Win your money game

Know the rules
Choose your best tool

pay bills

You are playing your everyday money game!

The kickoff happened when you got your first paycheck

The game ends when you score a retirement touchdown

man with bills

How's your game going so far?

Making good yardage? Your retirement touchdown a slam dunk?

Need a time out to work on your game plan?

OK, let's do it

First, how this lifelong game is played successfully


As you receive
income ...


You manage that
income by ...

spending money

spending money

pay bills

paying bills and
paying off debt

credit cards

managing credit cards and
paying off high balances

special focus

handling expected
large expenses


and setting aside long
and short term savings


so that you will win
your dreams like ...


having an
amazing relationship


securely raising and
educating your kids


buying your
dream home


enjoying your
favorite toys


the world


and enjoying an awesome
retirement (Score! You rock!)

Winning your money game means
choosing the management method
and tool that works best for you

The ones that will get you
to your retirement touchdown


The stronger your method and tool,
the better the odds that you will
score your retirement touchdown!

Living paycheck to paycheck

This is not a method. It's the default money game right out of high school. You're not even in the stadium parking lot. You're out in the street tossing a ball around with the others in the neighborhood who are also living payday to payday.

This is the way people play the game when they have not bothered to choose or take advantage of one of the available tools. They either like this lifestyle or have not yet learned that there is a better way.

The only way to win with this game plan is to either have so much income that you couldn't spend it all even if you tried, or to clamp down on your lifestyle so hard that you can make some yardage just by continuously looking for ways to live frugally. You live for the thrill of finding yet another cost shortcut.

The odds of you scoring a retirement touchdown with this lifestyle are very limited.

Worst choice - not really a method

Use myOwnMoneyCalc for debts,
large expenses and savings

Tracking expenses

Tracking expenses, or keeping a spending history, involves the recording of every penny you spend. The intent is to use your spending history as a basis for identifying spending habits that can be improved in the future.

The main weakness of keeping a spending history is that it is focused on past activity. This technique is of little help when you are trying to make immediate decisions about current and future spending.

When you are tracking your expenses you are watching continuous instant re-runs of your game. Whether or not you are making any yardage toward you retirement touchdown is hard to see. You are trying to make it downfield while always running backwards. You are easily tripped up by unforeseen large expenses.

The odds of you scoring a retirement touchdown after a lifetime of tracking expenses are better than doing nothing. Barely.

Poor - trying to make yardage looking backwards

Use myOwnMoneyCalc for debts,
large expenses and savings


Budgeting involves setting what percent or amount of income expected in the coming month is going to be spent on which categories of expenses. As money is spent during the month, purchases are recorded by category in order to track how well spending is staying within the predefined budgetary limits.

Traditional budgets tend to fail because the setting of rigid spending limits does not lend itself well to being flexible. When unforeseen expenses pop up or spontaneous spending happens, a budget can be rendered useless very quickly.

The budgeting process sounds like it "should" be very easy. However, it is difficult to stick with a budget for very long. The energy and dedication needed to create a new budget every month and to keep track of where every penny is spent is tremendous.

The chances that you will stick with budgeting long enough to make your retirement touchdown are not good. Continuously planning the next month while keeping track of spending in the current month is like trying to call the next play while constantly watching instant replays. You can be easily blindsided by an expensive blitze.

Maintaining a spreadsheet

For those skilled with Excel or another spreadsheet application, setting up a spreadsheet to forecast income against bills is attractive. There are problems with this method of managing your day-to-day financial game plan.

A spreadsheet must be manually maintained to keep it current with the advancing calendar. When you remember to do an update, keeping your manual playbook current is cumbersome, time consuming (like making a monthly budget) and prone to human error.

The normal manual spreadsheet is used only to calculate the impact of bills on income. Keeping track of income vs bills is planning only two of the six success factors of your money game. Such an incomplete picture of your playbook can make it hard for decision making if not downright misleading.

Penalty flags from one bad spreadsheet entry can result in a lot of lost yardage.

Poor - entry errors can cost you yardage

Use myOwn10-Key for number crunching,
debts, large expenses and savings

Organizing your paydays

A minimal requirement for getting a handle on your day-to-day finances is to continually match your expected bills and expenses to your expected paychecks. While relying on paydays as a basis for planning is not the optimal game plan, seeing a coordinated picture of the income and outgo that flows through your checking account is a good place to start.

Employing a "do as you go" approach to managing household finances, Payday Organizer has the advantage of requiring no setup. When you first start the program, you begin to enter current information with minimal requirements such as a date for upcoming paydays and a name for each bill. The flip side of this quick startup and simple ongoing maintenance is the forfeiture of any automatic forecasting of your finances. In other words, your next play may be obvious, but, your game plan for the next first down may not be.

Using Payday Organizer is a good place to start when first learning how to manage your game plan. However, staying with this simplistic program will not make getting your retirement touchdown as easy as it could be. For the optimum game stategy, your best yardage maker is Income Companion.

Something to consider is that anything you do in Payday Organizer cannot be carried forward to Income Companion. When you are ready for the major leagues, you will walk on the field in a new uniform with an entirely new game plan.

Better - your team knows the playbook

Use Payday Organizer to run and monitor
your game plan as the plays happen

Projecting a complete picture

Income Companion is essentially a very intelligent spreadsheet. You use the program to manage the cash that flows through one checking account which is referred to as your hub account.

Income Companion performs all of the complex processes needed to continuously project and summarize all of your everyday finances. The program creates and displays, on one screen, a dynamic and easy to understand financial game plan.

After you do a one-time setup of your income, spending money, bills, credit cards, special focus (expensive) items and saving plans, Income Companion automatically projects your finances for up to 12 months. Twice monthly columns give you a clear play-by-play bottom line for now as well as the coming months. You have a clear indication as to whether the financial plays you have called in will succeed.

Once you get started with Income Companion, the program will do the grunt work of keeping your playbook current. You become the coach on the sidelines keeping an eye on how well your financial game plan is progressing. When needed, you call in new changes to the play-by-play plan to keep your march toward your retirement touchdown on a path that is straight down the middle.


Those are your options. Pick one
and get back in the game!

When you are ready to own, not just
play the game, read the rule ebook


Understand both the rules as
well as the nuances of how your
everyday financial game is played


Know why income is more
than just a paycheck

spending money

Know why spending money is
the key to winning the game

pay bills

Clear the confusion about how
bills and debt work

credit cards

Use credit cards to your
advantage without extra cost

special focus

Know how you plan to pay for
expected, expensive items


Have a complete understanding of
the myriad options for saving plans


The ebook is free or, if you
prefer, you can pay for it


Client Software
Income Companion
Payday Organizer

Income Companion
Payday Organizer

Online Help
Income Companion
Payday Organizer

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Payday Organizer
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Amortize - reduce or extinguish (a debt) by money regularly put aside

Copyright © George 'B' Gilbert 2000-2018