ExMan – the super simple personal expense manager

Being a bachelor; I stay with my long term (college) friends. When my colleagues get to know we all guys happily live together, most of the time I hear a “wow”. And we have a cook who prepares delicious food [most of the time ;-)], and we have a lot of common expense together, plus occasional/frequent personal expense things.

And yes, I dislike “Accounting”, and I hate keeping track of pennies spilt here and there. At the end of the month, I usually am at a loss, and I don’t care too much either. But I know I had to bookkeep something, but I detest that old fashioned “double entry bookkeeping”. I don’t want to care what are my assets, what are my liabilities, what is the liquid cash I have, and where to debit/credit, general ledger, blah, blah…

And I’ve been using GNote, the note taking application, for the purpose. But it needed manual calculation in the end anyway.

Few days back I realized that I need something better as I don’t want to sum all those items, meanwhile exclude some personal expenses or money lent to some guy. And I decided that it’s time to create a shiny new, uber-simple expense manager (which knows only how to add and/or exclude some entries).

The design concerns, in the order of importance, were:

  1. Should be lightweight, and should consume less resources
  2. Minimal external dependency
  3. Maintainable, clean design and clean code

Which resulted in some of the design choices:

  1. No database backend, instead a simple file backing store. The file structure is very simple, hence items can be easily added/removed/modified with a text editor as well.
  2. Qt4 framework for development, which makes ExMan a cross platform application
  3. (At least close to) Model-View-Controller architecture

It was exciting to develop on Qt4 platform, QtCreator and QtAssistant are awesome. Had fun with Signals/Slots, QTableWidget, QCalendarWidget, setCheckedState, SelectionModel,… learn by exploring.

And, without further ado, I present to thee, ExMan, the super simple personal expense/accounting manager:


The Monthly Amount shows the total of all expenses, and the Excluded Amount shows the total of items excluded (personal items and other things).

ExMan source tar ball and RPM are available in Sourceforge.net project page.


9 responses to “ExMan – the super simple personal expense manager”

  1. There is already one available in fedora at least called PEM .. which has a nice command line interface and works perfect. Inspite of collaborating with already existing software .. why do people reinvent stuff is beyond my understanding

    .. between if you really want to write something (just not for the sake of writing) .. try to search around and see if somebody in community is already doing the effort ??


  2. Rakesh,

    I am aware of PEM. It has only command line option, but I -want- a gui option. I looked around, and I find nothing satisfactory (read that which best suites my requirements). As long as there is one user (me!), it doesn’t matter whether a thousand implementation exists.

    And yes – I write code because I love it.

  3. This is a great little app. I for one am quite glad you decided to invent a better wheel 🙂
    @sebin- Rajeesh has made it quite easy to install. Just download the tar ball, cd to the directory you downloaded it to and run “tar -xjf ExMan-0.2.1.tar.bz2” (x=extract from archive, j=bz2 compression, and f=files); cd into the newly created directory “ExMan-0.2.1” then follow Rajeesh’s instructions in the “INSTALL” file “nano INSTALL”. You can check to see if you have the required dependencies though synaptic or aptitude is your not comfortable using apt-cache search from the CLI.

  4. Sebin:
    Unfortunately I do not have a Debian/Ubuntu system. It is very easy to install on them though – as mentioned by biga, you first need to install “qt-devel” package (I think it is qt4-dev-tools in Ubuntu). After that, just follow the instruction in README file inside the source tar ball. Then run the executable “ExMan” found in that directory.

    Good to know that there are others who like ExMan!

  5. Hi Rajeesh,
    It seems that your little app is pretty good. I would like to try it.
    Two things – i would like to ask are:
    – Can I run it Windows
    – How to install in Ubuntu.

    hoping to hear from you asap.


  6. Ganga,

    – yes, you can run this in windows, provided it is compiled for windows (though I haven’t done it). And you need to have Qt for windows installed.
    – download the source tar ball (ExMan-0.2.1.tar.bz2), unpack it using the command “tar xjf ExMan-0.2.1.tar.bz2”, and then proceed as per the instructions in INSTALL file.

  7. […] ExMan release 0.3 November 24, 2009 Posted by Rajeesh in linux. Tags: deb, hacking, linux, rpm trackback I have been hindered by some reasons for sometime and couldn’t give much attention to many projects, let alone writing blog posts. Good news is that I resumed working on them again, and have been fixing bugs and adding new features to ExMan. […]

  8. There’s only one word for your app, SUPERB!!!! This is excatly what I need. Thanks man, you rock!! This is simply for personal use, and just as the definition, super simple and personal expense manager! Neat! 😉

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