
Take a quick glance and you’ll see exactly how much cash you have on hand, and how much money is coming in and going out on any given date. Essentially, you’ll use your calendar as an overview of your finances.
The main benefits of your cash calendar are:
No more missed bills
Do you usually keep payment due dates in your head? You won’t be able to ignore the visual reminder on your cash calendar. So no more paying late fees on late bills!
Better money management
Do you splurge your cash on payday and have nothing left at the end of the month? Having all your income and expenses in front of you makes it easy to identify spending patterns and money leaks.
Reminders to put away your savings
Ever spend your money without investing in your future? Use a money calendar, and you won’t forget to pay yourself. You can also make it a goal to pay yourself first so you can save even more money.
Tackle debt faster
Are you worried about mounting debt? Your calendar will give you a solid plan to clear down your loans before they get out of hand. You can also use the debt snowball or avalanche method as part of your plan.
Who should use a cash calendar?
Choosing your budgeting tool is very much a personal decision and it's important to choose one that is best for you. If you’re a spreadsheet kind of gal, maybe a cash calendar isn’t the right solution for you.
Or, if you prefer to handle your finances physically, you might feel more comfortable using cash envelopes or money jars.
But if you want a visual money management tool, a cash calendar is super intuitive and can be used alongside other budgeting techniques.
Anyone can benefit from using a money calendar for personal finance or small business budgeting at any stage in life. And if you belong to one of the following groups, you might find a money calendar extra helpful.
Moms have a lot to remember when running the household budget. There’s a lot of expense, from paying for groceries, childcare, and after-school clubs, to buying birthday gifts and forking out for new shoes. Your cash calendar will take the stress out of managing your finances.
Living by yourself can be tight because there’s no one to split the mortgage, rent, and bills with. So, we suggest adding a buffer of at least 12-18 months in your emergency fund.
This will protect you if there are any sudden financial changes such as a job loss or illness. A money calendar will help you single ladies to budget and meet your financial responsibilities.
Cohabiting or married couples
If you’re married, engaged, or living together, you and your partner might have varying incomes and expenses that are difficult to keep track of.
In a new relationship, it’s worth chatting about finances before you create your cash calendar. Sit down together and decide how to split the bills fairly between you.
We would always encourage both partners to have access to an individual bank account and a joint account. You can then use a cash calendar to keep track of the overall picture.
Mompreneurs and small business owners
Managing your cash is crucial to your success as a mompreneur. Use your calendar to set reminders to pay suppliers, employees, and quarterly taxes. Don't forget to take a salary for yourself too!
Budgeting as a student doesn’t mean sucking the fun out of college life. Being sensible will stop you from getting into largescale debt, which is the real killjoy of your post-grad years.
Students should begin by adding semester dates to the cash calendar. You can also gather information about student loan dates, tuition fees, and when living expenses like rent or bills are due.
If you’re recently divorced, budgeting on a single income may be new. You can use your calendar to understand when your bills are due and how your income is spread across the month.
If you have opened a new bank account or changed your marital assets, make sure you gather all the relevant information before creating your calendar.
How does a cash calendar work?
A cash calendar works just like other management tools. It uses the basic details of your finances, like your income and expenses, to monitor how much money you have to spend. It will also help you save and clear down your debt.
But unlike a spreadsheet or budgeting app, it is a colorful and visual tool that focuses as much on highlighting dates as it does on figures.
How do you set up a cash calendar?
So, if you’re new to using cash calendars, you’ll need to know the dates of important events, including:
- Income dates: When do you get paid?
- Bills: You can mark your due dates for recurring payments like your electricity bill, mortgage, or credit card.
- Savings: Pick a day of the week or month to pay yourself, meaning that you put money aside on these dates to save for retirement, college, your emergency fund, or other future plans.
Have fun with your money calendar by making it as bright and beautiful as possible. You can add colorful pens, notes, or fonts to your calendar.
You might stick to the traditional red for bills and green for income, or you can experiment with different tones. The main thing is to make it fun and easy to use, so you stick to this budgeting hack.
What types of cash calendars are available?
There are three main types of cash calendars you can set up.
This can be as simple as a calendar on your fridge or noticeboard. Some will find a pocket diary works well, too. Or you can go all out and create a giant cash calendar in your home office.
Pick your favorite digital calendar, perhaps Google Calendar, Outlook Calendar, or similar. If you need to share this with other household members, or within your business, make sure you have this set up to sync.
You can then manually input your financial figures into the correct dates and mark them up with your colors and fonts for clarity.
Online cash calendar
If you want a little less legwork in your cash calendar creation, some excellent online versions are available. Here are a few of our favorites:
CalendarBudget is accessed on Android, iOS, or through your web browser, so you have access to your cash flow at all times. You can set up calendared reminders to monitor your income, expenses, and regular spending.
This also allows you to see your account balance on any future date, which is an amazing forecasting tool.
CalendarBudget has a 30-day free trial available, and you can then pay per month or per year at a 40% discount.
Money Calendar is yet more proof that seeing your finances makes it easier to manage them. When you download this tool to Windows, you can keep track of your past, present, and future finances. It’s also possible to view the info in multi-currencies.
Money Calendar doesn't require a subscription - it's available for a one-off fee of $29.99 or $19.99 when there's a discount running. There's also a FREE trial available if you want to try it out for size.
Moneydance is a personal finance app packed with features, including investment tracking, account management, and online banking. It's easy to set up a payment schedule for single or recurring transactions so you never miss a due date.
Moneydance is a free download for your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Alternatively, you can download it from the Play Store for your Android device.
Commit to the cash calendar for best results
If you’re looking for a simple way to supercharge your finances, then a cash calendar is a straightforward system to learn that had great advantages for your budget. To get started, all you need to do is set aside a block of time once a month and plan out your budget.
You might choose to do this on the 1st of the month, the 1st Monday of the month, or on your payday. The key to cash calendar success is to fully commit to it, and you’ll be amazed how quickly you see results!