A User's view of Hledger

Learning about hledger

Paying attention to key accounts

One benefit of my using hledger is that I regularly pay attention to key accounts. This is because a few times per week I hand enter every transaction that took place in those accounts in hledger. As a result, I see what has just happened. If there is something that looks wrong, I can take action sooner rather than later.

This is much better than where I was a couple of decades ago, where I might not look at a monthly statement until several weeks after it arrived. This was not a good practice, and I once missed some unauthorized activity I could have caught much earlier. This was profoundly embarrassing! Thankfully, things are different now: My regular use of hledger makes sure that I am seeing things as they happen.

Is there a negative side to regularly looking at your accounts? First, you need to be consistent at it. However, I find that reconciling accounts is much easier a little bit at a time rather than waiting a long time and then trying to reconcile what happened over a long time span. So, being consistent is better than being inconsistent, at least for me.

Second, some people do better not looking at investment accounts on a day-to-day basis. If an investment goes down, it worries them. If they react by selling, they end up selling low (by definition, since the price just went down). Generally not a good outcome.

However, paying regular attention to key accounts works for me. Also, there are many more advantages to using hledger than just paying attention where I need to. And, even if it were just for the benefit of keeping close tabs on key information, I would be tempted to continue using hledger.