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Foresight is a great tool to help you gain understanding of your personal or small business finances. You enter your expenses and income and Foresight calculates future cash flow and shows the results in several charts and tables. With a quick glance you will have a clear sense of the state of your finances.
There are three types of transactions you enter into Foresight including recurring, specific and actuals. Recurring transactions are incomes or expenses that occur on a regular basis like a car or mortgage payment. You enter the pattern for the recurring item into Foresight and Foresight automatically calculates the affected months and the amounts that are to be inserted into the tables. With recurring transactions you have a lot of flexibility where you can make them fit almost any situation. When a recurring transactions doesn't fit, you can create specific transactions. As you go along in time you fill in the end of month actual amounts from your bank account and Foresight uses this amount correct your estimates into the future.
With Foresight you can play "what if" scenarios as you would with a spread sheet where you can turn on/off expenses and incomes with the click of a button and instantly see how this affects your cash flow. So if you need to cut back on some expenses, you can see what will have the most impact.
You could replicate a good portion of what is done in Foresight through a spread sheet, but there are several things you would have to contend with. First you need to own a spread sheet program and then you need to have a certain level of expertise in order to create and maintain the tables. Spread sheets tend to be error prone and if you don't get the cell formulas right or if cell formulas are accidentally deleted or changed while you use it, your results will be skewed. Also, adding new years to the spread sheet requires effort and again is error prone. In contrast, Foresight eliminates all those hassles and is simpler to use and is much faster by eliminating the “I accidentally screwed it up” factor. Even if you are an experienced spread sheet user, you will appreciate the convenience and speed of using Foresight. Just type in your amounts and you are done!