Toshl Finance Blog

Quicker Add Transfer and Wide-Screen Web App Improvements

Couple of quick web app updates:

  • In addition to smaller bug fixes, the web app can now display categories and expenses side-by-side when viewed on wider screens. It will adjust automatically when the web browser window is wide enough.
  • When you hover over the + button to add an entry, the options to add a transfer or income show up on the sides. As always, you can also switch between them once the Add form is already open, by clicking on the Add expense title on top. In any case, it should make adding entries quicker and transfers easier to discover in the beginning.
  • If there are any errors or warnings to display, they’ll now be much clearer in a red frame next to the affected field.

Posted in Announcements

Toshl Finance App Updates

Updates on updates!

Here’s just some of the stuff we’ve been up to in the past few weeks:

Web App:
– switching between expenses, incomes and transfers now preserves amounts and other properties
– nicer time span switcher
– little coloured indicators for last edited expense on list
– monthly all/category budgets are now summarised on River Flow as well
– fixed sorting of suggested tags, better reflects frequency of use now

Android
– fixed search by amount with decimals
– fixed River flow look on some screen sizes
– Google Play subscription system updates
– crash fixes

iOS
A lot of fixes related to iOS 13 release:
– passcode lock again full screen
– Facebook log in fix
– graphic stuff like new tabs, dark mode related glitches
– crash fixes

Bank connections
– PSD2, don’t even get us started, more details on this soon.
TransferWise now available. 
– If you’d like to connect and help us test Monzo, please contact us on support@toshl.com

And a bunch of other smaller fixes on all platforms.

While these are mostly maintenance fixes and minor improvements, we’re continuing work on larger projects, coming later this year.

With so much hammer, one might ask themselves, where’s the sickle?
Posted in Announcements

We Are NOT Giving Out Movie Tickets in Singapore

Beware of Greeks bearing gifts. Or Singaporeans bearing free movie tickets in this case. The fact that we won’t buy you a free movie ticket usually goes without saying. However we’ve been getting reports that people purporting to be representatives of Toshl Finance have been offering movie tickets in Singapore’s Suntec shopping centre in exchange for phone numbers.

We do not have ANY official representatives in Singapore and are NOT running any such promotion.

Please disregard such offers and DO NOT give them any personal information. We are not yet aware of their full intentions, but since they are abusing our good name without any authorisation, it’s possible something nefarious might be at play here.

If you have been approached by these people or can offer any additional information about this, please contact us on support@toshl.com.

This is how an official Toshl stranger with candy would look like. The ones mentioned in the text above are not official in any way.
Posted in Announcements

Bank Connection News August 2019

To make sure all your new transactions and account balances are up to date in Toshl, thousands of bank connections need to be maintained and working well with the help of our bank connection partners. In addition, we keep expanding the connections on offer, so all your bank, retirement accounts and credit cards can be automatically updated with ease. To keep you abreast of what’s going on behind the scenes, we plan on make such bank connection news a regular fixture on our blog.

Additions
There’s about a 100 new ones in addition to more than 13 000 already on offer. Among them; Starling Bank in the UK, BBVA Compass and Zero in the US. Our Brazilian customers will also be happy to learn that Banco Inter is back after a hiatus. The full list of added connections is available below.

Upcoming (in testing)
The often requested TransferWise and Monzo are in testing and will most likely be available in the coming weeks if all goes to plan. Additionally a lot of new connections in Slovenia, France, Spain and across the European Union are being worked on in preparation for the final entry into force of the new PSD2 directive. This legislation mandates that all EU banks offer official automatic connections, which will mean more bank connection on offer in the future as well as quicker and more reliable existing connections. In the short term it also means a lot of developing and paperwork for our bank connection partners and us.

Ongoing issues
While we try to keep things going as smoothly as possible we do sometimes encounter problems on some connections which we cannot immediately remedy. More often than not, this is due to banks blocking our bank connection partners and 3rd party apps like ours from connecting and ignoring efforts to resolve the issues with dialogue. This kind of often anticompetitive behaviour is one of the issues that the aforementioned PSD2 legislation is tackling in the EU. We’d be very happy to see the rest of the world follow suit in demanding official APIs from financial institutions.

While we cannot get into more details for each connection, at the time of writing we’re experiencing ongoing issues with Capital One (US), ABN AMRO (NL) and AMEX (US).

Bankers and Toshl can actually get together splendidly. It’s sweet really. Sweet like a lollipop.

