Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Making of a Financial System

One day a bit ago, I suddenly found myself compelled to make my budget spreadsheet more user-friendly.

It was pretty odd. I would not have said it particularly felt like God was telling me to. I would normally have written the thought off as a waste of time; no one else is going to look at my budget spreadsheet, so why make it easy for someone else to use? But I just had a need to do it. So I went through and deleted a bunch of extraneous calculations, organized the info into color-coded tables, and put labels on various things to show what they were about.

Fast forward a couple months.

Remember when I said I had been glancing through the websites of the guy who came up with the No-S Diet and Urban Ranger? (His name is Reinhard). Well I came across a post on the forums in which someone bemoaned the difficult reporting and tracking that was required to stick to most budget plans. It was an old post, but there weren't a lot people jumping in to offer simpler ways of doing things.

Aha! I thought. Perhaps I should share our system.

So I made a generic version of my budget spreadsheet, tweaked it a bit more, and made two other versions for people who have different pay schedules. I was almost, but not quite, done with the spreadsheets and ready to put a post on the forum about this system. But a lot has been going on, and I hadn't found time to work on them lately.

Then I woke up Sunday morning from a dream.

I don't even remember what the dream was anymore. All I remember was that there was some guy who did a bunch of things or had a bunch of things, and I was impressed by how practical all those things were. As I was waking up, I was thinking what was that about?, and then it struck me that it was just like Reinhard and his "everyday systems". And I just knew that God was telling me to finish setting up the financial system that day.

Then, in case I might have doubted whether God was speaking to me through my dream, my Scripture reading for the morning involved the beginning of Matthew, where Joseph has multiple dreams with God telling him what to do. So that was what I spent most of Sunday doing.

If you're interested, read all about Only Spend What You Got.

(Those of you who read Conversion Diary may be interested to know that I originally got the basic idea for this financial system from Jen's #6 Take here.)


  1. I think this is a very smart system! I've saved it to my computer.. thanks :)