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Expense Tool Done Right

Yesterday I went looking for a simple tool to do expense tracking while I travel around, and found a great fit in Xpenser. You can post expenses over IM, SMS, email and through the web. When using email you can even attach a photo of the receipt, presumably taken with your phone.

All it expects is a text stream of the form “{activity} {amount} {tags}”, such as “Dinner with Jim 46.80 projectx”, which will (as you would hope) file an expense into the ProjectX report for $46.80 with the note “Dinner with Jim”.

They also have an open API. Since I needed to catch up on some expenses I decided that command-line entry would be easiest, so I whipped up this script (note: it doesn’t deal with consecutive spaces correctly):

#!/bin/bash
#
# this script writes an expense to xpenser.com
# change email address and password to match xpenser acct
LOGIN="address@email.com:password"
URLSTART="http://xpenser.com/api/simple/?q="
URLEND="&format=json"
Q=$1
curl -i -u $LOGIN $URLSTART${Q// /+}$URLEND

I named the command ‘xpens’, so now I just type xpens “Dinner with Jim 46.80 projectx” and I’m good!

Next, a search for a simple CRM app….

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