A User's view of Hledger

Learning about hledger

Good intentions or good results?

To follow up on the August 3 Thoughtful Thursday post immediately below, it’s worth looking at the last step in the diagram. Specifically, you want to improve your life and the lives of others.

So, you are thinking of how to use a portion of the resources that you have accumulated to help someone. This is a laudable goal. You identify a specific action, such as paying for something, to achieve that goal.

The above is now a good intention. But the important question is, what will the result be? A good intention doesn’t necessarily lead to a good result. I think that one of the points of the podcast mentioned last week was that there is not a lot written on how to use your accumulated resources most effectively to improve your life and those of others.

Also, to note an idea from the Make It Stick book, mentioned in the July 27 posting below, there are study practices that look and feel like learning, but are relatively ineffective. Conversely, there are study practices that don’t feel like learning, but are significantly more effective. The point is that just because something looks like it is achieving a goal doesn’t mean that it is.

For me, the moral of the story is that while I am using hledger to track my income and spending, I should start thinking about how in the future I might use some savings. What goals might I have? For what purpose? What examples can I find of people ahead of me who are already actively working on these goals? What were the results – not the goals, but the actual results? How much can I be confident that the reported results were actual results as opposed to someone’s impression?