Part of New Year's resolutions is to keep better track of where my money is going.

I have a regular day job and I also do some freelancing work online , which is not related to my regular job. In my online job, I regularly take payments from several different companies, mostly in my paypal account.

I want to be able to track not only the income from my day job, but also from my freelancing work. I want to track which online company paid me, how much,etc. Any system which will let me use tags would be great (so I can assign any incoming payment the name of the company that paid me as a tag).

Also, I want to track the expenses from my freelancing job (web hosting, domains,etc.) but also my daily regular expenses. Again,any system that uses tags is a plus.

For expense tracking I was using texthog.com, which works great because I can assign tags to each expense and I can keep track easily. But unfortunately , texthog only does expenses and not income.

I tried mint, but I found it pretty confusing and honestly, overkill for what I want to do.

Any recommendations for a system that would satisfy my needs?


  • a Spreadsheet... Commented Nov 14, 2013 at 17:39

7 Answers 7


GnuCash is a free and open-source option.

  • GnuCash is awesome. Rather than using "tags", you can have sub-accounts for tracking different income sources and expense categories. GnuCash supports hierarchical accounts so you can have "Income" with sub-accounts for "main job", "freelance work" etc, possibly with further sub-accounts. Same for expenses. Commented Jan 13, 2011 at 2:16
  • 1
    Though I'm currently a fan of Mint, from what I read about GnuCash it looks like it is a much more in-depth personal finance manager. I read through this wiki entry from the site: wiki.gnucash.org/wiki/Setting_up_OFXDirectConnect_in_GnuCash_2 but can you give some personal experience on how well it works with online accounts? That's my (very) largest requirement for a finance application. Commented Jan 13, 2011 at 14:06

I second the vote for GnuCash. It runs on Linux, Windows, and Mac. It is double-entry accounting, so there is a little bit of a learning curve, but it sounds like you should probably have something a little more powerful than Mint for your situation.


I would suggest that you try ClearCheckbook. It is kind of like Mint, but you can add and remove things (graphs, features, modules) to make it as simple or diverse as you need it to be. It should be a workable solution for simply tracking both income and expenses, yet it will also provide extra features as needed.

There is a free option as well as a paid option with added features. I have not used ClearCheckbook before, but according to their features page it looks like you may have to upgrade to the paid option if you want to have complete tagging/custom field flexibility.


I love mint.com, it fulls in your information from all your accounts automatically, let's you know where you spend your money and what your net worth is.


You might check out Thrive. They're almost a carbon copy of Mint from the last I checked, but with some additional and (I think) more useful metrics. For instance, they seemed to help more to plan for future expenses in addition to keeping tabs on individual budgets the way Mint does.

Everything is automated in the same way as Mint, though I'm not sure their breadth is as far-reaching now since Mint was bought out by Intuit. Nevertheless, whenever I've had a question on Thrive, I shoot it to the devs and I get a very personal and courteous response within the day.

So it depends on what you're looking for: Mint can almost guarantee any US bank will be accessible through their site, however Thrive will work much harder to gain your favor.


In all honesty, the best solution I've come across is Microsoft's now defunct Money.


I wrote a small Excel-based bookkeeping system that handles three things: income, expenses, and tax (including VAT, which you Americans can rename GST). Download it here.

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