Budgeting software


Which software are you currently using to track your spending, investment ?

Personally, I’m using an excel sheet, but to calculate investment return with dividend reinvestment it’s a nightmare. I will try Quicken

How to invest for my children?

so far I use:
google spreadsheets (excel is probably better) for investments.
postfinance “e-cockpit” for spendings and another spreadsheet for household shared expenses or cash payments.

I might try GNUCash soon but the interface looks years behind Mint or Quicken.

Let us know if Quicken works well for you :slight_smile:


I use KMyMoney and a spreadsheet. Unfortunately the import of data does not work well in my version so I have to enter exchange rates and actual values by hand.


I have tried quicken, however you can’t link swiss bank account with it.

At some point, I wonder if it’s not better to spend time on more interesting stuff than computing the exact return/net worth.


I have been using Quicken for about 20 years for personal finance and budgeting. There is currently a bug with the 2016 version and budgets (specifically paychecks not showing up properly for everyone). Not everybody has the problem but i do and many others do as well. I am too entrenched to make a change. I also use Quickbooks for my business. For both you can import data from the bank into the software.


I think you all know that use YNAB if you’ve read the blog from the beginning.
Although I love to automate things, I really like the fact to enter each transaction manually when you pay, and see its direct effect on your planned budget.

Some call it a burden, for others it’s discipline that keep you aware of what you spend.


PS: I sticked to the “Classic” version so far (vs. the new web one).


i tried the trial version of ynab. it looks cool, but i feel the functionality is basically that of any accounting software. only a little bit more modern, and all the motivation-relateed stuff is cool ofc.

however right now i dont see me swiching from gnucash^^


I’m still using a custom Google Sheet where I track my monthly performance (just keeping track of monthly balances and investments/divestments - I like being sure how things are being calculated, as opposed as using an opaque software package).
One thing I think is pretty valuable is being able to calculate my Savings Rate in a way that isn’t affected by my investments’ performance or exchange rates. Since those factors can make your SR vary wildly, I feel that this gives me a much better idea of how I’m actually doing in terms of spending discipline.


I use this Google Sheet:


I use now Google finance with the “Finance plus” plugin for Google chrome


Beancount for me - text-based accounting. Similar to Ledger, but cleaner and more hackable.


reiving an old thread^^
does any of your accounting softwares have the combination of the following features:

  • transactions between activa/passiva/expenses/earnings
  • multi currency support
  • transaction tags or cost centers: I’d like to tag a train ticket that i book as “mobility->train” costs (GA-calculation…) with the tag “holidays” such that this train ride together with all other holliday-tagged expenses (restaurants, museums, hotel,…) appears on an independant list.


All of those are easily possible in beancount for example

2018-01-25 Salary
  Assets:PostFinance  5000.00 CHF

2018-02-01 GA  #holiday
  Expenses:Travel  3000.00 CHF


cool, i guess i will check it out soon.
by any chance, does beancount support read-in of bank-account-transfer-export-files? do you have experience for postfinance?


No. But that takes like only a few lines of code, it’s all simple plain text files, that’s the beauty. The juicy part - matching transactions to your accounts hierarchy you would have to implement somehow yourself anyway


Beancount look so nice, I might just start budgeting.


May I shyly ask, why would anyone need a budgeting software? To discipline yourself? It sounds like a tedious task and a lot of work.

Personally I don’t set myself any total budget. I buy what I need, when I need. I just ask myself every time: do I really need this stuff? Can I but it cheaper? Recently I try to constantly remind myself, that if the time needed to reach the potential savings would be better spent at my actual work, I should forget about it. This way I don’t feel so much guilt when I think “oh my god, I spend 2000 CHF per year on a Putzfrau!”. I try to focus on the big wins and enjoy life.

As for calculating my budget, once a year I just have a look in my bank account at the total expenses to see if I’m on the right track.


there is many different approaches, no block & white :slight_smile:
for me for example, i dont have a budget but quite precisely follow my expenses. this way I feel rewarded each month wehn i know “this month i could could save these many francs!”


Hey Bojack,

you are fully right and myself I did not have a budget nor an accounting software for years and I managed to be (more or less) money efficient. What changed it is when I realised that the hidden fees of the bank was more important than my health+food+fuel+vacation budget all together. There are many advantages to using an accounting software:
It allows me to discriminate the cash flow from my job from other sources of cash flow (dividend and real estate).
It allows me to find very quickly all the electronic documents for example for tax reclaim.
It allows to understand the increase of wealth due to cash flow or to capital gain.
It allows to make very quickly reports about specific positions (insurances, fuel, vacations…)
I am using actually GnuCash and I am quite happy with it. Until recently GnuCash was even able to automatically retrieve the quotes from the main stock exchange but it is unfortunately not possible any more so easily as before due to Yahoo policy.


noo don’t sue them. It’s an open source project…

sorry i couldn’t resist. :smiley: