iCal as budgeting tool?

Hi there,

I’m a newbie to these forums and AppleScripting generally, and would like to know your thoughts, and is possible, have some assistance on this :slight_smile:

With the recent acquisition of a house (and mortgage), furniture (and hire purchase payment) et al, I’ve been using iCal to manage my budget as it gives me a bird’s eye overview of what my financials are at any time in a given month. ‘Income’, ‘expenditure’ and ‘status’ are set as recurring events that display as dollar values, and I use colours to label them (green, red and blue, respectively).

‘Status’ is pretty much a running total that turns up whenever planned income or expediture occurs - so say I get paid on the 18th of November, we’ll see a green-coloured event with the sum in it, plus what I have in my bank account after income in blue beneath it.

The same applies to an expenditure - say an automatic payment that goes out a couple of days later - we’d see a red dollar value, and the status in blue beneath that.

Now, I think it’s a great way of getting a tally on my financials, as well as being able to do a forecast - at a glance, I can tell how much I should have in May next year. The issue of course, is that while income and expenditure are recurring events, I’m currently calculating the status by hand at every step!

Is there a way to automate this process by AppleScript? Assuming we begin with x in our bank account, and the script calculates the running tally by adding the green-labelled items, subtracting the reds, and displaying the current value in blue.

Is this possible? Your thoughts and help would be very much appreciated :slight_smile:

Have you considered using File Maker Pro, I would think it would be better suited for something of this nature?

Quicken also has a calendar features built-in. You might want to look in that direction also.

Quicken will put you bills in iCal but doesn’t seem to manage the entries beyond that. AFAICT :frowning:

Thanks for the suggestions guys - but my needs are simple, the iCal interface is great - and moving to something like Filemaker Pro or Quicken almost seems like nailing a fly with an elephant gun :wink:

I’m sure it’s as straightforward as this, syntax aside:

// define how much we have at the beginning
const intStartAmount 2500

// define variables for income, expenditure and status
var intIncome, intExpenditure, intStatus

// populate Status
intStatus = intStartAmount

for each <day that has an event>
   intIncome = <add all GREEN calendar items for the day>
   intExpenditure = <add all RED calendar items for the day>
   intStatus = (intStatus + intIncome) - intExpenditure

   //create new BLUE calendar event for this day
   <make a new event for this day, newEvent>

   //make intStatus the name of the BLUE event
   newEvent = intStatus

So, while we’re not updating on-the-fly, this would enable me to change things here and there, then run a script that would maybe:

  1. Clear all BLUE calendar events
  2. Update the running tally, as per above, for the next 12 months or so.

iCal’s coloured calendars are great, because really we can set aside three colours for budgeting capabilities, alongside ‘normal’ calendar events e.g. work, etc. - and choose to show/hide calendars as we wish.

Doesn’t this system appeal to anyone? :wink: Maybe I just think/work in an odd manner, lol.