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    I wish there were better support for envelope-based budgeting with plain text accounting, à la YNAB. I know there’s a way to do it with ledger’s virtual accounts, but it’s kinda clunky.

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      It certainly is clunky! I don’t have a solution here but I set it up with virtual accounts in hledger and I almost always need a cheat sheet to actually operate it.

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        By “virtual accounts” do you mean accounts which you’re manipulating entirely through virtual postings?

        I’ve been doing envelope budgeting with hledger for years where my envelopes are subaccounts of my bank accounts. No virtual postings at all and hard to mess up.

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          Yes, my budget accounts are not parented under a specific real account, because my real spending against budgets does not map nicely to just one real account per budget category. From what I remember I have budget transactions “triggered” by real transactions to balance.

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        YNAB just announced another price increase– I wouldn’t be surprised if folks are even more motivated to make a usable FOSS alternative now.

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        As with most Python packages, getting started is as easy as creating a virtual environment and running pip install beancount.

        Just be aware that this installs beancount 2, while beancount 3 is a currently ongoing rewrite, with many parts in C++ and a not completely backwards-compatible design, see https://beancount.github.io/docs/beancount_v3.html

        (just a happy beancount user, not a developer. So I might be misunderstanding)

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          No you’re absolutely right. This targets the stable version which at this time happens to be v2.

          As much as I don’t like breaking changes, I’m kind of curious about the v3 release. The authors seemed to have planned changes to the ingestion framework as well. Have you had a chance to look into the planned changes?

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            The authors seemed to have planned changes to the ingestion framework as well. Have you had a chance to look into the planned changes?

            No, not really, sorry. I am personally not using too many advanced features of beancount itself, just rather simple journals with a few tags. I am currently using a third-party tool for ingestion, not sure how that will work with v3: https://github.com/jbms/beancount-import

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          The biggest thing I want is multi account balance overview. Something like Mint or Personal Capital but not selling data. I tried YNAB but the budgeting info got in the way of the account overview, and sync wasn’t great. I guess I just need to bite the bullet and write balance scrapers.

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            It you’re interested in that, but don’t want to deal with text files, firefly-iii is a nice self-hosted system with the same capabilities.

            Unfortunately I found the bank export to always have some issues: repeated unique identifiers in ofx, minutes instead of month in the date, broken CSV if the description contains a number, and many many others. Of my last 4 banks none of them could export my transactions correctly. And writing importers to fix the those issues is either a pain or impossible. Maybe one day ofx feeds will be finally usable for the general public, but at this point I’m starting to think at least some are broken on purpose.

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              I am using ledger-cli. I tried FF3 but doesn’t support multiple currencies or - IIRC - stocks.

              Not saying FF3 is not amazing, but doesn’t have the flexibility, capabilities and community established text-based accounting systems have.

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                It supports multiple currencies, but not stocks (https://github.com/firefly-iii/firefly-iii/issues/1404#issuecomment-386080664) However if you need only very basic support (no price querying, etc.) you can use stocks as a new currency. It works ok for simple long term investing.