So the question is, would it make sense to have a Plaid plugin for this? Obviously because they are a 3rd party, it negates some of the benefits, but I simply cannot use this system manually because I have so many accounts. Maybe one workaround is to pull from Tiller (which uses plaid), then export a csv/excel.
Any chance there's a good plan in place to get automated data imports working, even if we need a 3rd party to do it?
Have you thought about building out the "retirement" module more? If you need any inspiration, I've been working on a personal finance simulator  for the past two and a half years as a side project.
Really great job with the docs on this, and I love that you include a demo environment!
I imagine that eventually we'll see an app that pulls budgeting, tracking, and planning all together in a fully seamless way. Whoever manages that will probably be a force to be reckoned with.
Great job building this and also writing the documentation that explains concepts as well as how they are implemented.
I can't believe how many comments here are dismissive. If you are happy using a paid solution to manage your finances and don't want to get into the weeds yourself, you are probably not the target audience for this.
One suggestion would be to make the country-specific pieces like tax calculations module so others can contribute their own.
It seems like most financial places rely on Plaid for the data integration, but that's a paid service I don't think Open-Source or free personal finance apps would use.
Very nice to see! I look forward to trying this out properly soon. I recommend not bothering with PDFs, OCR errors however occasional ruin it - it's worse if they're rare in a way, since you come to trust it. If you really do want it, extract the actual text layer instead. There won't always be one, tables will be a mess, and sometimes there'll be a lot of nonsense - but at least the correct content that is there will be £74.97 or whatever, not misread as £24.87.
NB this means that your site cannot be used in Europe,
I love that this has a web interface, but still seems to have a fairly simple data model based on `ledger` and plain text files.
I see some other posts about data import from banks, and that's always been the thing keeping me from doing this for all of my personal finance. I just don't think I'd be able to keep up if I had to manually log into bank, brokerage, and credit card accounts, download my data for each one (assuming they even allow a CSV-style download), and import into GNUCash (or whatever).
I'm curious about the Plaid option (and really cool a Plaid employee is posting here), but I've always been wary of them. It looks like they have some sort of OAuth-like process for one of my financial institutions, but the others are all "give Plaid your credentials and we promise to keep them safe". Not really comfortable with that. Everyone gets hacked eventually. Regardless, I'm not too keen on giving Plaid literally all of my financial data; just doesn't seem like a great idea.
But it seems like there's really no alternative, at least in the US. I wish the government would mandate that all of these institutions implement a standardized API, and that they give regular people (not just big companies) access to their own data through it. Sigh...
It's by far the best household bookkeeping tool I've ever used, but it won't ever get updates again (running it in a VM just so I can make sure I will always be able to run it), and it would be nice to have something that can track stocks and maybe even foreign currency - but for now, I would be happy with something that can just replace YNAB4.
The lack of Quicken OFX Import is a bummer :( But if the CSV import is good, it would still work. (As much of a pain as OFX is to implement for developers, especially since there's at least two major versions, it is pretty widely supported by US banks to download my transaction history)
Will probably give it a spin on the weekend, since the demo actually looks promising!
It's been a long time, so I may be getting it wrong, but I do have some introductory information of accounting. And according to that, in a transaction such as salary received, the accounting would look something like:
Income: Salary - Credit
Assets: Checking - Debit.
The Golden rule/s that apply here (Debit the receiver, credit the giver)
However, looking at the tutorial, the example given is:
Income:Salary:Acme (Debit Account)
Assets:Checking (Credit Account)
This is the opposite of what I expect, however, I see this all the time when looking at tutorials/information written by SW devs.
What am I missing or is everyone else just getting it wrong?
Question for author - Is it mostly a reporting tool or does it work similar to h/ledger where I can input my transactions from paisa?
Question for HN users - have you found ledger to be easier to use compared to gnucash? My challenges have been my lack or ease of understanding on how to input transactions in ledger and also getting good reports comparable to gnucash. It's highly likely I'm unaware of how to use the tool properly but I am not sure where to learn this.
If you could add multi-language support, then I'm sure my family will use it :)
> I am interested in knowing what people normally want to understand about their finances
For my family use cases - seeing upcoming expenses and how much is left in the account on the specific dates in a calendar time-flow view, this way we can see how and when things are spent and if new entries are added we can plan for how much is left at a specific target date (like a trip). I've seen nothing like this, so would be extremely useful.
