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Buckets provides a way to share your budget between devices, which can be summarized as:

  1. Create avenues for the devices to reach each other
  2. Pair the devices
  3. Expose a budget file from one device
  4. Save the exposed budget file on the other device

To manage sharing on Buckets Desktop:

  1. Open Buckets
  2. Open Preferences (macOS: ⌘ , — Window/Linux: Ctrl ,)
  3. Click Sharing

To manage sharing on Buckets Mobile:

  1. Open Buckets
  2. On the main screen, click Sharing

Make sure Allow new connections is enabled.


First, create an avenue for your devices to reach each other. Buckets currently supports the following avenues, which are described more below:

  1. Relay client
  2. Shared folder
  3. Local network (server and client)

Relay client

A Buckets Relay is a server that you can use to bounce your data from one device to another. The relay does not store any budget information and so requires that both devices be online and connected to the relay at the same time to communicate.

We host a public relay at Use of this relay may be revoked at any time for any reason, but we intend for it to be available. Since the code is open source, you are welcome to host your own.


You may authenticate to the public relay with your Buckets License, if you have purchased one. Or, if you are using a trial version, you can authenticate with an email and password by clicking the Create or manage account link.

Shared folder

A shared folder is a folder that multiple devices have access to. Services such as Syncthing, Google Drive, Dropbox, iCloud, OneDrive and others provide shared folders. To use a shared folder, Buckets must have an on-device path to the folder.

Budgets are encrypted within the shared folder to maintain your privacy even while using a third-party service. However, this means that if the encryption keys (which are stored in the Buckets application data) are lost from all devices, you lose access to the budgets stored in a shared folder.

Any number of devices can use the same shared folder. Each budget must be explicitly shared with each device. For example, if Alice, Bob and Cathy are all using the same shared folder, Alice can choose to share her budget with Cathy but not with Bob.

Currently, Buckets syncs with shared folders once per minute (if anything has changed), so it can sometimes take 2-3 minutes for all devices to see and respond to updates.

Local network (server and client)

You may connect devices directly to each other on your local network, assuming they can see each other. One device will act as a server (add the server avenue) and other devices will act as clients to that server.

You will need to know the local IP address of the server and provide it when creating the Local network client avenue.

Pairing devices

The first time your devices see each other, you must pair them by comparing some images and codes. All images, colors and codes must match to guarantee that your devices are communicating securely.

Exposing budgets

After pairing devices, you may choose which budget files to expose from one device to another. Toggle the controls to expose or hide each budget file.

Saving files and merging

Once a budget is exposed to a device, you can choose to download the budget to your computer, and automatically get updated versions thereafter. To make sure your budget is always updated on each device, choose to save the incoming device over the top of your local budget. You will then be prompted to merge in any incoming changes via the Tools > Merge Budgets tool.

At this time, the choice to merge in changes is a manual process but will become more automated as time goes on.

For example, Alice wants to collaborate on the budget with Bob. They decide to use a shared folder.

  1. Alice adds a shared folder avenue on her computer
  2. Bob adds the same shared folder avenue on his computer
  3. After a few minutes, Alice and Bob are prompted to authenticate each other (by checking that the images on both computers match)
  4. Alice has her budget stored on her macOS computer at /home/alice/OurBudget.buckets
  5. Alice exposes that budget to Bob
  6. Bob saves Alice’s budget to his Windows computer at C:\Users\Bob\OurBudget.buckets
  7. Bob then exposes that same budget back to Alice
  8. Alice saves the budget Bob just shared back onto /home/alice/OurBudget.buckets

Alice and Bob can now edit the same budget on their own computers!