List of recently added connections

Brazil
Banco Intermedium

Canada
Canadian Western Bank – Online Banking
First Calgary Financial – Personal Banking
First Credit Union – Online Banking
Frontline Credit Union – Personal Banking
Ganaraska Financial Credit Union – Personal Banking
Heritage Credit Union – Personal Banking
Island Savings Credit Union – Personal Banking
Kingston Community Credit Union – Online Banking
Kootenay Savings Credit Union – Online Banking
Northern Savings Credit Union – Online Banking
Salmon Arm Savings and Credit Union – Personal Banking
Union Bay Credit Union – Personal Banking
VantageOne Credit Union – Online Banking

Germany
Norisbank Berlin

United Kingdom
NatWest business
NatWest offshore (international)
Starling
Ulster Bank
Virgin Money Bank Credit Cards
Virgin Money Bank Investments
Virgin Money Bank Savings

Netherlands
ASN (personal)

United States
1st State Bank (NE) – Personal
A.R. Schmeidler and Company
ABA Retirement Funds – ABA Retirement Funds
Actinver Securities
ADP – Retirement Services – Plan Participant
ADP TotalSource Retirement Savings Plan
Aetna 401k – Aetna 401k
Aintree Capital – Client Access
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
Alden State Bank (NY) – Personal
Alliance Bernstein 401k Plan
Amarillo National Bank – Personal
American National Bank (IA & NE) – Personal
American Trust – Online Banking
Ametek Retirement Plan
Arkansas Diamond Deferred Compensation Plan
Armstrong Bank (OK)
Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union
Arvest Bank 401k & Profit Sharing Retirement Plan
Asheville Savings Bank – Personal Online Banking Services
Associated Securites Corporation
Astra Bank
Atlantic Federal Credit Union
Atos 401k Savings Plan
Bainco International Investors
Baker Botts L.L.P. 401k and Savings Plan
BancWest Investment Services
Bank 7
Bank of Bennington (NE) – Personal
Bank of Clarke County – Personal
Bank of Marin – Personal Banking
Bank of the James
Baxalta Savings Plan
Baxter Savings Plans
Bay Bank – Personal Online Banking
BBVA Compass
BBVA Compass – ClearSpend Visa Card
BBVA Compass Investment Solutions – Pershing
Beacon Community Credit Union
Beech Hill Securities
Beneficial Investment Services
Benjamin F. Edwards & Co.
Best Buy Retirement Savings Plan
BMO Harris Financial Advisors
BNP Private Wealth Management
BNY Mellon Capital Markets
Boiling Springs Savings Bank – Consumer Online Banking
Bolton Global Capital
Booz Allen ECAP
Boyd Gaming Corp 401k Plan and Trust
BPU Investment Management
Bruning State Bank
Bulltick Capital Markets
Cadaret Grant & Co.
Calpers Supplemental Income Plans
CalSTRS Pension2
Capital Analysts Incorporated – Pershing
Capital Guardian
Capital One Investing
CAPTRUST
CAPTRUST Financial Advisors – Client Login
Catholic Federal Credit Union
CB&S Bank in Alabama – Personal
CenterPoint Energy Savings Plan
Charter Bank (WI)
Choice Financial – Mobile Banking
CIRS 401k
Citi International Financial Services (CIFS) – Pershing
City of Los Angeles DC Plan
Clinton National Bank
CNS 401k Plan
Colorado PERA 401k/DC/457 Plans
Commonwealth Securities Limited
Community National Bank
Community National Bank & Trust (KS)
Constellation Wealth Advisors LLC – Client Access
Constellis 401k Plan
CRI Securities
Cuna Brokerage Services, Inc – Pershing
DAIMLER Retirement Savings Plan
DaVita Retirement Savings Plan
Deutsche Bank Alex Brown – DBConnect
Dollar General Retirement Plan
Dreyfus Lion
eChapman
Empower Retirement – ACEC Retirement Trust
Empower Retirement – AEP 401k
Empower Retirement – American Funds
Empower Retirement – Career Education Corporation 401k Plan
Empower Retirement – CCOERA
Empower Retirement – CFG
Empower Retirement – Chesterfield County 457 Deferred Compensation Program
Empower Retirement – Chicago Public Schools
Empower Retirement – City of Arvada Retirement
Empower Retirement – City of Austin Deferred Compensation Plan
Empower Retirement – City of Los Angeles Premiere Deferred Compensation Plan
Empower Retirement – Comerica Retirement
Empower Retirement – Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Deferred Compensation Program
Empower Retirement – County Of Los Angeles Defined Contribution Plans
Empower Retirement – County of Orange Defined Contribution Program
Empower Retirement – County of Santa Barbara 457 Deferred Compensation Plan
Empower Retirement – CoxHealth Savings Incentive Plan
Empower Retirement – Directed Account Plan
Empower Retirement – EMJAY Retirement Services
Empower Retirement – Fairfax County Public Schools Retirement Savings Plans
Empower Retirement – Fifth Third Bank Retirement Plan
Empower Retirement – Great-West Smart Track Variable Annuities (Non-New York Residents)
Empower Retirement – Gwinnett County Retirement Plan
Empower Retirement – Hallmark
Empower Retirement – IRA
Empower Retirement – JBS 401k / Pilgrim’s Pride Retirement Savings Plan
Empower Retirement – JPMorgan Asset Management
Empower Retirement – KPERS 457
Empower Retirement – Lockheed Martin Savings
Empower Retirement – Louisiana Deferred Compensation Plan
Empower Retirement – Massachusetts Deferred Compensation SMART Plan
Empower Retirement – Mercy Myretirement Program
Empower Retirement – MetLife
Empower Retirement – Minnesota Deferred Compensation Plan
Empower Retirement – Minnesota State Retirement System (MNDCP)
Empower Retirement – Mississippi Deferred Compensation Plan
Empower Retirement – Montana Public Employee Retirement Administration
Empower Retirement – Nada
Empower Retirement – Nebraska Public Power District
Empower Retirement – NetXInvestor
Empower Retirement – New England Financial
