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The purpose of this exercise is .




EXCALINDUR




As financial responsibilities and obligations mount, you will need means to assess how things are progressing (Lesson 7), in order to see whether your efforts are bearing fruit, and to avoid the pitfalls that are inevitable, once you have been at it a while; traps typically discovered only after you're fallen prey to them (predatory lending should be illegal, but it's woven into our culture). The trick is to construct the highest possible standard of living on par with your income. That's the only way to be free to live life on your own terms.


WHAT IS EXCALINDUR?

Excalindur may best be described as a "calendarized" expense ledger, one that also serves as a forecasting tool (what-if), that may easily be mapped to a 3-D array (for programmers). It is reproduced here, for your viewing pleasure. Use the scroll bars to see it in its entirety.



The OCCASIONAL EXPENDITURES table lists all expenses that are not Monthly Payments.


THE EXCALINDUR TEMPLATE

To.

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Do.
  2. Do.



paragraph




Read more, or proceed to the Conclusion of Part 1.




WHY USE EXCALINDUR?

Excalindur provides, among other things, 1) a snapshot of your current financial situation and 2) an interface with which you are able to maintain your financial plan. I used Excalindur for seven years to manage my finances. But I don't use it any more, and here's why: it takes too much time.

So why include it in the Guide? For purposes of illustration. It would take 70,000 words to explain what Excalindur does. You can learn what it does in fifteen minutes by using it.



WHAT DOES IT DO?

Excalindur lets you see what effect the choices you make have on your BOTTOM LINE - in real time. So, in addition to serving as an Income and Expenses Ledger, you can use it as a forecasting tool, to answer questions like, "Can we afford to ...?", or "What happens if we do this?", or "Can we add this if we cut back on this and this and this?" Excalindur definitely has it's advantages, despite its disadvantage.

I used Excalindur for seven years, because it's all I had. And although I knew that the advances I had made in budgeting had merits, and wanted desperately to share them, I had to accept the fact that Excalindur would never enjoy widespread use, because it was simply too labor intensive. By this time, scores of money management apps were readily available, incredibly user-friendly, and had attracted dedicated followings. People love them, and swear by them. They make what you do easier. But they don't prompt you to re-examine the value of money. They didn't spring from a paradigm shift. And they don't show you how to spend your way to a better life.


AND THEN ONE DAY, AN EPIPHANY

I am reminded of Maslow's "peak experiences". One day, in an instant, it all became clear. I already had the solution. But it was so obvious I coudn't see it. So simple, that - to my knowledge - no one else had seen it either. All I would have to do is test it. And if it worked, I'd have a prototype that would blow all other apps away; so simple, that Grandma could use it. It doesn't get any more user-friendly than that.

With the Comptroller interface, the bank and credit card companies do the grunt work. Excalindur is presented here merely to illustrate what goes on behind the scenes, so you will understand why, and be able to trust, that the Comptroller can be used with confidence. The integrity of the proces is maintained. The only difference is simply that the intermediate steps are not made visible, for the sake ofconvenience. Excalinder is made available for those not yet ready to take the huge leap of faith - that once you know what will happen when you do a certain thing, you no longer need verify that it has happened! You know what will happen when you touch a hot stove. You don't need to verify it.

So, we'll walk Excalindur around the block, before setting sail for the New World, and a new life, with Comptroller.

HOW TO USE EXCALINDUR:

  1. 1. Download a copy of Excalindur to your phone, tablet, or computer.
  2. 2. Make a copy (one for each month) to work from, and save the original.
  3. 3. In the yellow field, at the top of the table, enter your opening bank balance (or a formula to carry over the Ending Balance from the previous month's summary, which can be found at the bottom-right corner of the sheet).
  4. A word of caution!: Do Not overwrite the blue or white fields at the top of each day module.
  5. 4. In the darker grey area at the top of each day module, enter the total amount of all deposits made that day.
  6. 5. In the lighter grey area of each day module, enter individual expenditures, one per line; payee on the left, amount on the right (see example).

Excalindur was an integral part of the development process, and for that reason will always hold a place in my heart. Its advantage: displaying the result of everything you do. Having said that, once you've seen a result a thousand times, you don't necessarily need to verify it any more. But, like a cherry on top, online banking will notify you, by text or email - your choice - when it happens. If you think you might want to take this blog and turn it into an app, we should talk.



HI-HO, SILVER! AWAAAAAY!

Comptroller was the game-changer, for it simplifies the process and make it accessible to a great number of people. While Excalinder reduced the time it takes to maintain a budget, by 40%; Comptroller cut it by another 59%. Excalindur breaks it all down so you can see and understand everything that's going on. Comptroller gives you your evenings and weekends back.

If Excalindur = {A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z}, Comptroller = {A ... Z}. Two ways of describing the same thing. One saves a lot of time and eye strain.

Excalindur is still a valuable tool, especially for the cautious and the skeptic. But it has another advantage, too, in that it allows you to maintain a record of every transaction you've ever made, locally, on a computer or other device. It's basically a database. Some day I may find the time to turn it into one, and add it to the mix. But for now, I just want to flesh out Part 2 of the Guide. And add a Comments block, so I can meet some of the readers and benefit from their input.



P.S.

For those who wish to use Excalindur as a forecasting tool: If you know you're going to get paid on the fifth and the 19th, and you know how much it's going to be, you can fill in that amount for the whole year by using 12 copies of the calendar page, and linking them together thus: .

By the same token, you can add any expense you know about in advance, which is an argument for budget billing (ask your utilities provider). Where not available, you can edit amounts as needed. With sufficient information recorded in advance, you can see the effect of changes you may consider making. If the reults are not satisfactory, changes elsewhere may provide a solution.

At the very least, with your expenses posted for the current pay period, you can look ahead to see whether you'll have enough money to last until payday. Or, if there's some wiggle room, how much will be left over if add something to the list.



"Success is measured not by the scope of our possessions but rather, by the extent to which we are able to live life on our own terms."







If you are comfortable with this lesson, please proceed to the Conclusion of Part 1




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MONEY: A USER GUIDE

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