Cash flow may be the single most important measure of your financial health, not only as it now stands but also going forward into the future. Wesley Steiner's My Cashflow is a free tool for visualizing and tracking your cash flow, both in the short term and in the days, weeks, and months ahead. It's not focused on what you've spent but what you spend going forward, so you don't need to enter stuff like receipts. By helping you visualize your paycheck and where it goes, My Cashflow can help you identify and reduce unnecessary expenses, consolidate or restructure your bills, and make other smart decisions about your current financial state and your future. My Cashflow isn't a substitute for a traditional ledger like Quicken or an old shoebox under the bed, if that's your current accounting method; it's designed to help you see where your money will go, not where it's been.
My Cashflow's simple, efficient layout is tabbed for Cash Flow, Current Accounts, and Transactions; each displays sample data in easy-to-read tables in the main window and a summary graph in the lower panel. Entering data is easy: Highlight an item (such as Payday) and click Edit Selected Entry on the Edit menu, or simply click it to open the Transaction Editor. Then fill in your personal data and click Update. The program automatically updates the Cash Flow tab with new entries. The default display includes Rent/Mortgage, but we could add new Transactions and Accounts from the Edit menu with the help of easy-to-use wizards. Under the Current Accounts tab, we could manage and update all our accounts by clicking on them to call up the Account Editor. Likewise with the Transactions tab; clicking on any entry produced a wizard-like editor where we could describe the transaction, set an Insertion Date and Amount, designate Debit or Credit, and set time parameters.
Of course, perhaps the best thing My Cashflow has going for it is that it's so simple to use, which in our book makes it more likely to be used. For visualizing cash flow, it's hard to beat.
From Wesley Steiner:
Visualize your cash flow! Have you ever wondered how much of your paycheck is really available to spend frivolously? If you buy that new toy today will you have enough money to cover bills and expenses that will occur months from now? My Cashflow is a unique and easy-to-use personal cash flow program that helps you visualize your short-term and long-term cash flow. This product focuses on your current cash situation as it stands today and what the outlook is for the days, weeks and months ahead. There is no need to enter receipts for what you have spent since it is not concerned about the past or how you got to where you are. How you calculate or keep track of your current financial position is up to you (Quicken, Shoebox, Calculator, etc.).
What's new in this version:
Version 0.6 adds enhanced chart and regional settings.
Small and simple. Super fast to download, install, and start to use. Uses hardly any memory. I was having a lot of trouble with Quicken after installing a patch, and thought about what I really needed to accomplish with financial software. I need to be sure I'm not going to bounce a check, and I want to make sure that buying something today isn't going to leave me short in 3 months when a bill is due. Basically, I want to know I'm living within my means. Why spend time dealing with feature-laden, problem software that I don't even need?
There is no Help feature at all, so I've had to figure some things out for myself. There is no print feature built in. A work around is to do a screen capture and then edit and print out from Paint. (Do Ctrl-PrintScreen, then open Paint and do Ctrl-V.) FYI, if you want to back up your data, the data file is located in your My Documents folder and is called default.MyCa$hflow. If you want to see more at once in the Cash Flow window, you can increase the size of the whole window. Hover at the top, bottom or side edge of the window til you get the double arrow, then drag the edge. (There is no box at the top right to minimize or restore.) You can put data in for more than one checking account, but there's no way to separate out the running balances for each account. You only get the overall picture of how you're doing. This isn't going to work for reconciling multiple accounts down to the penny--but I really don't need it to do that anyway.
Since this product is not interested in 'recording' historical transactions but rather focuses on projecting your cash flow for many months into the future it isn't necessary to enter the pennies. Rounding errors average out the projections.
The latest version (0.3) allows you to re-size the window.