Manage your personal finances with all of the power of a scriptable command-line tool, using Baronial!
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Welcome! There are thousands of personal finance and accounting tools out there, but you've stumbled onto one that focuses on giving absolute control to you, the user. This project was inspired by Git, and seeks to bring the same flexibility and power that programmers enjoy over their source code to the accounting world.
Transaction history is captured in "repositories". Each repository holds a budget and a collection of accounts, more on that later. To get started, open a terminal and type the following:
$ cd $ mkdir Finances $ cd Finances $ baronial init
You now have your first repository! There will be two empty folders in your repository "accounts" and "budget".
While Baronial does hope to be flexible, it was built with the envelope system in mind. The first transaction you create will be setting the initial state of of your accounts. Let's say you had a checking and savings account with U.S. Bank and an Amazon credit card through Chase, with the following balances:
|Checking||U.S. Bank||USD 703.56|
|Savings||U.S. Bank||USD 2801.22|
|Credit Card||Chase||USD 168.91|
You could initialize your accounts by running the following:
$ mkdir -p accounts/us_bank/checking $ mkdir accounts/us_bank/savings $ mkdir -p accounts/chase/amazon $ baronial credit 703.56 accounts/us_bank/checking $ baronial credit 2801.22 accounts/us_bank/savings $ baronial debit 168.91 accounts/chase/amazon
Now our accounts are tracking USD 3,335.87 in value. However, now that we know where our money is, we need to allocate it
as we intend on spending it. That's the job of the budget. When everything's working well, the sum of funds available in
accounts folder should match the amount in the
Let's say we pay USD 1,200/month in rent, we could set aside that money by running:
$ mkdir -p budget/housing/rent $ baronial credit 1200 budget/housing/rent
From there, we still have USD 2,135.87 to work with. Let's say we put some money towards gas and groceries, and the rest in generic savings:
$ mkdir budget/grocery $ mkdir budget/gas $ mkdir budget/savings $ baronial credit 300 budget/grocery $ baronial credit 150 budget/gas $ baronial credit 1685.87 budget/savings
Now the balance of our budget should match that of our accounts! Which means that we're ready to stamp a transaction as ready by running the following:
$ baronial commit -c "Initial account and budget balances."
Each time you spend money, you should add a transaction in the repository capturing the account and budget that it came from. For instance, I buy coffee most mornings for USD 2.15 from the Café downstairs. To capture one coffee purchase, I would type:
$ baronial debit 2.15 accounts/chase/amazon budget/grocery $ baronial commit -m "Brewed Awakenings" -t 2019-08-01 -c "My usual morning ritual"
The debit command above removes USD 2.15 from both my credit card and my grocery budget (I know, I know, coffee from a shop
isn't exactly a grocery expense. You can categorize things however you choose.) Notice, that I can subtract the same
amount from two sources at once. This will be the most common situation, as most transactions will be categorized in a
single way. But keep in mind that if you need to split up a transaction, it isn't until the
commit command is run that
you've finalized which budgets/accounts are impacted. You can use whatever combination of credits and debits are
necessary to represent your transaction.
When funds are made available to you because of a paycheck, or maybe you've just returned an item to a store, you can
credit command to replenish your accounts/budget.
$ mkdir budget/queue $ baronial credit 896.78 accounts/us_bank/checking budget/queue $ baronial commit -m "MyEmployer" -t 2019-08-01 -c "First Paycheck of the Month"
Above, I've credited a new budget "queue" with a whole paycheck's worth of funds. I do this to even out the period in which I'm thinking about paychecks. For instance, I get paid twice a month, regardless of the number of days. My wife gets paid every two weeks, regardless of where it falls on the calendar. Trying to distribute funds from each individual paycheck would make it hard to remember how I compared to my target each month. So instead, I accumulate money in a buffer budget called "queue" and transfer the money to specific budgets on the first of every month. This system works for me, but part of the beauty of baronial is how flexible it is! Have a different way that you like to track this? Do it! You'll hear no complaints from me!
If you have credit cards, you'll be well aware of your monthly payments. Unlike other transactions mentioned above, while money is changing hands and needs to be accounted for, you aren't actually spending money. For that reason, you're not making a decision that impacts the budget. You're just making a decision about where your funds are, and whether you want to be receiving or paying interest based on your circumstances.
For baronial, this is the same as a debit and a credit for the same amount against different accounts. However, it's a common enough operation that there's a shortcut for this:
$ baronial transfer 168.91 accounts/us_bank/checking accounts/chase/amazon $ baronial commit -m "Chase" -t 2019-08-01 -c "Monthly credit card payment"
The same command can be used to transfer money between two budgets.
Now that you've created a few transactions, you need to be able to see the current status of your budgets!
The amount of funds available in each account and your top level budgets can be printed using the
$ baronial balance
Keep in mind that you can have sub-budgets inside of other budgets. You can see nested budget balances by providing the name of the budget you'd like to see.
$ baronial balance budget/grocery
Want to see a list of transactions that you've input? The
log command was made for exactly this:
$ baronial log accounts/us_bank/checking
Providing the extra parameter
accounts/us_bank/checking will filter the transactions that are printed to just the ones
that touched that account.
NOTE: To build from source, you'll need Go 1.12 or greater, perl, and Git. See CONTRIBUTING.md for more information on setting up your machine to build Baronial.
If you're using Linux or a Mac, take advantage of the Makefile that's included in this project.
git clone https://github.com/marstr/baronial.git cd baronial make install
It's still easy to build from source on a Windows machine.
git clone https://github.com/marstr/baronial.git cd baronial make.bat install