The Five-Minute Ledger Update

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Red Street

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Apr 12, 2022, 2:53:30 PMApr 12
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Though I wrote the article series below as a Beancount user, it primarily focuses on the principles behind getting your import workflow to less than five minutes, and as such, is applicable to all PTA. So I thought I'd share it here.

Link to article series: The Five-Minute Ledger Update

Extract follows:
Problem: Updating Your Ledger is a Pain!

That’s right, updating your ledger with data from your financial institutions is the most laborious and frustrating part of personal finance. It doesn’t need to be so with Beancount (or other PTA), which is the point of this series of articles.

With a little bit of effort upfront, open source tooling can actually be way better than commercial solutions, and far more flexible and extensible.

Zero Effort Updates

The ultimate vision of this set of articles is to have your ledger updated automatically with zero effort from you. How close can we get to that vision? When I started out, each update would take hours of frustrating effort and reconciliation across 60+ accounts at institutions. So much so, I only did updates once in a few months. After understanding why, and developing solutions, I am now at a point where my ledger updates take well less than five minutes.

Bringing it down to under five minutes was critical to making personal finance productive and fun, because it lets me get away from tinkering, and enables me to focus on the actual finances.

Kent R. Spillner

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Apr 12, 2022, 4:27:01 PMApr 12
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> * Problem: Updating Your Ledger is a Pain! *
>
> *That’s right, updating your ledger with data from your financial

> institutions is the most laborious and frustrating part of personal
> finance. It doesn’t need to be so with Beancount (or other PTA), which is
> the point of this series of articles.*

Oh, wow, you have no idea how close this hits to home! ;)

I've *really* been struggling with this the past several months, so much so
that my New Year's resolution for 2022 is to automate as much of my ledger
workflow as possible.

This year is now over 1/4 finished but I'm nowhere close to even automating
imports for 1/4 of my accounts, so I'm *really* looking forward to reading
your articles. :D

Thank you in advance!


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