Toshl Finance Blog

Attach PDFs to your expenses and incomes

Sometimes expenses and incomes come with a bit more documentation that needs to be kept in a safe place. Toshl has for a long time offered the option to add photos of receipts, either by taking the photo right away, or by choosing it from your phone’s gallery.

We’ve now added the option to add PDF invoices to entires as well. 

The option is available in the web app as well as the Toshl Android and iOS mobile apps. When adding an expense or income, just find the little camera icon on the bottom right and you’ll see the Attach PDF option there, right next to the photo option.

In the mobile app, the file picker will open up, so you can choose between the files you have for upload. You can attach up to 4 PDFs. It should work with any PDF invoice, warranty, report or similar document, as long as it’s under 10 MB in size.

The PDFs will be automatically synced to toshl.com for backup as well as for availability on your other devices, where you are logged in with your Toshl account.

Adding attachments and photos to entries is available to users with Toshl Pro or Toshl Medici upgrades. A free 30-day trial is available.

Posted in Uncategorized

Planning Graphs Arrive in Toshl Mobile Apps

The Toshl mobile apps for Android and iOS were updated today. Version 3.1.0 brings a major new feature to the mobile apps – Planning graphs.

These graphs enable you to compare your finances month-to-month, seeing the whole year at once. You can compare your monthly balances, expenses, incomes and see the growth (hopefully) of your net worth.

Better still, you can filter the graph by categories, tags, accounts or even locations. That means you can easily compare your spending on Food & drinks month-to-month. Want to see how much you spent just on your credit card and compare months? Done.

Tutorials

Check them out for more detailed instructions and tips on how to use Planning.

Availability

The Planning feature is available for all Toshl Pro and Medici users in all Toshl apps. Just make sure you have the latest update from the App Store or Google Play. A free 30-day trial of Toshl Pro or Medici is available on all platforms.

Posted in Uncategorized

Financial Planning (Android)

Learn from your past spending and earning patterns and prepare for the future. That’s what the Planning graphs are all about.

Switch between 4 tabs to monitor all main aspects of your personal finance:

  • Balance
  • Expenses
  • Incomes
  • Net Worth

and make use of detailed views, calculated averages and estimates for the future. Filter the display of your financial data by category, tag, account or location, and compare the incomes with expenses and budgets in the River flow graph.

This feature is available with Toshl Pro or Toshl Medici subscriptions.

Balance – monthly balance of incomes and expenses

This balance is shown separately for every month and is calculated as:

monthly incomes  monthly expenses = monthly balance

Staying in the positive, above the central line, is crucial. It might evade you sometime, but aim for it on a yearly average.

Expenses – spending per month

This section shows you the sum of expenses for each month, but can also be filtered to display spending for chosen categories, tags, locations and financial accounts.

Incomes – earnings per month

Display of the total sum of incomes each month can be further adjusted by filtering by categories, tags and financial accounts.

Net worth – total balance of your financial accounts

These funds accumulate if you have regular surpluses on your monthly balances. The amounts reflect the account balances at the end of the month.

Tap & hold for details and a lollipop

To get the exact value for each column, tap and hold somewhere on the graph.

A “lollipop” will pop up, displaying the exact value for that particular month.

Past months will also display averages for the last 12 months, while future months show the estimates for the chosen period.

River flow – see the financial flows each month

You’ll notice that the River flow graph is displayed below the multi-month graph. It shows how your incomes and expenses compare to each other and your budget in an individual month. If you have a monthly budget for all expenses, River flow will include it in the calculation as well. That way you’ll always know how much you can spend while staying within your budget limits.

Travel in time

12 months are shown on the graph – by default 6 past ones, the current month, as well as 5 future months.

You can move through time by using the  < >  arrows under the graph, swipping left or right, or by using the general time span settings from the right sidebar.

If you’re interested in sums for a certain period, you can also select a custom time span. The selected months will be displayed in darker color below the graph and you’ll see sums for the entire period.

Filter by category, tag, account, location

You can zero-in on specific data you’re interested in and want to see over a longer period of time.

Let’s say you want to know how your spending on Food & Drinks varies in time. Tap on the Filter icon in the upper right corner, select “Expense categories” from the menu, then tap “SELECT” and choose “Food & Drinks”. Return to the graph by tapping the “back” arrow in the upper left corner. Your spending data is now filtered to only display the expenses for the Food & Drinks category, so you can see how it varies through the year.

You can narrow it down even further by selecting a tag. Do the same in the “Expense tags” section and you can see how much you spent only on restaurants, alcohol, groceries, or a combination of multiple tags.

You don’t have to pick only one filter. They can be combined. For example, you can set it to only show expenses paid with MasterCard (financial account), for Leisure (category), for books, movies and music (tags), in HMV Manchester Arndale (location).

The filtering is global, so it will work with all the data in your Toshl app. Any filter that’s applied will be displayed above the graph, and the excluded categories, tags, etc., will be written in strikethrough.

