How to Manage Your Personal Cash Flow

personal cash flowThe key to managing your personal cash flow is treating your personal finances like a business. Figuring out how to increase revenue and reduce costs is the secret to maximizing profits and ultimately putting more dollars in your bank account. If you don’t have positive cash flow, it’s nearly impossible to increase wealth.

So how do you go about putting an action plan in place to actually increase your personal cash flow?

Reduce Costs First 

It is much easier to reduce your overhead expenses first before trying to increase your income since that process can be more time consuming. After all, time is money, and even streams of passive income take some time initially before they take care of themselves.

Look at all your expenses and figure out where you can reduce costs. Create a line item budget and explore areas you can reduce or eliminate completely. Start with your non-essentials first, i.e. clothing budget, entertainment, etc. Then move on to variable expenses, like groceries and transportation costs. Finally, look at how you can reduce your necessities, like rent and utilities.

Increase Revenue

The second step in managing your cash flow is to increase your income, and this almost always results in working more. Whether getting a raise, getting a second job or freelancing on the side, figure out a way to increase how much money you bring home every single month.

Manage Debt

By managing your debt to creditors, you free up more of your hard-earned money. Paying off debt will not only immediately increase your cash flow, but it will also allow you to invest that money in different ways which will help you increase your personal cash flow in the future. Paying off high interest rate debt first is the best strategy to free up money for other uses. In addition, not all debt is bad and in a low interest rate environment, retiring debt on a high interest rate credit card with a lower rate personal loan may allow you to pay down debt faster.


Once you’re feeling comfortable with having reduced your expenses, increased your income and eliminated debt, it’s time to look into passive streams of income that will help you solidify your wealth for years to come.

There are countless ways to invest your money: retirement accounts, the stock market, real estate, venture capital. Do extensive research to find where you feel most comfortable investing.

Solidify Your Wealth 

Treating your finances like a business is the key to financial security and personal wealth. Don’t let your business go bankrupt by making poor decisions, spending more than you earn, investing blindly or refusing to learn how to take control of your finances. When it comes to managing your personal cash flow, be proactive to solidify your wealth and financial security.

Readers: Do you think that managing your personal cash flow like a business would work for you?

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19 Responses to How to Manage Your Personal Cash Flow

  1. Paul 02/08/2013 at 10:25 pm #

    Automating your finances is the best way to ensure you are setting aside enough savings each month. It is very easy to spend the money if it is in your checking account rather than money that has already been invested in your IRA!

  2. Pauline 02/08/2013 at 10:05 am #

    I have a hard time removing emotions from personal finances. But automating everything has helped, bills get paid, savings saved and the rest is fun money.

  3. Paul 02/07/2013 at 5:12 pm #

    You are not alone on that John! Impulse spending is the main reason most individuals struggle with their finances.

  4. Paul 02/07/2013 at 5:11 pm #

    Can’t agree with you more Joe! You’ve got to get costs under control if you are ever going to build wealth!

  5. Paul 02/07/2013 at 5:10 pm #

    Hi Jules! If you have Quicken, try using the calendar as a tool to manage cash flow.

  6. Paul 02/07/2013 at 5:09 pm #

    I do as well and I agree with you Grayson that it does make it easier to transfer those business management skills to household finance!

  7. Paul 02/07/2013 at 5:08 pm #

    Businesses live or die by cashflow, that is how important it is to successfully running a business. Quicken has a useful tool that I use to manage my cashflow and it enables me to see ahead and plan for those months that cash may be lower.

  8. Brick By Brick Investing | Marvin 02/07/2013 at 2:48 pm #

    I treat my personal finances as a business. My main goal is to maximize my cash flow, therefore I’m always looking to increase my income and reduce expenses.

  9. Julie @ Freedom 48 02/05/2013 at 8:11 pm #

    Oddly enough I’ve never thought of our finances as a business. I’ve always considered things our personal spending/saving and progress towards early retirement. I love the “business” perspective though – it’d help minimize the emotional aspect of things!

  10. John@MoneyPrinciple 02/05/2013 at 5:52 pm #

    We manage our finances in a more orderly fashion now, as has been seen by our success today! But sometimes emotional decisions are taken so we are not quite there yet!

  11. Midlife Finance 02/05/2013 at 8:31 am #

    Reducing cost first is the right way to go. Many people think they can solve their financial trouble by just making more money, but that’s not necessarily true. They’ll just end up spending more money even when the income is bigger.

  12. Jules@Faithful With a Few 02/05/2013 at 8:09 am #

    Excellent tips! Thanks for sharing, as I am trying to get a hold of a finances right now.

  13. Grayson @ Debt Roundup 02/04/2013 at 7:23 pm #

    I treat my money like a business. Since I run a business, it makes it easier. Quality post!

  14. Paul 02/04/2013 at 7:13 pm #

    I think if we all ran our finances as a business does we would all benefit!

  15. krantcents 02/04/2013 at 6:55 pm #

    I manage my finances as if it were a business and I just wrote an article describing it. I think it comes from all my years as a CFO and it is very effective!


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