Budgeting with GnuCash

Derek Atkins warlord at MIT.EDU
Sun May 30 09:54:46 EDT 2004

"John Arrowwood" <jarrowwx at hotmail.com> writes:

> Well, on the plus side, MOST of what I wanted is already handled, by
> means of scheduled transactions and the fact that there is a 'balance'
> as of today, as well as for the future.  Some of what I asked about
> was give me that ability.  Since that is there, that part is moot.

The future balance does not take SXes into account.

> Most of the rest of what I want can be accomplished through reports,
> and modifying the transactions after they have been auto-created.  And
> until I get a chance to learn scheme, I've already got an export to
> csv that I can use Access to query with SQL.  So my budgeting needs
> are handled for now.

Take 8 hours and teach yourself scheme in a day.  It's NOT THAT HARD
a language.

> The rest of what I asked for is just for the anal-retentive types who
> like detailed reports.  Business users would want those features...I
> don't really NEED them.

Eh, I've never needed them for my business...

> But...when I finish my other projects...if I ever do...then you may
> get some patches from me! :)

Cool.  :)

>>From: Derek Atkins <warlord at MIT.EDU>
>>To: john at hanlonsrazor.com
>>CC: gnucash-user at lists.gnucash.org, gnucash-devel at lists.gnucash.org
>>Subject: Re: Budgeting with GnuCash
>>Date: Sat, 29 May 2004 21:10:55 -0400
>>"John Arrowwood" <jarrowwx at hotmail.com> writes:
>> > Could someone please describe the features of GnuCash for use with
>> > budgeting?
>>Gnucash doesn't support budgetting...  You should go through the
>>archive from around September 2003 and read the huge thread on this
>> > Here's a summary of what I'd LIKE to be able to do.  Could someone
>> > please tell me which are doable now, and which would require changes
>> > to GnuCash?  And for those requiring changes, how hard it would be to
>> > get those changes?
>>The latter question is easy:  it's as easy as you sending in patches.
>>As for the former....
>> > * Ability to specify a budget amount for each account.
>> >   - the amount is for a given period, e.g. the week, month, quarter,
>> > or year.  (I'd be happy if it was just months)
>> >   - previous budget amounts are saved, facilitating budget vs. actual
>> > reports after-the-fact.
>>Nope, would require changes.
>> > * Budget vs. Actual report, single and multi-column
>>Would require changes.
>> > * Budgeting report - multi-column showing e.g. one column per month,
>> > with 'average' for the last column
>>Would require changes..  Seeing a pattern?
>> > * Spreadsheet like interface to budget amounts allowing easy data
>> > entry and scenario exploration
>> >   - alternatively, a report that exports a spreadsheet format which
>> > can be opened and tweaked
>> >   - maybe with auto-re-import of the spreadsheet after tweaking (yeah,
>> > right!)
>> > * Flag on transactions indicating that the transaction is
>> > 'placeholder' or budget
>> >   - allow alternate coloration for placeholder transactions for easy
>> > identification
>> >   - additional 'balance'...  one that includes placeholder
>> > transactions, one without
>> >   - alternatively, the field for reconciliation could just have
>> > another state for 'budget'
>>Uhh... This doesn't make sense.  The budgetting system should be
>>completely different from the financial transactions.  The budgets
>>should be directly mapped to existing accounts.
>> > * Additional transaction fields
>> >   - Transaction time
>> >   - Receipt?  (flag)
>> >   - Who performed the transaction
>> >   - Date cleared
>> >   - Bank transaction description
>> >   - ???
>>All of these would require changes..  The txn time is probably the
>>easiest of them all -- no data format changes at all, just a small API
>>and UI change.
>> > Is this doable with GnuCash, or would you suggest using something else?
>>Well, it's all "doable" if changes are made to the code.  None of it
>>is doable _now_ (i.e., gnucash doesn't do any of this right now).
>>You're welcome to work on this.  You should work with Darin Willits to
>>make sure you don't overlap with the budgetting work he's been hacking
>>on.  As much of this is UI work, it should happen on the g2 branch.
>>I look forward to your patches.  Thank you for volunteering!  :)
>> > Thanks!
>>        Derek Atkins, SB '93 MIT EE, SM '95 MIT Media Laboratory
>>        Member, MIT Student Information Processing Board  (SIPB)
>>        URL: http://web.mit.edu/warlord/    PP-ASEL-IA     N1NWH
>>        warlord at MIT.EDU                        PGP key available
>>gnucash-user mailing list
>>gnucash-user at gnucash.org

       Derek Atkins, SB '93 MIT EE, SM '95 MIT Media Laboratory
       Member, MIT Student Information Processing Board  (SIPB)
       URL: http://web.mit.edu/warlord/    PP-ASEL-IA     N1NWH
       warlord at MIT.EDU                        PGP key available

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