Recently I have been experimenting with personal finance software on Linux. The most popular program seems to be GnuCash. This would have been a good choice for me since I run Ubuntu with a Gnome desktop. I instead have chosen to use KMyMoney. It is packaged with the KDE desktop environment. Installation was fairly trouble free using the Synaptic package manager. Some features, such as help still give me issues, but I am slowly working them out.
The interface reminds me of Microsoft Money from the late 90’s. It is straightforward and besides the annoyance of double-entry bookkeeping, does a good job. I am sure I will end up liking double-entry the more I use it. KMyMoney does a good job of sugar coating the accounting, especially compared to GnuCash. I have been able to get most of my accounts into the program with little trouble. Online banking is not running smoothly with my institutions as of yet. This is not a big deal to me as I am trying to use the software to better see where my money is going. The reporting features of KMyMoney seem really great. After a few months of use I will share some of the reports it generates.
Compared to Money Manager Ex, another personal finance software application I have used, KMyMoney is superior. Though very similar in features, KMyMoney seems to work better and is more intuitive.
Besides my own wish to better examine how I spend my money I am hoping KMyMoney will fulfill my search for good software to use with students. Learning how to balance a check register is an important skill but with the abundance of debit cards not many students carry checkbooks or cash except for lunch money. Familiarizing students with software that allows them to track their spending, manage stock market research, and loans is a new skill-set that I believe will become vital for people in the new economy. New markets are emerging quickly allowing for people to put pockets of money in many different investment vehicles.
As a class project it would be interesting to provide a micro-loan and then track the repayments using software. The students will still learn the computations so they understand what is happening but it may provide additional engagement for students.
If you are running Linux and looking for personal finance software give KMyMoney a whirl.