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How to make gnucash track something other that national currencies and securities, for example, DVD-RW Discs, books and other things I can lend to people. I want to know who owes me some discs and where should I return lent ones. They also can have "exchange rate" and can behave like a currency.

I tried to simulate them by creating a security named "DVDRW", but it adds more strange fields like "shares" or "price" I don't know to do with. And I can't just add a fake national currency named "DVDRW".

How is it better to track non-money with gnucash

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Do you have a specific reason, why you don't want to use other software tailored for this task? – Boldewyn Mar 10 '10 at 7:22
Because of I don't consider it a specific task. Still think that it is domain of accounting software, just a little special case. – Vi. Mar 10 '10 at 13:13
up vote 1 down vote accepted

GNUCash is the wrong application for what your trying to do here, it is more geared towards personal finance management and it'll be a big headache to get it to do what you want

(I'm going to assume, that since your using GNUcash,and your username is "vi" your probably a linux user, so I'll give you some linux applications)

What you probably need is a collection manager. There was an interesting article in issue 125 (december09) of Linux Format on these

Have a look at some of the following, they should allow you to build up your personal inventory of bellongings, such as DVDs, Books, Games etc, from there you can set the locations such as "with Johnny", or they may have dedicated features for tracking borrowing (not sure I haven't used myself)

  1. Data Crow
  2. GCStar
  3. Moll
  4. StuffKeeper
  5. Tellico

Either that or you could try to create your own spreadsheet to track things, maybe use google docs? Or if you have an iPhone, there are lots of personal inventory applications for free, some can sync with desktop applications

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They all look like some collections organizers. The current idea is not to organize some collection, but to track where, why and how many resources I spent. If the resource is money, then personal accounting software looks like the right tool. But why non-money things can't be tracked in the same place with the same tools if they behave like money? – Vi. Mar 10 '10 at 13:00
You should find that most CM's will allow you to create additional "data fields" on items, so you can add a "price" and "location", from there you can report on how much you are spending and who has the items. Either that or setup categories in GNUcash for DVD etc and bill items to those – user155695 Mar 10 '10 at 14:37

I would say don't reinvent the wheel. There are a ton of options for exactly what you are asking for via other programs. In fact there a few posts here about said options.

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"via other programs" means "I should use something other than gnucash"? What thing will you recommend?; "there a few posts here about said options" - how to find them? There were no related info in a list below the title at the time of question creation. – Vi. Mar 10 '10 at 7:16

You'll have to do some mental gymnastics and translate "shares" into "DVD-RWs." Price should probably reflect the price of acquisition. So the purchase will have the purchase price and quantity, and as you use

Your major impediment here is going to be multicurrency. If you want to make an account that's basically "stuff Joey owes me", you'll need one sub account for every kind of thing you intend to track. Moreover, GNUCash assumes your account currencies are fungible, so if you want to track who you lent your copy of Halo to, GNUCash will be woefully inadaquete.

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