Category: Tips & Tricks

Where Did All The Money Go? A Guide to Get You Back on Track.

Now that summer is coming to a close (if you live on the northern hemisphere), you are probably checking the damage that all those summer parties, trips and dinners did to your budget.

We get it, summer is the time to party and real sweating. Sweating about the small stuff like money should come later… But now, the summer has almost ended and you are stuck with sweating about the small stuff. Like money.

This guide is more about discipline than it is about changing the income and outcome factors deliberately. We’ve read some saving guides that began with “Earn more money” or “Start selling stuff you don’t need” and we said “This guy is obviously a banker!”. This guide is different.

 

Get yourself together!

First thing’s first – do not panic. Money problems are more common than a common cold. We are all in the same boat. The important thing is to get your spending habits recorded, so you know what the problem is. Some people don’t understand where their money is going and they just start hacking at costs left and right. Which is just silly, you need to eat.

However, did you know you are spending way too much money on collectible dolls from the 18th century? By which we mean if you own ONE 18th century doll, you are spending too much money on them. The perfect amount of 18th century dolls a person should have is zero. There you go. You are welcome.

Toshl tip

Connect your bank, import data from a file or enter the expenses in the app so you can have a clear, categorized view of all your financial ins and outs.

Keep adding everything you make and spend into the app to get a complete picture of your finances.

 

Create a separate savings account

Yes. Trust me. You need a separate account where you will move the money you are saving. No, you will not dedicate that portion of the budget mentally. No, you will not be extra careful. This is not junior high. Create a dedicated account for all the money you are going to save. Period.

Toshl tip

Create a new account in the Toshl app and give it an appealing name so you will feel good moving money from your checking account to it. Do not call it “Savings”, call it “Ass kicking account!”

 

Focus on the goal!

OK, you cannot just save money. I mean, you can, but saving money is like saving the world. You will never finish, plus everybody will tell you that there is a million things that need saving more urgently. Ugh, whatever Shaunna. But they are right – you need a goal. A target. A sense. But a goal can be anything – a new pair of shoes, financial independence, a motorcycle, being debt free, a new laptop, a house.


Toshl tip

Make separate financial accounts for your particular saving goals in Toshl and track your saved-up balances. Make sure you put the money aside on your bank account or in an envelope when dealing with cash.

 

Set a monthly budget and set up savings

You cannot just go ahead saving money. You need a goal inside a goal. Sort of like a budgetception. Only without Leonardo DiCaprio. Set a goal for how much you’ll save each month and use budget tracking to limit your general spending and make sure you always put the savings amount on the side. There is no point over-promising yourself and then never actually committing that much money.

Toshl tip

The River flow graph in the Toshl apps can help a lot in steering your money flows each month. You’ll see how your budgeting is going and how much you’ll save if you stick to it.

 

Automate the process

Seriously. The robots are coming for your job anyway, you might as well give them one and task them to take money from your checking account and put it in your saving account. If you have to do it by hand, it won’t feel as good. Yes, some things feel better when you do not use your hand.

Toshl tip

Set up automatic transfers between your checking and “ass kicking” (savings) account. Do the same on your online bank, or set a reminder to actually put the cash aside.

 

Save before you spend

This might be tricky, but time your saving robots with your incomes. If your paycheck is due on the 10th, make sure the robots do their thing on the 11th so that you will learn to handle the rest of the amount till the next month. If you want to play on a lower difficulty, tell the robots to move the set amount the day before the paycheck.

Toshl tip

Same thing as before – add a reminder to transfer to savings in the app so that the app keeps you on your toes.

 

Bonus: Change your spending habits

OK, up until now tips for focusing on discipline. This last one is different.

Maybe you should evaluate your expenses report and think about it. Spending too much on cable? Using outdated package deals that are not as viable anymore? Still having too many of those 18th century dolls? Adapt and see what happens.

You should make a ritual out of reevaluating some business deals every once and awhile anyway. Mobile phone providers, internet access providers, banks… these are the deals you made once a thousand years ago and then just got stuck with them because you just could not be bothered. But you should be!

Providers often count on your passive behaviour after the initial excitement about discounted prices even when the contract expires. So mark the expiration date on your contracts and go hunt for better deals when the time comes.

Toshl tip

Create annual reports or even annual budgets on individual costs tag so you can see how much money did you spend in total and then compare new offers to see if they are worth your time and money.

