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command line tool for organizing finances

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An application that helps you administering your daily expenses and earnings using single-entry book-keeping. Interact via the command line interface fina.

The financeager backend holds databases (internally referred to as 'pockets'). A pocket contains entries for a certain project.



Who is this for?

You might be someone who wants to organize finances with a simple software because you're tired of Excel and the like. And you like the command line. And Python.


The project is actively developed. Expect things to break - e.g. the command line interface, the REST API definitions, ... - before version 1.0.0 is released.

If you have been using the app before v0.25.0.0, please run the convert-periods-to-pocket command to adjust for the new database structure. See the Changelog and #52 for details.


From PyPI package

pip install --user --upgrade financeager

Using pipx

If you're using Python >= 3.6 and have pipx installed, install financeager into an isolated environment via

pipx install financeager


You can use financeager as a client-server or a serverless application (default). The user interacts via the command line interface (CLI).

Serverless mode

The user request invoked from the CLI is passed to the backend which opens the appropriate database, processes the request, closes the database and returns a response. All communication happens within a single process, hence the label 'serverless'. The databases are stored in ~/.local/share/financeager.

This option can be stored in the configuration file via

name = local

In vanilla financeager, this is little relevant since it is the default anyways.

Client-server mode

Install the financeager-flask plugin.

In any case, you're all set up! See the next section about the available client CLI commands and options.

Command line interface

The main CLI entry point is called fina.

usage: fina [-h] [-V] {add,get,remove,update,copy,list,pockets} ...

optional arguments:
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  -V, --version         display version info and exit

                        list of available subcommands
    add                 add an entry to the database
    get                 show information about single entry
    remove              remove an entry from the database
    update              update one or more fields of an database entry
    copy                copy an entry from one pocket to another
    list                list all entries in the pocket database
    pockets             list all pocket databases

On the client side, financeager provides the following commands to interact with the backend: add, update, remove, get, list, pockets, copy.

Add earnings (no/positive sign) and expenses (negative sign) to the database:

> fina add burgers -19.99 --category Restaurants
> fina add lottery 123.45 --date 03-14

Category and date can be optionally specified. They default to None and the current day's date, resp. financeager will try to derive the entry category from the database if not specified. If several matches are found, the default category is used.

The date format can be anything that the parser module of the python-dateutil library understands (e.g. YYYY-MM-DD, YY-MM-DD or MM-DD).

Add recurrent entries by specifying the frequency (yearly, half-yearly, quarterly, bi-monthly, monthly, weekly, daily) with the -f flag and optionally start and end date with the -s and -e flags, resp.

> fina add rent -500 -f monthly -s 01-01 -c rent

By default, the start date is the current date. The entry exists for infinite times, i.e. the end date is evaluated as the current date at query runtime.

Did you make a mistake when adding a new entry? Update one or more fields by calling the update command with the entry's ID and the respective corrected fields:

> fina update 1 --name "McKing Burgers" --value -18.59

Remove an entry by specifying its ID (visible in the output of the list command). This removes the burgers entry:

> fina remove 1

This would remove the recurrent rent entries (ID is also 1 because standard and recurrent entries are stored in separate tables):

> fina remove 1 --table-name recurrent

Show a side-by-side overview of earnings and expenses (filter by date/category/name/value by passing the --filters option, e.g. --filters category=food to show entries in the categories food)

> fina list

               Earnings               |                Expenses
Name               Value    Date  ID  | Name               Value    Date  ID
Unspecified          123.45           | Rent                1500.00
  Lottery            123.45 03-14   2 |   Rent January       500.00 01-01   1
                                      |   Rent February      500.00 02-01   1
                                      |   Rent March         500.00 03-01   1
Total                123.45           | Total               1500.00
Difference         -1376.55

It might be convenient to list entries of the current, or a specific month only (example output is omitted):

> fina list --month
> fina list --month January
> fina list --month Dec
> fina list --month 7
> fina list --month 03

The aforementioned financeager commands operate on the default database (main) unless another pocket is specified by the --pocket flag.