Empower Retirement – NYCE IRA
Empower Retirement – Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
Empower Retirement – Persi
Empower Retirement – RELX Group
Empower Retirement – Sony USA
Empower Retirement – SoonerSave
Empower Retirement – South Carolina Deferred Compensation Program
Empower Retirement – State of Alaska Supplemental Annuity and Deferred Compensation Plans
Empower Retirement – State of Florida Deferred Compensation Plan
Empower Retirement – State of New Hampshire 457b Public Employees DCP
Empower Retirement – SunTrust
Empower Retirement – TD Ameritrade – 401k Plan
Empower Retirement – TexaSaver
Empower Retirement – The Childrens Hospital
Empower Retirement – Thrivent
Empower Retirement – TN Retire Ready
Empower Retirement – Vail ResortsRetirement – Vermont 457 Retirement
Empower Retirement – Walgreens
Empower Retirement – Washington State Deferred Compensation Program
Empower Retirement – WellSpan Health
Empower Retirement – Wisconsin Deferred Compensation Program
Equity Bank (KS) – Personal
ExxonMobil Savings Plan
F&M Bank (NE)
Farmers & Merchants Bank of Central California
Farmers and Merchants Bank of Long Beach (CA)
Farmers National Bank (Danville, KY)
Farmers State Bank
Fidelity Bank (Georgia) – Mobile Banking
Fidelity Bank (TX)
Financial Partners Credit Union
Financial Symmetry
Fintegra Financial Solutions
First Bank
First Bank of Linden (AL)
First Choice Credit Union
First Citizens Securities
First Command Bank
First Command Financial Planning
First Community Bank of Central Alabama
First Credit Union (AZ)
First Empire Securities
First Farmers & Merchants Bank (Cannon Falls, Le Suer – MN) – Personal
First International Bank & Trust – Personal
First National Bank of Gilmer – Personal
First Security Bank (MT)
First State Bank (NE) – Personal
Fluor Corporation Retirement Plans
Freudenberg-NOK General Partnership 401k Plan
FSC Securities Corporation – Pershing
Genoa Bank
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher Retirement Plan
Goldman Sachs Private Wealth Management
Green Belt Bank & Trust
Gwinnett County Retirement Plans
Hearst Benefits Wealth – Retirement Savings
Hefren – Tillotson, Inc
Heidelberg Retirement Savings Plan
Henley and Company
Hewitt Financial Services
Home Bank – Business
Home National Bank (Racine, Syracuse, Middleport)
Honeywell Savings Program
Huber 401k Investment Program
Hunter Douglas Inc Savings 401k
IDB-IIC FCU
Ideal Credit Union
Indiana Public Retirement System
International Assets Advisory (IAA) – Client Access
Intralinks
Invesco – Investor Account Access
Invest Financial Corporation
Investment Professionals Inc.
Jefferies – Private Client Services
John Hancock – Retirement Plan Services
Kohler Company 401k – Kohler Company 401k
Lake Elmo Bank
Legends Bank (TN)
Leidos Your Retirement Center
Lincoln Investment Planning
Lion Street Financial
Lockheed Martin Savings Plan
Lockheed Martin Savings Plan
Los Alamos National Bank – eBanking
Los Angeles Unified School District (457b)
Lubrizol Profit Sharing and Savings Plan
M Holdings Securities
M&T Bank – Web Trading
M1 Finance
Maine State Credit Union
MasterCard Retirement Plan
Mercer Wealth Solutions
Minnesota State Retirement System
Montana Federal Credit Union
NAPA Profit Sharing Plans
National Bank of Commerce (WI & MN)
Nationwide Securities
NBK Capital
Nestle SmartSavings Program
NetExchange Client
NetExchange Investor
NetExchange Investor
NetXInvestor Client
Occidental Petroleum Corporation Retirement Plan
Olin Employee Ownership Plan
One Vision FCU
OneWest Bank – Personal Banking
Oregon Savings Growth Plan
Oriental Financial Services
Park View Federal Credit Union
Parkside Federal Credit Union
Partners Bank of California
Pella Corporation 401k
Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA)
Peoples Bank (IN, IL) – Personal
PERS/OPSRP Individual Account Program
Pershing Brokerage Services – BNY Mellon
Personal Capital Pershing Login
Piggott State Bank
Portland General Electric Company 401k
PPG Industries Retirement Plan
PrimeSouth Bank (GA)
Publix 401k SMART Plan
Raymond James USA Limited
Refinitiv Retirement Plan
RM Stark and Company
Rockwood Bank – Personal
Royal Alliance – Pershing
Sacramento Credit Union
SagePoint Financial – Client
Sanibel Captiva Community Bank
Saturna Brokerage Services
Seattle Metropolitan Credit Union
SECU Brokerage Services
Securian – NetXInvestor
Sentinel Securities
Serco Inc. 401(k) Retirement Plan
Shareholders Service Group
SII Investments
SII Investments, Inc – Pershing
Sodexo 401k Savings Plan
Sorrento Pacific Financial
Spirit AeroSystems Retirement
SpiritBank
St. Louis Community Credit Union
Starwood Savings and Retirement Plans
State of Michigan 401k/457 Plan
Sunlife Savings and Advantage Plan
SUPERVALU STAR 401k Plan
TD Ameritrade
TD Wealth – Investments
The Fidelity Bank (NC) – Personal
The GMS Group, LLC – Client Login
The MYR Group 401k
The Plains State Bank (KS)
The Southern Credit Union
The Vencore 401k Pla
Trading Direct
Transamerica – Retirement – NetXInvestor
Unified Bank
United Launch Alliance 401k Savings and Retirement Plan
Unitus Community Credit Union
University of Iowa Community Credit Union
UPS 401k Savings Plan – UPS 401k Savings Plan
Valley Bank of Kalispell
Venecredit Securities
VOYA Annuity & Assets Contracts – Client Login
VOYA Life Insurance – Client
VOYA Retirement Plans
Waddell & Reed, Inc.
Washington Federal Savings
Washington State Employees Credit Union
West Michigan Community Bank – Personal
Westpac Securities Limited
Wiley Bros.
Winslow
Woodbury Financial Services
York Securities
Yum Savings Center
Zero

