Category: Tips & Tricks

Financial Planning (Web App)

Know your past spending and earning patterns, plan for the future. This is what the Planning graph is all about.

There are 4 different tabs on top, to help with different parts of your financial plan.

 

Balance – monthly balance of incomes and expenses

This balance is separate for every month and is calculated like this: “incomes this monthexpenses this month” = “monthly balance“. For total balance in all time, see the net worth graph.

Staying above the 0 line is crucial. At least on a yearly average, if it doesn’t exactly work out every month.

financial planning - monthly balance

 

Expenses – spending per month

Shows the sum of expenses each month, but can also be filtered to display spending on certain categories, tags, locations and financial accounts.

financial planning - expenses

 

Incomes – earnings per month

Shows the sum of incomes each month, but can also be filtered to display earnings on certain categories, tags and financial accounts.

financial planning - incomes

 

Net worth – total balance of your financial accounts

These funds accumulate if you have regular surpluses on your monthly balances. The amounts reflect the account balances at the end of the month.

financial planning - net worth (total account balance)

 

Click & hold for details and a lollipop

To get the exact value for each column, click and hold somewhere on the graph.

A “lollipop” will show up, displaying the exact value for the month.

Past months will also display averages for the latest 12 months, while future months can also show estimates for the period.

financial planning - financial month details (lollipop)

toshl accounting monster with lollipop

River flow – see the financial flows each month

You’ll notice that the River flow graph is displayed below the multi-month graph. It shows how your incomes and expenses compare to each other and your budget in an individual month. If you have a monthly budget for all expenses, it will include it in the calculation as well, so you’ll know how much you can spend while keeping within your budget limits.

 

Travel in time

14 months are shown on the graph. By default 8 past ones, the current month and 5 future months.

You can move through time by using the < > arrows on the left and right side of the graph or by using the general time span settings on the top of the page.

If you’re interested in sums for a certain period, you can also select a custom time span. The selected months will be displayed in darker color below the graph and you’ll see sums for the entire period.

financial planning - custom time span

 

 

Filter by category, tag, account, location

You can zero-in on specific data you’re interested in and want to see over a longer period of time.

Let’s say you want to know how your spending on Food & Drinks varies in time. Click on “Expense categories” in the right sidebar, “Select categories” and click “Food & Drinks”. The graph will immediately filter to show you only spending data for the Food & Drinks category, so you can see how it varies through the year.

You can narrow it down even further by selecting a tag. Do the same in the “expense tags” section and you can see how much you spent only on restaurants, alcohol, groceries or a combination of multiple tags.

financia planning - filer by account, category, tag, location

You don’t have to pick only one filter. They can be combined. For example, you can set it to only show expenses paid with MasterCard (financial account), for Leisure (category) for books, movies and music (tags) in HMV Manchester Arndale (location).

This filtering is global, so it will work with all the data in Toshl apps. You can also turn off the filtering panel by clicking on top right, to reveal the expense list below. Any filter that’s applied will be displayed on the top right next to the filtering funnel icon. If no filters are applied, it will just say “All accounts”.

 

Estimates and planned expenses

You’ll notice that the future months aren’t as colorful on the graph. That doesn’t mean that the future isn’t bright, just a bit hazy for now.

The semi-transparent columns in future months can display your planned entries, future estimates or both.

financial planning - estimates and planned entries

 

Planned entries

These are the expenses, incomes and transfers you have already entered into the future, or were generated automatically based on the repeating entry settings that you have set earlier. We advise to add much of these as you can possibly predict. They’ll help you plan your future months so you can keep financial stress down to the minimum.

These planned entries can be set to display in the graph or not. You can set this by clicking the month on the top of the page, then setting the switch for Planned ON or OFF. This will also affect other graphs in Toshl.

 

Estimates

Estimates project your past trends in earning and spending into the future, providing a rough guide of what to expect with your balances, spending, earnings or net worth if the current trends continue as they have so far.

As it’s based on your past data, the more time you’ve been tracking your finances with Toshl, the more precise they can become. We’ll also be improving the algorithm for this over time, so it will become better at guessing your spending patterns.

You can switch estimates ON or OFF in the filtering sidebar on the right side of the graph.

 

 

The Planning feature is available with Toshl Pro. Manage and save money better for the price of a coffee per month.

