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The Autobiography of Russell
Life from a different perspective
Tracking Finances (v2)
I've been using a custom made script to keep track of my finances. It would run through my expenses and track the balance of my bank account over the next x months. The problem is that I only envisioned a single bank account and hacked on support for the savings account. Now that I also have four bank accounts the script started to hiccup, badly. It couldn't keep track of both sets of accounts at the same time, never mind payments between accounts.

I finally decided enough was enough. The amount the script tracked and the amount actually in the bank accounts varied widely. It took about two and a half hours to write a new version that supported multiple accounts. I copied over some parts from the old script but the majority is completely new. It's also only the core functionality for projecting future balance; I have yet to import the various output formats that made the old version quite so useful. On the other hand the new version provides a lot more information about changes so recreating some of those should be a simple as adapting the variables and removing some output calculations.

Current Mood: lethargic lethargic
Current Music: "On My Way Home" by Enya

9 comments or Leave a comment
amnewsboy From: amnewsboy Date: May 11th, 2008 11:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Quicken? ;-)
zimzat From: zimzat Date: May 11th, 2008 11:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
I use Linux about 95% of the time, if not more. I also like to keep it simple, and non-expensive. An interface beyond text output on the command line or even a browser would have been overkill for my needs. I rarely update my transactions, I don't confirm any of them, and I don't write any transactions that aren't automated either. Once a month or so I'll update the total reported in the account to reflect any non-budgeted spending.

Plus it's a good programming exercise. It is also the first programming I've done outside of work for myself in quite some time. I used to love programming, and still do, but once I've put so much into my job I don't have much energy left over for doing the same thing for myself.
legolastn From: legolastn Date: May 12th, 2008 12:21 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm pretty impressed. If you're looking for a cross-check/backup system, though, you might check out:
I just read about it in today's paper.
zimzat From: zimzat Date: May 12th, 2008 12:45 am (UTC) (Link)
I once thought about the possibility of modifying what I already had so other people could use it. I then realized I would have to create a complete web interface and then maintain it on top of that. I also wondered why someone would use a web-based financial management software of some third-party company that they don't know or isn't already managing their finances (e.g. the bank). I didn't feel like doing the work and I couldn't answer why I would do it, so I dropped it.

Working on it earlier today I started to consider a simple web interface just for viewing the multiple accounts. Nothing too fancy, though; just a DHTML tab interface of each account's previous/future transactions. Maybe even a line graph of total balance each month. I may end up doing that still. It ultimately wouldn't be very user friendly so it's not something I would want to release into the wild for anyone else to use. If I did I'd get complaints and requests for changes up the wazoo and I don't want to invest that much time in a personal side project.
imsaguy From: imsaguy Date: May 12th, 2008 04:05 am (UTC) (Link)
"I use Linux about 95% of the time"

zimzat From: zimzat Date: May 13th, 2008 01:08 am (UTC) (Link)
I gave up on Wine a couple of years ago. I had spent an entire day trying to configure it and only having partial success getting it to work. Partial being that it worked ok with Visual Basic but didn't work well with any of the games I already had. I also didn't have anything from Windows I wanted to use regularly and it was kind of slow. I decided it wasn't worth it anymore.

I do still need to get my desktop Windows computer back up. I wouldn't mind playing some more Civilization IV, and EVE.
scixual From: scixual Date: May 12th, 2008 12:51 am (UTC) (Link)
OT: cute icon pic!
zimzat From: zimzat Date: May 12th, 2008 12:57 am (UTC) (Link)

I haven't posted any new pictures in a while. I think I took a few the other day too. I'll have to see about uploading them later this week or next.
(Deleted comment)
starwind_ From: starwind_ Date: May 12th, 2008 03:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
other than Mint there's also

9 comments or Leave a comment