Cash Flow Inventory
Click the link below to view an example of a Cash Flow Worksheet. You may use this worksheet or use whatever cash flow tool you have found that works for you.
The cash flow worksheet or inventory is a tool we can use to look at the amount of money we have coming in and going out.
If we spend less than we earn, we can grow the amount of money we have (our net worth) every year.
Here are ideas to help you use the cash flow inventory to observe what you are doing with your cash flow.
- How much money do you have coming in? Use the Sources of Income Worksheet to identify your sources of income, the amount of your income, and how often you are paid. Are you paid weekly, biweekly or monthly? Some of us are paid daily and some are paid every other week. Some us are paid randomly – such as when a salesperson makes a sell and gets a commission. Adjust how you enter your information based on how often you are paid. If you are paid randomly, you can add up what you make for a month and observe your cash flow monthly. If you are paid once a year (some farmers are paid once a year), then you can take the amount and divide it by 12 to get an estimate of what your monthly income might be.
- Write the dates you are paid.
- Write the amount you are paid.
- Circle the expenses you have for that pay period. Write the amount you spend in the expense category in which each expense belongs.
- If you are not sure what your expenses are, you can track what you spend for a few days to see where your money is going.
- Total your expenses.
- Subtract your expenses from your income to see what your net cash flow is. If you have a positive cash flow, you have money to spend toward your goals. If you have a zero balance, you are making ends meet. If you have a negative cash flow, the purpose of this activity is not to frighten or sadden you but to help you see what you can do to increase your income or decrease your spending.
- Review your cash flow statement regularly to see where you can increase income or decrease expenses to have enough money to meet your financial needs.
Alcohol and drugs are items on the expense list. If substance use has caused financial problems in the past but it is not an expense now, simply mark through those items with a dark marker.
If you feel like you are in a financial hole, work with the income you have today and the expenses you have today and keep track of the bills you aren’t able to pay now. An example is if you have a mortgage but for now you are not able to make your mortgage payments so someone else is paying it for you. Keep track of the amount of money that the other person is paying toward the mortgage so you can repay it when you have more income.