Process of raising funds or capital for any kind of expenditure. Consumers, business firms, and governments often do not have the funds they need to make purchases or conduct their operations, while savers and investors have funds that could earn interest or dividends if put to productive use. Finance is the process of channeling funds from savers to users in the form of credit, loans, or invested capital through agencies including commercial banks, savings and loan associations, and such nonbank organizations as credit unions and investment companies. Finance can be divided into three broad areas: business finance, personal finance, and public finance. All three involve generating budgets and managing funds for the optimum results. See alsocorporate finance.