Estimates and planned expenses

You’ll notice that the future months on the graph aren’t as colorful. That doesn’t mean that the future isn’t bright, just a bit hazy for now.

The semi-transparent columns in future months can display your planned entries, future estimates or both.

Planned entries

These are the expenses, incomes and transfers you have already entered for the future, or were generated automatically based on the repeating entry settings that you have set for your finances. We advise to add as many of these as you can possibly predict. They will help you plan your future months and help you keep the financial stress down to a minimum.

These planned entries can be set to be displayed in your graph. You can adjust this by tapping the Time span icon in the upper right corner, selecting a month to review, and setting the switch for “Show planned expenses in graphs” to ON or OFF. This will also affect other graphs in Toshl.

Estimates

Estimates project your past trends in earning and spending into the future. This provides you with a rough guide of what to expect from your balances, spending, earnings and net worth in the upcoming months, if the current trends continue as they have so far.

Since the estimates are based on your past data, the more time you’ve been tracking your finances with Toshl, the more precise they can become. We will also continue improving the algorithm for this feature, so it will become better at estimating your spending patterns.

You can switch the “Include future estimates” option ON or OFF in the filtering menu, on the bottom of the page.

Toshl monster plays it smart and plans for the future. Join in!

Posted in Android Tutorials, Tutorials

Financial Planning (iOS)

Learn from your past spending and earning patterns and prepare for the future. That’s what the Planning graphs are all about.

Switch between 4 tabs to monitor all main aspects of your personal finance:

  • Balance
  • Expenses
  • Incomes
  • Net Worth

and make use of detailed views, calculated averages and estimates for the future. Filter the display of your financial data by category, tag, account or location, and compare the incomes with expenses and budgets in the River flow graph.

This feature is available with Toshl Pro or Toshl Medici subscriptions.

Balance – monthly balance of incomes and expenses

This balance is shown separately for every month and is calculated as:

monthly incomes  monthly expenses = monthly balance

Staying in the positive, above the central line, is crucial. It might evade you sometime, but aim for it on a yearly average.

Expenses – spending per month

This section shows you the sum of expenses for each month, but can also be filtered to display spending for chosen categories, tags, locations and financial accounts.

Incomes – earnings per month

Display of the total sum of incomes each month can be further adjusted by filtering by categories, tags and financial accounts.

Net worth – total balance of your financial accounts

These funds accumulate if you have regular surpluses on your monthly balances. The amounts reflect the account balances at the end of the month.

Tap & hold for details and a lollipop

To get the exact value for each column, tap and hold somewhere on the graph.

A “lollipop” will pop up, displaying the exact value for that particular month.

Past months will also display averages for the last 12 months, while future months show the estimates for the chosen period.

River flow – see the financial flows each month

You’ll notice that the River flow graph is displayed below the multi-month graph. It shows how your incomes and expenses compare to each other and your budget in an individual month. If you have a monthly budget for all expenses, River flow will include it in the calculation as well. That way you’ll always know how much you can spend while staying within your budget limits.

Travel in time

12 months are shown on the graph – by default 7 past ones, the current month, as well as 4 future months.

You can move through time by using the  < >  arrows under the graph, swipping left or right, or by using the general time span settings from the right sidebar.

If you’re interested in sums for a certain period, you can also select a custom time span. The selected months will be displayed in darker color below the graph and you’ll see sums for the entire period.

Filter by category, tag, account, location

You can zero-in on specific data you’re interested in and want to see over a longer period of time.

Let’s say you want to know how your spending on Food & Drinks varies in time. Tap on the Filter icon in the upper right corner, select “Expense categories” from the menu, then tap “SELECT” and choose “Food & Drinks”. Return to the graph by tapping the “back” arrow in the upper left corner. Your spending data is now filtered to only display the expenses for the Food & Drinks category, so you can see how it varies through the year.

You can narrow it down even further by selecting a tag. Do the same in the “Expense tags” section and you can see how much you spent only on restaurants, alcohol, groceries, or a combination of multiple tags.

You don’t have to pick only one filter. They can be combined. For example, you can set it to only show expenses paid with MasterCard (financial account), for Leisure (category), for books, movies and music (tags), in HMV Manchester Arndale (location).

The filtering is global, so it will work with all the data in your Toshl app. Any filter that’s applied will be displayed above the graph, and the excluded categories, tags, etc., will be written in strikethrough.

Estimates and planned expenses

You’ll notice that the future months on the graph aren’t as colorful. That doesn’t mean that the future isn’t bright, just a bit hazy for now.

The semi-transparent columns in future months can display your planned entries, future estimates or both.

Planned entries

These are the expenses, incomes and transfers you have already entered for the future, or were generated automatically based on the repeating entry settings that you have set for your finances. We advise to add as many of these as you can possibly predict. They will help you plan your future months and help you keep the financial stress down to a minimum.

