blogPg10_OrientPt2.html eMONEY: A USER GUIDE

I knew that the method described in this Guide would gain widespread acceptance only if those aspects which historically have turned people off when it comes to budgeting could be eliminated. After years of searching for a solution, I had an epiphany. But in scaling up the operation, I discovered that I'd been extremely lucky in my original choice of banking institutions. Whereas my Credit Union had been uniquely accomodative, many brick and mortar institutions set severe limits on the number of sub accounts a patron can have. Other restrictions, such as required minimum balances, proved cost-prohibitive.


Not only does digital banking provide every feature required to transform the operation to scale, their mobile app is faster and easier to use. Moreover, the customer service is superlative; the best I've ever seen. Now, anyone, anywhere can handle their money responsibly, exactly as I recommend. People who have trouble making ends meet, or who are in over their heads in debt, or who feel that their finances are out of control, can get the help they need, absolutely free.


I said, at the beginning of this Guide that I will not take money from people who don’t have enough. I will now explain how I may be compensated for making this information available free - to walk-in clients, as well as readers of this blog.

First, the initial consultation, during which I outline the entire process, is free, just as this blog is free. Should the client wish to pursue the matter (in your case, since you continued reading beyond the introduction), instructions are provided for creating a Sound Spending Plan. With said spending plan in tow, a suitable brick and mortar institution, in close proximity to the client, is chosen (by the client), who then configures the account as instructed, and uses Excalindur to administer the process, until s/he “outgrows” it (no longer requires confirmation of what s/he has learned to expect to happen) - at which time, I point the client to digital banking, with a referral to the institution I believe best suited to the enterprise. The client then switches to the Comptroller interface, with which s/he is able to administer the process in a fraction of the time.


Here's the catch: The digital bank credits my account $100 for the referral, and credits your account $100 as well. That’s right. You and I both make a hundred bucks, as a result of our collaboration. That’s what's known as a win-win situation.

There are two ways to handle managing money responsibly. One is to devote time every day, maybe an hour or more, to staying on top of things. The other is to spend maybe ten hours, one time, setting up the environment so the process runs itself.

As a 204b (supervisor wannabee) at the Post Office, I realized that by setting up the environment so that people can do no wrong, and requiring accountability, the operation functions without incident (actually, I first got the idea from observing how Disney sets up enviroments to control crowds).

Some may find the title, "Make It Simple", somewhat of a misnomer. That's ok. It took me years to make it simple. It'll take you a day. Maybe two. But believe me, you'll be glad you did for the rest of your life.


Part I, How To Make Ends Meet, helped you chart a course, and made you aware of the ramifications of imprudent spending practices. Volume II, Make It Simple shows how to administer the process almost effortlessly.

In Make It Simple, you'll learn how to configure your bank account to automate the tasks you now perform manually. You'll also learn how to take advantage of underutilized credit card features to outsource the bookkeeping and storage and retrieval of documents. You can kiss Excalindur goodbye. Everything you've learned from this Guide so far still applies. But everything you did with Excalindur now goes on "behind the scenes". You don't need to see it anymore, because you've learned what to expect.

The difference is the bank and credit card companies now work for you. You monitor the operation using a new interface, the Comptroller. I now spend no more than two to five minutes every morning, and five to ten minutes every time a statement or notification arrives in my Inbox or messaging app. And whatever I need to do, I can do right from my phone. If I knew JavaScript, this would be an app instead of a blog.

If you take my advice, and opt for digital banking, a referral from me will credit your account, and mine, a hundred bucks - so long as the promotion lasts. As Martha Stewart used to say, "Holy shit! That's free money!", or someting to that effect.

Because the intermediate steps are not represented visually, one is urged to "outgrow" Excalindur before switching to the Comptroller.


People invite financial problems when they spend money they don't have. You may wonder, "Well, how can you spend money you don't have?" It's actually very easy to do. If you put items on layaway, you're spending money you don't have. If you carry over a credit card balance from month to month, you're not only spending money you don't have, you're being charged exhorbitant rates for the privelege.

Your right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness exists only to the extent that you spend less than you earn; that you live within your means. The only way to do that, on a limited income, and still have your needs met, is to save in advance for expenditures you plan to make. For those who sometimes find it difficult to make ends meet, the only way to turn that situation around, is to create and maintain a budget; a Sound Spending Plan.

This course is a product of more than thirty years' experience handling money. Although suited for anyone wishing to gain better control over their finances, those who stand to benefit most are young adults having just entered the workforce. With no debt, no financial responsibilities to speak of, and no ingrained spending behaviors to unlearn, they will find the methods described here most easy to implement.

As you wend your way through Part II, bear in mind that what you learn here will serve you well for the remainder of your life. If you are young enough when you start, you'll be able to retire early and in comfort. Being free to devote your time in pursuit of your own interests, rather than your employer's, is a handsome reward for investing the time and effort required in this Guide. I wish you the best of luck going forward. May good fortune be with you.

Richard Stringfellow

As useful as Excalindur proved to be, there is a more convenient way to exercise control over your finances.

Conspicuously absent from the vast amount of information available concerning how to manage your money is practical advice for prioritizing expenses or automating the process. MONEY: A User Guide fills that void.

MONEY: A User Guide is a free online course consisting of two classes; 101 - How To Make Ends Meet, which explains how to handle money responsibly, and 201 - HomeCFO, which explains how to manage your household finances with minimum effort. Together, the two classes help you chart a course to financial security that can be maintained with very little effort, so you can spend your time enjoying yourself rather than poring over your finances.

In How To Make Ends Meet, each step is represented visually, illustrating the link between action and result. HomeCFO takes it to the next level, using common online banking and credit card features to eliminate the bookkeeping. Working drafts of both classes are posted on this blog.

To request a set of the tables for the course, click the email link at the bottom of any page, type "request tables" in the subject line, and hit "send". Your participation helps prepare the material for publication, and entitles you to a free download of the app that may result.


People claim budgets don't work, despite the fact that virtually every successful business on the planet uses one.

One reason people don't like budgets is because of the time and effort required to create one that delivers. Budgets will indeed fail when expenses are overlooked or unaccounted for. With MONEY: A User Guide this is not a problem, as the tables provided overlook nothing; you simply select from a comprehensive list the items that apply to you, and rename them. You tailor the example to fit your circumstances.

Another reason people don't like budgets is because they need to be maintained. Once again, too much time and effort for most people. MONEY: A User Guide eliminates that problem, too. While How To Make Ends Meet illustrates the how and why, HomeCFO explains how to outsource the grunt work.

"Your future comes out of your mouth."

The escape velocity of imagination exceeds the gravitational pull of circumstance."

Nashville, IN USA



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