Category: Budgeting

Make Your Yearly Financial Overview of 2014

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.

With that in mind, here’s a few quick and easy tips how to do yearly financial overview in Toshl.
 

1. Set the time span to entire year

Seeing your finances month-to-month is just dandy most of the time, but for a year end review, it’s better to sum it all up.
 
On the web (toshl.com):
Click on the big red month link (e.g. December 2014), the click on the Custom time span tab and set the time from Jan 1st 2014 to Jan 1st 2015. Click Save and you’re done.
 
Capture d'écran 2014-12-05 14.34.03
 
Mobile apps
Tap the time span button, then custom time span and set the time from Jan 1st 2014 to Jan 1st 2015.
 
Can’t find the time span button?
Android: First tap the menu button, which can be either the hardware menu button or the … button on the top right, then you’ll see the time span clock button.
iOS: The clock button on the top left.
Windows Phone: The clock button in the action bar on the bottom.
 
Monsters bearing gifts
 

2. Check out the tag sums

Now that you have the whole year selected, it’s time to look around a bit, as the numbers will be quite different than before. On the web, check out the Expenses graph next to the timeline. For a more graphical display, switch to the tags section to play around with the bubble graph (Pro only).
 
What’s most important is that you get a sense of the numbers and how much to you spend on certain areas of your life during the year. While some spending on food and lodging is a quite necessary evil for us all, be on the lookout for any numbers that jump out. Can you optimise your transport costs? Quit smoking? Stop your penguin buying addiction?
 
Capture d'écran 2014-12-05 13.51.11
 

3. See which months are the critical ones

Another important look at your spending is to see how it moves through the months. If you have Toshl Pro, you can check out the “Expenses, Incomes, Balance” graph and see how your financial flows moved through the months.
 
Capture d'écran 2014-12-05 14.08.14
 
With many people, the same yearly patterns repeat every year. So keep in mind when you spend the most and be extra vigilant then. If you have yearly bills that you can predict, enter them as yearly repeating expenses. Car insurance, magazine subscriptions, major birthdays etc. are good candidates. Even if you don’t know the exact amount yet, you can enter an approximate one and adjust the expense later. It’s more important that you don’t get caught by surprise by the expense.
 
Don’t forget to put some money on the side for the 2015 vacations!
 
Toshl_2.0_monster_0005_6
 

4. Make yearly budgets

Especially shocked or intrigued by some of the tag sums that came up? Set up a yearly budget for the specific tag or tags. That way you can keep track of spending on your personal vices throughout the year with little effort.
 
Capture d'écran 2014-12-05 14.17.56
 
The green progress bar shows how much you have left in your budget, while the dotted date line shows how far we’ve come in the year. If you’ve made a good prediction and are spending in your desired pattern, those two should be on roughly the same place. If the green bar’s disappearance is way ahead of the date, you might be in trouble. Keep an eye out. Well, not literally. You know what I mean. Kids, don’t try putting your eyes out at home. Or… ever. You know what, perhaps just make an ophthalmologist budget as well.
 
christmas ninja toshl monster
 
 
All in all, don’t forget to have fun too. It’s the merry December after all! Hopefully you still have some leeway in your yearly booze budget. ;)
 
2015 will be a year of renaissance for Toshl too, so we’re already looking forward to how much more fun the yearly overview will be in 2015.
Posted in Budgeting, Personal finance, Tips & Tricks, Tutorials, Web App Tutorials

How to Create a Budget, Perhaps Make a Golden Pagoda

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.

People of Yangon, Myanmar budgeted so well they were able to buy themselves a golden pagoda. ;)

 

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.

Budget types:

– all expenses

– for specific tags

– except specific tags

 

Budget time periods:

– one time

– daily

– weekly

– bi-weekly

– monthly

– yearly

 

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.

Posted in Budgeting, Tips & Tricks, Tutorials

Quick tip: Don’t squeeze that belt too hard, budget with ease

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 €

Setting up the budget is easy

Visualizing your spending

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.

Save for the specific tags you need to curb your spending on

*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. ;)

Posted in Budgeting, Tips & Tricks, Tutorials

Analyze your expenses with Toshl and relieve yourself of stress

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. 1. Cry out that epic battle cry that you have been saving up all these years! ROOAAAAAR.
  2. 2. Drag and release the expense balls and watch them crash amongst each other just as your spending priorities crash inside you.
  3. 3. Now think of fluffy bunnies. Mmmmm.

