Toshl Blog

How to use the Budgets (Android)

 

Budget list

When you tap the Budgets section, you’ll see all the budgets that you have in the current time period.

Each budget has its own progress bar and shows how much of the budget is used and left this month. That way, you can quickly monitor the current state of all your budgets at once.

If you use monthly budgets, you’ll notice that budgets are displayed in two ways:

 

Monthly budgets for all expenses and monthly budgets for categories

The top budget is your general monthly budget for all expenses. The category budgets below each represent a percentage of the total monthly budget.

If you added up all the category budgets, they add up to the monthly budget for all expenses. That’s why the little progress bars beneath each category budget are of different lengths. Together, they would be the full length of the progress bar for the monthly budget for all expenses.

The categories for which you have not yet made a budget are covered in the “Remaining budgets” section. That way you get a picture of how your monthly budget for all expenses is distributed among all the categories.

 

All other budgets

All the budgets which are not monthly for all expenses, or monthly for a category, are displayed as individual budgets. They cannot be displayed in the upper part of the list as they don’t necessarily match up in time or scope with the other budgets. Such budgets can be interesting in their own right, but not immediately comparable to monthly budgets for all expenses or categories.

 

Filtering

Budgets displayed in the list are filtered just like any other content on Toshl.
Only budgets that have a budget period in the currently chosen time span will be displayed.
If you used the filtering option on the top right, only the budgets that fit those criteria will be displayed. For example, if you filtered to display only one category, only the budgets that track that category will be displayed. Same goes for tags and other filtering options, except accounts.

Don’t forget about the “Planned” ON/OFF setting in the time span settings in the right sidebar.

If it’s set to ON, the budgets will already include your planned expenses which aren’t yet due this month. If planned is set to OFF, only expenses that happened until today will be displayed.

 

Budget details

Let’s take a look into the details of an individual budget. We’ll take a look at a monthly budget for all expenses and see what all the graphs and data mean.

 

Title & budget amount

The title is pretty self evident, but it’s worth mentioning that they are generated automatically, based on the type of budget you created. If you want you can change it by clicking Edit in the top right corner of the screen.

The amount shown on top is the total amount for the budget for the given time period. You can use your main currency for the budget (recommended) or a foreign one, if it’s your travel budget while you’re abroad, for example.

 

Budget statistics for the current period

 

Used & planned: the amount of money that was already spent from this budget in the displayed time period. If it mentions “planned” it also includes the expenses that you have already added in the future of this time period, but weren’t due yet. For example, bills that haven’t arrived yet this month. If you want to see just the expenses until today, click the time span setting at the top of the screen and set the “Show planned expenses in graphs” setting to OFF.

 

Left: The amount of money remaining in this budget, that you have not spent yet.

 

Left per day: The amount of money remaining, divided by the number of days remaining in the budget period.

 

Budget overview graph

This graph takes a little bit of getting used to all the elements of it, but once you get the hang of it, you get a great feel for the real state of your budget in a single glance.

 

Progress bar and the blue/red lollipop

The blue-coloured background tells you how much of your budget still remains. In the beginning of the period it’s all blue, but as you add more expenses things heat up and it starts shrinking towards the right side. Kind of like a glacier. The blue lollipop shows the end of the progress bar and displays how much money is left in the budget.
If you surpass the budget amount you have set for yourself, the progress bar will start appearing from the left in red colour, with the red lollipop up front, displaying how much did you go over your budgeted amount.

 

The today lollipop

In the budget graph for the current period you’ll also see an upside-down lollipop in dark grey with “today” written on it. This lollipop shows current time compared to the whole budget period. The entire length of the graph is the entire amount of time in the budget period and the lollipop displays where you are now.

 

The red columns

These columns are daily sums of expenses. They show how much you spent on a given day in the budget period, telling you when you spent the most and helping you to find the main culprit of overspending. Click and hold the cursor over the graph to see the daily details. The taller and darker the column, the more was spent.

 

Compare the “money left” and “today” lollipops

Comparing the lollipops quickly tells you how you’re doing with your current budget. The blue lollipop tells you how much money you have left in the budget, the grey one tells you how much time you have left.

If they’re aligned or almost aligned, you’re right on track so far. You’re on the way to spend the almost exact amount of money you budgeted in this period.

 

If the today lollipop (grey) is way ahead of the money left lollipop (blue), then you’re doing great with your budget. You’ve spent less than you thought you will in this amount of time. If this happens a lot, perhaps it’s time to lower the budget amount.

