It’s the beginning of a new year, and you know what that means: planning mode activate! Don’t let your finances get left behind in the flurry of outlining work, play, and family. January is the perfect time to plan BIG and plan well. 

If you’re tired of feeling overwhelmed by deadlines, payments, and long-term planning, this year could be the year to try out a financial calendar. It works well for businesses and households, and it can be especially useful for those in the middle of the Venn diagram—business owners. 

If you’re intrigued by a more organized and intentional year of financial planning, let’s dive in! 

Getting Started With Your Financial Calendar 

First things first, what kind of calendar should you use? The format of your financial calendar can be whatever you want it to be. You can use that physical dog-themed calendar you hang in your kitchen, a simple Word document, or a template like this one. There are even programs that allow financial calendars to be shared with or made by many people—your family, your colleagues, or whoever makes sense. Whatever system gets you to stick with it is the winner! 

Now, while you’re planning out your financial calendar, you may not be able to plan as far ahead as Fall or Winter. That’s okay! If you have too many uncertain variables to see that far ahead, try planning three months at a time and revisiting quarterly. 

What Should Go Into Your Financial Calendar? 

For those planning for their personal/household finances, start by taking an inventory of your spending and saving plans, bills and periodic payments, tax due dates, and any other relevant information. Make note of your goals for saving and debt reduction—get specific! Once your details and goals are written out, toss it all into the calendar, and behold your work! 

Businesses: your financial calendar is going to be a bit more full. You’ll be planning for revenue, payments, and due dates too, but you’ll also need to take into account some bigger picture ideas: 

  • Meeting dates. Think: board of director meetings, executive committee meetings, investment committee meetings, finance committee meetings, etc. Why do these meetings go into your financial calendar? Well, you’ll need to prepare financial reports for them. 
  • Tax preparations, payments, and filings. For individuals, tax day will fall in April, but those who own a business or are self-employed will have additional tax deadlines. 
  • Payroll processing. This is a monthly or biweekly process, one that should be written in to ensure it’s always done promptly. Your people (and you!) need to get paid on time! 

Business-owners who are planning for both household and business finances may want to create two calendars to keep things straight…

*For best results, I’d recommend colour-coding different categories (income, fixed expenses, variable expenses, taxes, meetings, etc.). That way, you can see what a month holds at a quick glance. You can even try noting hard deadlines in red to give you that extra push. 

How Do I Know If A Financial Calendar Will Work For Me? 

Well, you don’t know until you try. But here are some hints that it could be a good system for you: 

  • You have big financial goals. Whether you’re saving for a home, children, or a big vacation, monitoring your savings in a financial calendar can help keep you accountable and on track. 
  • You have irregular pay periods. If your income doesn’t follow a predictable schedule, a financial calendar can help you plan your spending and saving each month to ensure you get those bills paid. Plus, if you’re a business owner whose income is relatively unpredictable due to client payments (that are often late), try using the Rotessa payment collection system. Simply sign up, get your clients to sign up, and let Rotessa do the rest. It will draw what is owed out of your client’s account automatically, so you get paid ON TIME and with ease! 
  • You’re a visual person. If you need to SEE to remember, a financial calendar could be perfect! You can even get creative—highlight, bold, underline, glitter—anything to help you keep on top of things. 

What Are the Benefits of Keeping a Financial Calendar?

For households, financial calendars can assist greatly with planning ahead. If you’ve got more bills upcoming at the end of a month than normal you can plan to save for them. It can also provide savings accountability. If you write your savings goals into your calendar you’ll be more likely to stick to them. Plus, it’ll feel great to check off the benchmarks as you hit them. 

For businesses, a financial calendar can provide a valuable overview of the finances for staff, managers, and owners alike. It can also be used to indicate upcoming tasks.

The entire point of a calendar is to keep people organized—birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, plans, etc. Slotting in your finances just makes sense, especially when you’ve got payments popping up all throughout the month. You know that sinking feeling you get when you forget to wish someone a happy birthday because you didn’t mark it down or get a Facebook notification about it? We’re trying to avoid that feeling with your finances. 🙂

A financial calendar can smooth the messiness of your finances—incoming, outgoing, targets, plans, goals, debt management, etcetera, etcetera. See? You probably need this. 

Business owners: if you’re in search of assistance optimizing cash flow and working towards financial goals, reach out to me. Once we get started, you can put all your goals, specifications, and deadlines into your financial calendar with confidence and gusto! Plus, when we work together to optimize your cash flow, you’ll be able to add an extra special entry into your calendar each month—your own paycheque! 

I’d love to connect with you and help your business grow and succeed!