For many Linux users one area where Linux needs some improvement is money management. Yes there is the very powerful GnuCash (check out GnuCash in my article "GnuCash: Open source Accounting/Financing goodness"). But many users find GnuCash to be too much power for what they need. There is also the slick KMyMoney, but that depends upon KDE. So what do the non-power, non-KDE users have? One option is HomeBank. HomeBank is a free, open source personal accounting software - with the focus on PERSONAL. So with HomeBank you don't have to worry so much about the complexities of dealing with a double-entry accounting package. Instead, you will find a pleasant, easy-to-use piece of software that will server as a painless interface between you and your checking/savings accounts.
In this article I will show you how to install HomeBank, set up accounts, and use the software.
Installing HomeBank is simple. Since you will find HomeBank in your distributions' standard repositories you can simply follow these steps:
That's it! You should now find the HomeBank menu entry in the Applications > Office menu (or just under Office if you are in KDE).
When you first open up HomeBank you would think a "first run" wizard would start. That is not the case. Instead you will be greeted with a home screen containing no accounts (see Figure 1).
The first task will be to create accounts. To do this, follow these simple steps:
Your new account will now show up in the main window.
There are two ways to approach using HomeBank. You can use it haphazardly or you can plan out your use so that the yearly budget feature works for you. In order to plan out HomeBank, you will want to first create Payees and Categories. Each transaction can have a Payee and a Category assigned. Here's how they work:
If you set these up first, you will have a much better time tracking your expenses. Naturally you won't be able to fill in all payees at first. You can add payees as you go. Creating both Categories and Payees is simple:
When you are back at the home window, and you have your accounts listed, you can double click on the account you want to use for a transaction. When you do this the account register will open. In that register (see Figure 2) you can see how simple the interface is.
From this interface you can add a new entry (by clicking the Add button), you can filter the entries in the registry, you can inherit a transaction, you can validate/invalidate a transaction, and you can see a running total of the account.
The reports feature is a nice way to get a graphical representation of your account(s). From this you can see detailed charts of your accounts. The reports you can view are:
If you are looking for an accounting software that is targeted more for users and not accountants or businesses, HomeBank is the software for you. Not only can you keep a running record of your expenses, but you can see your yearly budget at a glance to see your personal spending trends.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.