I'm asking for family finance intentionally, as opposed to personal finance.

Here's my use case. I have two small children, and I have opened (virtual) accounts for both of them. What I do is I set aside a certain amount of money for each, and I try to invest it as well - it will all be theirs when they turn 18.

Now, I could just open actual separate accounts, and invest them separately, but if I invest my money and theirs, this is potentially a 3x overhead as well as (up to) 3x the fees.

I want to do keep all the money in one account, but I want good software that would help me keep track of how much of it belongs to my children.

The software must be available on Mac OS (a web-app would be an option as well. I would almost prefer a web-app). I'm open to all options price-wise.

Any suggestions?

  • If your question was answered to your satisfaction, you can accept an answer by clicking on the check mark under the voting arrows. Sep 1, 2017 at 17:08
  • Location-dependant note: "I could just open actual separate accounts" - in some places, banks offer accounts for children that take exactly these concerns into consideration. At the same time, depending on the total final amount of money, check possible caveats such as gift tax if you keep the money on your account and physically transfer it to your children later. Sep 25, 2017 at 6:02

2 Answers 2


Create a sub-account for every children under your main account like this.

Assets:Bank:1st Child
Assets:Bank:2nd Child

When you set aside some money you transfer money to those sub-accounts.

    Assets:Bank           -$100
    Assets:Bank:1st Child   $50
    Assets:Bank:2nd Child   $50

Based on the balance of Assets:Bank:1st Child you know how much money you saved for your first child.

You can use ledger-cli or Finances to do that. Finances is based on the concept of ledger-cli, and I'm the developer of it.


The documentation for Ledger describes two ways to achieve this sort of thing in Ledger, one using virtual postings and one using transaction codes.

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