How useful is "cash in wallet"

Eric Beversluis econophil at
Sun Mar 19 12:26:26 EST 2006

On Sun, 2006-03-19 at 08:25 -0800, Pete wrote:

> So now the question is much more difficult, but only
> one that I can answer -- what's important for me to
> track, and how in-depth do I want to go.  That's going
> to require some head-scratching.
> I know I'm going to get sloppy with time.  Suppose I
> create separate accounts for Gas, Water, Electric, etc
> but at a later date decide I was being completely
> ridiculous and want all my utilities to just go under
> Liabilities:Utilities.  Is it possible to move all the
> transactions from a set of accounts into a more
> general Utilities account (and then delete the
> individual Gas, Water, Electric, etc accounts)?
> Thanks,
> Pete

I would just start the new generic account and not try to incorporate
the old data--you're probably more interested in what's happening "now"
than in detailed comparisons with that old data. If you want, you could
just copy say a year's worth of the old data into a spread sheet and sum
the columns so you'd have a reference.

(Some GnuCash expert may know how to consolidate accounts, and may be
able to say that it's easy enough to do.)


PS: you might find this presentation helpful (Impress slides without the
accompanying details of the talk)> the goal was to try to make the idea
of double entry accounting meaningful to people starting with GnuCash.
It may or may not add anything helpful to what's in GnuCash

Also note that typically one uses double entry bookkeeping for a company
which is considered a separate entity from its owner. This distinction
is particularly artificial when you're doing your personal/family
bookkeeping. Which is why it probably is ok to ignore some things. Just
be sure to think through carefully the logic of what you do set up. It's
particularly easy when using a computer to do computing to record
something quite different from what you think you're recording. I
recently heard of a college whose books were off by millions because
they were recording the "full tuition" of scholarship students as
"income" but somehow not recording the financial aid the students
received as an appropriate "expense."

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