Category: Personal finance

How to Track Loans, Repay Debts and Deal with Your Friendly Neighbourhood Loanshark (Android)

Toshl_2.0_monster_0057_58We have almost certainly all been there at some point – borrowing money, launder loaning money, forgetting about loans, etc. Be it a small amount for drinks, because you forgot your wallet, or a bigger sum because you chose to buy something expensive that you obviously really, really, really needed.

So, how to go about tracking and dealing with the dynamics of loaning and borrowing money? Fear not, for Toshl is here for you again, not in the money loaning business though, but in the business of helping to track loans and debts – or simply Hilfespurverleihenborgengeschäft, as the Germans would put it.


Track major debt repayments

Let’s say I want to buy a new Ferarri for $3200, but I am just $3100 short for it. What do I do? I go to a guy* I heard you can get a loan from, that hangs out behind the parking garage in the shady part of town every other night (because he has kids). I ask him for a donation towards my cause and after a few laughs, I promise I would pay him back in ten months with $1900 interest. I get the money, and now I have to settle the $5000 debt in ten months, which makes for $500 per month. Because I use Toshl, the best loan app around, I know this will be a piece of cake and I will not get my legs broken in the process.


1. Add income marking the received loan

I put the $3100 in Toshl as an income, category ‘Loans’, account ‘Cash’, plus I put ‘Drago’ in the description – which is supposedly the guy’s name and also means ‘expensive’ in some languages. Just so I can be precise when I tell my grandchildren about my first Ferrari.

Ok, we got the money, we got the income from the loan marked, now to go about tracking the debt.


2. Add a new account to track the repayment of debt

I make a new account for the debt, called ‘Drago’ and set up the initial balance as ‘-$5000’ which is the total amount of the debt, including the interest.


3. Add transfers to note the debt repayments

To note the repayments as I return the money to Drago in monthly instalments, I make a transfer of $500 from account ‘Cash’ to account ‘Drago’, date it on the day of the first payment, set it up to repeat every month for ten months and set up reminders for it. Now I will be reminded to take the $500 to him every month, and the ‘Drago’ account will get out of red numbers over the ten months.

That’s it!



Track smaller loans to friends

Let’s take a look at another, simpler case. Let’s say I lend $4.99 to a fellow car enthusiast for a little 1:100 plastic Ferrari model.


1. Note the loan as an expense

I give him the money, put it in Toshl as expense, category ‘Loans’, account ‘Cash’.

If this is a one-off loan, I can put the guy’s name in description. If I lend to this guy often, I could also put his name in a new tag on the expense. That way I can easily sum up everything he owes me.


2. Note the loan repayment as an income

When he pays me back after seven and a half months, I just enter it as an income with appropriate tags, etc. This way I can always track borrowing and loaning entries.

Alternatively, I could just erase the loan expense, but that wouldn’t give me any insight on the loan later on.

Bob’s your uncle! Use whichever method works best for you or be creative and invent your own system. That’s it for now from our secret volcano base, ta ta!

*Toshl does not recommend taking loans from random guys behind the parking garage, nor can we provide phone numbers of any specific guys providing such loans. A bank would probably still be a better bet, although their moral compasses might not be in much better shape, compared to the guy behind the parking garage.
Posted in Android Tutorials, Debt, Personal finance, Tips & Tricks, Tutorials

How to Add Expenses Straight From Your Lock Screen and Avoid Being Eaten by Wild Boars (iOS)

Do you know that feeling of being chased around a thick forest by a wild boar? You run as quickly as you can, heart pumping at maximum, sweat pouring down your face. But, no matter how hard you try, you still cannot escape the thumping of his small, yet surprisingly swift feet, the sound of his loud breathing as he catches up, to sink his sharp teeth into your…
Well, ok, maybe you don’t know the feeling of that exact situation.
Consider for a second though, that moment when you’re at the grocery store cash register, trying to pack all the food into the bags before the cashier hands you the receipt and gives you the evil eye for being so damn slow. It’s the next closest thing to the wild boar situation.
If you’re a thrill seeker like me, you’ll try to up the game and add the grocery expense to Toshl just after handing the cashier the credit card and before getting the bill back. It’s doable: amount, category, tag, save aaand you’re done. The tricky part is unlocking the phone, finding the Toshl app, tapping on Add expense, then doing the actual adding. There is a solution!

The add entry widget on the Today screen (Notification center).

Screenshot Toshl add expense widget
1. Hold up your iPhone, activate the screen and swipe from the top edge.
2. Tap the big red + button.
3. Toshl opens with Add expense all ready, just waiting for you to enter the amount.
The same also works for incomes and transfers between financial accounts. Just tap the green + button for incomes and the grey + button for transfers.

How to set up the Toshl widget?


