Easy Monthly Bill Calendar Process
There is one simple truth in my life: If it’s not on my calendar, it’s not going to happen.
That is just my reality. Mostly because I can’t be trusted to remember anything!
My calendar is my “Source of Truth”. It’s my digital assistant. Okay, really it’s my digital mom. It nags me about when I need to be somewhere, what I need to do, and sometimes even how to get there and what to bring.
I’d be lost without it.
In this blog, I’m going to show you how I keep myself organized and in control of all my bills, and NEVER miss a payment, with a customized Bill Calendar.
I’m going to show you how to create one with Google calendar since that’s a free option that can live right inside your phone. But, you could use a paper calendar, if you prefer, or whatever digital calendar you already use (iCal, Outlook, etc).
Using my dedicated, customized Bill Calendar system, you’ll never miss a payment or get surprised by a bill again!
Time is Money...So Plan Your Paycheck
In any given week, we all only have so many hours to work, eat, sleep, commute, etc.
Except for Beyonce. She’s magic.
So, just all of us mere mortals. We only get seven days a week and 24 hours in each day.
Well, think about your money like this: just like you only have so many hours in each week, you also only have so many dollars in each week, or in each paycheck, if you prefer. You get paid a certain number of dollars and each one of those dollars has a specific job, whether to pay a bill, save for an emergency fund or put more groceries in the cabinets.
When you’re planning out your weekly calendar you probably already have scheduled appointments for certain hours or certain days. For example, you have to go to the dentist on Tuesday at 3 pm and you figure you need to block thirty minutes to get there, forty-five minutes for the appointment, and then thirty minutes to get back to work.
Once those hours are scheduled, they are “spent”, so to speak. (Unless you’ve figured out that magical time turner thing that Hermione had, in which case, please share!)
Organizing your bills into “appointments” on your calendar is very similar.
Setting up a calendar specifically for your bills lets you see what’s coming up in the next week that you need to spend those dollars on, and on what date that “appointment” is going to happen.
Just like with time, once those dollars have “appointments”, they can’t be spent on anything else.
Don’t worry, I’m going to show you how to set up this Bill Calendar, so hang tight!
What I have found is that adding my bills to my calendar means I never get surprised by a bill or other money obligation. You know those quarterly payments like car insurance that can sneak up on you? Or, how about those really spaced out bills like property taxes - those puppies can definitely sneak up on you! But, if everything is on my calendar, which I look at pretty much every day, then nothing sneaks up on me.
BTW, I wrote a blog with tips on how to save for expenses like quarterly car insurance and property taxes. Click here to pop over to it.
Set Your Bill Calendar Up for YOUR Success
Once you get your bills on your calendar take a look at where they fall. Are there several big one due at the same time each month? Would it make your life easier if you could pay a certain bill, or bills, with one paycheck rather than another?
Did you know you could move the due dates of your bills??? I did NOT!
A few years back, my mortgage and my car payment both came out at the beginning of the month. Out of sheer desperation, I called the company that had my car loan and asked if I could pay that bill with the 15th of the month check instead of on the first.
I was astonished when they said yes!
Now, I had to pay a bit more interest with that payment to account for moving the due date. But, by the following month, everything was back to normal.
Everything except my cash flow -- which was a LOT better!
If you have bills that really jam up your cash, contact the biller. You will be surprised at how often you can move that due date and smooth out those cash bumps!
The Biggest Reason to Plan Your Paycheck - Late Fees!
Did you know that it is estimated that 47 Million Americans expect to pay their credit card late at least once this year?
That makes my heart so sad! Because late fees, especially repetitive late fees, can really hurt your credit. Plus, according to Experian, one of the three main credit reporting agencies, late fees can stay on your credit report for as long as 7 years!
That’s the same as the number of years of bad luck if you break a mirror!
Here’s something else to consider: late payments don’t only affect your credit score.
They also affect your reputation. If you habitually pay your bills late, when you do have an actual problem your biller is going to be far less likely to give you some slack. Or, remove those late fees.
Late fees hurt my soul. They really do. Because they are dollars you don’t get any use out of at all. They can’t be used to add to your Emergency Fund, or pay down debt. They don’t add any joy to your life. And that makes me sad!
Plan your paycheck by plotting your bills out on a Bill Calendar and that won’t happen anymore!!
By the way, if you are worried about any late fees that may have been posted to your credit report, and thus decreased your credit score, you can easily check on Annualcreditreport.com. This is the only website that is legally required to give you a complete credit report from each credit reporting agency once per year.
I wrote a blog on everything you want to know about your credit report, and as needed I update it. I’ll link it HERE.
How to Create a Bill Calendar
Personally, I only put my bills on my digital calendar. That’s just what has worked best for me over the years. I can’t be trusted to also transfer them all to my paper calendar or planner. But, you do you, and if you are a paper calendar person by all means, don’t change!
I use google calendar because it’s free and it syncs to my phone easily.
In my google calendar area, I have created a dedicated Bill Calendar that I can toggle on or off, as needed.
That way when I want to see what bills are coming due each week they are there, but when I don’t, they aren’t cluttering up my screen.
Here are the steps to add a customized, dedicated bill calendar
- Go to your Google Calendar
- On the left hand side, select Other Calendar and then the plus sign and create new calendar
- Give the new calendar a name and a description, if you want, the description isn’t required
- Select a Time Zone if you need to (it will default to the one you are located in)
- And finally, select Create Calendar
Once this calendar is created, you’ll see it in your list of calendars.
Now, you can select it and start adding your bill appointments to it!
Be sure to make it a “recurring appointment” so that it shows up each month, quarter or year, depending on what it is. I also set a “reminder” that will send me an email or text the day the bill is due. For a credit card, I would set the reminder 3-5 days before it was due, just to make sure I paid it on time.
When you don’t want to see your bills, or when they are just cluttering up the screen, simply uncheck the box next to the name you gave your bill calendar.
Bonus Tip! Set reminders two weeks before birthdays and anniversaries you know you either want to buy a card or present for. Or, if you’re like me, buy and MAIL the present!
2nd Bonus Tip! Add your savings goals to your calendar as appointments, too, so you get reminded about how well you’re meeting your savings goals!
I hope this blog on how to create a customized dedicated Bill Calendar was helpful.
Planning out my paycheck on my calendar like I would plan out my time during the week has been key in building better money habits.
Getting all my bills on my calendar, with due dates and reminders was my first step towards getting control when I first decided to get better at money. Because, let’s face it, until you get control of your money, you can’t save for anything, much less retirement and investments and things like that. Plus, I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to work until I’m 80!
NOW, If you’re feeling overwhelmed or if you want to know more of the nitty-gritty details about creating a bill calendar and planning your money like you plan your week, I’ve got something that might help you out:
- This free workshop is full of all the tips and tricks I teach my girlfriends and even my girlfriend’s girlfriends!
- It’s a three-part video series with workbook and
- Not only do I show you in detail how to plan your money like you would your week with a Bill Calendar
- I also tell you all about the 3 Savings Accounts Every Girl Needs and
- Take a deep dive into everything you need to know about your credit report.
Taking the first steps towards better organization with your money is just a weekend away ;-)
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