Cash flow analysis can be difficult because income and expenses occur at irregular...show more instructions
Track And Improve Your Cash Flow
It's difficult to accurately assess your cash flow.
After all, income and expenses occur at varying times and frequencies making it far from obvious.
This Cash Flow Calculator solves the problem by converting your irregular payments into monthly equivalents so you can properly budget.
It works for both business analysis and personal budgeting as well.
Related: 5 Rookie Financial Planning Mistakes That Cost You Big-Time (and what to do instead!) Explained in 5 Free Video Lessons
Below is more information about managing cash flow and how to improve it.
Cash Flow Basics
A cash flow analysis is a financial report of all the cash that is coming in (inflows) and the cash that is going out (outflows) of a business or household operation.
Cash flow can be used as an indication of a company's financial strength.
On the personal side, cash flow shows your income and expenses and determines whether you are “living within your means” (or having to borrow money each month).
You know when you're living within your means because after adding all your cash inflow and subtracting the total cash outflow you are left with a net positive figure. That is your positive cash flow, and it accumulates as savings over time to grow assets.
The advantage to completing a cash flow analysis is it can help point you toward spending reductions and other lifestyle changes to help improve cash flow.
Use this Cash Flow Calculator to conveniently manage all the inflows and outflows in one convenient location.
After all, you can't improve that which you don't track. Using this calculator is an easy way to improve tracking.
Cash Flow Problems
Cash flow is vital to your financial survival.
Without strong, positive cash flow, an entity will never sustain and grow. Having enough cash on hand will ensure that creditors and household expenses can be paid on time.
Negative cash flow drains the assets of the person or organization until eventually bankruptcy occurs. A person is considered broke when they no longer have sufficient cash to support their day-to-day living expenses.
Excessive debt, non-payment, or late payment of bills are common symptoms of cash flow problems. Similarly, not paying off your credit card bill in full each month is another indication that you may be facing a cash flow problem.
Improving Cash Flow
If you are experiencing negative cash flow, the best way to solve the problem is by re-examining your spending habits and the way your monthly cash flow works.
Fortunately, the principles are simple to understand. You improve cash flow by either raising your income or lowering your expenses – or both. You hurt cash flow by doing the opposite.
A conservative approach to cash flow management would be to pay cash, instead of using credit cards, for everything such as home improvements, cars, furniture, vacations, and other living expenses. This ensures you never spend more than you make.
The best way to increase cash flow is by developing a vigilant attitude toward cutting costs, no matter how small. In fact, one of the primary causes of financially-distressed consumers is how they waste a lot of money on many little things. The small size of each individual expense hides the overall impact to your budget when multiplied by many.
Overall, the best way to increase your personal cash flow is to be conscious of how much money you spend and why. Start tracking, observing and controlling your cash outflow every month. Think about what you’re doing as a consumer, instead of simply reacting to impulses.
Fortunately, you can see positive results immediately simply by becoming vigilant. And don’t forget to keep an emergency fund to ensure you don't disrupt your cash flow should a temporary setback such as a layoff or unexpected medical bills occur.
Managing cash flow is about managing your income and expenses to result in positive net income.
If you cannot live within your means, you will not be able to generate the surplus money needed each month to invest for your future financial goals. These goals should include controlling expenses and increasing income so you can live comfortably while saving up for retirement.
Try out this Cash Flow Calculator so you can see if you're living within your means.
If you're not seeing positive cash flow then take action. If you are, then keep up the great work and continue to find ways to improve your cash flow over time.
Cash Flow Calculator Terms & Definitions
- Cash, Beginning Balance – This is the cash you have on hand at the beginning of each month.
- Cash Inflows – This is the amount of cash generated during the month, which includes your own income, your spouse’s income, rent income, interest earned from savings, and dividend income. Cash inflows usually arise from one of three activities: financing, operations or investing.
- Cash Outflows – This includes all your fixed and variable expenses every month.
- Cash, Ending Balance – This is the amount that is left over at the end of each month.
- Net Cash Flow – This amount indicates your loss or gains each month. A positive number indicates that you make more than you spend and therefore are able to save money each month. A negative number indicates that you spend more than you make and therefore are borrowing money each month to support your expenses.
Other Personal Finance Calculators:
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- Budget Calculator: How much of my income should go to each expense category?
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- Convert Irregular Payments To Monthly Budget: How much should I budget each month for all my quarterly, annual, and irregular payments?
- Compound Interest Calculator: How will my savings compound and grow over time?
- Present Value Calculator: What is the value today of a lump sum payment in the future?
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