1. Swipe form the top edge of the screen to open the Today screen.

2. Scroll all the way to the bottom of the Today screen and tap the Edit button.

3. Find Toshl in the list of the apps and tap the green + button next to it, to include it on the Today screen.

4. Use the 3 lines icon on the right to drag it to the top (if your heart so desires).

5. Tap Done.Screenshot edit Today screen in iOS Notification center

Next time you open the Today screen, the 3 Toshl add buttons for expenses, incomes and transfers will be available for quick use.
In case you can’t activate the Today screen while the phone is locked, but would like to, make sure you have that option enabled in the iOS settings.
This feature is available from the version 2.0.6 of the Toshl Finance iOS app onwards.
Toshl monster hunter with dog
Happy grocery hunting!
Posted in iOS Tutorials, Personal finance, Tips & Tricks, Tutorials

Transfers Improved. Repeats, Descriptions and Reminders Added.

We’re constantly improving the Toshl apps, so here’s a little something we’ve improved on lately: we have added new options to transfers between financial accounts.
Automatic repeats
The transfers can now be set to repeat automatically, with the same options as with expenses and incomes. They can repeat daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, on weekdays or weekend days. You can even add a custom repeating period. That way, the transfer can repeat every x weeks, every y months… However you like. The repeats can go on forever until you stop them, stop at a certain date, or stop after a set number of repetitions were made.
If you’re making the transfer yourself, you’ll probably need to be reminded to do so. You can set up Toshl to remind you before the transfer is due, on the day, or pretty much any time you like. Even if the transfer is done automatically, a reminder on the day might still be useful, so your conscious of the transfer and can make sure your account balance doesn’t dip into negative territory.
Pretty straightforward really. If you’d like to add more information on what this transfer between accounts was about, just add the description for future reference. If not remembering your financial transfers is only a part of a larger memory problem, using reminders in combination with a Ginkgo biloba tree extract might be a more thorough solution. ;)
Screenshot of repeat transaction on iOS
Add a repeating transfer in the Toshl Finance iOS app
Screenshot of add a repeating transaction on web app
Add a repeating transfer in the web app on
Posted in Announcements, Personal finance

How to Set Up Automatic Monthly Financial Reports (Web App)

Want a report with your finances to be delivered to your email once your financial month has finished? No problem, here’s how you can make that happen.

This functionality is only available in the Toshl Finance web app and cannot be set up in the mobile apps.
Simply go to the Export & Reports section and scroll down to the “Monthly e-mail reports”. Turn the switch ON.
Destination emails
Your account email will be already entered as the destination for the monthly report, but you can change it, or add up to 9 more additional emails that should receive this report. Useful if you need the report with a part of your finances for work, or wish to share it with other family members for example.
Data filtering
You can choose to include Expenses & Incomes, or just either of the two. The time span in this case will be your previous financial month, as the report will be sent automatically once it has concluded.
Keep in mind that you can use all the filtering options from the right sidebar, just like with data exports.
You can filter by financial account, categories, tags or locations. You can select the ones to export or exclude the ones which you don’t want to export.
If, for example, you want your monthly report to include just the expenses with the category “Transport” and the tag “work” that would be no problem at all.
File formats
PDF, Excel (.xls) and Comma Separated Values (.csv) are at your disposal. You can send all of them or just one or two. Keep in mind though that the files will not be sent as attachments to the emails. The monthly reports you will get by email will contain just the links to the report. The moment you click on the report icon in the email, the reports will be generated and downloaded to your computer.
There’s also a checkbox at the end, giving you the option to send the report right away. It’s good to try out the financial reports when you first set them up and with this option, there’s no need to wait until the full financial month comes around.
Happy reporting!
Posted in Family finance, Personal finance, Tips & Tricks, Tutorials, Web App Tutorials

Currencies in Toshl Finance – Ounces of Gold Welcome (Web App)

In Toshl Finance you can use practically any currency you want. We support 165 different currencies from around the world with hourly updated exchange rates and historical daily exchange rates going back more than 15 years. This in practice means that you can travel or move anywhere, enter local expenses or even change the main currency in which you use the apps. Toshl will have your back.

