When you start using Toshl for the first time, it’s prudent to first set up the basic layout of your personal finances. It’s a quick an easy process, nothing complicated. We’ll simply add the accounts where you keep your money and where you pay from. Bank accounts, credit cards, cash etc. Next, we’ll take a look at how to best describe your spending with categories and tags. Last but not least, set up your repeating expenses and incomes so they show up automatically and you get a warning when they need to be paid.
In this tutorial we’ll show you how to do this in the Toshl iOS app. You can do all the same things in our Web App app as well, but the buttons and graphs might be positioned a bit differently.
If you’d rather start in the web app, see the How to Set Up Your Finances in the Web App blog post.
Without further ado, here’s what you should do:
1. Add your financial accounts and balances
When you sign up on Toshl, a Cash account is added in advance. You can see your accounts by tapping the time span and accounts button on the top right.
That time span/accounts button is there all time time in the Toshl app, except when adding a new entry or in Settings. When it’s there you can also reach the right sidebar simply by swiping anywhere from the right side of the screen towards left.
Open your actual wallet, count what’s inside. Then tap “Edit” below the accounts. Once in editing mode, tap the Cash account to edit it.
In the initial balance field, enter the amount that you counted in your wallet. Keep in mind that the inital balance amount will be added to the current balance, it won’t just replace it. Although if you started with 0 on your account, that’s all the same.
If cash is all you use and that’s all you mean to track in Toshl, you’re all done. Most likely you have at least a bank account and a credit card or two to add as well.
Tap “Add account” to add another financial account. You can name the accounts however you like, but for most, the name of the bank or the name of the credit card will be most suitable. Remember to check what the current balance on that account is and enter it as your initial balance. Just like you did with the Cash account.
There you go. All set.
When you add an expense or an income to Toshl, you can choose to which account should this entry go. Expenses will be deducted from your balance, incomes will of course be added. Balances on accounts are “all time” meaning that they will always show the current balance, no matter which time span you have chosen to display.
– When you withdraw cash at an ATM, add this as a transfer from your bank account (or credit card) to your cash account.
– When you need to pay your credit card bill, add this as a transfer from your bank account to your credit card account. Most likely the credit card balance should be 0 just after you’ve paid.
2. Check your categories and tags
We have already added the most widely used categories and tags that should cover most of your spending and earnings. Naturally, we all have our own stuff going on, so you might need to add a few.
When adding an expense or income, you can also add categories and tags. When you’re selecting a category or tag, you’ll see a + button on the right side of the section. Tap that to add a category or tab.
For renaming, removing or merging of categories and tags, please use the the Web App. This functionality will be making its way to the mobile apps soon, but for now it’s only available in the Web App.
3. Add your salary and other incomes (repeating incomes)
Most people have some sort of regular income. It’s best to enter these incomes in advance and set them to repeat automatically, so you don’t have to enter them manually each month or every few weeks.
Go to the Incomes section. Click the green + button on the bottom left.
Quick tip: Drag the + button with your thumb toward the top right corner. You’ll see that it changes colour and switches between adding expenses/incomes/transfers. Let go of the button when you’re on the type of entry you want and the add screen will open. That way you can quickly add different types of entries no matter on which screen you are.
Enter the information about your salary: amount, the category “Salary”, if you like you can also add tags. Choose the financial account this salary usually comes to and the date of the month you get the salary on.
Now tap the R in the circle icon in the bottom row, it will open the options for repeating incomes.
You should set the salary to repeat automatically. Set your salary to repeat in the period that you are paid. Be that monthly, weekly or whichever period is applicable. You can also choose the “Custom repeat” and set it to repeat in any period you like e.g. every 2 weeks, every 17 days.
If your paycheck varies, you can later edit each individual repeat to enter the correct amount. If that happens a lot, set up a reminder (the little bell icon) to remind you to do that with a notification when the next pay-check arrives.
4. Add your regular bills (repeating expenses)
You should also add the bills that you know will be coming each month to make things more predictable, quicker and financial planning easier. Add things like electricity, internet bills, rent, gym memberships… all the regular expenses you have in your life.
Now tap the R in the circle icon in the bottom row, it will open the options for repeating expenses.
Select one of the predefined repeating periods like, weekly, monthly or add a custom period like every 4 weeks, every 3 months etc.
If you would like to be reminded to pay those bills when they arrive, you can also set up a reminder so the notifications will remind you when the bills arrive. It’s also useful if the amount of the bill varies and you need to modify it in each period. You can set up the reminders on the day it’s due, before, or any time you like. Up to 4 reminders per expense.
5. Look around Toshl, enter expenses on the go
Now that you’ve entered your expected incomes and expenses, the graphs around Toshl should look a bit differently. Explore them a bit and see how they can help you with monitoring your finances. Then as time passes, remember to enter the expenses and incomes on the fly to keep the balances on your accounts accurate. If you’re having trouble remembering to enter the expenses, set up a daily reminder in Settings / Notifications. You’ll get the hang of it in no time.