In this book, we'll work on building your personalized "multi-banking" application powered entirely using Python and a bunch of plain text files.
The Python ecosystem contains an excellent package called Beancount which provides the foundations for working with money. At its core, Beancount provides a collection of command line utilities to manage and perform different kinds of analysis on financial transactions stored in plain-text files.
We'll take Beancount as the starting point to build your multi-banking application. This application will act as the single point of contact for your entire financial history, and:
- store every single piece of data from all your bank accounts (only on your machine)
- act as the the first point of contact if you want to look up anything related to your finances (questions like "How much did I make from that consulting work last month?" or "What did I spend on that vacation last year?")
- import new financial transactions from your bank accounts on a continuous basis
- use customized tools to interact with your financial ledger, analyze your past financial behavior, show your spending patterns, income sources, current liabilities, and more
The final result will be a Git repository on your computer where you can view / edit everything related to your money.
You might be thinking: aren't there a ton of applications on the market which you can use to manage your finances with ease?
Yes, there are. But most of them are either closed-sourced or store your data on the cloud (or both).
We will do things differently. We will focus on putting something together using open-source technologies. We will make sure that your data never leaves your computer, and that you are in control at all times. Your financial data is one of the most private data you own. No one else should have access to it, except you.
Have you ever wanted to run a SQL query on your bank transactions? By the end of this book you most definitely will.
We'll approach the subject from a developer perspective and learn about topics including: plain-text accounting, double-entry bookkeeping, Beancount, maintaining your financial records in a secure git repository, and more.
All this, without ever leaving the comfort of your favorite
$EDITOR or the