Managing one’s finances is an unavoidable chore in life. You will need to employ it sooner or later — the sooner you try it, the better. Luckily, there is a great open source tool available for all your budgeting needs – GNUCash. It is available in Fedora’s repositories. You can install it using Gnome Software or through the command line.

sudo yum install gnucash

GNUCash includes a “New accounts wizard” that helps users pick what they need. It even boasts a list of common accounts to help you get started:

gnucash-choose-an-account

If you are looking for something more complicated, such as loans or investments, you can track them using GNUCash as well. It is full of useful features.

Maintaining your accounts requires some knowledge of the double ledger system. If you have not taken a finance related course, or have forgotten how the system worked, the GNUCash documentation provides an excellent starting point. “The Basics” is a chapter you’d probably like to read. Once you get the gist, it becomes simple:

  • the money you earn is credited to your Assets – your Current Account or Savings Account (wherever your earnings are deposited).
  • the money you spend is debited from the required assets account and credited to the Expense account Expenses:Dining, or Expenses:Groceries for example.

As an example, this is what my somewhat depressing “Cash in wallet” panel looks like:
cash-in-wallet

GNUCash is feature-rich, allowing you to…

  • Schedule future transactions – such as the rent or car insurance premium
  • Generate reports, graphs, allowing you to analyse where you spend your money and if you need to cut back
  • Import statements from your banks to reconcile and check if your budgeting is correct
  • …and much more

Some might feel using software for budgeting is overkill, but if we use software for calendars, todo lists, recipes,  and even reminders, why not use one for budgeting too? Give it a try and let the GNUCash developers know what you think!