Since I saw such good results with the methodology at work, I asked my husband about applying the framework with our personal finances. Since we've done so (in the last 6-7 months) we've noticed an increase in our feelings of financial peace, a greater desire to give generously, and less upset feelings when our financial plans go awry.
Inspired by the Manifesto for Agile Software development, I decide to put words behind our agile approach to personal finance. This is the approach that my husband and I use to help guide our financial decisions as we pursue financial independence.
It is a highly imperfect methodology, but it works for us.
Manifesto For Agile Personal Finance
Through this endeavor, we have come to value:
Ongoing financial contentment over striving to fulfill temporal desires
Financial simplicity over financial optimization
Shared life vision over freedom from working
Embracing relationships over embracing plans.
That is, while we value the items on the right, we value the items on the left more.
Principles behind our Agile Manifesto
We recognize everything we have is a gift from God, and that we can steward God's wealth through consumption, investment, and giving.
We embrace and even seek changes to our life and our plans.
We remember that our future selves require our attention even though we don't yet know them.
We support one another's vocational aspirations.
We choose a debt free lifestyle.
We honor one another's (and our child(ren)'s) requests for tools, luxuries, investments and special giving by weighing those requests with our financial priorities.
We plan our finances cyclically (monthly), but we speak about them regularly.
At regular budget meetings, we reflect on how to become more effective, then we tune and adjust our behavior accordingly.
Growing generosity and growing net worth are the measures of our progress.
Continuous attention to our spending to net worth ratio enhances our freedom to pursue extra-market activities that accord with our values (the closer we are to financial independence, the less we need to work).
Emotional money discussion are only fair when both husband and wife are prepared to speak, listen and not attack.