Improving and maintaining apps takes resources and time. By upgrading, you’re supporting the future development of Toshl Finance. Thank you!

Posted in Tips & Tricks, Tutorials, Web App Tutorials

16 Cryptocurrencies With Fresh Exchange Rates Added to Toshl

This seems to be the golden age of currency innovation. A lot of new, alternative currencies have cropped up in the last few years, outside of the traditional government, central bank systems and fueled by cryptocurrency innovations.

When using the new currencies, it can be a bit of a hassle to keep track of all of them and their sometimes wildly fluctuating exchange rates. Toshl is here to help.

We’ve just added support for 16 new cryptocurrencies. You can add expenses, incomes, transfers, budgets and financial accounts in these currencies. They’ll work just like any other currency on Toshl, including having always updated and fresh exchange rates.

 

Quick tip: If you have a financial account in a foreign currency, the value of that account is automatically updated with fresh exchange rates. This way, you can always know your exact net worth in your main currency, no matter how many different currencies you use on your financial accounts.

 

The 16 newly added cryptocurrencies

BitShares (BTS)

EarthCoin (EAC)

Emercoin (EMC)

Ethereum (ETH)

Factom (FCT)

Feathercoin (FTC)

LiteCoin (LTC)

Namecoin (NMC)

NovaCoin (NVC)

Nxt (NXT)

Peercoin (PPC)

Stellar (STR)

VertCoin (VTC)

Monero (XMR)

Primecoin (XPM)

Ripple (XRP)

 

The new currencies have already been automatically added to the Toshl Finance mobile and web apps, no app update is necessary.

 

cryptocurrencies grown on trees

With so many new cryptocurrencies, one could think they practically grow on trees. Toshl monsters do in fact grow their currencies on trees, they claim they’re more “natural” that way.

Posted in Announcements, Tips & Tricks

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

Plan ahead in 2017

It’s time to sink our teeth into 2017. Financially and otherwise. Perhaps only sink your teeth into 2017 literally if you have a very tasteful calendar or thoroughly enjoy cellulose.

There are a few very simple things you can do to plan ahead, avoid unpleasant financial surprises and can thus afford to eat things tastier than paper throughout the year.

 

1. Add all regular expenses you can predict in 2017

Fill in as many expenses as you can in advance. No worries if you don’t have the exact right amount yet. Add an expense with the approximate amount and set a reminder, so you don’t forget to edit in the exact amount later on.

Think about which expenses repeat regularly, be it every month, once a year or every few weeks. If they repeat in the same period every time, add them as repeating expenses.

Here are a few examples:

  • transport costs (car registration, regular car maintenance, public transport fees)
  • rent, house maintenance
  • loans, mortgages, car payments
  • utilities (heating, electricity, internet)
  • content subscriptions (streaming, cable, music, web services, publications)
  • education fees
  • gym, leisure activities, seal clubbing club membership fees

 

2. Add budgets for your variable spending

There’s also spending that’s harder to predict as it’s more irregular and subject to your current whim, making it a lot more difficult to plan in advance. Things like going for coffee, eating out in restaurants, impulsively buying a herd of reindeer, deciding to work on your own nuclear fusion reactor…

While the latter two might be just me, I’m sure you can find plenty of examples where your impulsive spending can take you overboard.

Those areas are perfect for setting up budgets for the variable spending you want to keep in check. It’s easy to do, just set a budget to track an individual category or tag to make sure those areas don’t get out of control.

A few examples of such budgets:

  • Monthly budgets for Food & Drinks, or perhaps just “restaurants”, “alcohol” or “coffee & tea
  • Monthly budget for Leisure or some of your past time tags in particular
  • Yearly budget for Transport, especially for leisurely petrol-heads
  • Yearly budget for tobacco can be especially helpful if you’re trying to quit smoking, the large yearly numbers might just shock you enough to stop

Find out more on How to set up the budgets (Web, Android, iOS) and How to use the budgets (Web, Android, iOS) in general.

While it’s good to have those figures under control, let yourself room for some treats once in a while. Being a “bon-vivant” might even help you save on your health bills in the long run due to lower stress. 😉

 

 

3. Make a financial buffer

You should have a healthy financial cushion or a financial buffer in other words, so you can weather any storms that might come up. Having 3 months worth of incomes saved up is a good basic start, but try to increase that amount gradually as you go along. Knowing that you can survive for at least half a year even if you loose your job will make you breathe a lot more easily. With the full realisation this is often easier said than done, this should be a goal you strive to, so unexpected financial events don’t throw you off your balance.

