Real-Life Examples

Learning the basics of GnuCash is one thing; actually using it in day-to-day scenarios is quite another. You have already seen how to enter a paycheck so that total income and tax expenses are recorded. Here are several other real-life examples to get you started on the most common tasks.

Going to the Grocery Store

I've mentioned the importance of setting up a sufficiently detailed account structure before, but what I didn't tell you is how easy it is to do it. First of all, you don't have to set up all those accounts in advance. Knowing that you can create them as you go along gives you the motivation to do it right.

Here's what to do:

  1. Open the Checking Account register.

  2. Create a new transaction with today's date and Grocery Store as the description.

  3. In the transfer field, enter Ex, and Expenses will be selected automatically. Use the right arrow key to complete the auto entry. Now type :Food. The colon tells GnuCash to make Food a sub-account of Expenses.

  4. Press Enter to accept your new category and Tab to leave the transfer field. A dialog box will appear, asking you if you would like to create the Expenses:Food account. Click Yes.

  5. The New Account window appears. The defaults should be fine, so click OK.

  6. Skip the Deposit field, enter 50.00 in the Withdrawal field, and press Enter.

Congratulations! You have not only created a transaction recording your food purchase, but you've also created the expense account for it. Future food transactions can now go into this account, ...

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