Toshl Blog

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