How to Make a Cash Flow Chart

How to Make a Cash Flow Chart
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A flow chart is a diagram that demonstrates a process. Boxes containing explanatory data are connected by arrows representing the directional flow of the process. A cash flow chart, which shows you where your money is going, can help you see exactly how much money you are spending and on what.

Gather all of your financial records, including bank statements, bills and receipts. Organize them into stacks separated by categories -- income, bills, entertainment, investments and other expenses.

Create on the left-hand side of a sheet of paper oriented horizontally a column of boxes, with one box for each source of income and one box for the sum of all income. Pencil in the names of each source.

Add to the right of income a column with one box for each bank account. Draw an arrow from every source of income to the bank account that the income goes into. More than one arrow might point toward a single bank account. Label each arrow with the exact sum that goes into the bank account. Write the number of your total holdings in each bank account box. Note that this number may be higher than your income, because you may have savings.

Form a column of boxes for general expense categories -- such as housing, utilities, transportation, entertainment -- to the right of the second column. Draw arrows connecting bank accounts to the appropriate boxes, but do not write any numbers on the arrows or the boxes yet.

Draw to the right of general expenses a column of boxes representing specific expenses within each category of general expenses. Draw arrows connecting the general expense boxes to the specific expense boxes and enter into the latter the amounts spent on those expenses.

Total the amounts spent on specific expenses within a single general expense category. Return to the third column and enter the totals into the corresponding general expense boxes.