You can also see and search all the bank connections available. If you already have a Toshl account, click here to open this bank list in the web app (log in required), where you can connect them straight away.

Posted in Announcements, Bank connections

How to Spend Less in Summer: Hints for Shoppers

Summertime. We are craving for it in the frosty winter evenings, we are waiting for it in the rainy spring mornings. When the desired season finally comes, we are constantly looking for an air-conditioned shelter: at home, office or… shopping mall. 

Summer is meant to be vacation time. It is calling upon us to go on sparkling adventures: traveling, visiting open-air events, hanging out with our friends… shopping. All this can be very appealing. At the same time, the long wish-lists push us to spend more in this season. 
Surely, there are ways to spend less in summer. We have already wrote about how to spend less on a summer trip in one of our previous blog posts. Today we are going to look at another challenge —  shopping.

Shopping therapy and its traps

We tend to overspend on special occasions. Why wouldn’t you indulge a bit more on vacations? It’s a case where our inner wishes match the intentions of the sales industry.

In sales, the summer is also known as a season of discounts and special offerings. Thus, if we go with this flow, we might end up overspending. And we might buy lots of things that are not necessary for us.

Researchers Selin Atalay and Margaret Meloy found that 62 percent of shoppers had purchased something to cheer themselves up, and another 28 percent had bought something to celebrate. This type of shopper is likely involved in “retail therapy”

It is true that if we feel bad, getting a new thing might improve our mood immediately. Shopping provokes us to imagine ourselves in a “better” life, where we’re dressed in fancy clothes and surrounded by pleasant-looking things. Purchasing makes those dreams seem real. 

And there’s nothing necessarily wrong with it: as proved by many great athletes, visualization can boost our performance and reduce anxiety. On the other hand, this shopping effect does not stay long enough to make us really happy. Moreover, when you tend to shop impulsively, you risk overspending your budget. In some cases, if the pattern of thoughtless shopping behaviour repeats quite frequently, it might be a sign of an addiction.

