Category: Guest posts

What are Your Financial Goals?

This is a guest post by Miha Slekovec, an avid user of Toshl Finance and an explorer of financial self-improvement.


Let’s take a step back and look at a bigger picture of the personal finance world. It can be much more than just keeping track of your monthly expenses. If done the right way, it can lead to the personal freedom many people are craving for – financial independence. Personal finance need not be just a monthly choir, or a task. It can be the first step on a ladder which leads to financial independence. The ladder has five steps and it starts with budgeting. Good budgeting leads to creating savings, which can then be invested. With a correct investment strategy you can create assets, and with enough assets you can reach your financial freedom. For details take a look at the picture below. Start at the bottom.

The beauty of the system is that you can step up and down the ladder according to your financial goals. The solid foundation is keeping your monthly finances in order. Without that you cannot search for possible savings in your spending. Monthly budgeting lets you identify the weakest points of your monthly money flow and it shows you what needs to be improved. These improvements lead to (extra) savings, which you can then use in whichever way you want. Maybe you want to save for that great vacation you wanted to go on for years? Or maybe you want to put the money on the side for that dream home you want to buy in the future? Maybe you want to invest it?

Here we are entering a new territory. In sports terms, budgeting/saving is playing defence, while investing is playing offence. There are many ways to score, but you must know what you are doing, especially in the long run. But don’t despair, there are many ways to invest and many sources to learn about investing. Just remember some basic rules: invest in only what you know, be prepared to lose your money, and don’t be greedy.

Be careful where you invest, as different countries have very different tax codes and regulations about investing. What is possible in the USA, is not necessarily possible in Germany. And the possibilities of investment in France differ from those in Japan. Make a study of what you can do in your country. A good general resource to start is JL Collins: The Simple Path to Wealth. The book offers good insight into the stock market for first time investors and helps you avoid some of the common rookie mistakes. For a few alternative resources try books by Jack Bogle or Benjamin Graham.


The most important question is – what do you want to achieve with your finances? Where do you want to enter and where leave the ladder?

Posted in Guest posts, Personal finance, Tips & Tricks

Useful Personal Finance Blogs and Podcasts

This is a guest post by Miha Slekovec, an avid user of Toshl Finance and an explorer of financial self-improvement.


If you are interested to know more about personal finances, here is a short guide through some of the most notable bloggers, podcasters and other writers. Some of them cover just private investment, while others are financial independence seekers. Some are both. They are a good resource of information about investing, especially for beginners. The list is quite Europe-oriented, but a lot of financial tips are universal and you can quickly find similar resources for your home country.



Monevator is an investor and a blogger from UK with a massive internal knowledge on the functioning of the financial industry. He strongly believes in personal freedom and acts accordingly. His blog is a great resource for small investors, but also for people who want to know more about the financial world.


Finanzrocker and Finanzwesir (in German) are the German equivalents of Monevator. From their home turf in northern Germany they write about the possibilities of investment in the German market, peculiarities of tax regulations and similar. Finanzrocker is more interested in the modern tools, such as robo-advisors or P2P lending, while Finanzwesir is interested in more traditional investments.


Mr. Money Mustache is most probably the best resource about early retirement and financial independence. He started writitng his blog in 2011 and has since then covered all of the most important topics for early retirees.


1.500 Days to Freedom covers similar topics as Mr. Money Mustache, but in a more fun way. His posts are also very short and full of other material, such as pictures and videos.


Madame Moneypenny (in German) is a German blogger about financial independence, who writes about it from a woman’s perspective.



Mad Fientist should be the first and foremost resource for podcasts about financial independence. Even though he is not a natural speaker, he compensates with funny and interesting guests, covering topics such as private investing and real estate.


Finanzwesir rockt (in German) is a monthly podcast, where Finanzwesir and Finanzrocker confront their different opinions on investment related topics. The podcast is very German-oriented, but their conclusions can be applied in other markets as well.


Bigger pockets podcast, also as video cast, specialized for real-estate investment. The topic is very specific, and focused on the USA market.


Do you know other great resources worth sharing? Share them with us.


Posted in Guest posts

Improving Financial Literacy – The Case of Hinkley Finance Club

The first step on the road to long term financial sustainability and peace of mind is education. Learning not to live above your means, saving, planning and budgeting properly are all very important skills often neglected by school systems around the world.

That’s why we were so delighted when we heard of The Hinkley Finance Club using Toshl Finance to help students learn about personal finances at the Hinkley High School in Aurora, Colorado in the United States. We gladly provided some tips about the apps (they didn’t really need much) and Toshl Pro accounts to help them with their noble goal.

Hinkley Finance Club

The Club is already in its eight year of helping students better understand their finances. They meet weekly, after normal school hours, over a five-month period (January through May). The program consists of a series of personal finance workshops on such subjects as: The Financial Planning Process, Budget and Spending Plans, Savings and Investments, Credit, Insurance, Financial Institutions and Services, and Vocations and Careers.  These workshops are presented by the Club’s founder, David McConico, who receives assistance from various volunteer presenters.  These assistants include Bob Noyes, a Hinkley math teacher, who was also instrumental in organizing the Club.

