Personal Cash Flow and Budgeting
Cash flow statements measure your cash inflow and outflow. By monitoring your cash inflow and outflow you can determine where your money is going and how much money you have left once expenses are covered. Cash inflow is money you earn, generally employment wages but can also include savings accounts that accrue interest and some stocks that generate income. Cash outflow represents all expenses. They can be large, like monthly rent or mortgage or small, like a magazine subscription. After both are calculated, cash outflow is subtracted from cash inflow to determine net cash flow.
Once you have your monthly bills, receipts, and transaction registers gathered, organizing cash flow can begin with a simple internet search. The American Bankers Association (www.aba.com), along with hundreds of other financial organizations, provides a simple worksheet to help organize finances. The worksheet includes various examples of income (such as take home pay and gifts) and a variety of household expenses (such as medical bills, food, entertainment and transportation). If your clients prefer a more hands off approach to organizing cash flow, there are also government endorsed websites such as www.mint.com, which can upload your personal banking information and organize it into categories. Once cash flow is determined, a budget can be created.