A User's view of Hledger

Learning about hledger

Invisible windows

I have the job of cleaning windows where I live. Sometimes I even do the work.

Most of the time, however, I let the task slide. But when I do clean the windows, something magical happens: They become invisible. Previously, when I looked through them, my eyes would immediately notice the dirt. Once cleaned, however, the windows were free of any dirt that distracted my eyes. Instead, I saw only what was on the other side of the glass.

What does this have to do with hledger? Well, sometimes account names can be something other than transparent. For example, my account name for health insurance was problematic. Why didn’t I just create an account name “health insurance”? The problem was that my pay statement called it something else, and there would be confusion if I had a name in hledger that didn’t match my pay statement.

My solution for a new account name was to take the same name from the pay statement and to add “health insurance.” For example, assume that the pay statement called it “gobbledygook.”

Previously, the hledger account name was


I changed this to

expenses:gobbledygook (R’s health insurance)

Now the account name can be quickly identified with both the pay statement (gobbledygook) and what it means (R’s health insurance). Now, when I look at the account name, it’s like looking through a clean window. I see what is beyond the account name instead of being distracted by the account name itself.

Under construction

Don’t get too used to the current appearance of the website. I am still learning about WordPress, the new system I am using. So, as I learn more, I am sure that I will be making changes.