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I previously asked how to use Gnucash category structure for funds distributed across multiple bank accounts and am now thinking gnucash just can't do what I need, or even if it can maybe others can too, so lets ask the same thing without prescribing the tool:

I need to get these virtual account / category totals, on demand:

-Savings........................... $20,000.00
  -House Renovations............... $15,000.00
  -New bikes....................... $ 2,500.00
  -Vacation........................ $ 2,000.00
  -Other........................... $   500.00

From the funds in these real accounts:

-Some Bank......................... $20,000.00
  -Savings Account................. $10,000.00
  -TFSA Account 1.................. $ 5,000.00
  -TFSA Account 2.................. $ 5,000.00

Is there any consumer or home user oriented software that can do this? how?

I much prefer desktop programs over hosted web services, open source over proprietary, and inexpensive over expensive, though anything which can actually do the job should be mentioned. As for OS, my personal prediliction is Windows > Linux > Mac, but as with type, anything that works is fair game.

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this is close to the spirit of Q#3 in Should I have separate savings accounts for various savings goals? –  matt wilkie Jan 4 '13 at 7:43
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3 Answers

You can create cash accounts within Quicken. These accounts are virtual. You can move money between the cash accounts so that you can track saving towards a multiple purposes. Some people have used this to emulate the envelope system of budgeting.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

In the related Should I have separate savings accounts for various savings goals? I discovered the open source Budgeter courtesy of Richard Donkin. Budgeter accomplishes my aim with a minimum of fuss, and I have found it to be quite usable despite the author's self deprecating comments to the contrary. The chart below was built in about 10 minutes, half the time it's taken to write this post.

Budgeter doesn't feature handy abilities like CSV/OFX importing or scheduled transactions, which would mean a fair bit of work for bringing in historical data, and it's expressly not designed for accounting or bookkeeping. However for the focussed application of tracking savings across multiple bucket categories and accounts I think it well worth evaluating.

Budgeter screenshot illustrating savings categories disbursed across multiple accounts

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I use the (gratis, libre) command-line program ledger for my personal accounts. It handles funds across accounts gracefully, through a feature called "Virtual Accounts". A transaction can add or subtract money from a virtual account, which need not balance with all the other entries in the transaction. Then it's just a matter of setting up reports to include or exclude these accounts.

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