Finance Articles

Over the past few years I've written a number of posts about Ledger, a command-line accounting system. In a nutshell, when using Ledger you keep your financial records in a plain text file and then run reports using the ledger command line program.

Program your Finances: Command-line Accounting

All about my financial journey, from debt-ridden towards debt-free. More importantly, this is a very basic introduction to how to use ledger to keep track of your finances. This has been described as the best introduction to ledger out there.

Program your Finances: Reporting for Fun and Profit

Outlines a reporting system that I used for awhile to run queries against my ledger data that I couldn't with the native ledger program. Also introduces a small tool for generating realistic sample ledger data.

Program your Finances: Vacation Tracking

Describes a system that I hacked together in an afternoon before a recent vacation that let me keep track of vacation finances on the fly without a laptop.

Program your Finances: Automated Transactions

Gives a simple introduction to ledger's automated transactions and virtual accounts, two features that are great by themselves but let you do really interesting things when combined.

A Robust Reporting System for Ledger

Walks through a simple but very capable and extensible reporting system for ledger written in Ruby. Reports are simple ERB pages with embedded SQL and javascript.

If you're looking something that does some of this for you automatically, check out Personal Capital. I use it along side my ledger files to help me track investments across all of my accounts, as well as help plan my retirement.