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I started doing double entry bookkeeping with GnuCash to keep track of my personal finances, down to the penny. I think I am familiar with most of the basics of double entry bookkeeping, I took a course in it many years ago and read the GnuCash manuals. I have as assets my bank account and "cash in wallet", and many expense accounts for food, gas, water, electricity, clothes, transport/commuting and so on.

How can I use GnuCash to answer questions like:

  1. How much money have I spent from year/month/day to year/month/day? I.e. I want to know how much money I have spent in total today, or last week, and so on.
  2. How much money have I spent from year/month/day to year/month/day from the account called "cash in wallet"? I.e. I want to know how much money I have spent in total today, or last week, and so on, only from a given account.
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There are several reports under the Reports>Income & Expenses menu which could be useful.

  • Cash Flow - shows, for a particular set of accounts, where incoming and outgoing money from those accounts came from and went to.

  • Expense BarChart/PieChart - shows top N expenses.

  • Income Statement (also called Profit & Loss) - shows all incomes and expenses for the time period.

Each of these reports have an options dialog which will let you change the period that they are reporting on and the accounts to be included in the reports.

The Cash Flow report sounds particularly useful for your second scenario.

  • I could get the information by modifying the Cash Flow report as suggested. However, I find this method very convoluted to just answer a casual/quick inquiry, so I do not accept this as the final answer just yet, in the hope that someone knows a more immediate method. Basically I just want to know: How much money have I spent today? Last Tuesday? Three weeks ago? And things like that, and modifying the reports seems to be quite difficult just for that. If there's no more immediate answer in a few weeks, I'll accept this one. – user24385 Jan 19 '15 at 13:40
  • There is also a general Find utility "Edit>Find" but probably has the same overhead as running & modifying a report (and wouldn't give you a total amount, just all the transactions). – verdammelt Jan 19 '15 at 14:55

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