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command line tool for organizing finances

Project description

Build Status Coverage Status


A command line application (possibly interacting with a Flask webservice) that helps you administering your daily expenses and earnings.

The financeager backend holds a database containing ‘periods’. A period consists of entries of a certain year.

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.


You’re currently on the master branch which is under active development.


From PyPI package

pip install financeager

From source

Create a virtual environment

mkvirtualenv --python=$(which python3) financeager

Clone the repo

git clone


cd financeager
make install

Alternatively, you can omit the first step and install financeager to ~/.local with (requires pip3)

pip3 install . --user


You’re invited to run the tests from the root directory:

git clone
cd financeager
make test


Client-server or serverless mode?

You can run financeager as a client-server or a serverless application (default). This can be controlled by a configuration file (default path is ~/.config/financeager/config, however you can specify a custom path by passing it along with the -C/--config command line option).

In either mode, you can configure frontend options, that is the name of the default category (assigned when omitting the category option when e.g. adding an entry) and the date format (string that datetime.strptime understands; note the double percent).

Default config:

default_category = unspecified
date_format = %%m-%%d

To run financeager as client-server application, specify a server-sided configuration like this

name = flask

host =

You can launch the server by running python examples/ (pass --help for more info) or by wrapping the app = fflask.create_app() in a WSGI.

On the client side, you want to put something along the lines of

name = flask

host =
timeout = 10
username = foouser
password = S3cr3t

This specifies the timeout for HTTP requests and username/password for basic auth, if required by the server.

Command line client

usage: financeager [-h] {add,get,rm,update,copy,print,list} ...

optional arguments:
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit

                        list of available subcommands
    add                 add an entry to the database
    get                 show information about single entry
    rm                  remove an entry from the database
    update              update one or more fields of an database entry
    copy                copy an entry from one period to another
    print               show the period database
    list                list all databases

On the client side, financeager provides the following commands to interact with the database: add, update, rm, get, print, list, copy.

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

> financeager add burgers -19.99 --category Restaurants
> financeager 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.

Add recurrent entries using the -t recurrent flag (t for table name) and specify 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.

> financeager add rent -500 -t recurrent -f monthly -s 01-01 -c rent

If not specified, the start date defaults to the current date and the end date to the last day of the database’s year.

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:

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

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

> financeager rm 1

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

> financeager rm 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)

> financeager print

               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

The aforementioned financeager commands operate on the default database (named by the current year, e.g. 2017) unless another period is specified by the --period flag.

> financeager add xmas-gifts -42 --date 12-23 --period 2016

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

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

Detailed information is available from

> financeager --help
> financeager <subcommand> --help

More Goodies

  • financeager will store requests if the server is not reachable (the timeout is configurable). The offline backup is restored the next time a connection is established. This feature is only available when running financeager with flask.


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


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

+--------+   +-----------+   +---------+
| config |-->|    cli    |<->| offline |
+--------+   +-----------+   +---------+
                 ¦   Λ
                 V   ¦
|             communication           |
                                           +---------+     +---------+
  [pre-processing]      [formatting]  <--  |  model  | <-- | entries |
                                           +---------+     +---------+
        ¦                     Λ
        V                     ¦

+--------------+   |   +--------------+
| httprequests |   |   |              |     FRONTEND
+--------------+   |   |              |
================   |   |              |    ==========
+--------------+   |   | localserver  |
|    fflask    |   |   |              |     BACKEND
+--------------+   |   |              |
|  resources   |   |   |              |
+--------------+   |   +--------------+

        ¦                     Λ
        V                     ¦
|                server               |
        ¦                     Λ
        V                     ¦
|                period               |

Known bugs

  • see issues
  • Please. Report. Them.

financeager features

Future features

  • [ ] experiment with urwid for building TUI or remi for HTML-based GUI
  • [ ] support querying of standard/recurrent table with print
  • [ ] return element data as response to add/copy/update request
  • [ ] support passing multiple elements IDs to update/rm/copy/get (maybe together with asynchronous HTTP requests)
  • [ ] extended period names (something along 2018-personal)
  • [ ] support print at date other than today

Implemented features

  • [x] recurrent entries
  • [x] stacked layout for print
  • [x] detect category from entry name (category cache)
  • [x] allow filtering of specific date, name, etc. for print
  • [x] use flask for REST API
  • [x] always show entry ID when printing
  • [x] specify date format as MM-DD
  • [x] validate user input prior to inserting to database
  • [x] support get command
  • [x] support ‘updating’ of entries
  • [x] sort print output acc. to entry name/value/date/category
  • [x] refactor config module (custom method to intuitively retrieve config parameters)
  • [x] copy command to transfer recurrent entries between period databases
  • [x] support specifying custom flask host/config with all cli commands

Discarded feature ideas

  • select from multiple options if possible (e.g. when searching or deleting an entry): breaks the concept of having a single request-response action. Instead, the user is expected to know which element he wants to delete (by using the element ID) and can give a precise command

Developer’s TODOs

  • [x] refactor TinyDbPeriod (return Model strings)
  • [x] improve documentation (period module)
  • [x] create Python package
  • [x] set up Travis CI
  • [x] drop PyQt dependency for schematics package
  • [x] allow remove elements by ID only
  • [x] specify CL option to differ between removing standard and recurrent element
  • [x] refactor entries module (no dependency on schematics package)
  • [x] consistent naming (recurrent instead of repetitive)
  • [x] increase code coverage
  • [x] refactor period module (no use of CONFIG_DIR)
  • [x] refactor some modules (e.g. split fflask and server)
  • [ ] use marshmallow package for keyword validation in period and webservice
  • [ ] use logging module instead of print

Roadmap for release of version 1.0

This requires some restructuring of the software architecture. Motivation and goals are outlined below.

Status quo

  • module functionalities and responsibilities particularly overlap
  • also apparent in test code: no clear distinction between integration and unit tests


  • three separated top modules: core, backend, client
  • responsibilities:
    1. core:
      • constants
      • configuration (maybe move to client)
      • exceptions
    2. backend:
      • interfaces (localserver, fflask)
      • REST API (resources)
      • database management (server, period)
    3. client
      • CLI
      • communication pre-/post-processing
      • HTTP requests
      • response formatting (entries, model)
  • consistent, modular test structure
  • pave way for terminal user interface


  • [ ] remove TinyDB usage from model and entries
  • [ ] remove period and fflask imports from httprequests
  • [ ] remove entries import from period
  • [ ] remove httprequests import from config, consider client-side-only config (if flask is to be used, the webservice is started with a script that allows configuring the host port. The service name is redundant)
  • consider validation at CL interface
  • consider Server._get_period creating a new table if not existing (maybe 404 instead)
  • consider more fine-grained error-handling in period (distinguish between errors during validation and about non-existing elements)
  • [ ] integration test of cli module
  • [ ] move data dir to ~/.local/share/financeager
  • [ ] format and lint code


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 and general Python development.

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

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