Thursday, January 31, 2008

Complexity of personal finances

As I've mentioned previously, I'm working to put together a user's manual for our finances. I've stolen liberally from Blueprint for Financial Prosperity in terms of the specific details of the guide. One item in particular that's taken a lot of effort is the development of an account linkage map. Basically, I'm trying to map out in a diagram all of the electronic linkages between our various accounts. Here are some examples of what I'm talking about:
  • Which accounts are set up for bill payments to credit cards?

  • Which online savings accounts are linked to which chequing accounts?

  • Which accounts can be used to contribute to retirement accounts?
At the moment, this map is a bewildering flowchart, with a noodly mass of arrows criss-crossing each other.

As frustrated as I get untangling this mess, however, my list of 25 accounts is nothing compared to My Dollar Plan and her portfolio of 181 financial accounts. That is one seriously pimped system, with fingers in several credit card arbitrage pies. The thought of trying to map out this system in some sort of graphic form makes me a bit nauseous. Kudos to her for making it work, though.

No comments: