Once in a while, one needs to take a broader look of things, even personal finances. To help you see your monthly flow of finances from a higher ground, we made the “river flow” graph.
The 2014th ellipsis of Earth around the Sun since we decided to keep track of those laps, is slowly but inevitably coming around. Not quite so incidentally, this is also the time to take stock of what happened with your finances during the year. The more we know this year went, the better we’ll know how to start afresh in the new one.
1. Set the time span to entire year
2. Check out the tag sums
3. See which months are the critical ones
4. Make yearly budgets
Tutorial to help you start budgeting with Toshl and explore some most common uses of budgets. The surest way towards becoming a enlightened budgeting genius.
So you want to save some money or keep a closer eye on how much you’re spending. Setting up a budget is the easiest way to do it.
Tap the + button (top right) or shake the phone when in the Budgets tab.
There’s a couple of different ways to budget, depending on what you need. Let’s take a look at some common examples:
Budget for all expenses – monthly
Set up the maximum amount you wish to spend during the month. Hopefully that number is lower than your incomes. That’s important because it turns out that private citizens can run budget deficits for a much shorter time than governments can. It’s thus pretty wise to keep a bit of a surplus and save for the rainy days.
This budget will now track all your expenses within the month and warn you with some flaming red hues when things go overboard.
Budget for specific tags – weekly coffee
That caffeine habit is tough to kick, especially in the mornings when that extra energy boost is like mana from heaven. Now you can at least get a sense of proportion and try to limit your coffee spending by setting up some early warning signs. If you track coffee spending with its own tag you can set up a budget just for coffee and try to shake less when holding that cup.
Some Toshl users found strength to quit smoking by setting up a cigarettes budget. But it’s not just for vice, feel free to budget for any type of tag you wish to keep a closer eye on.
Travel budget – one time
Holidays can be a time to be a bit more relaxed with money, but it’s good to have a warning system in place when it’s getting tight. You know, just so you don’t end up on the streets of Yangon selling yourself just to earn that airplane ticket back home. True story! Not really.
Anyway, go traveling, set up a one time budget for all expenses with the start and end date of your vacations and you’ll know exactly how much you spent on the trip.
These are just a few examples of the budget combinations you can use, there’s a lot more powerful options suited to your needs. You can combine any type of budget with a time period.
– all expenses
– for specific tags
– except specific tags
Budget time periods:
– one time
Budgets with rollovers
One more thing to get you on your merry budgeting way. Your budget doesn’t have to reset each week or month. You can turn on the rollovers by selection the option “Move remaining to next budget”. That way if you’ve been especially good in saving on restaurants last month you can move those remaining funds to the next month and treat yourself to some proper nine-course dining with fine Slovenian wine at Skaručna. Suit yourself, but that’s what I’d do.
Knowing where your money is going and keeping your finances in shape is what we want to help you with at Toshl. But that doesn’t mean you should tighten your belt so tight you can hardly breathe. If you’re in a financial crisis mode, sure, set that budget the lowest you can go and try to curb your spending. Most of the time though, we only want to leisurely monitor how much we spend and save a bit for the rainy days.
The best way to save then is to set up a general monthly budget by subtracting how much you want to save from your monthly incomes. Let me give you an example:
Monthly income 1500 €
I’d like to save 300 € each month
Monthly general budget 1200 €
This way you can monitor your spending, but you won’t feel under pressure with each purchase you make. Sum up your spending and if you’re near the end of your financial month, you can relax your spending habits a bit more.
We’ll be making this kind of budgeting and saving even easier to use soon, new version of Toshl is right around the corner.
Save only in areas that need saving
Naturally there can be some areas of your spending where you need to be more careful. While generally spending 1200 € can be fine, there’s one type of expenses that you need to be more careful with. Let’s say you overindulge by hiring waaay too many prostitutes. :P In that case, you might want to set up a budget for specific tags, namely for the tag prostitutes. Just set up a budget for specific tags (Toshl Pro only) and add the tag “prostitutes”, “horizontal entertainment” or whichever euphemism you use. Toshl will then guilt you into spending less for that exact purpose. You need to use some common sense though and not limit your budgets for safe sex and contraceptives. Ever.
*Toshl does not specifically oppose nor endorse prostitution. In case you don’t use or support prostitution, set up a budget of 1 cent. That way you can rest assured you won’t be using their services. ;)
Not only is Toshl good for tracking expenses it’s also good for relieving stress. How? For example you can really take it out on your expenses and kick them around like an old bean bag.
If you’re a Toshl Pro you get this really nice visualization with balls. Representing expenses. Get your mind out of the gutter! The bigger the ball, the more you’ve spent on the tag written inside the ball. For more details on the size of your spending you can click on it and get some proper numbers.
But if you don’t feel like calculating too much and just want to release some of your righteous fury at the size of your expenses you can go ahead and do that.
Just follow this 3 step procedure:
- 1. Cry out that epic battle cry that you have been saving up all these years! ROOAAAAAR.
- 2. Drag and release the expense balls and watch them crash amongst each other just as your spending priorities crash inside you.
- 3. Now think of fluffy bunnies. Mmmmm.
With the frustration and anger out of the way go and rationally organize your expenses. Set up a budget and stick to it. With the calmness and inner peace of being finally organised: live a little!
Written by Matic Bitenc