GnuCash and Budgeting

Jordan Gunderson jordy at
Mon Sep 19 23:38:22 MDT 2005

Ross Werner wrote:
>> Gnucash can totally due that.  You add accounts, put money in when you 
>> get it, and take it out when you spend it.

> What I want is more something like this:
> Let's say I get a $10 paycheck ... I enter $10 into the Checking 
> Account, and then I can *also* record somewhere that $5 of that money is 
> earmarked for grocery spending, and $4 is earmarked for ComputerToys.
> Then later one when I spend the $5 on groceries and $2 on ComputerToys, 
> I can look at some sort of report/balance sheet/whatever that tells me 
> that I know have $0 left earmarked for grocery spending, and $2 left 
> earmarked for ComputerToys. Come next $10 paycheck I do the same thing, 
> so now I have $5 in the grocery fund and $6 in the ComputerToys fund.
> Now, what I *could* do is set up all my budget "earmarked" categories as 
> actuall GnuCash accounts, and instead of putting money into the 
> "Checking Account" when I get paid, divvy them up into these different 
> accounts. However, that makes reconciling the books a pain in the butt 
> because I'll have to add up all my assets and then add up all my 
> "earmarked" categories and make sure they match, and if they don't, good 
> luck trying to find which category has money missing and why.

I may just completely misunderstand what you are trying to do, but it 
seems like you could just add subaccounts to your Gnucash checking 
account to accomplish exactly this.  Instead of putting your money 
straight into checking, you put 5 dollars into checking-->groceries, etc.

Viewing the checking account shows an aggregate of all the transactions 
made in subaccounts.  You can also view subaccounts individually to 
verify that, of all your money in checking, you still have $2 left for 
computer stuff.


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