Posted in Budgeting, Tips & Tricks

How to Protect Your Phone on the Go

Look, we get it. Articles about phone protection are a dime a dozen and you only start paying attention to them when you actually lose your phone and start asking yourself the important questions. For example: “How do I call the police to report my phone stolen?”

We have also read the studies on two approaches to teaching people about security. Apparently you can be nice and cuddly and proactive or you can be rude, threatening and catastrophic – but none of those two approaches work.

So we thought of another way. We will talk about phone security through a series of Marvel gifs from the Avengers universe. Everybody likes Avengers, right?

 

Tip 1: Lock you phone with a passphrase

See, despite the laughs War Machine got in the theater when revealing his password, he was actually on to something.

Passphrase “WARMACHINEROX” is actually better than those weird passwords that include glyphs and numbers and other complex characters. Why?

Well because a) you remember it easily and there is no need for those pieces of papers, b) you can add a ton of characters which increases complexity and c) if it is embarrassing enough, you will not reveal it through the attempts of social hacking.

 

Tip 2: Secure your passwords

Even passwords need protection! These are dangerous times we are living in my friend and if you think you are in the clear just because you have followed through the tip 1, you are wrong. Like – Loki in Thor 1 wrong. Which is pretty much the most amount of wrong you can be. Think about investing a bit of effort in a two-factor authentication app and a password manager, so all of your passwords will be safe inside a vault. Of course you still going to remember THAT password but, it’s a lot more realistic you’ll manage that than keeping hundreds of different, secure passwords in your head.

 

Tip 3: Use privacy-first chat apps

When it comes to phone security, you should have trust issues. From apps to unprotected networks to weird messages to basic theft – you really should think about adding layers of security to your phone. This can mean adding more encryption by, for example, replacing the Facebook Messenger app with something a little more secure – might we suggest Signal?

 

Tip 4: Update your app selection

“Perfectly balanced. As all things should be” is a great advice when deciding on which apps to keep and which to remove. You just have to remember that you hold the infinity gauntlet and that you are responsible for all the apps on your phone. Apps that want permissions, might leak your data and do other scary things – and you are not even using them anymore. Be like Thanos. Perform the snap every once in a while.

 

Tip 5: Use a VPN connection

By using a VPN you significantly reduce the amount of information the network providers have on you. Less information, more privacy. Of course, you are still letting the VPN owner take a peek at your traffic, but there are some providers who protect that information.

 

Tip 6: Backup your data

See? Hulk backs up his data. That is his secret. That is why he is calm. Lost a phone? Restore from backup. Phone died? Restore from backup. Phone stolen? Restore from backup. Hulk know. You should be like Hulk. Not the smashy part. The backupy part.

 

Tip 7: Keep your phone updated

Finally, do not be like Nick Fury. If the phone or an app requests an update, you update. Updates are usually filled with improvements and important fixes that can affect security and who are you to argue with the engineers and people who know their stuff? Update. Your. Phone.

In conclusion, there are many things you can do to protect your phone, your data and your privacy. Of course, you have to think about security as a process and not as a state, meaning that you have to be on your toes for the next glitch in the matrix. Ooops, sorry, wrong franchise.

 

 

Toshl has your back!

Did you know Toshl offers and additional app passcode and two step authentication which can greatly improve the security and privacy of your finance flows? Here is how you turn it on!

Posted in Tips & Tricks

Keyboard Shortcuts (Web App)

When using Toshl Web App to record the latest expenses and monitor your personal finance, it is now possible to navigate through the functions quickly just by using your keyboard.

 

Keyboard shortcuts:

  • Keyboard shortcuts list  –  ?

General

  • Create a new expense  –  e
  • Create a new income  –  i
  • Create a new transfer  –  t
  • Move between fields  –  tab
  • Save  –  cmd / ctrl + s
  • Cancel action/close  –  esc

Time span

  • Move to my current financial month  –  m
  • Move to next month  –  n
  • Back to previous month  –  b
  • All time  –  
  • Display calendar year  –  2018, 2019, …

Notifications

  • Dismiss top notification  –  d t
  • Dismiss all notifications  –  d a

Navigation

  • Main screen  –  g m
  • Expense  –  g e
  • Incomes  –  g i
  • Planning  –  g p
  • Budgets  –  g b
  • Locations  –  g l

 

Check the list of shortcuts in the Web App at any time by selecting the link in the bottom left corner, or by pressing ? on your keyboard (combination of keys for this will depend on the keyboard settings on your computer).

