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I have been a developer for 14 years programming in Java, Groovy, Python, C#, C and several other languages. I currently work for The Babcock and Wilcox Corporation where I develop boring Enterprise Technology, specifically creating and managing customizations to a large proprietary J2EE application. In my spare time however, I work on all sorts of projects using many technologies from writing C for AVR microcontrollers to Java web based applications for automating my home. This blog is a way for me to show off my projects and how I built them.

This is my proposal to the Buddi project for adding functionality to the application to split transactions into multiple categories.

First I would start by adding a split button next to the category drop down box in the transaction entry area on an account form. If one is concerned that the split functionality is too complicated for some people then I may make it a preference similar to the reconcile and clear transaction boxes. The split button is really the only major change to any existing forms so if it was disabled by default then the application would behave exactly as it does now. I’m not saying it should be disabled by default, only that it is a possibility if you wanted to keep the application extremely simple by default.

Now lets say that you wanted to enter a transaction for the store Target. Now that is a store I always need to split transactions for. Let’s say that spend $15.53. I would just enter the transaction like normal except that when I get to the category drop down I would simply press the split button next to the drop down. A window would pop up with another category drop down in it and 15.53 next to the drop down. Let’s say that I spent roughly $10.00 on wine (I know… cheap wine) and $5.00 on a soccer ball. So I would select groceries as the category and then enter 10.00 over the 15.53….

when I press enter or tab or whatever then a new line would automatically be inserted below the existing line with another drop down and 5.53 in the amount window next to it (since this is what remains of the split). Now at this point I could simply choose a category and press save or if I had more splits to do I could continue this trend until I have assigned all money a category. You will not be able to press save successfully without assigning everything to a category.

After you press save and then press enter to complete the transaction then the transaction would simply show -split- (or something like it) to show that the transaction has been split.

Everything else pretty much works like normal. If I click on a category in the budget screen then the transaction would be listed just like normal in the list.

A couple of notes…

It would probably be nice to make a mouse over the split category field show a list of the assigned categories but this would only look right for 5 to 10 transactions or less.. This will probably cover 99% of people though and I would just display a … for people who feel the need to split a transaction more then 10 ways.

I put a line at the bottom of the list to display the amount remaining to be split. This line may be unnecessary or may be helpful to the user… I have to think about it still a bit.

There may be also a need to add a button that manually adds a new line to the transaction split window.