Plaintext budgeting

For the past ~6 months, I’ve been using an Android application to keep track of my daily spending. To my annoyance, I found out that the app doesn’t have an export functionality. I didn’t want to invest more time in a platform that I couldn’t get my data out of, so I started looking for another solution.

I’ve looked into budgeting systems before, and I’ve seen both command-line (ledger) and GUI systems (GNUCash). Now; both of these are great software, and I can appreciate how Double-entry bookkeeping is a useful thing for accounting purposes. But while they are powerful, they’re not as simple as they could be.

I decided to go with CSV files. CSV is one of the most universal file formats, it’s simple and obvious. I can process it with pretty much every programming language and import it to pretty much every spreadsheet software. Or… I could use a shell script to run calculations with SQLite.

If I ever want to migrate to another system; it will probably be possible to convert this file with a shell script, or even a sed command.

I create monthly CSV files in order to keep everything nice and tidy, but the script adapts to everything from a single CSV file to one file for each day/hour/minute.

Here’s what an example file looks like:

2019-04-03,2.75,EUR,Transport,Bus to work

And here’s the script:



cat *.csv | sed '/^Date/d' > combined.csv.temp

output=$(sqlite3 <<EOF
create table Transactions(Date, Amount, Currency, Category, Description);
.mode csv
.import combined.csv.temp Transactions
.mode list

select 'Amount spent today:',
coalesce(sum(Amount), 0) from Transactions where Date = '$(date +%Y-%m-%d)';

select '';
select 'Last $days days average:',
sum(Amount)/$days, Currency from Transactions where Date > '$(date --date="-$days days" +%Y-%m-%d)'
group by Currency;

select '';
select 'Last $days days by category';
select '=======================';

select Category, sum(Amount) from Transactions
where Date > '$(date --date="-$days days" +%Y-%m-%d)'
group by Category order by sum(Amount) desc;

rm combined.csv.temp

echo "$output" | sed 's/|/ /g'

This is the output of the command

[leo@leo-arch budget]$ ./
Amount spent today: 8.46

Last 7 days average: 15.35 EUR

Last 7 days by category
Groceries 41.09
Transport 35.06
Food 31.35
[leo@leo-arch budget]$ ./ 5
Amount spent today: 8.46

Last 5 days average: 11.54 EUR

Last 5 days by category
Groceries 29.74
Transport 17.06
Food 10.9
[leo@leo-arch budget]$

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