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

Girard Aquino girardaquino at
Mon Sep 29 23:42:55 EDT 2008

sorry to bump, but my post might have been missed out.
Girard Aquino wrote:
> 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:
> /Assests
>     Current Assests
>        Wife
>           Checking
>        Me
>           Checking
>           Savings
>           Cash in Wallet
>     Property
>        House
> /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:
> /Expenses
>     [various kinds] - * this is pretty simple
> Income
>     Child Tax
>     Other Income
>     Salary
>        Wife
>        Me
> Liabilities
>     Credit Card
>     Loans
>        Home Mortgage
>        Car
>     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 
> *only?
> 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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