Skip to main content

Actual Budget Vision

Vision statement: To produce a delightful budgeting tool that meets you wherever you are in your financial journey.

Mission statement: Our mission is to enable everyone to have the opportunity to:

  • take charge of their finances
  • find financial peace of mind
  • actively engage in dreaming big and achieving your goals

Design principles: Actual is designed using the following principles:

  • Local-first
  • Open
  • Sleek and clutter-free
  • Stable
  • Reliable
  • Secure
  • Privacy focused
  • Community-driven


Actual is local first, meaning that the database that powers Actual Budget, and ultimately your budget, lives on your device. We don't store it on a server. Now you're wondering, what 'actual server' is for? Well, that allows you to sync changes to your budget on different devices. To do this, only the changes to the budget are sent to the server. The server stores the messages, and the client pulls down the change(s).


Actual is Open Source utilizing the MIT license. The code is open for anyone to see, view, and contribute. You own your data; you can do whatever you want with it.

User Interface

The sleek and clutter-free user interface is simple to use for beginners and comes packed with a robust 'undo' system and progressive discoverability for advanced users. The responsive interface adapts to the screen size you are using to give you the best experience for that device. A desktop computer will have the full desktop experience designed to be used with a keyboard and mouse, while a tablet and phone will have an experience ideal for using touch screens. A native mobile app, often found in app stores and marketplaces, is not planned.

Stable, Reliable, Secure.

The contributors to Actual Budget don't just write the program; they USE the program.  We all have a vested interest in maintaining reliability, security, and stability. If issues are found, bug reports are welcomed so that issues can be remedied immediately.

Privacy Focused

Actual has no trackers, and unless explicitly enabled, no third-party access is allowed.


Actual Budget, being community-driven means that development is driven by the community and the maintainers.

Primary Objectives

  • Full visibility into one's budget

    • The user owns and controls their data now, and in the future
    • View the current status and trends in a budget
    • Keep track of your priorities and goals, whether they are long term or short term.
  • Clean and fast user experience

    • Fully usable across all devices, offline and online
    • Multiple budgets, each one reachable by multiple devices
    • Accessible application

Third-party use

Actual is MIT licensed which allows for the use of the software without restriction. The Actual Budget project and community appreciate any submissions from third-party contributors to enhance and improve our amazing project. This appreciation extends to any single volunteer or company-sponsored participants alike. Let's continue to make Actual Budget the best personal finance tool together!