Manage Your Finances (Simply) in Linux with wxBanker

Money. It’s something that most of us don’t have enough of. And what we have, we want to hold on to and keep track of.

For many people, an old fashioned spreadsheet is perfect for their needs. The rest of us need a little something more. Not with the features, of say, ,KyMyMoney or GNUCash but something that isn’t as confusing or convoluted as a spreadsheet can be.

Presented for your approval: wxBanker, a software that makes it easy to manage your finances. It might not have every bell or whistle, but it does have most of the bells and whistles that you actually need.

Just head on over to the download page for wxBanker. You can download either a Debian installer or an archive containing the source code. If you’re running a Debian-based Linux distro then just double-click on the installer.

If you’re installing using the source code, you’ll need the following software and libraries installed on your computer first:

Chances are you already have all of that installed. If not, then you can install them using your distribution’s package manager.

Extract the archive containing the source code to a directory on your computer. Open a terminal, change to the directory, and run the following commands:

python setup.py build
sudo python setup.py install

If you’re using Ubuntu, wxBanker is in the official Ubuntu software repositories. You can use Ubuntu Software Center (select Applications > Ubuntu Software Center) or Synaptic Package Manager (select System > Administration > Synaptic Package Manager) to install it. If you want the latest version of the software, you can also add the wxBanker PPA to your system.

Obviously, you’ll want to set up accounts. To do that, click the plus icon in the top-left corner of the wxBanker window. Type a name for the account and then press Enter.

Next, you need to enter transactions. There are two ways you can do this: importing comma-separated values (CSV) files or by manually entering the transactions.

To do an import, you’ll need to download a CSV file from your online banking system. Then, select File > Import from CSV.

Importing a CSV file

In the CSV Import window, find the file that you downloaded from your online banking system. Then, in the bottom left of the window, select the account in wxBanker into which you want to import your transactions. Finally, click Import. Note that wxBanker won’t always import a CSV file.

If you’re starting with a clean slate, then manually entering your transactions is the way to go. To do that, click on the name of an account in the upper-left corner of the wxBanker window. Then, in the bottom right portion of the window select a date, enter a description of the transaction, and the amount. Then, press Enter.

wxBanker_enter

What happens if the transaction is a debit or a bill? Easy, just put a minus sign in front of the amount. For example, -37.25.

Transactions in wxBanker

Sometimes (well, more of than that) we have fixed amounts put into or taken out of our accounts. wxBanker can handle those. When entering a transaction, click the Recurring checkbox.

Setting up recurring transactions

Select how often the transaction repeats – daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly – and when (if ever) it ends. If the transaction repeats weekly, choose the day of the week. Then, press Enter.

Recurring transactions

wxBanker’s simplicity comes at a price. You can’t directly link it to your bank accounts. And wxBanker doesn’t read files from applications like Quicken that were saved in the OFX format. However, you can export CSV files (which can also be read by spreadsheets), and you can connect wxBanker with Mint.com (just select Settings > Integrate with Mint.com).

That said, you shouldn’t expect wxBanker to integrate with your bank accounts. As the software’s developer states:

[T]he point of wxBanker is to keep your own separate balances to compare with your online banks and other accounts.

While wxBanker is simple, it does just enough. It’s a quick and easy way to track your financial transactions.

Photo credit: Avolore

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