 

If the money left lollipop (blue) is way ahead of the today lollipop (grey), then you’re not doing so well with your budget. You’re spending more than was expected. Time to reduce your spending, or if that’s not possible, make the budget amount larger next time.

 

If the lollipop has already turned to red, you have already spent more than the money you had put in the budget amount. The lollipop simply tells you by how much.

 

Budget type

 

Time period, Accounts Tracked, Budget Type

The 3 basic settings of the budget.
Time period: shows what kind of period of time does it track and how quickly it transitions to the next period, e.g. daily, weekly, monthly, yearly or one time. You can set a budget to a custom time period: e.g. every 2 weeks, every 3 months etc.

 

Accounts tracked: Whether the budget is set to track the expenses noted on all financial accounts or only some.
Budget type: Whether it tracks all expenses, those in specific categories, those using specific tags or excluding expenses some categories or tags.

 

Included expenses: Shows all the expenses that are counted in this budget. Which expenses are included of course depends on how you set the budget in the properties above.

 

The budget history graph

 

This graph shows the previous budget periods and the total amount of money that was spent in the period. By tapping and holding over the budget history graph you can also see more details for the period, including the amount of the budget, amount spent and how much was saved or lacking in the period.

 

The budget history list

Here you can see each one of your past budget periods. You can easily tell how much you exceeded or saved on a budget in a given period on the list. Tapping on one of the periods will take you to the budget details in that past period of the budget.

 

Toshl Pro budget limitations

People using the free Toshl are limited to adding 2 budgets, with Toshl Pro you can add as many as you like. If your Toshl Pro subscription expires, the extra budgets will be deactivated. The data will not be deleted, if you extend your Toshl Pro subscription you can continue using them normally.

pro_badge_beigeToshl Pro is available as one of these plans:

$1.99 / month
$19.99 / year
$59.99 / 3 years + free T-shirt

Learn more about Toshl Pro

Want to start budgeting, but don’t know where to start? Read our tutorial “How to Set Up Your Budgets and Control Your Spending” and you’ll be set up in a heartbeat. Maybe two heartbeats. It will be a few more heartbeats really. It’s just a figure of speech, get of my back, will you!? ;)
Toshl_2.0_monster_0059_60_c

Posted in Android Tutorials, Uncategorized

Expense and Income Lists (Android)

Listing your expenses and incomes. Here’s how it works.

 

Expense in the list

The category, the tag(s), optional info like repeats and reminders followed by amount and currency.
Tap on it and you get to expense details where you can view, edit or delete the expense.

Pretty straightforward.

If you’re wondering about the icons on the expenses and incomes here’s what they are:
Repeating expense. It will repeat automatically based on a setting of  your choice. Open expense details or edit to find out more about the specific type of repeat.
– You can set to be reminded when your expenses come up, or some time before. Once the expense is due, the bell icon will be replaced by a red dot, warning you that the expense is still unpaid.
– Speaking of the devil… The red dot, warns you that the expense is still unpaid. Go into expense details, tap “mark as paid” and it shall go away.

 

Planned expenses

If you have any expenses entered on future dates this month, a special row will be shown on top of the list called “planned expenses”. You can open it to reveal which expenses are coming up this month. To add an expense into planned expenses, enter it is you would any expense, just set the date in the future of that month.

You can also choose to include these planned expenses into graphs or not.9

 

Sorting by date, by category and search

Open the expense list. Collect your thoughts, gather courage, tap the magnifier icon next to the clock in the upper right hand corner of the screen.

 

You will find the option to search your expenses. Tap inside the field and search for pretty much any expense attribute.

Below the action bar and accounts/timespan indicator are the tabs to choose sorting by date or by category. By default, the expenses are listed by date. When listed by date, the expenses are listed chronologically, with the latest ones on top.

When listed by category, a list of all categories is shown. Categories with the highest sum of expenses are shown on top. This way, you’ll be able to locate your largest money sinkholes quickly.

 

Filtering data

As everywhere in the app, you can filter your data. Use the time span options to filter by time, or filter by accounts. You can find both types of filtering in the right sidebar. Tap on the time and account preview on the top right, or swipe from anywhere on the rightmost edge of the screen to activate it.

The web app offers a few more options for filtering. Use the web app to also filter by category, tag or location. More on this here.

Posted in Android Tutorials, Uncategorized

Currencies in Toshl Finance – Ounces of Gold Welcome (Android)

 

In Toshl Finance you can use practically any currency you want. We support 165 different currencies from around the world with hourly updated exchange rates and historical daily exchange rates going back more than 15 years. This in practice means that you can travel or move anywhere, enter local expenses or even change the main currency in which you use the apps. Toshl will have your back.

