Life Balance and finance planning

One appeal of Life Balance has to do with the similarities to GnuCash – my finance accounting tool of choice.

Indeed,

  • GnuCash is about money accounting, Life Balance is about time/efforts accounting,
  • GnuCash has a tree of bookkeeping accounts, Life Balance has a tree of projects,
  • GnuCash has a number of useful reports, Life Balance has reports too, albeit only two: the dynamically compiled To-Do List (frankly, the main product of the system) and … the Balance report.


The last one strongly reminds me of the Pie-chart reports of GnuCash. Here’s how they look:

GnuCash pie-chart for the Expenses Report:
GnuCash pie-chart

Life Balance Efforts balance pie-charts – desired efforts distribution vs. the actual:
Life Balance pies

See? Even the coloring is similar. (With the subtle masculine/feminine differing character likely imprinted from the two camp’s ideologists.)

What this led me to think of is that LB would make a good companion to GC: GC holds the history of my finances, while LB may be employed to plan my expenses!

That is, GC = history of expenses, LB = future of expenses.

The idea is simple: money is scarce resource in our lives – almost like the Time is. Many believe in “time is money” literally, some believe “money is time”. In any case money & time are often homologous, to an extent. Well, at least so when it comes to devising approaches to deal with the planning thereof.

Often beginner LB users complain there’s no “Time” parameter in the task’s properties sheet. But that’s actually even better for abstracting and re-applying LB framework to a new environment. The slider “Importance” in LB seems to be equally well suited for Time and Money categories.

The notion of Importance is probably much more important than specific values of money or whatever you’d need to shell out for the “stuff” in question. For example, someone might be able to just afford a car, however getting that kind of car may not be appropriate for them at the moment for a good number of reasons (insufficient resources for ongoing maintenance, too low a class of the car affordable, etc). In contrast, if you define the “importance” of a car as a big need, then the resulting Life Balance “money edition” To-Do list may invite you to even cross the border and get a credit for a [better] car.

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