Sharing reports with spouse etc

Have been using hledger to keep my books for some time now and feel I have a good working workflow, with minimal effort.

I am missing one thing though, and that is to figure out a good way of sharing the finances with my wife.

What I do now is that every time I have been entering transactions in the ledger (typically once a week) I generate a few reports and send them to her. It works but it takes away some ownership from her since she is not able to 'drill down' on the expenses without my assistance.

She is not very tech savvy and, at least for now, anything that would require her to need to learn completely new tools is out of the question.

Anyone that understands what I mean and have a well working system or any good ideas?

Have been thinking to have the ledger hosted on a NAS or similar and set her computer up so she could use hledger-ui to look at the figures, that might work.

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My wife has (details shared with her permission) hledger-web set up on her laptop, with some custom bash scripts she searches for by name (in Spotlight) to get it open in a browser tab. Actually two tabs, showing two hledger-web instances, since she keeps separate personal and business ledgers.

She uses hledger-web exclusively day to day, entering everything manually with the add form. She does what I might call single-and-a-half-entry bookkeeping, ie records the asset accounts she is spending from/depositing to, but does not bother reconciling those account balances with the bank.

At year end and around tax time there is another script she can run which produces reports for the year as HTML and CSV, and opens the HTML reports in browser tabs for review/printing.

This has been hassle-free, except that I’m responsible for migrating to new files at year end; I would like to improve the scripts to automate this/let her manage it completely. Also I occasionally help with bulk cleanups (less so now since enabling hledger-web’s edit form for her).

For shared expenses, we have a google spreadsheet for the current year, with one sheet per month, where each of us enters household transactions, copying the info manually from our personal ledgers. The spreadsheet has four broad categories (Car, Food, Home, Other), color codes our entries, and shows the totals/splits/due amounts clearly. This is an old system that works well but I would like to come up with a better one, which I think requires some hledger enhancements I may have written down somewhere.


Hi @parseaus, is she using Linux and do you think she’d be willing to navigate a handful of easy-to-remember shell commands?

No :slight_smile:

Oops, sorry, I thought I clicked Reply to OP :smiling_face_with_tear:

She is using Linux, but I think shell commands would be a bit overwhelming for her. Writing and using the browser is the only things she actually uses her computer for. Path of least resistance and the least amount of new things to learn is the way to go.

In terms of reports that we both can take a look at, I’ve had great success with hledger-balance-as-budget script from hledger-contribs, that allows me to generate the report that shows how current year-to-date compares to the same period last year. Something like this (mock up):

Budget performance in 2024-01-01..2024-03-05, converted to cost:

                                               ||                                     2024-01-01..2024-03-05 
 expenses:amazon                               ||   £380.40 [  57% of                               £663.90] 
 expenses:car:fuel                             ||   £156.26 [  55% of                               £282.77] 
 expenses:car:parking                          ||         0 [   0% of                                £20.20] 
 expenses:car:service                          ||   £701.85 [ 354% of                               £198.00] 

We can then sit together, eyeball it, and use hledger-ui to drill into categories that look weird/wrong/too large/too small.

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That’s interesting. I’m reminded of your hledger-combine-balances.hs also.

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Yeah, hledger-combine-balances is essentially the same idea, but I find hledger-balance-as-budget more user-friendly, as you immediately see increase or decrease against last year in %%