Money

How to Use Calendar Budget to Get Out of Debt

Budgeting is scary when you’re living paycheck to paycheck. It feels like you’ve got bills coming at you from every angle and you never know if you’re going to have enough money. Eventually you have to sit down and take a good hard look at your finances. I fully recommend starting with the traditional budget where you do everything by percentages. To really know where you stand and if you’re making enough money for all of your bills.

If you are using credit cards for anything you need to see what you can do to stop using them and get those balances paid down. If you want to use them for rewards cool, but make sure you are getting the balance paid off every month. Those rewards aren’t worth anything if you’re paying interest fees.

You should also try to build up an emergency fund. I’ve heard everything from $1000 to 3 months worth of bills. Basically if you lose your job or your car breaks down or you have some other surprise bill you should have some money set aside to take care of it so it doesn’t break the bank for you.

If you find you’re getting down to the wire before payday or your bills are due sometimes having a visual can help you get back on track. I started using Calendar Budget almost a year ago. Back then I was still using my credit card to pay some of my bills because I was not making enough to cover everything.

I now have almost $600 in savings and I’m paying extra on my credit card payment every month. (I had some other life changes that helped me to achieve this.) It really helped me to see what I was spending on alcohol, junk food, eating out, and general household expenses (I had roommates and I basically bought everything for the house we were living in).

When I first started using Calendar Budget it took me about 4 tries to get it how I wanted it. It didn’t help that the site was glitching on me just a little bit, but it appears they’ve fixed that now when I created a second account to show you exactly how this works.

Use Calendar Budget to take control of your finances, get out of debt, build up savings, and create a better future for yourself.

First you sign up on the Calendar Budget Website.

Then it’s going to ask you how you want to set up your calendar. You can either import a file from your bank account or do it manually. When I go into my checking account online it gives me the option to “Download Account Activity.” Yours might be different. Your banker will be able to tell you how if you can’t figure it out.

If you don’t want to do that you can always just input all of the details manually. (You can click any of these pictures to open them to their full size.)

How to Use Calendar Budget to Get Out of Debt
Then it will show you your transactions and you can name the account you are making. You could add categories now but I would recommend waiting to make sure everything uploads first.How to Use Calendar Budget to Get Out of Debt
Now it drops it all into the calendar for you to see. It starts you with a “starting balance” on the first day so everything should be correct with your current account balance.
How to Use Calendar Budget to Get Out of Debt
You can click the individual entries to see more information about them. You can change the name to something easier to read and you can assign it to a category. I’ll show you how to change category names in a minute. You can also choose if you want it to be a repeating entry. For example this is my student loan payment. I pay it on the same day every month so I can choose to make it repeat that way. It gives you a lot of options. How to Use Calendar Budget to Get Out of Debt
Changing your categories is pretty easy. At the top of the screen you’ll see “Setup.” Just go down to Category Setup. This will allow you to change your categories to suit your needs. You can also change the colors. You can set budgets here too. I don’t because I really don’t buy anything other than food and I budget that by putting that money into a different account. I’m trying to put as much extra money as I can toward my credit card at this time.
How to Use Calendar Budget to Get Out of Debt
Over on the left side it shows you all of your categories. You can turn the colors on by clicking the check box at the top that says “Select All.” There you have it, now everything is color coded. In my real one I changed everything to bright colors. How to Use Calendar Budget to Get Out of Debt
 You can update your calendar whenever you want by downloading a new version of your account activity and uploading it. You’re going to use the third icon to do this. Upload your file and hit load transactions.
How to Use Calendar Budget to Get Out of Debt
It comes up as “What Really Happened.” Items in green are already reflected in your account. So this will happen with anything you already programmed into your calendar. You can drag and drop the items in red just anywhere and they will go to the day they are supposed to be on. Then you can edit their information. If you are trying to load information for multiple days then the days should disappear in the “What Really Happened” bar as the days are reconciled. If they are sticking around it means something isn’t lining up right. Check and make sure you don’t have any transactions entered twice.
This happens to me when I pay my bills on payday. I paid them that day but they aren’t going to come out of my account until Monday. So I can drag and drop those payments to the day that they really came out of my account.
How to Use Calendar Budget to Get Out of DebtIf any of this is unclear please comment so I can get it cleared up. I really think this is a great website and it has helped me so much.I often find that it seems like I’m going to have extra money in my account but I look to the next month ahead and I see that in three weeks I’m going to be in bad shape. This lets me know to hang on to that money because I am going to need it in the future.

I can also preplan for trips this way. Just program in how much you’re going to need for something and you can check to make sure it isn’t going to break the bank down the road.

Do you use any budgeting software or apps? Which ones?

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