Here’s what they had to say about Toshl Finance:

“In conjunction with the Budget and Spending Plans segment, we looked at a number of smart phone applications that would allow users to record expenses in a convenient manner as well as allow for the comparison of such expenditures to a budget. We selected Toshl Finance.  Toshl had all the features we were looking for (it is particularly user friendly and the students immediately grasped how to use it) and it was available on multiple phone platforms.

Finally, we were impressed with Toshl’s Excel download feature. Next school year we want to use Excel with our advanced students and having their personal finance data on a spreadsheet will provide an excellent segue to this session.”

The Club requires its members to 1) complete quizzes and online financial education modules, 2) open savings accounts, and 3) compete in financial games that involve financial rewards.  Participants are provided with financial incentives (up to $300) for achieving certain objectives. Meals are also provided to the students as part of the program.

It’s run through the FEET Center, a local non-profit organisation, whose volunteers help educate the students and run the program. In the future, they hope to expand to other high schools in the Aurora district and even set up financial education competitions with scholarships for the top performing team members.

At Toshl we certainly wish them all the best in their mission and hope their example will be followed around the world. With better financial education, people can have more stability in their lives, less stress and more time and will to improve all round.

Big thanks to the everyone at the Hinkley Finance Club and David Milanesi for providing us with a summary of their activities.

Posted in Guest posts, News coverage

Money Affects Everything

guest post by Melissa Tosetti

What I’ve learned over the last 15 years of living The Savvy Life and eight years of writing about it, teaching it and working with clients is that money affects everything. It affects where we live, what we eat, how we dress and what we do with our free time. What you spend in one area directly affects how much you have left to spend in the other areas of your life.

This idea of how money affects everything goes beyond saving money at the grocery store or waiting until those new pair of boots go on sale before buying them. It’s about…

  • Knowing where you stand financially on a daily basis so you can make intelligent fiscal decisions.
  • Choosing to purchase only things you love and make you happy.
  • When you do go out to eat it’s because you want to go to that particular restaurant, not because you’re too tired to cook or don’t have any groceries in the house.
  • Creating an environment in your home that is warm and inviting because when you’re not comfortable at home – you’re likely out spending money.
  • Having a wardrobe made entirely of clothes that fit and look great on you.
  • Enjoying your time off even more because you planned for it and know you can “afford it”.

To illustrate this point, I’ll give you a brief comparison that I use in my book, Living The Savvy Life, of the lives of the proverbial Average Woman and that of a Savvy Woman:

An Average Woman

An Average Woman has no idea how much money is in her checking account at any given time. She often uses her debit card with a knot in her stomach, hoping it will not be declined.

She has a closet overflowing with clothes, few of which can be pulled together into a complete outfit. Many of the clothes in her closet still have the tags on them because she realized she has nothing to wear with the item once she brought it home. She continues to purchase clothes at random, always feeling the need to buy more.

She finds herself in the drive-thru several days a week because her kitchen cupboards are bare. When she does buy groceries, she does so without a plan and isn’t quite sure what to do with them once she gets home. When she goes to her favorite high-end restaurants, she feels a tinge of guilt as she pulls out her credit card to pay the bill.

She takes a vacation at least once a year with several weekend getaways interspersed. She finds herself preoccupied while on holiday since she was just on the verge of paying off her previous vacation when she headed out the door.

An Average Woman is a consumer who keeps buying, hoping the next item she purchases will magically create the life she so desperately wants.

A Savvy Woman

A Savvy Woman knows exactly how much money she has in the bank and always spends less than she makes. Her growing savings account gives her a confidence that is visible to others.

She has a pared down wardrobe comprised only of clothes she loves, look great on her and make her feel good. She is a style setter, not a trend follower. She never purchases an item for her wardrobe unless she has fallen in love with it.

She cooks the majority of her meals at home. She has numerous dishes mastered and is always on the lookout for new recipes to add to her repertoire. She has a black belt in grocery shopping, and her pantry and refrigerator are stocked full of ingredients ready to be made into delicious meals. The fact that she cooks the majority of her meals at home allows her to enjoy the occasional meal out at her favorite high-end restaurant, without guilt to spoil the experience.

She has an appetite for adventure and consciously saves money for those long weekends away and the trip to Italy she has been planning for the past year. When she vacations, the trip is paid for prior to departure, so it is a true holiday.

A Savvy Woman picks and chooses what she brings into her life, being selective versus mindlessly consuming. This control over her financial life allows for even greater joy of life.

Are you ready to start Living The Savvy Life?

Melissa Tosetti is the author of the financial lifestyle book , Living The Savvy Life and is the founder of The Savvy Life, a day-to-day financial education company.

Posted in Guest posts