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How to start planning

Important parts of a plan Financial plan is a flow of money. It must have 2 major items: incomes and expenses. Let's stick with these two for now.
Building a plan Plan incomes For most of the people it's the easiest part. We are employees, have a fixed salary. Probably, some income from real-e-state objects we lend, or dividends. Such things is easy to plan.
What if we run a business? Then we should have a rough estimate. Or get some vision based on previous year. Or, at least, our earning goal.
Plan expenses Pay debts This is the most important part of the expenses. Debts is the main pressure. If we don't have enough earnings - we can skip vacation, rent a cheaper apartment, sell the car. But debts must be paid in time. So plan this first.
Taxes Another important thing is taxes. Not paying taxes is a crime. And this must be avoided. Let's plan this too.
Rental payments, public services Rent an apartment? Plan the rental payments too if you don't like to live in…
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What is "financial plan"

What is a financial plan? For most of the actions in our life we have a plan. It can be explicit (like a house building plan) or implicit (we go from home to the office and always have a route, which is actually a road-plan). Cleaning our apartment we also plan - first clean furniture, second - floor. If we plan such trivial things - why don't we plan our finances?
Financial plan is one of the most important roadmaps in our live! But we usually pay so little attention to it. Why?
Why we don't plan finances? Do we really have an answer to this question? We lie to ourselves that we have no time for this. But is it really normal to have no time for such an important thing as money? Can we live without money? If the answer is "no", why we do not pay attention to this matter?
I guess that people usually understand that their financial status is not as good as they would like to. And the reason of not having a financial plan is simple: people do not want to the the truth. The…

Check out Elastic Budgeting

It's not a secret that fiP supports elastic transactions, which is multi-source and/or has multiple funds dispositions. This key feature of fiP was available from the first days of live.
However, finance plans were non-elastic.
That had a good reason underneath.

Imagine you have planned expenses for diesel $200/month. For budgeting it's enough to have planned monthly transactions $200 each. If you refuel (say, for $35), then you just cut the planned transaction: $35 is committed, $165 is still planned.
If we happen to spend more that it was planned for the current month, fiP will take the missing part from the next month:
 - having $200 planned for diesel, we spent $210. Then, the $10 will be taken from the next period.

What if we have multiple fund dispositions? Planning public utilities as a single elastic plan:
 - electric power - $10/month
 - water - $8/month
 - gas - $2/month.
What will happen, if we commit a part of this transaction, but some sub-plans are exceeded? For…

Transaction Dilemma: single or multi?

Sometimes we come to a supermarket to purchase more than one thing. In certain cases we might  buy items that belong to different categories.
We pay at POS with a credit card, and get a single record in the bank log. Say, $84.23 spent in Auchan.

Here the dilemma comes. How to make the record in your accounting tool?
Make a record per category? Like this:
$21.12 for foodstuff$35.15 for closing$27.96 for electronic devices But you would loose the bank-transaction value of $84.23. And, if in the future you need to search for the value (checking whether all transaction have been recorded into your accounting tool), you won't find this "$84.23". It simply wouldn't exist in the expenses records.



Another option is to make a single transaction of $84.23. But what expense should it be? Food? Electronics?
Ideally would be to keep the initial value of $84.23, and have the split expenses. Something link this:

Poor or rich?

Simple question from the first sight.
U.S. Census Bureau defines poverty as a certain income level, which is $1062 a month for a single in US.
However, the life is not such easy. All people are different and have non-identical needs.
House rent, mortgage are not the same everywhere. Deceases, allergy any other special needs - all these raise the expenses.
Another definition of poverty is inability to keep expenses under incomes. And such way is hard to define: under certain circumstances even $1M of income is still poverty.
Furthermore, many people do not see themselves in poverty: the feeling of high incomes keeps them blind towards expenses until it is too late.
We take new financial liabilities, debts, burden. Buying a new house or getting a baby - all this raise expenses and we feel wrong only when our savings fall to zero.



The threshold, point where the lines of incomes and expenses cross, is often not noticeable for the majority. But even this is too late to start acting.

The wis…

Budgeting

What is a budget? Wikipedia gives the following answer: "A budget is a financial plan for a defined period of time."

So, it is a financial plan. Basically this is a list of incomes, expenses etc.
However, most of the personal finance apps track "budget" as a set of limits. Like:
 - how much may I spend on food
 - how much may I pay for fuel
and so on. Such limits are usually set per month.

Setting limits is good approach, it can help control the spendings when user sees he is close to limit, but the month is in its middle.

However, this is not sufficient for The Finance Planner. We think of budget as a list of planned transactions. In fact, this is a small difference: if you plan to spend $300/month on fuel, you just schedule monthly transactions. And when you buy fuel, you cut (split) the planned transactions.
For instance, if you spent $20 on fuel today, you cut the planned transaction and get two:
  - $20 - committed (paid)
  - $280 - still planned.
This slight difference …

Finance Planner Birth

Basic Financial Questions-Where is my money gone? -How much did I earn in the past? -How much do I have right now? -What can/should I spend less on?
These basic financial questions can be answered only by 39% adults in the US (Business Insider). 61% do not track their spending. The ability to answer these is the first step of financial literacy. There are many tools on the market that help track earnings and expenses. Advanced Questions-What should I pay this month? Tomorrow? -How much money will I have in 8 months? In a year? -Is it worth to take a bank credit to start a new business/project? -When can I buy a new house/car? -Will it be possible for me to pay the mortgage for the new apartment?
These advanced questions for personal/family finance management is that our team wanted to help  answers.
We took up a challenge to create a finance management system for individuals, families, small business. Our solution is named “The Finance Planner” or simply "fiP" and planning was our prim…