Start tutorial

Baptiste Wicht edited this page Sep 14, 2017 · 2 revisions

This short tutorial explains how to start using budgetwarrior.

0. Installation

For installation, refer to the Readme. Once installed, you can start using the tool, with the budget executable.

1. Create accounts

If you try to launch the program without having creating any account, it will tell you to create some:

$ budget
The folder /home/wichtounet/.budget does not exist. Would like to create it [yes/no] ? yes
The folder /home/wichtounet/.budget was created. 
No accounts defined, you should start by defining some of them

Accounts are recipients for your expenses and earnings. They are not bank accounts, they only are logical recipients. Think of them as categories. The sum of the accounts should be equivalent to your salary.

For instance, if you have 1000$ per month and want to separate your budget between Food (200$), Car (300$) and House (500$), you can create the accounts one by one with budget account add. For instance, to create the Food account:

$ budget account add
Name []: Food
Amount [0.00]: 200 
Account 1 has been created

You can create the other accounts in the same manner. budget account shows the list of created accounts:

$ budget account
ID Name  Amount  
1  Food  200.00  
2  Car   300.00  
3  House 500.00  
   Total 1,000.00

You can already see the monthly overview using budget (or budget overview month):

Overview of Feb 2014

Food                  Car      House     
                                         
 Expenses      0.00     0.00     0.00    
                                         
                                         
 Earnings      0.00     0.00     0.00    
                                         
 Budget        200.00   300.00   500.00  
 Total Budget  200.00   300.00   500.00
                                         
 Balance       200.00   300.00   500.00
 Local Balance 200.00   300.00   500.00  

                              Total expenses: 0.00
                              Total earnings: 0.00
                                     Balance: 1,000.00
                               Local Balance: 1,000.00

Of course, it is not very interesting right now, but it will be once you add expenses and earnings.

2. Add expenses / earnings

Once your accounts are created, you can start adding expenses (with budget expense add) and earnings (with budget earning add). Earnings are irregular earnings, not your salary. For instance, if you find a 100$ bill on the floor, you could register it as earning or if you win at the lottery.

Each expense and earning is related to a single account.

Here is an example to create a new expense:

$ budget expense add
Date [2014-Feb-02]: 
Account []: Car
Name []: Tires
Amount [0.00]: 50
Expense 1 has been created

By default, the date is automatically set to the date of the day, but you can change it:

budget expense add
Date [2014-Feb-02]: 2014-02-01
Account []: Food 
Name []: Meat
Amount [0.00]: 25
Expense 2 has been created

you can now display the month overview:

Overview of Feb 2014

Food                   Car            House   
1 Meat          25.00  2 Tires 50.00          
                                              
  Expenses      25.00          50.00    0.00  
                                              
                                              
  Earnings      0.00           0.00     0.00  
                                              
  Budget        200.00         300.00   500.00
  Total Budget  200.00         300.00   500.00
                                              
  Balance       175.00         250.00   500.00
  Local Balance 175.00         250.00   500.00

                              Total expenses: 75.00
                              Total earnings: 0.00
                                     Balance: 925.00
                               Local Balance: 925.00

you see that you still have 925$ to use (or save) this month.

There are some important points on the overview:

  • Budget: This is the amount you allocated to this account
  • Total Budget: This is the amount you can use this month. If you still 20$ the previous month and the amount for this account is 200$, the total budget would be 220$.
  • Balance: This is the balance of the account, taking the total budget as basis.
  • Local Balance: This is the balance of the account, taking only the budget of the account as basis.

The last four lines are the totals for all the accounts.

3. Other reports

budgetwarrior can also gives you several other reports.

First, the year overview (budget overview year) will give you give an overview of the current year (or another with budget overview year 2015 for instance). It is useful to see how the balances evolved during the year and how the year is going on.

Then, the aggregated expenses view (budget overview aggregate). This report will group together the expenses of the year with the same name and sum them. With that, you can see how much you spent on Books or on Gas. If you name your expenses like Group/A and Group/B, the two expenses will be grouped together in the aggregate report.

Finally, the monthly report graph (budget report). This report shows the graphical evolution of your expenses/earnings/balances over the month during the year.

4. Conclusion

This should be enough to start playing with budgetwarrior.

If you want more information about the other modules, you can use man budget or budget help. budgetwarrior has also support for setting objectives, managing wishes and listing debts.

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