Cash Flow Issues and Record-Keeping

Determining Your Family's Income Needs

Have a discussion with your family and review your financial situation very carefully. You want to make certain you know how much it costs to live each month, and each year. Compare that amount with what you expect to earn as an owner and with your spouse's income contribution. In fact, you and your spouse should take time to fill in the worksheet below to get an idea of your annual personal cash outflow and what income you will need from your business.

How Much It Costs Us to Live—Your Cash Flow

Print out the Cash Flow Worksheet below and fill it in with your spending plan.

Cash Flow Worksheet





Federal & state taxes


Mortgage or rent


Home repair/maintenance


Property taxes


Life insurance


Home/renter's insurance


Auto insurance


Credit card/loan payment


Utilities & telephone


Food (incl. eating out)








Auto repair/maintenance


Other transportation


Medical care




Child care


Alimony/child support






Gifts/charitable contrib.












Since you want savings to be a planned expense, cash balance should equal $0.

After you have added up the figures in the cash flow worksheet, you'll have a good idea of how much family income you need each and every month. You may decide that your spouse will have to work, full- or part-time. Or if he/she is already working, to use that income to live on—which is one reason it is so important to discuss your plans as a business owner with your family. Your kids, too, can pitch in small ways, doing things around the house that you might otherwise have paid someone else to do, or that you or your spouse may not have time to do, such as mowing the lawn, washing the car, cleaning, doing the laundry, or babysitting.

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