Add this to section of your website

Budgeting Time With YearCompass

Have you heard of the magic bank account? The first time I heard of it, I was attending a faculty meeting at the elementary school where I was teaching. Believe me, all teachers want a magic bank account, so our principal certainly had our attention when she brought it up.

I wasn’t able to find the origin of the magic bank account story, but it appears to be pretty well known. It goes like this:

The magic bank account

Imagine you win a prize, and every morning, your bank account is credited $86,400. Whatever you don’t spend that day is removed that night when you go to sleep. But, the next morning, you’d once again have the full amount deposited into your account. There’s no way to save what you don’t spend, so you might try to spend every cent each day. You might especially try to spend it all each day, because at any time, the bank can decide that the time’s up on your prize and you won’t have your bank account anymore.

Of course, the truth of the magic bank account is that it isn’t really about money, but about time. The $86,400 represent the seconds in each day and how you choose to spend your time. (Don’t worry, I checked the math!)

It’s a pretty good lesson. It’s about making the most of what you have. Even magic bank accounts probably need some sensible person planning and making a budget for how to best use the magic dollars. I mean, we can’t just have 86,400 magic dollars spent willy-nilly on things like unicorn museums and buckets of fairy dust. At the very least, you have to decide how much will go to the unicorns and how much will go to the fairy dust. It might be best if you consult any number of budget resources for help to manage your plans.

Let’s not forget—this is real life, and we’re talking about time, not money. The idea is to make the best use of the time you have. Have you ever budgeted time? Maybe. You may have used a calendar, a daily schedule, or even routine. All of us have at least a vague idea of how we’d like to spend our time—at least I think. Maybe you’re looking for a resource to help you budget your time.

The intersection of budget and time

As we get started with a brand new year, I’d like to share a tool. I’m so glad my friend shared it with me just about a year ago, and I’m looking forward to using it again this year. My second try. For real, does anyone’s first budget ever work? Usually no. Budgets change and evolve, or they can be tailored to whoever’s using them. This time-planning tool can also be tailored to you and how you see best fit to use it.

YearCompass is designed for helping organize and plan your time, and I can’t wait to try it again. This is a reflection and planning booklet which can help you with your “time budgeting.” It’s released each year, and you can download it for free in multiple languages and formats.

The booklet has two sections—one for reflecting on the past year and one for planning the year ahead. Starting with the past year is a great way to give you focus, but it also allows for identifying if there’s anything you want to let go of before you move onto a new year.

As a goal planning tool, I think it gets a bit more specific and detailed while nudging you to consider why you’re choosing certain goals. Each section will support you through various goals in different aspects of your life—personal life and family, health and fitness, finances, intellectual, work and professional, spiritual, emotional, and even a bucket list area.

Why plan your year? As mentioned above, this can help you plan how you’ll spend your time. From the booklet itself, it’s explained as follows:

 Planning your year is a good habit. It can help you become more aware of your successes and sorrows and make you realize how much can happen just in a year. By learning from the past you can plan your future in a way that you don’t repeat the same patterns and feel more in control of your own life.

Wow! Control in your own life? Yes, please! Sounds amazing!

Some personal input

As I mentioned, I’m about to try YearCompass for the second time. I want to share two personal take-aways with you as we prepare for this new year:

1. Control in your own life only goes so far

There are definitely things I wrote in my booklet last year that turned out to be way beyond my control and didn’t go how I planned them. Don’t worry. It’s bound to happen. That’s life, and few people are really in control of everything in their life. Interruptions happen. Plans change. You can adjust.

2. It’s about more than budget

Yes, this tool helps you plan your year, but if you pay attention, you’ll realize something different than your standard New Year’s resolution planning might involve. The booklet includes outward impact question prompts. My favorite is an open-ended sentence: “The most important thing I did for others…” Or the question, “Who are the three people you influenced the most?” Remember, even as you plan out your own time, your choices will impact others around you.



This year, I plan to keep my booklet handy so I can review it often. I think it’ll be a great reminder of my goals and encourage me to make my choices and decisions accordingly.

If you would like to try planning your time with YearCompass, you can download your own copy here.

Happy 2019! You have millions of seconds to spend in this brand new year. Have you thought through how you’d like to spend them?                


  • Angie Andrews

    Angie is a lucky lady. Lucky, and blessed to be a wife and an Army wife to boot. She lives in Japan with her husband and two cats, Hunter and Matthews. Angie and her husband were married in 2013, and he began his military career in 2008. They met in Florida, and Angie hopes they will live off the Gulf Coast within walking distance to the beach one day. Along with the beach, Angie loves to have a good laugh, a good friend, and a good read or write. She has some serious favorites: food—macaroni and cheese, music—Tom Petty, workout—elliptical miles. Angie graduated from UCF with a degree in Elementary Education and taught for seven years, five of those years as a first grade teacher, and the last two as a reading coach. She has a collection of other jobs before and after teaching as well.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

EYB: Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

EYB: Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

Located in Montgomery County, Maryland, Naval Support Activity Bethesda—home of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center—is centered in the National Capitol Region. It is the home of support for the hospital as well as all of its tenant commands in their pursuit of excellence in patient care, medical research, and education. Naval Support Activity Bethesda (NSAB) is responsible for providing installation support to 12,000 military and civilian employees and their families, as well as 40 tenant units. Bethesda is one of the most renowned communities in the Greater Washington D.C. area.

Mission: Milspouse is a
501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

EIN Number: 88-1604492


P.O. Box 641341
El Paso, TX 79904


Pin It on Pinterest

Verified by ExactMetrics