FinanceFerret

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About

FinanceFerret is the working name for an (eventually) open source personal finance manager application currently being developed by Woozle.

Status

The original version was written in Microsoft Access 97 (VBA) around 2001, where it was working reasonably well (albeit with many rough edges). I have ported it to PHP/MySQL as a MediaWiki extension. The basic functions are now working and were usable at one point, though I think changes in the underlying libraries have caused some problems which now need to be fixed.

It is currently being updated to use the Ferreteria libraries. It needs a data redesign in order to be able to do account splits (the necessary data design was prevented by the UI constraints of Access 97).

I have done some preliminary work on /version 2, though that is on hold for now.

Goals

  • To avoid shortcomings in existing money manager software
  • To minimize the "setup curve", i.e. the amount of preparatory work needed before any useful amounts of data can be entered
  • To provide all basic functionality needed for the following:
    • Tracking and balancing one's bank accounts, credit cards, and other basic types of money accounts
    • Tracking debts and loans involving one or more other parties of varying levels of disorganization (they might or might not send you regular statements or even reliable itemizations)
  • To make data entry as painless as possible:
    • Easy identification of redundantly-entered transactions -- so you can Just Start Typing instead of worrying about where you left off last time
    • Deferred data massaging -- so you can Just Start Typing, and worry about assigning proper accounts and categories to things later; the program should keep track of incomplete data massaging so you can take care of it when you have time

Naming

Googling for "financeferret" did not turn up any apparent trademarks in ~2008. The domain name "financeferret.com" was registered in 2006, but as of 2008-08-17 the associated web site still showed it as "coming soon" -- possibly a domain squatter.

From this, I determined that the name is more or less available for this use. "financeferret.net" and "financeferret.org" were available as of 2008-08-17, but it didn't seem worth the trouble and expense to register them (enough just-for-the-name domains sitting around sucking $12/year out of my bank account already).

When I checked again on 2009-06-06, financeferret.com had become available, so I registered it... but later let the registration expire. As of 2011-09-27 it was still available, but it seems to have been registered by someone in Australia on 2015-04-17 (domain parked with no advertising).

As of 2017-07-08, it redirects to financeferret.com.au, a web site for "Finance Ferret Pty Ltd" which appears to be a trade name registered in Australia. The .org and .net domains remain available.

Concepts

Code