How to Create a Cash Flow Forecast and Map

Everyone needs a cash flow forecast.

I don’t think I’ve ever worked with a client who didn’t, at some point if not right away tell me they needed a better idea of their cash flows.

I’ve had these struggles myself. That’s why I developed my Nerd’s Cash Flow Projections model and product.

Many clients have asked me for something more immediate. My cash flow projections give you a monthly overview of everything.

What if you need a closer look at what is happening this week?

I realized people need a cash flow map.

This is something that lays it out daily. Seem like overkill? It isn’t. The trick was to build something dynamic, so that most of the work is done for you.

I was recently blind sided myself, when I thought I knew exactly what we coming in and out, and then something I overlooked came out, and spun me for a loop. It comes out every month, but I had completely overlooked it. Now where I thought I had exactly enough money, I was overdrawn, and I had to go pull money to cover it. I don’t like pulling money, so I asked myself,

“How can I make sure this never happens again?”

A cash flow map was my answer.

I started by listing the numbers 1-31 across in a Spreadsheet (Google Sheets).

Most of my income comes in monthly on a schedule, so I started plotting out my daily inflows. The I have things like one to one training revenues. That isn’t as predictable, but I was able to run a report to get a sense of my average monthly revenues in this area, as well as a view of how it rolled it throughout the month. Then I decided to plot that in specifically, because I know whom I’ve been talking to about those services.

The bottom line on this is that you may have to come up with some assumptions about what comes in and when, but most of us have a pretty good idea of how our inflows run.

Expenses are easy. Generally you know exactly what comes in and when. To be sure I didn’t miss anything I went into QuickBooks Online, and ran a P&L for last month. Then I grouped it by week. Then I clicked on the totals to see and then plot out what comes out and when.

In about 20 minutes, I had it all plotted out.

Then I went to work to make the spreadsheet dynamic:

  • I wanted to see the weekdays.
  • I wanted today to light up.
  • I wanted to be able to put in my bank balance as of today, and have the model calculate my cash flow and ending balance each day from today until the end of the month.

I did it. Then I saved it as a template, which you can now purchase in my online store.

Watch the video above to see how it works.

Get the template:


Leave a Reply