Misc thoughts of a lazy programmer

Since opening a chequeing account, I’ve maintained a simple text file in my home directory, that takes the format:

YYYY-MM-DD +nn.nn // comment about this credit
YYYY-MM-DD -n.nn // comment about this debit

where the entries track the actual flow of money, not what’s in the chequeing account and what’s on my person at any given time. That’s the banks and my job ;p. Basically from this file, I know when I’ve spent or received money, how much, and approximately why. A quick compile of that against my bank balance and petty cash results in an error check: if the sums don’t match, something didn’t make it into my records! Since the file provides an obvious backtrace, it’s trivial to check things against memory/receipts for anything that’s been missed.

Now being a lazy S.O.B. why should I manually write out the entries in vim and do the math in CL? Well, arguably I could just implement a program to do all this for me :-).

Some people utilise spreadsheets, which is more work than it needs to be, until they become more advanced or more thoroughly programmable, not to mention. Namely I’m to lazy to use things like =DATE() and argue locales when I could use something else. There is also a ton of financial software in the world, but reading the manual tends to take longer than writing it, and many are overkill.

My thoughts? Either a small local program or web app would be perfecto. Finding one of the latter should be as easy as using Google or taking 20 minutes to write one. Decisions, decisions :-).

The thing I have against “Canned webapps” that some business runs, is the lack of control: it’s impossible to hack the code quite the way as something home brewed.