> fina add xmas-gifts -42 --date 12-23 --pocket personal

Copy an entry from one database to another by specifying entry ID and source/destination pocket:

> fina copy 1 --source 2017 --destination 2018

Detailed information is available from

> fina --help
> fina <subcommand> --help

You can turn on printing debug messages to the terminal using the --verbose option, e.g.

> fina list --verbose

You can find a log of interactions at ~/.local/share/financeager/log (on both the client machine and the server).

More on configuration

Besides specifying the backend to communicate with, you can also configure frontend options: the name of the default category (assigned when omitting the category option when e.g. adding an entry). The defaults are:

default_category = unspecified

The CLI fina tries to read the configuration from ~/.config/financeager/config. You can specify a custom path by passing it along with the -C/--config command line option.

More Goodies

  • Command line tab completion is provided by the argcomplete package (for bash; limited support for zsh, fish, tcsh). Completion has to be enabled by running activate-global-python-argcomplete. Read the instructions if you want to know more.


Want to use a different database? Should be straightforward by deriving from Pocket and implementing the _entry() methods. Modify the Server class accordingly to use the new pocket type.

Plugin support

The financeager core package can be extended by Python plugins. The supported groups are:


Available plugins are:

All plugin types

For developing a plugin, create a plugin package containing a file:

from financeager import plugin

class _Configuration(plugin.PluginConfiguration):
    """Configuration actions specific to the plugin."""

and implement the required PluginConfiguration methods. Finally, specify the entry point for loading the plugin in

        <group_name>: <plugin-name> = <package>.main:main,
        # e.g.
        # "": "fancy-service = fancy_service.main:main",

The plugin name can be different from the package name. The package name should be prefixed with financeager-.

Service plugins

For developing a service plugin, extend the aforementioned file:

# fancy_service/ in the fancy-service package
from financeager import plugin, clients

class _Configuration(plugin.PluginConfiguration):
    """Configuration actions specific to the plugin."""

class _Client(clients.Client):
    """Client to communicate with fancy-service."""

def main():
    return plugin.ServicePlugin(

Provide a suitable client implementation.

Done! When the plugin is correctly installed, and configured to be used (name = fancy-service), financeager picks it up automatically. The plugin configuration is applied, and the plugin client created.


The following diagram sketches the relationship between financeager's modules. See the module docstrings for more information.

      | plugin |
       ¦      ¦
       V      V
+--------+   +-----------+
| config |-->|    cli    |
+--------+   +-----------+

                 ¦   Λ                     +---------+     +---------+
[pre-processing] ¦   ¦  [formatting]  <--  | listing | <-- | entries |
                 V   ¦                     +---------+     +---------+

|                clients              |

        ¦                     Λ
        V                     ¦

|                                     |     FRONTEND
|                                     |
|            localserver              |    ==========
|                                     |
|                                     |     BACKEND

        ¦                     Λ
        V                     ¦
|                server               |
        ¦                     Λ
        V                     ¦
|                pocket               |

Known bugs

  • see issues
  • Please. Report. Them.


Always welcome! Clone the repo

git clone
cd financeager

Create a virtual environment

python3 -m venv .venv
source .venv/bin/activate

Install development dependencies

make install

You're all set for hacking! Please adhere to test-driven development, if possible: When adding a feature, or fixing a bug, try to construct a test first, and subsequently adapt the implementation. Run the tests from the root directory via

make test

If you added a non-cosmetic change (i.e. a change in functionality, e.g. a bug fix or a new feature), please update accordingly as well. Check this README whether the content is still up to date.


  1. Tag the latest commit on master by incrementing the current version accordingly (scheme v0.major.minor.patch).
  2. Run make release.
  3. The package is automatically published to PyPI using a Github action.


This is a 'sandbox' project of mine. I'm exploring and experimenting with databases, data models, server applications (Pyro4 and flask), frontends (command line, Qt-based GUI), software architecture, programming best practices (cough) and general Python development.

Feel free to browse the project and give feedback (comments, issues, pull requests).

Related projects

financeager aims to be simple in functionality. A related command-line tool is expenses.

For more holistic management of your financial affairs you might consider double-entry book-keeping. The following projects provide mature support:

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