Thursday, January 7, 2010


Earlier this year—er, last year—Microsoft Money was announced to be discontinued.  My ancient copy of Money was working mostly fine for me, but a couple years ago it could no longer talk to my credit union to download statements, so I've been manually downloading them, a minor inconvenience.  I figured that at some point I'd have to replace it with something else.  I looked into a few online options, such as Mint, but I figured I already had all of my account information online, so why have it online at yet another site?  Then that struck me: I already have all of my account information online.  Why do I need it offline, essentially just a second copy of it?  Why am I downloading my transaction history, categorizing it, and tracking it every month?  I don't use that information for anything.  It's wasted effort, no different than if I each month wrote an essay about what I spent, and then immediately deleted it.  I don't use that data to form a budget, or even have a budget.  I can still review my statements for illicit transactions without going to this ridiculous extra effort.  I just don't need to have online statements, printed statements, and an electronic record of that information.

It seems like the worst case is pretty much that someday in the future I really do need that information sorted and categorized for some reason, and then I have to go through that effort—I ended up simply postponing it until necessary.  That sounds like a really good bet to me.  So, I haven't sorted or categorized or tracked any of my statements for the past several months, instead only giving them a quick review for fraud and things like that.  So far, I'm much happier.  I can use all that extra time to write blog posts about how I'm saving time.

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