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Half-full cup icon Budgeter

Personal budgeting assistant

Budgeter is a program designed to help individuals keep track of their money. It can always tell you how much money you have available now, as long as you enter all your transactions into it. In addition, it can summarise your past transactions to show you how you have spent your money up until this point. It allows you to categorise money and transactions to help make sense of expenses and to plan.

If you have any questions about the software or would like some help, please don't hesitate to browse the wiki or make a request. Budgeter is open-source software under the GNU General Public Licence version 2. This means you are free to modify and share it. The source code is available for perusal or as an archive.

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Purposes of Budgeter

Daily records

The price of up-to-date information is the effort that it takes to enter in all your transactions. Ideally, you should enter the transactions every day, which can be tiresome when using spreadsheets or double-entry accounting. As a solution, Budgeter is designed to be as quick and easy to use as possible. The idea is that if the burden of accounting can be taken away, then accounting can be done every day.

A focus on future planning

The focus of Budgeter is mostly in future. It keeps a real-time running balance of your money so that you always know where you stand. This is different from the traditional way of accounting, but it is useful for individuals who need to make decisions all the time about what they can afford. For example, if you know that you still have R 1000 to spend on food for the next two weeks, then you should try not to spend more than R 500 this week. However, if you were to spend R 200 today, you would have to adjust your allowed amount for each of the two weeks. To do this, you would look at how much money you still had available: R 800.

A focus on saving

Another feature of Budgeter is that it lets you divide your money into conceptual categories. The idea is that you won’t spend money on one category that you are trying to save up for another purpose. You can even make some categories invisible to remove the temptation to use their allocated money.

A simplistic example is the division between food and clothing. If you spend most of your income food, but know that you also need to save up for new clothes every now and then, you can allocate some money every month to clothing. Then you can spend the rest on food without worrying, as long as you keep track so as not to spend more than is categorised for food.

A record for future reference

When you start keeping records, you may not know yet how much will be needed for some category for the first month. Budgeter can help with this kind of decision after a while, because you can use the program to look at how much you spent in past months. The record tells you how much you spent in each of your categories. It can summarise the information for any time period in the past.

What Budgeter is not

Budgeter is not a professional or corporate accounting program. It doesn’t follow established standards, and it doesn’t understand taxes. (That means all incomes are assumed to be after tax, and all expenditures are assumed to include tax.) Budgeter is meant for personal use. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if you found Budgeter useful for some planning functions in a small business.

Budgeter is not well-tested in multi-user environments and could conceivably lose data if two people try to open the same file at the same time. This is not my intention, however, and I would appreciate it if you were to report bugs like that, and exactly how the mistake occurred. Then I’ll try to fix the bugs.


Budgeter takes time and energy to develop and maintain, so please consider paying for your copy of the software; especially if you find it helps you save money. Although you may use Budgeter without paying for an indefinite period, your payment would be appreciated.

Please use one of the secure buttons below to pay. You can pay in US dollars with PayPal (5 $) or in South African Rands with PayFast. The PayFast button wil allow you to pay R 50, which is roughly 6 US dollars.

If you have any queries, please contact me at: richarddonkin at