GnuCash and loans

Dave Smith DavidSmith at
Tue Sep 20 09:45:04 MDT 2005

> My biggest frustration with GnuCash is in tracking loans such as a home
> mortgage. The only way I have figured out how to do it is to use a
> spreadsheet to calculate the interest owed each month and then manually
> add it to the loan account. The GnuCash scripting language is not
> so it is non-obvious how to get interest calculated as an automatic
> transaction.  How have other pluggers dealt with this problem? Does
KMyMoney or Grisbi handle this well?

My wife and I use a low-tech solution. We wrote to my lender and asked for
a printed amortization schedule. Using that (very tall) paper, we check
off each month as we pay it off. When we pay one month in advance, we
always pay the exact amount of principal for that month (to the penny),
and we check it off the schedule. At a glance we can tell exactly where we
are in the loan and how long we have left until the payoff party.

I've found this approach to have a couple benefits:

1. It's really easy to track my payment progress.
2. It helps motivate me since I'm always looking at that huge interest
portion and wanting it gone.
3. Saves electrons.

Oh, I guess I should mention: this won't work for interest-only loans or
credit lines, since there's not a principal payment schedule. Sorry.


P.S. It is rumored that your grass feels different when you own it. I plan
on enjoying a barefoot walk in my yard for a few minutes that day.

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