Cash flow scenarios or 'What-ifs'

Microsoft money contains a feature to allow you to put in a scenario, and look at the impact of that scenario on the cash flow forecast. This is useful if you anticipate a life event, or just want to see what impact an event can cause.

'What-ifs' can be found on the Banking->Account Tools (Accounts->Account tools in some versions) section, on the left hand side labelled 'try cash flow scenarios' - as seen on the image below.

Option to try cash flow scenarios or what-ifs in Microsoft Money

The scenarios that you can see are listed below, and can be applied against individual or multiple accounts:
  • What if I spend X on a specific date
  • What if I earn X on a specific date
  • What if I regularly spend X
  • What if I regularly earn X more
  • What if I regularly earn X less
  • What if I increase spending on X by Y percent
  • What if I decrease spending on X by Y percent
Each of these allow you to put in amounts, the recurrence frequency or the category, as appropriate to the scenario.

Selection box of forecast cash flow scenarios

Looking at the example below, the blue line shows the 'current' forecast, and the dotted orange line shows the 'proposed' forecast. You can see at a glance, the impact of the scenario on your cash flow. But note, you cannot create two what-ifs at the same time.

Results pane for forecast cash flow scenarios showing proposed and current forecasts, and action buttons

If the scenario is one you wish to adopt (for example, spending a regular amount), press the 'Accept Changes' button, and Money will launch the wizard to set up a new bill or deposit.

If you want to look to a longer term forecast, you can also try what-if scenarios on your lifetime planner - see Article 411.

Category: Planning

Keywords: what if, cash flow, scenario