Add an expense, income or a transaction in a foreign currency
The most common way in which you’ll encounter foreign currencies is usually when adding an expense, income or a transaction. Tap the currency symbol next to the amount and a plethora of currencies shall open in a dropdown menu.

On the very top of the list are your 5 recently used currencies. Your main currency is there by default, as well as the 4 other currencies that you recently used.

Below the recently used currencies you’ll find all the 165 currencies in an alphabetical list. The name of the currency is always followed by the currency symbol or abbreviation, as it will be displayed on the expense details and lists. The last piece information is the standardised three-letter international code of the currency.

 

Quick hint: You can also use search to find the currency that you need quickly. Just tap the search field on the top of the list and start typing the name of the currency you’re looking for.

Among the many national and supranational (e.g. the Euro) currencies you’ll expect to find there’s also a few more unusual ones. If your job description includes 17th century pillaging on the high seas you might appreciate entering your incomes in troy ounces of gold (XAU) or ounces of silver (XAG). If your dealings are more high finance than high seas, then the International Monteray Fund’s special drawing rights (XDR), might be more up your alley. Let’s not forget the the favourite child of financial innovation in recent years, Bitcoin. It’s of course also available as a full fledged currency in Toshl.

Once you’ve chosen your foreign currency, you can tap the round “i” button next to it and you’ll be taken to the exchange rate screen. By default it shows the suggested exchange rate. The exchange rates are updated hourly and are a middle rate from a variety of sources.

You can of course enter a completely custom exchange rate of your choosing. This is especially useful when you’re exchanging your money locally in a foreign country or at a bank. They usually won’t offer the middle neutral rate, but one slightly in their favour so they can make a profit on the exchange. If you’ve found a good deal it will be only slightly in their favour, but the differences can be quite large.

To set a custom exchange rate, delete the suggested rate and start typing a new one if you already know it. You can also tap one of the other numbers on the screen, the amount in foreign currency, or the amount in your main currency. Type new numbers in one of those fields and the other two numbers will adapt to fit the data.

Confirm the rate by tapping the tick icon on the top right. When you come back to the Add expense screen, you’ll find it a bit changed.

Below the amount you can see a preview of how the amount this is worth today in your main currency, or the currency of the financial account your are adding the expense to – if it’s different than the main currency.

 

Exchange rates on repeating expenses

If you add a repeating entry in a foreign currency we’ll ask you how to handle the exchange rate. A new exchange rate can be applied on each day when the expense repeats or it can remain the same as the rate hen you first entered it. Of course you can still manually set the rate on an individual repeat of the entry if you so prefer.

 

Active currency

Once you’ve saved an entry, the currency that you chose has become your active currency. That simply means that the next time you’re adding an expense, this active currency will be suggested by default. It will remain your active currency until you add an entry with a different currency or change the active currency in the Settings.

You can select your previously active currencies with appropriate exchange rates again by selecting one of the five currencies in the recently used part of the currencies dropdown menu.

 

 

Main currency

The main currency is most likely the currency of the country where you live, the currency in which you think. This is the currency in which all the graphs, sums etc. are displayed. You can have entries, budgets or account in different currencies, but they will always have an exchange rate so you can know how much they’re worth in your main currency when it’s all summed up.

There are circumstances where your main currency changes. Either you move somewhere else, your country adopts a new currency or you decide that you like decimals so much that you’re prepared to do all your thinking in Bitcoins from now on.

 

When changing a main currency there are 3 ways to do it:
– according to historical exchange rates (recommended)
– using one exchange rate
– changing the currency symbol, without changing the values

 

According to historical exchange rates
Toshl will check on which date the expense was entered and apply the exchange rate between the currency in which it was entered and the new main currency on that date. The entries will stay in the original currency on the lists, but the value in main currency and the sums will be adjusted accordingly.

 

Using one exchange rate
Toshl will suggest the exchange rate valid for today to convert all entry values to the new currency. You can also change the exchange rate to a completely custom rate of your liking. The entries will stay in the original currency on the lists, but the value in main currency and the sums will be adjusted accordingly.

 

Changing the currency symbol
This is mostly useful if you’ve started entering with a wrong main currency selected. The values are already in the new currency, you just want to change the symbol next to all the expenses in the previous (wrong) main currency. This approach will not update the entry values at all, it will just switch the currency symbol.

