Visualizing Personal Finances
Personal finances can become complex quickly. I've found Mint.com to be an extremely helpful tool in managing our finances. It is great at making many accounts available in a single interface. Unified field visibility, is an important concept. I downloaded all my transactions (which is an awesome feature) and created a visualization of the basic money flows projected as a D3 Sankey diagram.
For the example below, I randomized and embellished the data to reflect a desired financial state, exploring the lifecycle of money in an individual's life.
Quantified-self includes all sorts of metadata. Financials are just one facet of a personal data inventory.
My first real job was in local government as an Information Specialist in a County Auditor's Office. I progressed technically and augmented my knowledge and skills with financial and public administration courses in my undergrad and graduate school. I was promoted to Systems Accountant.
It was my responsibility to support the end-users of the County's financial accounting system. The system was called IFAS - Integrated Financial Accounting System, by Bi-Tech Systems, who were acquired by Sungard.
I became intimately familiar with accounting practices and management by writing the financial schedules and automating dozens of processes, including document imaging and tracking fixed-assets.
I also held the responsibilities of CFO at a charter school for 2 years. Budgeting, financial planning and forecasting, grant management, and organizing and accounting for cash-handling activities were my gig. It becomes a lot, quickly. Lots of numbers, lots of contexts, lots of reasoning, lots of data points, and ultimately, lots of attention required to manage money. This happens in every organization. But it also happens in individuals lives.
Update; November 21, 2014
Here's a Code Sample