Managing expenses made easy

Why Keep a Budget?

So that you know where your money goes
And to help you make financial plans

I came to Cluj in 2011, to college. 

The first month, I expected to have a lot of expenses. 

By the end of the second month:

Where's all my money?

I had X at the beginning of the month and now I have X - X = 0


I had to do something

An Excel spreadsheet with four columns: when, what, how much and where 

Version 1:

Not good Enough

Version 2:

Now including some reports!


... boring

and complicated


Version 3

Meet ReceiptBudget

A web app written in Python


  • Adding expenses by just taking a photo of the receipt
        • all the details, none of the work
  • Much more detailed reports
      • visualizing expenses on a map
      • slicing and dicing data based on month, day, shop
  • And backwards compatible with what I had until now


  • had to be custom built
      • receipts are space constrained, so the font is usually very squeezed
      • Tesseract (best free alternative) was hit-and-miss - sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't
  • I developed a custom tool just to gather all the data for training


  • the image is preprocessed 
      • straightened
      • edges removed
      • binarized
  • uses Random Forests for character segmentation and a linear SVM for character recognition
  • accuracy: ~85%
The letter data is then used to determine the content of each line using a naive, rule based system

Biggest bottleneck in the pipeline

  • if one digit in a date is not recognized correctly
      • "23/10/13"    =>   "S3/10/13"
  • if one letter in TOTAL is changed, how to tell it's not an item?
      • TOTA - brand of professional photography lamps

Built uSING:

All three free, open-source libraries for scientific 
computing, machine learning and computer vision

The Dashboard

The goal is to get some insight into spending patterns

If I know when and where I usually spend more money, I can start doing something about it

(at least be more careful when walking past my favorite shop)

THE map


The most expenses were at Kaufland  it's to be expected, it's a grocery store

But the second most expensive one is the area around my university

I often go to the nearby store to buy snacks

If I were to buy them somewhere else, I could probably save some money

The charts


  • I spend a lot of money on Mondays
    • very little on Saturdays
  • There is a peak at the beginning of the month
      • probably taxes and rent
  • I spend a lot of money in odd places 
      • the Unknown column, where I didn't write down the place of spending



to do 

  • deep learning for the OCR engine
        • Google's doing it, so it must be good
  • use a probabilistic classifier instead of a rule based one for understanding line contents
  • dashboard should make predictions, not just give reports

Results after experimenting with restricted boltzmann machines




By rolisz


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