MyBudget

Martin Sevior,

msevior@physics.unimelb.edu.au

Overview

This program helps the user keep track of his or her personal finances. Using this program you can:

The program is written in the Python programming language and has an easy to use Graphical User Interface which employs the excellent GTK-2.2 toolkit. The glade, libglade and pyGtk bindings were also used.

The author uses this program for his own budgeting needs and finds it works very well for him. However he is very interested in hearing about bugs that needs fixing and even more about patches that fix these bugs!

The aim of the program is to make it as easy as possible for people to do their own personal budgets and the author plans to retain that.

This program is Free Software licensed under the Lesser General Program License (lGPL) of the Free Software Foundation. Your are welcome to use this program, modify the program and pass it on to your friends with certain restrictions. Please read the license in detail at the end of this document.


Quick Start

The first thing you should do is to create your own budget. (See the budget pane section. )

The program has a generic budget that might a useful starting point for your own budget. Feel free to customize it as you wish. The program assumes that you have two main accounts. A "cash" account that you use to withdraw cash and a "Direct Debit" account that you use to save up for expensive item and to pay for recurring expenses. I've set my finances so that as many as possible of my bills are automatically paid via this account. Once you've set up this budget, choose a name for it and save it. You will also record your expenses in this file.

After setting up your budget, the next thing you need to do is enter records of your expenses. This is done in the Enter Records pane. This is the most tedious part of the process of doing your finances but unfortunately it is really necessary.  You can reduce the amount of work you need to do for your cash expenses by creating a "catch all" cash budget item which is just some money for you to spend as you wish. It's very important that you enter all your expenses for "Direct Debit" items otherwise the calculation of how much money you should have in your "Direct Debit" account will be wrong.

You can review your expenses against your budget in the Totals pane. Here you choose the dates the dates over which you wish to review your expenses and see how they match you budget predictions.

Once you're going you can review the amount of money the program thinks you should have on any particular date by pressing the "choose date" button in the budget pane.

Finally your budget, your transactions and your totals can all be easily exported to the gnumeric spreadsheet program. You can use this program to print these or to do more sophisticated data analysis.


The Enter Records pane.

 

In this tab you enter records of your transactions.

Add a record of a transaction.

Choose a budget category from the list in the left corner. Then enter the date of the transaction using the date-choosing tool, then enter the amount of the transaction and finally any comments that seem appropriate about the transaction. These may help you remember what the transaction was along with any extra information you might feeel appropriate. (Whether it needs a warranty card filled, who's birthday present it was etc..)

When you have composed your record, press the "Add" button and the record will be recorded.

Change a pre-existing record

You can change a pre-existing record by selecting it with either your your mouse or with the arrow keys. You can edit it's contents as described above, when you're happy with the new record, press the "replace" button and the selected record will be replaced with the corrected one.

Delete a previous record.

You can delete a record by selecting it and pressing the "Delete" button. The record will be permanently deleted from your financial records.

Sort into Categories

You sort records into categories by pressing the "Sort Categories" button. This will sort all your records into categories and date order within categories. This makes it easy to find which transactions for specific categories. This help find duplicated or missing records.

Sort into Dates

You can sort records into pure date order by pressing the "Sort Dates" button. This makes it easy to see if all the transaction on a credit card bill have been entered. Users often press the "Sort Categories" button after doing this.

Export data to the Gnumeric Spreadsheet

You can export your record tot he Gnumeric spreadsheet by pressing "Export Gnumeric" .

You will be asked to select a filename for your records, then the Gnumeric spreadsheet program will be started with your records loaded. You can then print or perform other manipulations of the data with Gnumeric.

The "quit" button exits the program.


The Totals pane.

Here you can see the total expenditures in each of your categories. You can compare these expenditures to the amounts you have budgeted for each category.

Start by choosing the start date of the period for wish to review. Then the end date of the period of review. Finally choose the categories you wish to review. If you select "All Categories" all the categories in your budget will be displayed including those for which there was no expenditure in the period.

Then press the "Apply" button. The valid records for the period you have entered in each category will be summed and the results displayed.

You can export these results to the Gnumeric spreadsheet by pressing "Export Gnumeric" button.

The Budget pane.

You use this pane to construct or alter your budget. The program comes with a generic budget that you might wish to use to get you started. Use the "Save As" menu item under "File" to save your budget and records to a different filename.

Creating a new Budget Item

  1. To create a new entry, enter a major category name in the "Major Category" box.
  2. Enter it minor name in the "Minor Category" box.
  3. Enter the yearly budget in "Yearly Budget" box.
  4. Now if the item is one where you know you will have to make scheduled payments, enter the number of Scheduled payments per year in "Number of Scheduled Payments" box.
  1. Next if  you entered a number other than "0" for the number of scheduled payments, enter the date of the first payment in the calendar year in "Date of First payment".
  2. Now decide if the budget item should come out of a cash account or from "Direct Debit".
  1. When you're happy with your budget item, press the "Apply" button and it will be added to your budget description.

Changing a Previous Budget Item.

To change a previous budget item, simply click on the item in the budget. The entry will appear in the different fields used to enter new items. Change the entry as you wish, then press the "replace" button. The edited entry will the replace the selected item in the budget. Records that refer to the item will also be updated.

Deleting a Budget Item.

Simply select the item you wish to delete and press the "delete" button. The selected item will be removed from the budget.

Sorting budget items.

Simply press the "Sort" button to sort the budget into alphabetized categories.

Export to Gnumeric.

Simply press the "Export Gnumeric" button to export the current budget to the Gnumeric spreadsheet. The program will ask you to designate a filename for your budget, then it will start the Gnumeric Spreadsheet program with your budget loaded. You can then either print the budget or do further manipulations of the data.

Track Direct Debit account.

You can determine how much money your Direct Debit account should have in it by clicking the "choose button" after the "Amount needed at date:" entry box near the top of the pane. MyBudget will calculate how much you should have present by subtracting what you have already spent in all your Direct Debit categories from how much is needed to meet the future commitments of each category. Use this feature to ensure you have enough money set aside for future commitments.