Personal financial management education has focused on recommended practices believe to ensure long-term financial security. Yet studies have found that few people actually implement such practices. This paper reports the study of seven family financial managers’ practices to better understand what families did and why. While these managers had a regular and systematic cash-flow management process, the system was not what is generally recommended. The financial manager’s objectives are limited to the short-term, to pay the family’s bills on time, and to avoid overdrafts. Development of a practical system requires a paradigm shift built on the manager’s short-term perspective and definition of life satisfaction. Keywords: family

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