Managing Your Finances

By now you may have noticed there is an open source application for just about anything you could want to do with a computer. Managing finances is one of the most common things people do with their computers, so it should not come as a surprise that an open source application exists to do just that — it’s called GnuCash.

GnuCash is the open source world’s answer to popular personal financial applications such as Microsoft Money and Intuit’s Quicken. Although it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of those applications, GnuCash has everything you need for keeping track of your money. With GnuCash you can keep tabs on your income, expenses, checking and savings accounts, debts, investments, and assets such as cars and houses. You will be able to see into the past to figure out where all your money has been going, keep an eye on your balances in the present to make sure you don’t suffer any nasty surprises, and forecast your financial well-being into the distant and not-so-distant future.

If you use an off-the-shelf application such as Money or Quicken, you’re in for a few surprises when you try GnuCash. Compared with those applications, the interface is extremely simple and straightforward. There are no fancy embedded web pages or advisors. You won’t find endless options dialogs and wizards, and you can’t pay your bills electronically from inside GnuCash . Instead, when you start GnuCash you are presented with a simple list of accounts. Double-clicking ...

Get Running Linux, 5th Edition now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.