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Cash Flow Graph... My Setup
DannyB
Superuser ✭✭✭✭✭
There is ongoing discussion about how useful or helpful Upcoming/Cashflow is as presented in Simplifi. One of the biggest issues mentioned is the inherently difficult problem of including Planned Spending in the calculations for the Cash Flow graph. Here is an idea I've been experimenting with to give me a better future Cash Flow prediction. I am interested in your thoughts on this setup.
We use one of our credit cards for around 95% of our spending, including a few of our recurring bills, so what I'm about to share is not 100% accurate, but then I can't imagine any scenario that will get to 100% accuracy. Still I think this gets closer working with the current way Cash Flow is calculated.
Some inaccuracy occurs because of what amounts to a double accounting for those few recurring bills that are also paid through our main CC and for the small percentage of our planned spending that does not flow through our CC. But these two inaccuracies come close to canceling each other out from month to month.
I'm only interested in seeing cash flow through our two checking accounts since these ARE the two accounts ALL our cash flows through and so I uncheck all other accounts Simplifi wants to include in the cash flow graph and now I have a fairly accurate picture of our predicted future cash flow.
The following screen shots show how this looks for 2 months, 1 month and 3 months:
We use one of our credit cards for around 95% of our spending, including a few of our recurring bills, so what I'm about to share is not 100% accurate, but then I can't imagine any scenario that will get to 100% accuracy. Still I think this gets closer working with the current way Cash Flow is calculated.
 Using @Flopbot 's idea on how to include credit cards in the Spending Plan, I set up a recurring payments to our main credit card, the one we use for 95% of our spending, as two recurring payments during the month. The amount set for each payment is 1/2 of what we typically charge to that CC per month/billing cycle. Of course the amount of either payment may vary depending on what our balance is when these payments are actually made, still over the past 8 or 9 years we have been using the CC in this way and since all our planned spending falls into a certain overall amount, our monthly/billing cycle amount due is pretty consistent. In a month when there is an unusual charge on this card, let's say for new tires or replacing that old 65" LED with a new 85" OLED , that will be covered by money set aside through a savings goal which has already been accounted for in the cash flow graph via transfers to savings over the previous months.
 As recurring "bills," these payments are now included in the cash flow calculation for the checking account out of which they are paid.
 Since almost all of our Spending Plan spending runs through this CC, I have now captured pretty much all of our planned spending for Cash Flow calculation purposes.
Some inaccuracy occurs because of what amounts to a double accounting for those few recurring bills that are also paid through our main CC and for the small percentage of our planned spending that does not flow through our CC. But these two inaccuracies come close to canceling each other out from month to month.
I'm only interested in seeing cash flow through our two checking accounts since these ARE the two accounts ALL our cash flows through and so I uncheck all other accounts Simplifi wants to include in the cash flow graph and now I have a fairly accurate picture of our predicted future cash flow.
The following screen shots show how this looks for 2 months, 1 month and 3 months:
Danny
Simplifi user since 01/22
”Budget: a mathematical confirmation of your suspicions.” ~A.A. Latimer
Simplifi user since 01/22
”Budget: a mathematical confirmation of your suspicions.” ~A.A. Latimer
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Comments

@DannyB
I am doing something simular to your example above. I have set up my CC as reocurring bill as one payment, and transfer out of my main checking account, then adjust amount every month based on charges to CC. I also pay almost everything I can via my CC....>95%, When in the month do you break down 1/2 payments?
I have not been so much concerned about my cash flow in the past, but your post has me a little more interested now.
Thanks, Clark
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Hi @Clark
I set up the payments for every two weeks and more or less correspond to our current paycheck cycle of every two weeks so the actual timing of the payment moves around from month to month. I tried paying the CC off weekly for a while but gave up on that after a month or so mostly because it was a bit of a hassle. If I could set up a weekly auto pay I’d do that. The reason for doing this is almost too silly to mention, but I’m known to do silly things from timetotime… it has to do with keeping our credit score a few points higher! By paying off the CC more frequently we have a better chance of having a lower “debt” load when one or another of the credit agencies pole our financial data thus a higher score
It’s been a long time since I’ve had any concerns about cash flow in my personal finances. About 8 years ago I signed up with Personal Capital to help us with financial planning and to manage our investments and retirement savings. Their website includes a nifty cash flow chart and that got me interested, but the PC cash flow chart is based on current actual inflow and outflow and comparing it to the previous month. Simplifi’s cash flow tries to forecast into future months, but for that to work or have any real value, all inflow and out flow needs to be included in the calculations and so far there has not been a way to include the Planned Spending piece of spending plan. This is my attempt to include that piece.
Danny
Simplifi user since 01/22
”Budget: a mathematical confirmation of your suspicions.” ~A.A. Latimer0 
Hi @DannyB
Thanks Danny for the response. I only get paid one time a month, so I get a big "bump" on my cash outflow on my checking account at month end to pay my CC. I guess this is close as I can get. I personally don't want my CC company to get their money early, and it would affect my reward points. Lol
It's interesting that you brought up credit scores. I never cared much or worried about my credit score. I've always managed my debt load and always paid bills on time. I get monthly updates on my score...one month it will be over 810, the next month only 790. The only change would be I paid off my CC bill, which I do every month. I guess the program sees a "out of line" debt load , and the next month it's down. It's just interesting to me. I tell my kids, just pay your bills on time, and if you use a CC, pay it in full every month, and your credit score will be good...no worries..
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😎👍 @Clark
The Credit score has become sort of a very minor and slightly entertaining challenge game for me. When my banks started giving my credit score with monthly updates I started wondering if a “perfect” credit score was possible and the challenge was on! So far no go. Both wife and I bounce around in the 820s  830s.
The other reason for paying every two weeks is more of a “mental health” thing for my wife. It’s easier for her to see a much lower withdrawal from our checking accounts rather than one large one. A happy spouse makes a happy house 🏡😁Danny
Simplifi user since 01/22
”Budget: a mathematical confirmation of your suspicions.” ~A.A. Latimer1
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