The first two options will apply the value changes to all entries (expenses, incomes, transactions) and budgets in the original main currency. You can choose whether you want to change the financial accounts in the old main currency to the new main currency as well.

 

Warning: In most cases there should be no data loss, but some custom exchange rates can be lost with multiple changes. For example: your main currency is the Euro and you have some expenses entered in Brazilian Reals. There is an exchange rate between those two currencies saved for each expense. If you then change your main currency from Euros to Reals, the exchange rate on those entries in Reals is now lost because the expense currency is the same as the main currency, so the rate can only be 1. If you then change back to Euro as the main currency, these expenses can have the historical exchange rate for that day applied again, but if you had entered a custom exchange rate before, it was sadly lost. It should only be a minor discrepancy for most, but if you often enter custom rates and change main currencies it is a thing to look out for.

Posted in Android Tutorials, Tutorials

My Financial Month & Time Spans (Android)

Did you ever want to travel in time? Me too. Here’s how you can do that in Toshl Finance. At least when it comes to your financial history.

You can change the time span displayed in the Android app in the right sidebar.

Tap on the clock icon top right, to open the right sidebar. You can also swipe left from anywhere on the right edge of the screen.

Then tap the button with the name of the current month to get into the time span section.

 

My financial month

The default time span is “My financial month”. If you haven’t been playing around with the Settings in the Web App, your financial month will be the same as the calendar month. If you prefer to sync up your financial month with when you get your salary, you can set that in the web app Settings on toshl.com.

Keep in mind though, that this will also change when your monthly budgets start and end, all the monthly graphs etc. We think that it’s still easier for most to leave the start of the financial month on the 1st, even if you get your main income on a different date. But if you’re really set on matching the dates, go right ahead.

The option to change the start of the financial month is only available in the web app, but not in the mobile ones.
web_settings

 

Quick hint: If you change your financial month to somewhere in the middle of the month, the month will be named after the month that includes the most days. For example, if I made my financial month start on the 15th, my financial month of May will last from May 15th to June 14th.

 

Custom time spans

In Toshl you can display any time span you want. If you click on the Custom time span tab, you’ll see the option to set the start and end date manually, or use one of the preset time spans for quicker access.

The preset options are based on calendar months. The presets for last 2, 3, 6 months will suggest those periods respectively, including the months that can be displayed from start to finish. You can also choose to display one of the recent calendar years, or even “All time”.

 

All time includes the time span from 1. 1. 1970 until today’s date. All the future cannot be included automatically in all time. If you have endlessly repeating expenses for example, that would mean displaying an infinite number of expenses, a possibility at which even the most adventurous Toshl monsters baulk at.

Posted in Android Tutorials, Tutorials

How to Set Up Your Budgets and Control Your Spending (Android)

Knowing where your money goes is an important step. It can help you rein in your spending, as you become aware of your weak points. But sometimes you need to grab the bull by the horns and firmly set the direction in which you want your finances to go. Budgets are here to help you do that.

 

Consider what your goals are. Is the situation dire and you need to seriously reduce your spending to the minimum? Or would you just like some more money left over to start some savings? Want a friendly reminder in case the spending goes over your usual average? This consideration will determine your basic budgeting strategy.

 

 

1. Set a monthly budget for all expenses

Take a look at how much you usually spend each month altogether. Based on what your goals are, pick a number that will be your monthly spending goal. If you’re with the easygoing, “just monitoring” crowd, you can keep it much the same as it was in the previous months. If you want to spend much less than before, reduce the number accordingly.

Now let’s get to the practical part.
Go to the Budgets section. Tap the navigation icon on the top left or simply swipe from the left edge of the screen.

 

Tap the blue + button on the bottom left to add a budget.

Leave the “budget for” on All expenses. Tap the “Time period” section below.

Leave the setting to the budget period of 1 month. You can add other types of budgets later on, we recommend starting with a monthly budget which will be in sync with your financial month. Monthly budgets for all expenses also play nice with other features. They get included in the River flow graph, as well as get a more prominent place in the Budgets section.

If you want, you can also make the budget start further in the past using the “Budget starts on” setting. This is useful if you have data in Toshl from earlier periods.

Tap the row labeled “Amount”.

