Konrad Kaczmarek, Pixers’ master of budget management threw us a curve ball when he said that greediness was good. The perverse, pugnacious catchphrase of his speech emphasizes the essence of personal finance management and the benefits of responsible approach to it. The subject turned out to be so interesting that two events focused on balanced budgeting were organized.

Pixers on household budget

First rule of saving: be reasonable!

Why is being greedy a good idea?

As a mathematically skilled person, Konrad, pricing manager at Pixers, explained his theory with an equation:

Efficient resource management according to Konrad from Pixers.

Konrad explained the notion of greediness to us.

Konrad did not persuade us to follow Scrooge McDuck, but proved that thanks to efficient time management we would be able to achieve a lot more, calling upon Elon Musk as an example.

Time is money!

According to Konrad, this proverb did not come out of nowhere, as financial decisions should be based on the amount of time saved thanks to a given “investment” or the comparison of our hourly rate to the price of a given item or service. To explain the practical use of the golden rule, the Pixers saving guru used a simple example of dinner dilemma — to eat a takeaway and save some time or to “be responsible” and prepare something at home? The decision seems clear — buying prepared meals, you spend more money. But how much time do you lose? This value may be crucial. Konrad believes that when buying something, we have to think about how long we have to work to earn it. By doing so, we will be able to make better and more rational purchase decisions, regarding both everyday shopping and more complex long-term investments.

How to measure it?

Net income per hour = monthly net income/160 hours

Solving this equation helps making right decisions on an everyday and an annual basis. It is worth spending some time, because, as Konrad said, a household budget is closely related to time management.

How to manage our household budgets?

Konrad convinced us that a household budget was worth keeping in order to know how much we spend on particular items and how to change it to make our lives better now and in the future. He presented the correct structure of household budget and ways of optimizing spending. He emphasized that — if possible — we should include a financial cushion in our personal finances structure ensuring a soft landing in an emergency situation.

A budget for two

What to do if we want to start planning a household budget and we share it with our significant other? Konrad advised us on how to convince them to join us and explained why it was worth doing. He presented three accounting models: Cuban, French, and American, based on different ways of common budget management, so that every couple could choose the option that works best for them. Democracy in relationships has different forms too. So, the Cuban model means a shared account and spendings. The French model assumes having both a shared account and separate ones. In this model, the spendings are proportional to the income of each of the partners. The American model means a complete separation of income and accounts and sharing the spendings equally.

Discussions about household budget in Pixers

Managing a household budget together has many advantages!

Household budget management — tools

Finally, Konrad told us what tools we can use to write down, plan, and control our spendings at any time. Among other things, he listed the following: classic Excel sheets, smartphone applications such as Cash Droid and Toshl. Splitwise, used to divide group spendings in household budget accounting or during a trip with friends, is also worth checking out. Moreover, Konrad pointed to several books we should read to start our adventure with “professional” household budget management. He considered “Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki a good book for beginners.

Konrad’s equation, although very useful, is not applicable to the priceless time we spent on two Speakers’ Corner editions he held. The problems he talked about are important, but easily forgotten in the everyday rush. Introducing even some of the rules of budget management is worth trying. It will allow us to see what can be changed, how, and whether it helps us in managing our own money. We have already started testing applications and accounting models. What are your saving methods?