Category: Web App Tutorials

Filtering Your Financial Data and Making Needles Easier to Find Than Haystacks (Web App)

 

We have a bunch of filtering options available in Toshl Finance, all of which can be accessed by pressing the filtering button in the upper right corner of the web app. It has a little funnel icon on it.

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Note that the filtering will overlay the list section, so make sure you close it (with the click on the same button) to see the expense list underneath, once you’re done with the filtering settings.

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Filtering by account

 

Enable or disable displaying expenses and incomes on specific financial accounts. Accounts filtering is set to ‘All accounts’ by default, meaning the app is showing expenses, incomes, transfers etc. from all of your financial accounts.

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The active setting is shown on the button, so you can quickly asses which accounts are enabled just by glancing at it.

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If all are disabled, only the funnel icon will be displayed and you won’t see any data in graphs, lists, etc.

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This setting is global and will effect every graph and list in the app – except the budget section, budgets filter only by category or tag. So if you think you are missing some data, check the accounts filtering settings to make sure the data is not just filtered-out.

 

Filtering by category, tag and location

 

The filtering options for the three are essentially the same, they just filter your data by a different attribute.

The category, tag and location filters won’t work with Monthly overview and River flow graph.

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Three types of filtering are available for each attribute:

 

All (categories/tags/locations)

Pretty self-explanatory. All entries will be shown, no matter which category, tag or location are set on the entries.

 

Select (categories/tags/locations)

Only entries which contain one of the selected (categories/tags/locations) will be shown.

 

Exclude (categories/tags/locations)

All entries, except the ones that contain the selected (categories/tags/locations) will be shown.

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All of these filtering options can be combined and the effects are cumulative. Thusly, the result is an ever finer mesh through which the data is filtered.

 

For example:

Say we want to check how much ‘Cash’ we spent in May in ‘Food and drinks’ category.

First, we will navigate to May in the time span selector on top.

We covered time span in another tutorial: My Financial Month & Time Spans.

 

Second, we will open accounts filtering. We set all accounts to OFF by clicking the topmost switch next to “All accounts” and set only the ‘Cash’ account to ON.

If you’re really into switches, you can also disable all but the ‘Cash’ account one by one. Whatever floats your boat. Thus, we filtered the expenses to show only the ones purchased on ‘Cash’.

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Third, we click on categories section below, click the tab ‘select categories’, then choose the ‘Food and drinks’ category. We are now seeing only expenses categorised as ‘Food and drinks’ and purchased with ‘Cash’.

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Say we don’t want to see ‘groceries’, ‘icecream’, ‘beer’ and ‘coffee’. We click on tags, then ‘Exclude tags’ and select the ones mentioned above. We are left with proper meals, paid with cash.

If you change your mind about which tags you would like to filter by, click on one of the tags you selected and is currently displayed in the input field. The tag will then be removed from your filter.

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Location filters work the same way as categories and locations. Use them to display only the expenses made at certain venues, or exclude certain venues.

 

There are also detailed filtering options present on the export & reports screen. Those filters are separate and filter just the data for exporting and reports.

 

That’s it! Check out the filtering, play around with it and always remember to keep an extra bussiness card in your wallet! Just in case you’d need another kind of “filter” altogether. ;)

It’s a good idea to have some extra business cards in any case.

Posted in Tips & Tricks, Tutorials, Web App Tutorials

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

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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.

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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 Debt, Tips & Tricks, Tutorials, Web App Tutorials

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.
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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.
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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.
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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!
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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
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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

Location, Location, Location! Expense! Location. (Web App)

Looking at an expense. Food & drinks, 10 € on the 21st… What was that? My stare at the expense grows emptier by the second, perfectly reflecting the emptiness of my memory. If I only remembered where I had spent that. Easy solution: add a location to expenses in the future and the problem will go away. Plus, I’ll get a pretty cool spending map in the end.

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Adding locations to expenses is a bit better in the mobile app, because you’re adding on the go and the location on your mobile phone is more accurate. But it can easily be done in the the web app as well.
When adding an expense or income, click Show more, to display all the options. The first field in the newly opened options is the location. When you click into the field, the suggestions of nearby locations and venues show up.
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The locations displayed are the Foursquare venues that exist in your immediate surroundings. If you already see the venue where you spent your money, just click on it and the location will be added with your expense. Save the expense and that’s it.
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Clicking on the mini map on the expense details will open it in Google Maps.
What if the right location isn’t on the list?
If the location isn’t on the list, but you’re sure it should be near, click the link “More nearby locations…” below the list of suggestions.
If it still doesn’t show up, or the actual location of the venue is different from where you are right now, try searching for it.
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By default the search will look for places around your current location, usually limited roughly to the town or city where you are at the moment.
You can also specify the town or city where the expense took place. Simply type-in the name of the venue you’re looking for, add a comma (,) and add the town or city where the venue is. For example: “Costa Coffee, London”.
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If you would like to make the location suggestions even more precise, we have another trick up our sleeve. You can paste in the coordinates. The easiest way to find them is to open Google Maps, click somewhere on the map and copy the coordinates that show up below the Google Maps search field top left.
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Then paste these coordinates into the locations field on Toshl. The suggested locations which will show up below will all be based around the coordinates that you pasted. You can also save the expense with just the coordinates, but if you want the location to show up on the map later, you will have to choose one of the Foursquare venues.
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Locations map
Once you’ve been diligently noting your locations with the expenses for a while, a nice map of your spending activities will start drawing out in the locations section. Click on one of the dots and the details for that location will show up.
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If you’ve been spending at a single location multiple times, these entries will be summed up on the location. Now you can finally know how much your crush on that cute waiter or waitress has been costing you.
Filtering locations and filtering by locations
The locations map, like all the data in Toshl, depends on the filtering options that you have set up. By default the map will display all the locations in your current financial month. Need to see where you’ve been spending for fuel all the time that you’ve been using Toshl? Set the time span to all time, then click the filtering options top right and set it to display only expenses with the tag fuel. Voila, all your pump stops, on one handy map.
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The filtering also works the other way around. Anywhere in the Toshl web app you can set up the filters to only display your spending at a certain location. This can produce pretty interesting graphs for locations where you have a more diverse spending, or if you need a simple PDF export of your spending at an individual place.
What about the sum for the entire franchise?
While this approach is great for tallying up spending at an individual venue, it comes a bit short if you would like to tally up all your spending at an entire franchise, not just a single venue. For example, to know how much have you spent at all the E. Leclerc stores, not just the one in Ljubljana. If you need that information, you can still add a tag with the franchise title to each such expense and all your expenses at that franchise will be summed up using the tag. There is something to be said about places that are unique, though. ;)
Posted in Tips & Tricks, Tutorials, Web App Tutorials