Making a special financial account in Toshl for this purpose is a good idea, just make sure you have this money actually saved up and can get to it rather quickly if the need arises.

 

4. Save in advance

Don’t forget to save for the big stuff in advance. I’m sure I don’t have to remind you about your big financial goals like buying a house or an apartment, buying a car etc.

Fusion reactors also don’t come cheap, but your government is likely already making you save a bit for those collectively. Good call.

Don’t forget about the smaller, but still quite considerable purchases that come up often. You’ll probably want to take a holiday in 2017. If you haven’t yet, the time to start planning for this is now.

Start a new financial account for your “Holiday savings” or “New flat”. If you already have something saved up for it, enter an initial balance. Then, add a regularly repeating transfer from your main bank account to your savings account. Setting a reminder here can help you remember to actually put that money on the side every month.

See: How to set up your finances – including financial accounts (Web, Android, iOS)

 

5. See what’s ahead with Planning

We have a new feature for you that will help you better visualise the data that you have just entered and plan ahead in general. It’s called Planning and is currently available in Beta testing on toshl.com.

Planning will show you a full year’s view of your finances, making it a lot easier to learn from your financial past and plan for the future. You can see the past or projected balances for each individual month, how your net worth (sum of all accounts) grows or falls over time, as well as see monthly changes in expenses in incomes. Don’t forget you can also filter by category or tag to see how smaller parts of your spending vary with the seasons.

 

 

You can now see the effect of all your careful expense planning and saving from the previous steps. The columns for each month’s spending should be at least somewhat filled already with your fixed expenses. Naturally, more variable expenses will fill those months as well as time passes. Now you’ll at least have a basic frame of reference to see how much you can afford in discretionary spending once your fixed expenses and saving for the important things have been accounted for.

Don’t forget to check your past spending patterns in 2016 as well, just to make sure you haven’t forgotten something in your yearly financial cycle.

 

6. Don’t forget to have fun

I write “have fun” on my to do list every day, so I don’t forget about it and just remain miserable throughout the day. I’m lying of course, as I’d like to think I’m not a complete moron and do tend to gravitate towards some amusement on my own without constant prodding. The larger point I’m trying to make here, is that these financial planning steps are not an end in themselves. Sure, we need to keep our finances in check, but the aim here is to worry less, not more. With some basic thinking ahead like this, we can keep a lot more relaxed throughout the year and enjoy life to the fullest.

Here’s to life!

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

Review Your 2016 Finances & New Planning Feature

As 2016 comes to an end, it’s time for a look back at you finances throughout the year. Hopefully they fared much better than the ranks of legends and celebrities this year, so it will be more of a look back in joy than a look back in anger.

First, a quick tip on how to get your 2016 financial reports in 3 easy clicks. On toshl.com click on the time span on top, click the  “Custom time span” tab, then the “2016” button. Voila! All your graphs and data in Toshl will now be filtered to 2016.

 

Time span tutorials Web, Android, iOS

See the River flow graph to know how well your finances balanced-out in 2016, expense and incomes graphs to see where you’ve spent and earned most.

 

Planning

We also have a holiday surprise this year, which will make reviewing your past finances much, much better. It’s called Planning.

It’s a brand new feature which compares your balances, expenses, incomes as well as net worth throughout the months and years. You can also compare spending on individual categories and tags.

In fact, you can filter any of the data in the Planning graph with the usual filters available in Toshl. You can thus decide to only include certain financial accounts, categories, tags or even locations.

 

 

The feature is currently in Beta testing. That means it will work well for the most part, but there might still be a glitch or two to iron out in some cases. If you come across any difficulties, please let us know so we can fix it.

Planning is free during the Beta testing period, but will be limited to Toshl Pro later on.

At the moment, Planning is available on the web app and will me making its way to the Toshl mobile apps in the future.

We hope it will come useful and we’re looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

You’ll find Planning (Beta) in the main menu in the web app. Or just click the link below.

 

Try Planning

 

Posted in Announcements, Tips & Tricks