 

 

Example: saving an expense using keyboard shortcuts

 

To create a new expense, press the e key. After opening the form, first enter the amount as usual. To move to the next field for the selection of a category, use the Tab key. To enter the desired category, begin typing its name and the list of suggestions will be brought up automatically. Navigate down the list with the arrow keys and confirm your selection by pressing enter.

Input the tags in the same way. You can of course add more than one, and confirm them by pressing enter. Move to the next field with the tab key again.

Don’t forget that it is possible to cancel any action, or close the form completely, by pressing the Esc key at any time. If you currently have the focus in any field, Esc will first move the focus out of the field. Second press of Esc will close the add entry form completely and discard the entered data.

When selecting the date of your expense, it is possible to simply input the day, month and year by typing in the numbers. Move left and right through the form with the arrow keys, and confirm your input by pressing enter.

Your expense is now ready to be saved, since all the required information – the amount, category and date – are set. Pressing the tab key again will move the selection onto the Save button, or you can simply use the shortcut Cmd / Ctrl + s.

To reveal the options to save additional information with your expense, press tab again and confirm the highlighted “Show more” option .

For the location details, browse through the list of suggestions or enter the details manually. Use this trick with a comma to simplify the search.

When you’re done, continue down the list, and confirm the expense input with the Save button or the Cmd / Ctrl + s shortcut.

 

Try using the rest of the shortcuts on your own, such as quickly navigating through the sections in the main menu, time spans, or switching through next or previous months with n and b. 

Where multiple keys are written with just space in between, for example g m, they can be pressed in rapid succession to activate. You don’t need to hold them simultaneously.

Where multiple keys are written with a + in between, for example Cmd / Ctrl + S, they need to be pressed simultaneously to work. Cmd means Command and is used on Macs, while the same shortcut is used with Ctrl (Control) on Windows.

 

Forms for incomes and transfer work the same way, and the option to set repeats, reminders and photos with expenses and incomes becomes available with Toshl Pro or Toshl Medici subscriptions.

 

When going through forms, Toshl monster is a true ninja – fast, efficient, deadly, and dressed all in black. It’s the new orange.

 

Posted in Announcements, Tutorials, Web App Tutorials

Save Photos of Receipts and Invoices with Your Expenses (Android)

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. Also, a bird in the hand is supposedly worth two in the bush. Now, we are not exactly sure how much a picture of a bush is worth to a bird, or what’s the current exchange rate for bushes to ounces of gold, but if you’re going to buy some, you might as well add a photo of the receipt next to your records of expenses in the Toshl app. It never hurts to have things recorded in detail, especially when it comes to personal finances.

Remember that adding extra information to either incomes or expenses is done by following the same steps. We will present an example for an expense, but you would edit an income in the same way.

The option to save photos with expenses and incomes becomes available with Toshl Pro or Toshl Medici subscriptions.

1. Selecting the Photos feature

Let’s say that we’re saving an expense during a road trip through Norway. Also known as “the land of reasonable price tags”, the country’s landscape is laced with fjords, and we took a ferry ride to cross one. The price was 120 Norwegian krone (sign: kr, code: NOK), saved under the category “Transport”, paid in cash.

To get to the Photos feature, we tap on the far right icon below the date tab to reveal additional options.

 

 

2. Attaching a photo to your expense

Tapping on the “Photos” icon reveals two options:

  • Take photo
  • Choose from library.

You can either take a new photo of the receipt, invoice, payslip or some other document you wish to attach to your expense, or select an existing image from your photo library on the mobile device itself.

Tapping on the first option opens the Camera app on your device. Take a picture as you would normally do, and confirm the selection.

The second option opens your photo library, where all you have to do is navigate to the desired image, select it, and it will get attached to your expense. You can add up to 4 photos for each entry.

The entry can then be saved and the photos will be stored next to your income or expense.

The file formats supported for uploading images are PNG, JPG and JPEG.

 

 

3. Reviewing saved photos

Images are available for review in the entries’ details. Select the expense from the overall list …

… and tap on it to bring up a detailed view.

You can edit the entry at any time by adding more photos or removing them altogether.

 

Besided the receipts you can, for example, also save photos of invoices and payslips next to your records of incomes. Attach pictures of documents such as warranties of products you bought, invoices for tax review purposes, and photos of actual products and services you had just documented.

It’s always better to store too much info about your financial flows than too little, and it will give you a chance to come back to your entries at a later date and easily remember what those expenses and entries were about.

 

Related articles:

Toshl monster keeps his eye on your spending habits, taking pictures as proof. Say cheeeeese!

 

Posted in Android Tutorials, Tutorials