structuring problem with managing household finances - and how to use GnuCash in general

Girard Aquino girardaquino at
Sat Sep 27 00:27:13 EDT 2008

hi. i'm a new user and i am having trouble trying to manage our finances 
the way accounting softwares do it. i am working with the default common 
accounts structure and have modified it to accommodate my spouse's 
income, and have inserted our home mortgage, other arrears as  well as a 
car loan. after entering all transactions, they seem to be quite clear 
and I have zeroed the imbalances. however, when I produce cash flow 
report for a specified period, it gets confusing. can anyone suggest a 
structure to manage our accounts?

I would like to able to see how much we're spending on what (here the 
common accounts does well for us) against our income (showing both 
combined as well as individual). I would like to be able to do this 
using different periods (yearly, monthly, quarterly).

A couple of questions:

1.     Does it matter if my checking account and my wife's is under a 
placeholder such as:

    Current Assests
          Cash in Wallet

/1.1     And would the level of the account in the hierarchy affect 
anything aside from how it looks?

Here is how I arranged the others in the structure:

    [various kinds] - * this is pretty simple
    Child Tax
    Other Income
    Credit Card
       Home Mortgage
    Other Arrears

/2.     When producing reports, what should I use if I want to see just 
how much we spent as against how much we earned for a specified period 
2.1    I noticed and as far as I understand, GnuCash places this against 
how much I have earned throughout the year reflected in the Income account.

3.     On the accounts page, there are different columns: Total, Balance 
(CAD), Description, Account name. What does the Balance column reflect?
4.   Is there a way to create a template from an existing account hierarchy?


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