Cash Flow Calendar

One of the benefits of using a budgeting system for a few years now is that I know exactly what my cash flow looks like…for the entire year.

Cash Flow isn’t talked about as much as things like Net Worth and Savings Rate, but I’m pretty convinced it’s one of the most important numbers you should know.

While Net Worth is a good tool to measure your progress over time and Savings Rate is good for measuring how quickly you’re growing your net worth, Cash Flow enables you to plan the work that goes into those numbers.

To put idea into practice, I wrote out a Cash Flow Calendar – basically a month to month list that includes big increases in income and big expenses.

Items in italics are 2017-specific.

January

  • 3 paycheck month
  • Eye doctor – first time in years :/

February

  • Quarterly Bonus
  • Tax Refund

March

  • Quarterly Dividends

April

  • Car Insurance Due (every 6 months)
  • New phone

May

  • Quarterly Bonus

June

  • Quarterly Dividends
  • Annual vet visit
  • New tires + oil change

July

  • Vacation pre-booking

August

  • 3 paycheck month
  • Quarterly bonus

September

  • Anniversary trip/vacation
  • Quarterly Dividends

October

  • GF birthday

November

  • Car insurance due (every 6 months)
  • Quarterly Bonus

December

  • Dividends (Annual & Quarterly)
  • Christmas

 

Even though I love using a budget, I know I’m in the minority – most people hate that word and everything it represents.  For those of you who view budgeting as a terrible way to spend your time, feel like it’s too constricting, or simply think you don’t need one, I’d encourage you to take 5 minutes and write out your big expenses and windfalls from the last year.  You might find some insight into the months where it seemed like you had plenty of money and the others where there just wasn’t enough.

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