Once the import and reconciliation is done I pull up a my column chart that shows where the money went -- and can compare over time -- see a full year of movement. I've been through various charting libraries with it and most recently moved to ECharts -- so I'm planning to expand with Treemap and Sankey style visuals.
The import process, which I do monthly takes maybe an hour. I'm importing from like 5 bank accounts, 3 payment processors, 4 CC providers. The part that takes the longest is signing into their slow sites, navigating past pop-up/interstitial, getting to their download page and waiting for it to download. Loads of these sites (WF, Chase) have been "modernised" and have some real bullshit UI/UX going on -- lags, no keyboard, elements jump around, forms can't remember state, ctrl+click won't open in a new page cause that damned link isn't actually a link but some nested monster of DIVs with 19 event listeners on each one -- and somehow still all wrong.
I think the most-best feature would be to have some tool automatically get all my transactions from all these providers into one common format. Gimmee some JSON with like 10 commonly-named fields for the normal stuff and then 52 other BS fields that each provider likes to add (see a PayPal CSV for example). Does that exist and I just don't know?
GnuCash also allows you to generate reports from double-entry accounting.
You don’t have to, of course, but do you plan to open source it? That way others can contribute to it too.
How tightly is it bound to ledger? How hard would it be to adapt it to other plaintext accounting programs like beancount?
I have to ask, do people mostly enter transactions manually into their personal finance software? Or do they just go by names for imported transactions? This means that I can't meaningfully import transactions between my multiple accounts. Do others just fix them up manually?
I might give this a try and then see if I can convert my beancount files to ledger.
I'm also too impatient to manually enter all transactions but import from PDF statement form a bank looks like a doable task. The only transactions that would be required to enter manually is cash/crypto/etc but for them there are no other choice.
Contrats with the the release Anantha and I hope your project will gain attention it deserves!
Have you considered incorporating a split view of the ledger with the reports?
One thing off the bat I noticed, it doesn't look like custom Tags are supported? I use tags all the time in beancount, say to filter for a trip #trip-europe-2022 which would break down my cash flow and balances (and the rest of the fava UI) for a subset of transactions.
How does this differentiate?
If you want a simple app to track lent and borrows among friends and circle then try Debitum. But it's for Android only..
Semi-related to this: does anyone know of any double entry ledgers backed by actual databases like dynamo?
looking at the demo for 10 seconds it looks like a web based gnu cash.
Do people who use this kind of software manually enter every transaction they do every day, or something?
Knowing this for my own situation made me decide to opt for a homegrown software solution, because I had to learn these rules anyway. I felt more capable in my programming language of choice than in Excel, and I didn't want to pay for a SaaS solution, let alone learn another interface.
1. What automation, if any, exists for entering transactions? This is the most laborious/cumbersome part of personal finance. Some tools use financial data aggregators (plaid, yodlee etc.) that involves sharing login credentials with a third party, sometimes disabling 2FA, or other steps that are anti-security or anti-privacy. It sucks that in the USA at least, there is practically no way for customers to fetch their bank data via an open API. Until recently, many financial institutions supported OFX, but that is being phased out.
2. How is categorization of transactions accomplished? Ideally, I want autocategorization based on my own previously categorized transactions, since the bulk of my transactions are repeats at the same merchants.
3. What sort of reporting, dashboarding, and potentially sharing capabilities exist? Ideally, I want to share some reports with my partner
A while ago, I created my own homegrown system to automate my personal finances. It is capable of doing all of the above, without sharing data with a 3rd party. Unfortunately, the automated transaction retrieval mostly does not work because financial institutions are dropping support for OFX.
Apparently, just being able to pull your financial data into open-source tools and excel could be a product since Yodlee and other aggregators are often too expensive and technical to set up for individuals.
I think we need to force all financial companies to have a modern API and OAuth available for everyone via legislation.
I was perplexed a bit because paisa (like paisano, countryman) is also a word I hear a lot among Latin American immigrants in the US, seems like one of those things that can be taken offensively but I mostly seem to hear it as a term of endearment.
I won't use this because I can't ensure all my systems can be agpl3. Like bank systems I don't control.
How do you even do that, unless you manually regex it?
If that's the case, already looks weird on technical decisions.
There's never a decent open source self finance management app somehow.
It's either bloated or just doesn't look easy on the eyes for simple day to day use.