Remember that monthly spending goal number you chose before? This would be the time to enter it. Once you click in the amount field you also get some additional options:
– “number” enter the amount as a regular number which stays the same every month until you change it
– “income –“ this will sum up all the incomes in the current financial month and subtract a number of your choosing. If you stick to your budget, this will be the amount of money you save each month.
– “income +” your budget will be your income plus the number you chose. Probably not ideal for most, but if you can draw on a reserve of cash to add to your monthly income, this is the solution for you.
– “% of income” great to set a proportion of income you want to save. If you want to save 20 % of your income each month, set the budget to 80 % of your income and stick to it.

Whether you want the number to be static or adjust automatically to your income, your call. You know your circumstances best. If things change, or you manage to save more you can always change it later.

The next step is simply a sum up of what you chose so far. If you’re satisfied with the choices, tap the tick icon on the top right of the screen to Save the budget.

Your first monthly budget. Congratulations!

While we covered the basic things you need to set up your budgets in previous steps, there are a few more options that you can use once you nudge closer toward becoming a budgeting savant:

Accounts – You can limit the budget to follow only certain accounts. That way only expenses coming from those accounts will be counted in the budget. For the start, it’s probably better to leave it to “All accounts”

Date – This defines when a specific budget starts. If you left the budget on the monthly period, the default will be the start of the current month. If you have already been using Toshl for a longer period of time, you can set that start date in the past and budgets will be calculated automatically for all those past periods. Neat trick, eh?
Move remaining funds to next period – Also known as “the rollover”. If you set this to ON, any surplus or lack of funds in the budget will be transferred to the next budget period. If you really want to be rigorous about your spending, use this and see how good you are at self-discipline. If the sins of the past months become too much of a burden, you can edit the rollover amount separately later on. But you’ll know you’ve cheated on the inside. ;)

Title – We automatically generate a title for your budgets based on the settings you chose for each one, but you can always change it to something custom if you so desire.

 

2. Add a monthly budget for specific categories

Not all spending is the same. Some costs are relatively fixed or a bit harder to change, like rent for example, while others are more flexible and more easily change month to month based on your habits.

Think about what kind of spending gets you in trouble. Which are the unnecessary things you really could do without, or at least spend a bit less on them. All the tech gadgets, drinks, games, gardening supplies… ? Your call. Just don’t say “alimony”. Not cool! ;)

If you’ve been using Toshl for a while, it’s best to browse through your past months in expense graphs and see where your money leaks are.

Once you’ve thought about it, go to the Budgets section again, click the blue + button on the bottom left to Add a budget.

This time, in the “Budget for” section choose this to be a budget for a category.

You’ll see your categories listed so you can choose which category or categories you wish to track with this budget. We’ll go with Food & Drinks this time.

Next, let’s scroll down and tap the Amount setting below.

How much you can spend on this specific category is up to you. If you have past data base it on that, see how much you spent and what your goal is. If you prefer, you can also define it as a percentage of your income, but that will probably take a bit more fine-tuning in this case.

If you’re satisfied with your choices, that’s all there is to it. Click “Save”.
If you’ve used some more advanced features like starting the budget in the past or for certain accounts before, you can set these to match with this budget as well.

 

3. Budgets for more categories?

If you’ve identified multiple categories that you need to keep a vigilant eye over, by all means, add them as well. If you want, you can make a budget for every single category, the same way we have been doing this so far in this tutorial.

Monthly budgets for categories and the one for all expenses are a bit different than the rest of the budgets. Because they all use the same monthly period and the categories add up to 100 % of the expenses sum, this is reflected in the budget list.

The top budget is your general monthly budget for all expenses. The ones below each represent a percentage of the total monthly budget. That’s why the little progress bars beneath each category budget are of different lengths. The category budget amounts all represent a percentage of the total monthly budget. The categories for which you have not yet made a budget for are covered in the “Remaining budgets” section. That way you get a rough picture of how your monthly budget for all expenses is distributed among the categories.

 

4. What about other, non-monthly budgets?

In this tutorial, we covered the most basic budget that we think would be most beneficial for most people to set up at first. We also offer a lot of different budget options for your specific needs. You don’t need to base your budget based on your financial month, although they’re displayed a bit more nicely if you do (see point 3.).

2015-12-18 19.15.55

Budgets can be based on almost any time period, be it a custom number of days, weeks, months, even years.
They can be set to track all expenses, some categories, exclude some categories, tags or exclude some tags. They can also track your budget using all financial accounts, or just a few you selected.
You can have the budgets transfer the remaining or lacking funds to the next period (rollover) or see them individually for each period.

Explore Toshl, try the different options and we’re sure you’ll find a way to budget which suits your needs the best.

Posted in Android Tutorials, Tutorials