Kick around those expenses, they're waiting for it!

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

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

How to budget with Toshl

Money management can seem difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. We’re going to show you a few ways you can stick to your budget without the hassle. Toshl will help you keep your finances in check with ease, but as usual nothing happens at once. Here are the quick steps to become your own financial guru with Toshl budgets.

1. Realise you need to change your spending habits

We mostly tend to overspend when we don’t think about money management much. While that can be fine if we have enough resources to fund all our expensive habits, that’s rarely the case. It doesn’t mean we all have to become ascetic monks, living only on bread, water and sleep on wooden planks. In fact, keeping your spending under control and setting up a budget can provide you with greater comfort. Because Toshl helps you put all the little and unimportant stuff into numbers, you can lower that type of frivolous spending and have more money to use on the important and really pleasurable stuff.

2. Measure your spending

Knowing something should change in your spending is only the first part of the solution. You need to quantify all those expenses to really know where your resources are going. Note down all your expenses to Toshl and you’ll soon get a clear sense of proportion. If you’re like me, you might sweat the small stuff like spending on coffee, drinks and occasional lunches, but the actual costs of all that pale in comparison with the amount I spend on electronic gadgets without even thinking much about it. Measuring your spending is the only way to get a real picture about where your money goes.
I know noting every expense down takes some getting used to at first. But after a few days it’ll become an almost effortless habit. Buy your thingamajig, whip out Toshl, enter price, tap the tag(s) and you’re done! You’ll thank yourself later when you’ll have fancy financial visualizations custom made for you, telling you how and where you spend and can then actually save a lot of money.

3. Set up your budget

Alright, so now you know that you should put your spending in check and how and where you tend to spend (it rhymes, wohoo! :) ). Next step is to set up budgets. Budgets are basically your goals on how much you should limit your spending. There’s different kinds of budgeting options, depending on your goals, current habits and financial situation.

Budget types:

Keep it sane and balanced

The obvious first rule is that your expenses should not exceed your incomes. If you spend more than you earn and you don’t have some hidden treasure trove buried in the garden, you’re heading for trouble. Therefore, you can start by adding a budget in the size of your paycheck and other incomes.

In Toshl put in the amount you get paid for budget value, select the budget for all your expenses and make it a monthly or a weekly budget, depending on how often you get paid.

Create a balanced budgetSee, your first step toward financial freedom is that easy!
Budgets listIf you’re wondering what in the world is “Kava”,
it means coffee in Slovenian – the language of the makers of Toshl.

It will keep you conscious of your financial limits and warn you when you get too close to that budgeting cliff edge. With that green bar showing you how much leeway you have, you should be soon able to move on to more ambitious goals of managing money.

Save it for the important stuff

Keeping your budget in balance is a good start, but you should be able to keep some money on the side for the more important, long term investments. Whether it’s a house, you’re saving for, university tuition or that huuuuuge fluffy bunny you’ve always wanted it’s good to keep some money on the side.

Put a budget for all expenses in, but make it lower than your incomes. Each month when you slowly fill up that budget, take care to not go over it. That way you can keep the remaining money and put them in that huuuuuuuge fluffy bunny fund. Or invest it in something safe. E.g. not fluffy bunnies.

Cut down on frivolous spending

You finally noted and measured your expenses and just realized you’re spending, for example, hundreds of dollars on cocktails per month. Well, if you’re spending hundreds on alcohol each month you’re most likely an alcoholic and you should take care of that problem first, but you can also set up a budget right after. :)

The thing I’m getting to is that you can set up, tag-specific budgets in Toshl. If you’re spending too much on one thing or a group of things, set up a budget with that tag or tags and check it often. You’ll soon be spending a lot less on cocktails and your liver will thank you for it.

Coffee budget

4. Lower your spending

With all those budgets in place and graphs telling you what you spend on, you’ll lower your spending and save money in no time. It will make you one step closer to that huuuuge fluffy bunny, paying off your mortgage, or traveling the world.

Image by Big Plush

Posted in Budgeting, Tips & Tricks, Tutorials