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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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 email@example.com.
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).
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
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.
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?
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.
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.
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. ;)
We’re starting something a little different on our blog today. Instead of just telling you what’s new, we’ll have a chat with Toshl’s team members. Today we’re meeting Janez and Jan. No, they are not one of the Toshl monsters, they are humans and they are real. Or at least we certainly hope so. ;) One envisions the app’s unique design, while the other puts the ideas into practice by coding. In this chat, we’ll talk about the redesign of the Toshl Finance Web App and their work in this project.
Guys, could you introduce yourself? What are your main duties at Toshl?
Janez:I’m in charge of the design and illustration. This part is quite important for Toshl Finance apps. So my job is about creating the interface of our apps and graphics in general.
Jan: I bring designs of Janez to life. I’m in charge of web app development. In other words, it is my task to transform the data into web pictures in the browser, so they look like we imagined them. And, of course, we discuss how things should look like together with Janez. It’s constant teamwork.
Toshl’s web app has changed significantly with the latest release. What was the purpose of this transformation?
Janez: We wanted to achieve a new feel for the whole app, so that it looks lighter. We paid attention to optimising the entire experience, not only the bare graphical interface.
Jan:We saw a chance to make the app look fresh. The previous version of the web app was developed about 4 years ago, and these are light years in the IT industry. Thus it needed some updates. The timing of the overall redesign coincided with the code refactoring that we did. Now the things comply with the latest industry standards and it is easier to make additional upgrades.
How could we see it in user experience?
Jan: The previous version was very flat and hierarchical relationships between view parts and elements were not really clear. Now, when we added different shadows to the elements and made them look floating, when we put some things in the background and placed others in the front, it looks more clear. With the recent changes, it is quite simple to understand what you need to click next on the screen.
All in all, the whole experience became easier, didn’t it?
Janez: Yes. Now it is easier to understand things. Colouring and shapes of the elements help you orient throughout the app.
Jan:Web app navigation got better, too. We have developed advanced animations that show what happens when you click some element. Before, when you clicked something, the next screen popped up immediately. It was not easy to process this instant change for the user. Now it transforms smoothly. Also, when some element gets hidden, it animates into the button that can bring it back. So you know where to find it to revert your change. For instance, all toggles, steps, and buttons on “Add budget” dialog are dynamically animated to give a sense of where they came from or where they go when we don’t need them anymore. Everything became more intuitive.
Janez:We worked on the systematisation of the app’s design as well. It relates tothe changes in the buttons, there are some changes in the fonts. In this area, we made the first steps towards a wider design system that could better evolve over time.
Jan: Or, for instance, we improved the contrast. The background got light white, the fonts got darker. So the app is easier on the eye.
Could this redesign confuse the people who use Toshl Finance?
Jan: Not at all. All the elements are in their previous places. Some important parts are just more emphasized. Some less important things are in the background. The first contact with the overhauled app should be quite effortless.
Could you remember any funny story that happened on the way of this project?
Janez: We are a serious company, no jokes.
You are serious but you have Toshl Monsters. Did they change somehow?
Janez:Monsters reflect Toshl’s humour. They stay the same.
Jan: Monsters are eternal. No need to change them.
Are there any hints you would like to share with Toshl users?
Janez: Overall, theapp stays the same. So far functionalities did not change with this web app design update. It is just a refreshed look.
Jan: We didn’t want to complicate… Gradual changes are always a better option.
Otherwise, do you use Toshl Finance in everyday life?
Jan: Yes, I do.
Janez: Yes. Sometimes I fall asleep and forget to enter some cash expense in Toshl. Then I wake up and come back to the app… You know, we must use it because we’ll get lower salary otherwise… (Laughing)