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Re: [Orgmode] Personal Finance in org-mode?

From: Matthew Lundin
Subject: Re: [Orgmode] Personal Finance in org-mode?
Date: Mon, 13 Apr 2009 08:59:10 -0500
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.3 (darwin)

Hi Madhu,

Madhu Rao <address@hidden> writes:

> Has anyone tried to configure org in a personal finance manager mode?
> I looked in the mail archive, but couldn't find any related posts.

These threads contain some ideas about tracking finances in org-mode:

- http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.emacs.orgmode/10234/focus=10249
- http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.emacs.orgmode/9663
- http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.comp.finance.ledger.general/838

> I thought org-mode with some remember capture templates will do that
> stuff rather efficiently.

It depends on what you'd like to accomplish. For a robust accounting
solution (i.e., something that can easily tracks all your finances and
can spit out data in all sorts of ways) I would second Carsten's
recommendation of John Wiegley's ledger.

For a while, I tried a home-brewed double bookkeeping solution in org
mode using properties and columns. I used a small subtree for each
transaction with one subitem for the debit and one for the credit, with
properties spendtype, account, assets, liabilities, income, equity,
expenses. The structure of the tree was as follows:

| * Accounts
| ** April
| *** [2009-04-13 Mon] Transaction Name
| **** [2009-04-13 Mon] Debit
| **** [2009-04-13 Mon] Credit
| *** Opening Balances...

The sum of all my accounts could then be viewed by invoking column view
on the Accounts heading. Particular accounts could by summed up by using
agenda views and org-collector.

The problem here, of course, is that once you have a large number of
entries, it takes a lot of CPU cycles just to generate an account
summary, since org-mode has to climb the entire outline tree and grab
all the properties. In the end, I settled on ledger because of its
power, speed, and flexibility.


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