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Easy, Low-Tech, Calendar Budget System

September 7th, 2013 at 11:41 am

I wanted to share this little budgeting system using a calendar and pencil (and maybe a calculator too).
I hope someone will find it useful...

My coworker was having trouble planning her money out. She asked for some advice when she couldn't pay her rent until two weeks into the month it was due. She'd like to do the envelope method, but that is hard to start when you are starting out behind. I showed her how to lay out this calendar and she has told me the past two months have been so much better. Just a glance at her calendar budget and she can stay on track.

Some of us might refer to this a "future checkbook" or might use a spreadsheet to plan ahead. I use Quicken to do this every month - planning ahead to see where we need to move money and when in the month we can do it. In Quicken it is much easier because I can easily change numbers and dates and the program makes all the calculations. However, this calendar will help someone looking for a low tech way to look ahead and keep tighter tabs on their cash. I think this method is most helpful for people being paid weekly or bi-weekly.

These examples are based on my coworker's situation. She is a single woman without many expenses. She is paid weekly. Currently she is trying to get caught up to the point where she can pay her rent on the first of the month.

First, write in the starting balance.
This could be in your checking account or cash.
I like to plan for all the income first ('cause it makes me feel warm & fuzzy Smile ).
Payday is Friday.
Her paycheck fluctuates, so this number is a best-guess-average. Eventually her plan is to save any income above her "estimated" number and to budget a set amount to save weekly or bi-weekly.




Second, plan your month.
Each week she withdraws cash to spend on gas and food for the week ($50/wk).
She has a few small charges on auto-pay (insurance, game club, etc..).
Cell phone is always $40/mo.
TV & Internet.
Electric & Gas.
One CC payment.
Dentist payment.






Third, make changes as you go.
In this picture I show the adjustments she makes when she deposits her actual paychecks.



As you can see in this example she started September with $816 and is finishing the month with $1135. Almost enough to pay her rent on or before the first.
She would meet her goal by the end of October as long as nothing changed. Smile


*** In "real life" my coworker is not quite that close to her goal yet.
She had really gotten behind. She tells me that she is much better off now with the calendar and it is "simple to use". She showed me her September projections yesterday at work and she will have her December rent set aside by Thanksgiving.
*fingers crossed*

4 Responses to “Easy, Low-Tech, Calendar Budget System”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    That is excellent! In the past I had to budget by the week and hold money from each of them to make the mortgage payment. It can be done. Great visual example!

  2. snafu Says:

    Kudos to you for taking the time and making the effort to offer your colleague tangible help to make a plan and sort out how to manage money from pay to pay. Being late on rent does so much damage to credit/FICO score, I hope she can stay away from using credit as the rates will be nauseous.

  3. North Georgia Gal Says:

    I used to do something similiar to this but now I use quicken. it makes it simple.

  4. NJDebbie Says:

    You are so nice to help your coworker with her budget. I'm sure she thinks the world of you to share her budget problems. Great job!

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