So, how to resist summer shopping when thousands of shops are offering incredible discounts? Of course, you can give in and buy the things you don’t need, often can’t afford. But how do you get rid of this budget-killing habit? 

Track and analyse your expenses

Experts say that the most effective first step for changing this habit is to identify why and how your shopping initially became a problem. They suggest starting to write a journal to keep track of our triggers. 

Here, the Toshl Finance app will be very handy. Simply keep tracking your expenses and incomes and add relevant categories and tags. 

If you are a Toshl Medici subscriber, you don’t need to add your expenses or incomes manually, they just fly in from your connected bank account. In this case, the smart categorisation system is learning from your past patterns and predicting the categories. To see how it works, try out the free 30-day trial of Toshl Medici.

If you keep tracking your expenses on a daily basis, you’ll discover the trends in your spending. Just check the Expense graphs. This chart will easily visualise your spending habits. If the category “Clothing & Footwear” is getting the largest space on the chart, it is an alarm. Reawake your willpower and limit yourself. 

Next time you see a new purse with a -70% or a new tablet with a -50% discount, try to think twice if you really need to buy any. In most cases, choosing one thing means giving up something else. Money spent on one thing could be the money spent on another thing. And there are always better (smarter) alternatives. For instance, for many of us, having some funds in a retirement savings account will be more useful in a couple of years than having lots of useless things at our apartments. 

Budgeting is important

Psychologists note that smart budgeting can increase our feeling of happiness. If we plan our expenses in advance, we might spend more money and time on the things that make us happiest.

University of Georgia’s Dr. Matt J. Goren suggests dividing our potential expenses into wants and needs while budgeting. In simple words: needs are “required stuff” (a necessity to buy a new laptop if your old one is broken and cannot be fixed) and wants are always the “fun stuff” (a desire to get a newer laptop when you still have a working one). 

According to Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, when we satisfy our lower levels of needs (physiological and safety needs), we get motivated enough to reach the higher levels (love, self-respect, and self-actualization). This way, we feel happier if our basic needs are covered. 

This applies to our fixed needs — such as food. Essentially, we are more vital and productive when we aren’t hungry. It can refer to variable needs as well, such as emergency expenses — a new substitute for a worn-out device. If you’re a freelancer and your laptop gets broken, you might have an urgent expense related to your job security.

Fixed needs are the stuff we can’t deny ourselves in everyday life, but we definitely can spend less on it. Variable needs such as any unexpected expenses are less pleasant for our pocket. If you plan some reserves in your budget for emergency cases, you will go through any stressful event having less negative emotions.

Photo by Maria Vernigora on Unsplash

When we spend on our wants, we can feel even happier. The thing is the duration of happiness depends on the type of want. 

Fixed wants are our daily expenses and are usually the result of our habits. For instance, every day you stop by a coffee place and buy some fancy drink (a premium quality espresso). When you discover that 500 g package of this coffee can be purchased at the local grocery store for a price you pay for the two cups at the coffee place, you will be surprised how much money you could have saved just drinking this coffee at home. The thing you need to do is to modify your daily premium espresso ritual. You might buy your favourite coffee at the grocery store and enjoy it at any time.

No, we should not neglect our wants. Covering some of the variable wants can motivate us and make us feel good. For instance, you might get inspired by the trip to Spain. The memories from this trip will stay longer than memories from buying a new pair of shoes. Buying experiences instead of things can contribute to our mental well-being. 

All in all, if we reduce spending on our fixed needs and fixed wants and plan some costs for our variable needs, we’ll have more money on our variable wants. As a result, we could afford enriching experiences such as postgraduate education or opening our own company and grow as personalities. To get to this goal, budgeting your expenses is a really good start.

For starters, find the Achilles heel of your spending: check your expenses graph and find which of your expenses really stand out. You can easily create a monthly budget aimed precisely at your spending weakness, for example, Clothes & Footwear, then set the budget to equal the amount you can spend on your monthly clothing needs. Toshl monsters will warn you as you approach the limit, so you could stop and think before buying some related product impulsively. Moreover, if you don’t go over the budget limit, you’ll definitely feel relieved. And all the summer sales ads will pass as a pointless buzz.

Already hot, eh? If you read these lines drinking a juice at the shopping mall, just remember to spend smart at the summer sales, track your expenses precisely and make budgets in advance. But whatever you do: don’t forget to enjoy your summertime. Make it magic. ;)


Posted in Budgeting, Personal finance, Tips & Tricks, Travel