This page covers several aspects of Simple Budget that may not fit with any of the other Help Topics covered on this website. They are in no particular order.


There are several things that may fall under “Files”.

  • Where are my data files kept? The data files and other important files are kept in a folder that is shown on the main Simple Budget window when it is opened. The data file that includes all of Simple Budget’s current month’s data is in a file called “CURRENT.SB”. It is opened automatically every time Simple Budget is opened and saved automatically every time Simple Budget is closed. See the highlighted area of the screenshot below. The actual location will vary depending on the operating system and method of installation. If Simple Budget is installed from the Ubuntu Snap Store, it will be similar to that shown here.
  • Other files in the “Data Folder” include:
    The monthly Archived budget files. They have a name format like 2019-07-July.SB (YYYY-MM-Monthname.SB)
    Simple Budget data backup files. They have a name format like CURRENT_BACKUP_20191223-193529.SB (CURRENT_BACKUP_YYYYMMDD-hhmmss.SB
    – A text file called “budget categories.txt” that has a list of possible Funds that you may use.
    Sample-fewer-funds.SB. This is a sample Simple Budget file with basic funds set up for you to use. See Sample Budget Files below for more details on how to use the sample budget files.
    Sample-many-funds.SB. Another sample Simple Budget file that has more funds set up for you to use. See Sample Budget Files below for more details on how to use the sample budget files.
    Sample-Budget-Funds-Worksheet.pdf. This file is used in creating your first spending plan (budget). Look HERE to find more on how to use this file to help you calculate where you spend all your money, and to make a plan.

Backup Files

Simple Budget backs up the “CURRENT.SB” data file every time CURRENT.SB is saved, which includes when Simple Budget is closed. Ten (10) backup files are kept at any time with the oldest being deleted when a new one is created. The backup files look like “CURRENT_BACKUP_20191223-193529.SB”. The format of the file name is “CURRENT_BACKUP_YYYYMMDD-hhmmss.SB” where YYYY = four digit year, MM = two digit month number, DD = two digit day number, hh = two digit hour format in 24 hour format, mm = two digit minute, and ss = two digit second the backup was created.

A Simple Budget backup file can be opened selecting “File” and “Open” on the main Simple Budget window. It will act exactly like your current file CURRENT.SB. However, Simple Budget will not allow you to save the file as normal. If you try to save the file by selecting “File” and “Save”, or by closing Simple Budget by the window icon “X”, the following message will be shown:

– If you select “No”, Simple Budget will close, even if you did not select to close Simple Budget. Neither the current Simple Budget data file “CURRENT.SB”, nor the backup file will be changed.
– If you select “Yes”, the current Simple Budget data file “CURRENT.SB” will be overwritten by the backup file, with any changes you have made to the backup file.

If the backup file is from a previous period, when you open it, Simple Budget will ask you to enter all of your transactions for the current period and then select “New Period”. If you need to recover your data file with this file, FIRST recover the file as instructed above by exiting Simple Budget and answering “Yes”, THEN open Simple Budget again. Simple Budget will now be using the recovered “CURRENT.SB” file. Here, you can perform the “New Period” command without having possible side effects on the system. See HERE about the “New Period” command.

You can save the backup file under a different name by selecting “File” and “Save As” menu commands on the main Simple Budget window.

*** NOTE ***
Simple Budget backup files are not the same as your computer system backup files. Always backup your computer. If you have a disk failure, the Simple Budget backup files will not be available for restoration. Always backup your computer data files regularly.

Archived Files

When a new month is initialized by the “New Period” command, the previous month’s file is archived in a file that looks like “2019-07-July.SB” with the format YYYY-MM-Monthname.SB where YYYY = the year, MM = two digit month number, and Monthname = the current month name. (The two digit MM, and the Monthname will be the same month. I included the month name just to make it more readable.) Archived files can be opened using selecting “File” and “Open”.

If Simple Budget Archive file is opened, you may view and print reports and charts, but you can not modify or add any information to the file.

The data in the archived files are used in the report “View Funds YTD Detail“. The report examines each file and accumulates the fund totals for each period found. If an archive file is not found, that month’s data will be skipped.

An archive file can be saved in a new file with a different name. The original file will still exist. The new file will still be an archived file and you will not be able to add or modify any data in it.

Sample Budget Files

Simple Budget includes two sample budget files.
Sample-fewer-funds.SB and

Either of these files can be opened in Simple Budget by selecting “File” and “Open” menu items on the main Simple Budget window. Each file contains ready made Simple Budget files that are ready to use or modify as you seem fit to do. You can play with them if you like to experiment with Simple Budget. When you open a sample budget file, the following notice will appear:

When you are finished “playing” with a sample budget file, you have two options with it. When you try to save the file, or by closing “Simple Budget” by the window “X”, Simple budget will give you the following options:
– Use the sample budget as your real budget and overwrite the Simple Budget file “CURRENT.SB” or
– Discard the changes and leave Simple Budget’s CURRENT.SB data file and the sample data file in their original form, with no changes to either.

The following notice will appear when you try to save the sample file, or close Simple Budget by using the window “X” control:

– Selecting “Yes” will overwrite your Simple Budget data file “CURRENT.SB” with the data you have in the sample budget file.
– Selecting “No” will discard any changes, give you a notice of what it is doing, and exit Simple Budget.

Fund Names

Funds in Simple Budget are “categories” of spending. The idea is to divide up your spending into different categories so you can keep track of how much money you spend or receive in each category.

Funds in Simple Budget can not have a “hierarchy” to them. That is, you can not have “sub-funds” of funds. As an example, Simple Budget does not have the capability to have a fund like “Housing”, then sub funds like “Rent”, “Electricity”, “Garbage”, etc.

In Simple Budget, I do the separate “categories” of categories by naming them appropriately. As an example, for Housing, I have funds like:
Housing – Electricity
Housing – Insurance
Housing – Internet
Housing – Phones
Housing – Gas
Housing – House Payment

You can do this same naming scheme anyway you like. I do it with “Auto – abcd”, “Giving – abcd”, “Income – abcd”, etc. Using names like this, each group of funds will be together when the reports and forms are listed alphabetically (Sorted by Fund).

Printing From a Snap Install

If you have installed the Linux version of Simple Budget through the Ubuntu Snap Store, you may have difficulties printing reports and charts.

If you can not print from Simple Budget, open a terminal window, copy the following command, and paste it in the terminal window and run it.

sudo snap connect simplebudget:cups-control :cups-control