Managing Time and Money Redux

Months ago, I wrote about my plans to use a planner and a budget. I ended with “I’ll let you know how it goes” and, of course, I never did. First the budgeting. My cousin () asked me about my use of sub-accounts (“Are sub-accounts in gnucash intended for such use?”) and I’ve found that they likely aren’t. Or, maybe, I’m just can’t budget. Some budget items (“Car Maintenance”) are supposed to accumulate money over time so that you have money saved when you need it. That would be fine if I actually stuck to the budget. Instead, I would find myself going over the budget and “borrowing” money from these long-term accounts. Which is fine. Except that I wanted to keep the good feeling I got when I felt I was saving for that rainy, car maintenance day. So I didn’t actually move the money from the car maintenance account to whichever account I was spending from. So, I’m no good at following my own rules. I ended up with the accounts all out of whack. Still, I have done a pretty good job of categorizing where the money is going. So, I took the last quarter of 2006, figured out where the spending went and found (TADA!) our budget was pretty accurate. and I had predicted fairly accurately where we were going to be spending money. In that sense, the sub-accounts would work. You could put money in these virtual accounts and spend from them … as long as you stick to the money you agreed to. Come to think of it, I probably would have managed to save some extra money had I done that. Boo, me! Problem was, my father offered to come work on our house and we readily agreed. Of course that meant spending money that hadn’t been budgeted (thus, the sloshing of money not-so-carefully from one fund to another). But the kitchen and bath look great! At least, they will once we paint them. Oh, and because I was a little depressed about falling off of the budget bandwagon, I didn’t reconcile the accounts as soon as I should have. That resulted in a few overdraft charges. (the SHAME!) Anyway, I’ve now eliminated the sub-accounts and will rely on spot-checking the actual spending against our budget once a month or so. How am I doing on Planning? A little worse than the budgeting. I now have tools that I use on a semi-regular basis to track how I use my time, but I haven’t gotten to the point where I can successfully set goals for the week and get those accomplished. I’m getting closer, but I’m no where close. What I have I learned from all this? That I’m no good about following a plan, but I can tell you what I’ve done really well. Now, the question is: can I use my knowlege of the past to adjust my behavior in the future?

One thought on “Managing Time and Money Redux”

  1. Self-Honesty

    It is hard to be honest with yourself about spending. Especially when you want the fantasy so much.

    Thanks for the commiseration. 😉

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