Add an expense, income or a transfer in a foreign currency
The most common way in which you’ll encounter foreign currencies is usually when adding an expense, income or a transfer. Click on the currency symbol next to the amount and a plethora of currencies shall open in a dropdown menu.
On the very top of the list are your 5 recently used currencies. Your main currency is there by default, as well as the 4 other currencies that you recently used, other than your main one.
Below the recently used currencies you’ll find all the 165 currencies in an alphabetical list. The name of the currency is always followed by the currency symbol or abbreviation, as it will be displayed on the expense details and lists. The last piece information is the standardised three-letter international code of the currency.
Quick hint: If you start typing on the keyboard, the list will jump to the letters that you typed. This works with any standard dropdown on the web. Quite useful for finding what you want on long lists quickly.
Among the many national and supranational (e.g. the Euro) currencies you’ll expect to find, there’s also a few more unusual ones. If your job description includes 17th century pillaging on the high seas you might appreciate entering your incomes in troy ounces of gold (XAU) – or ounces of silver (XAG). If your dealings are more high finance than high seas, then the International Monteray Fund’s special drawing rights (XDR), might be more up your alley. Let’s not forget the the favourite child of financial innovation in recent years, Bitcoin. It’s of course also available as a full fledged currency in Toshl.
Once you’ve chosen your foreign currency, you’ll find the Add expense form a bit changed.
Below the amount you can see a preview of how the amount this is worth today in your main currency, or the currency of the financial account your are adding the expense to – if it’s different than the main currency.
A bit lower is the exchange rate that will be used for the transfer. By default, the exchange rate is already entered with the automatically fetched rate that we suggest. The exchange rates are updated hourly and are a middle rate from a variety of sources.
You can of course enter a completely custom exchange rate of your choosing. This is especially useful when you’re exchanging your money locally in a foreign country or at a bank. They usually won’t offer the middle neutral rate, but one slightly in their favour so they can make a profit on the exchange. If you’ve found a good deal it will be only slightly in their favour, but the differences can be quite large.
You’ll still see our suggested rate in grey text below the field below so you can better orient yourself even if you’ve entered a custom one.
If you’re editing an old expense that you wish to refresh with the latest rate you can click the refresh button next to it and the latest exchange rate for that day will be inserted.
Exchange rates on repeating expenses
If you add a repeating entry in a foreign currency we’ll ask you how to handle the exchange rate. A new exchange rate can be applied on each day when the expense repeats or it can remain the same as the rate hen you first entered it. Of course you can still manually set the rate on an individual repeat of the entry if you so prefer.
Active currency
Once you’ve saved an entry, the currency that you chose has become your active currency. That simply means that the next time you’re adding an expense, this active currency will be suggested by default. It will remain your active currency until you add an entry with a different currency or change the active currency in the Settings.
You can select your previously active currencies with appropriate exchange rates again by selecting one of the five currencies in the recently used part of the currencies dropdown menu.
Historical data for past entries
It might surprise you that the suggested exchange rate on an entry will change if you change the date. That is because Toshl can access historical data for the exchange rates between currencies back to 1999. That way, when you enter an expense, the correct value of that expense on that day will be recorded. No more worries about currency fluctuations or inflation messing with your financial memories.
Main currency
The main currency is most likely the currency of the country where you live, the currency in which you think. This is the currency in which all the graphs, sums etc. are displayed. You can have entries, budgets or account in different currencies, but they will always have an exchange rate so you can know how much they’re worth in your main currency when it’s all summed up.
There are circumstances where your main currency changes. Either you move somewhere else, your country adopts a new currency or you decide that you like decimals so much that you’re prepared to do all your thinking in Bitcoins from now on.
When changing a main currency there are 3 ways to do it:
– according to historical exchange rates (recommended)
– using one exchange rate
– changing the currency symbol, without changing the values
According to historical exchange rates
Toshl will check on which date the expense was entered and apply the exchange rate between the currency in which it was entered and the new main currency on that date. The entries will stay in the original currency on the lists, but the value in main currency and the sums will be adjusted accordingly.
Using one exchange rate
Toshl will suggest the exchange rate valid for today to convert all entry values to the new currency. You can also change the exchange rate to a completely custom rate of your liking. The entries will stay in the original currency on the lists, but the value in main currency and the sums will be adjusted accordingly.
Changing the currency symbol
This is mostly useful if you’ve started entering with a wrong main currency selected. The values are already in the new currency, you just want to change the symbol next to all the expenses in the previous (wrong) main currency. This approach will not update the entry values at all, it will just switch the currency symbol.
The first two options will apply the value changes to all entries (expenses, incomes, transfers) and budgets in the original main currency. You can choose whether you want to change the financial accounts in the old main currency to the new main currency as well.
Warning: In most cases there should be no data loss, but some custom exchange rates can be lost with multiple changes. For example: your main currency is the Euro and you have some expenses entered in Brazilian Reals. There is an exchange rate between those two currencies saved for each expense. If you then change your main currency from Euros to Reals, the exchange rate on those entries in Reals is now lost because the expense currency is the same as the main currency, so the rate can only be 1. If you then change back to Euro as the main currency, these expenses can have the historical exchange rate for that day applied again, but if you had entered a custom exchange rate before, it was sadly lost. It should only be a minor discrepancy for most, but if you often enter custom rates and change main currencies it is a thing to look out for.
Posted in Personal finance, Tips & Tricks, Travel, Tutorials, Web App Tutorials