These planned entries can be set to be displayed in your graph. You can adjust this by tapping the Time span icon in the upper right corner, selecting a month to review, and setting the switch for “Show planned expenses in graphs” to ON or OFF. This will also affect other graphs in Toshl.

Estimates

Estimates project your past trends in earning and spending into the future. This provides you with a rough guide of what to expect from your balances, spending, earnings and net worth in the upcoming months, if the current trends continue as they have so far.

Since the estimates are based on your past data, the more time you’ve been tracking your finances with Toshl, the more precise they can become. We will also continue improving the algorithm for this feature, so it will become better at estimating your spending patterns.

You can switch the “Include future estimates” option ON or OFF in the filtering menu, on the bottom of the page.

Toshl monster plays it smart and plans for the future. Join in!

Posted in iOS Tutorials, Tutorials

Christmas Is Coming!

There are two ways you can react to the title of this post. You can be joyful or you could start stressing out. According to research, the happiness and dread of christmas holidays are two of the most intense general feelings so we are getting ready for christmas a bit early this year.

Several researchers are noticing that christmas shopping is one of the most stressful events throughout the year and there are several reasons for the induction of stress – from money worries to the social pressure, from the feeling of urgency to the feeling of guilt.

We are offering some tips on christmas budgeting and gift planning which we hope will make the next festive season…well… festive!

45 days rule

It all starts with planning as we abide to the 45 days rule where you plan for events that are happening 45 days in the future. This rule has several beneficial effects:

Keep it together

First thing is that you are not under any pressure. I mean OK, you still do not know what to get for your aunt, but that will not change. Aunt Clarice is just a mystery to you and no amount of planning will change that. But other than that, you can rest assured that planning that far in advance will be less stressful compared to last-minute shopping.

Be thorough

By keeping it together and planning your christmas shopping in autumn, you can give more thought to your naughty or nice list. I mean sure, Santa probably has some hard-core elf algorithm working for him, but you can do the same thing by making a list and thinking it through. No fast reckless last-minute decisions!

Be thoughtful

The 45 days period gives you enough time to check if the planned gift really works for the giftee. Sure you can make some mistakes by planning a gift that later on turns out to be a complete fail, but panic buying in the first week of December increases that possibility many times over.

Toshl tip

You can set custom reminders in Toshl so that you will get a nudge when the time for planning comes. Also attached to the reminder will be a cute monster, specialized in friendly guilt-tripping if you do not obey.

Step 1: Make a list of people

This should be straightforward enough. Write down the names of all the people who are getting gifts this year. Separate them according to the nature of your relationship (that way you can be thoughtful of your business associates and partners as well) to help you decide on the nature of the gifts.

Toshl tip

We are a money tracking app so people are not our speciality. However, we have one tip – you can tag your expenses by person so you will know exactly how much are you spending on friends who do not return your phone calls.

Step 2: Make a gift list

You have to decide on the type of gifts you are giving out, whether these are customed per person, customed per type of relationship or general across the board. This will come in handy when you come upon a person that is on the receiving end but you are not quite sure what to give them.

Toshl tip

Did you know you can add different costs under the same name? Handy in-app calculator and currency exchanger helps you when entering gifts from foreign countries.

Step 3: Make a budget

Now you are ready for a budget. Use the results of step 1 and 2 combined with the general state of your personal finances to figure out the perfect amount you are going to spend this year.

Bear in mind that gifts are a predefined social norm and they are based upon agreements within a specific social group, so do not feel weird about planning them collectively. Asking someone what do they want for Christmas usually reveals surprising choices you have not thought of which are very often nicer on your budget.

Toshl tip

Toshl offers budgeting for individual financial goals where you can set budgets, create special accounts and notifications that tell you when you reach your goal.

Step 4: Get creative with wrapping paper

Every year we spend a ton of money on wrapping paper which then gets discarded promptly. Instead you can replace it with newspapers, plain boxes or other containers you already have. Stuff is getting recycled anyway, might as well use is appropriately. On the other hand, you can dedicate a special gift container for each person so that they can look forward to the same box (but hopefully not the gift) every year!

Toshl tip

You can track you current annual expenses for buying wrapping paper and then marvel at the savings when you switch to a more eco-friendly solution.

Step 5: Avoid Christmas sales

Yep. By planning your gifts in advance you will more easily avoid christmas sales which are bad for you. Worse than smoking!

By participating you are actually doing more harm than good – you are participating in a hysteria-inducing event which makes you blind to the fact that a) the prices usually go up just before the sales b) items on sale are usually not the latest editions and c) you are caught in a whirlwind that causes you to buy things you really do not want or need.

Toshl tip

By planning for Christmas in advance you might realise you actually have the extra cash to spend on Christmas Sales. You can also set individual budgets for the sales or marvel at the savings by ignoring them completely.

There are also other ways to save on Christmas shopping. You can focus on meetings rather than things or organize a christmas recycling exchange. You can also pull the break and go frugal or change the ways you pay attention to people during the holidays.

Posted in Budgeting, Tips & Tricks