Toshl Finance Blog

How to Set Up Your Finances with Bank Connections (iOS)

Your finances are easiest to control when most of your tracking is automated. Less work for you, more time to improve your understanding of your general financial picture and more time to do whatever tickles your fancy.

This tutorial will help you set up your Toshl Finance account, presuming you’ll use an automatic connection to your bank, credit card or other financial services. We call it a bank connection to keep it short. Here, we’ll show you how to connect using the Toshl iOS app. There are also tutorials for Web and Android. You can also use Toshl with manual accounts only.

To use a bank connection you’ll need:

  • A bank, credit card or financial service supported in Toshl. Thousands are supported worldwide, it’s quite likely that yours is as well. New ones are regularly added: list of supported bank connections .
  • A Toshl user account upgraded to Toshl Medici which enables the bank connections and all the other useful features of Toshl Pro. Maintaining all these connections and improving the apps takes significant resources, so we cannot offer this completely free. A free 30-day trial is available though.

So let’s go into the action, here’s what you should do:

1. Add your automatic financial accounts 

Most likely, the first thing you would like to do in your Toshl app is to connect a bank account and add a credit card or two to as well. To do so:

1. Find your bank, credit card or financial account in the list of bank connection. For that, just go to the Bank connections section in the main menu and tap New bank connection / List of supported banks. You can search by country: the institutions available in this country will show up in alphabetical order. You can also use the search on the top to look for your bank by name.

2. Connect to your account. In most cases, this will redirect you to the bank/service’s page to log in, then back to Toshl. In some cases, it requires entering the username and password. Some banks may require additional security steps like a randomly generated code.

3. Choose the date, from which onward you would like the data imported. This is important if you’ve been tracking some of these accounts manually before. Pick a date from which you’d like to switch to automatic and import from that date onward. By default, Toshl will import all available past data. From how far back the data can be imported will differ from bank to bank. With most bank connections either 1 year or 2 months of data are available, but this can vary among the banks.

4. See the incomes and expenses fly in. In a few moments, your financial accounts and transactions will be imported from your account, automatically categorized and tagged.

Connection troubleshooting tips:

  • If you get an “invalid credentials” error when connecting the bank or financial service, please first log in to your online bank and make sure that you use the same credentials on the bank connection login screen in the Toshl app. Check the full text of the reported error, sometimes they contain more specific information on what went wrong or even instructions on how to resolve the error.
  • When your bank requires multi-factor authentication, e.g. a randomly generated code in addition to your password, please keep in mind that these codes are usually time-sensitive and need to be entered quickly. In most cases, the code is valid just for 30 seconds. When factoring in the time needed to receive, display and send it, you probably have a bit more than 20 seconds to enter it and hit submit.
  • If you still experience difficulties in connecting your bank or financial service in the Toshl app, please contact us at

Privacy & security

Toshl is dedicated to protecting your data and your privacy. We take numerous technological and organisational precautions to make sure that the data remains safe. We also work with reliable FinTech partners to enable and maintain bank connections. These companies are Salt Edge and Plaid. While there is some overlap of coverage, if your bank is in the United States, Canada or the United Kingdom it’s most likely covered by Plaid. Salt Edge provides integrations most of the other connections around the world.

When you enter your bank credentials to connect, Toshl itself does not see or store the credentials. Where you are redirected to your bank’s website to authenticate, only the bank sees your credentials and sends us a confirmation they’re correct. Where banks don’t offer modern connections and authentication (official APIs), the credentials are saved and kept safe by our connection partners. This is needed to enable the bank connection to keep automatically updated with new data in the background. When you remove the connection, the credentials are deleted as well. You can read more about our policies and precautions we take on our Privacy Policy page

2. Review and correct entries from automatic accounts if needed

When each transaction is imported, it’s automatically analyzed, so the information can be made more useful for you. It’s first categorized and tagged. Toshl also detects if it’s perhaps a transfer between your own accounts, rather than an expense or income. Sometimes, even the location of the purchase can be determined and put on a map.

While this automatic detection works well most of the time, there’s a chance that not enough information is available. A lot of this analysis is based on the transaction description from the bank, so if very little information is included, correct transfer detection or categorisation gets a lot more difficult.

In such cases, the entry gets sent to review. There, you can determine if the information is correct or if something needs to be adjusted. 

Transfer detection cases currently get sent to review. Categorisation adjustments can only be done on the entry list for now but will be included in the review process in future app updates.

Reviewing potential transfer entries

When you make a transfer among your own accounts, you move your money from one “bucket” to another. So it shouldn’t count as an income or expense, it’s your internal financial movement.

Normally, Toshl detects transfers automatically and matches the expense (on source account) and the income (on destination account) together.

If the system cannot be certain enough to make an automatic transfer match, entries from automatic accounts can be suggested for review. To complete the review:

1. Go to the “Bank connections” section in the main menu.

2. Tap “Review entries” below a connection.

3. Open an entry and tap “Expense” / “Income” or “Transfer”.

4. Click “Save”.

You can move back and forth between entries, so you can easily edit any if you change your mind.

Two entries need to be matched together to make a transfer: an expense on the source account, an income on the destination account. When you confirm the entry is a transfer, you’ll be offered potential entry matches on other financial accounts to match them into a transfer.

You can also just select the missing destination or source account and Toshl will create the other entry there and match it into a transfer for you. This comes especially useful if the bank doesn’t report your monthly credit card payment as an income on the credit card account, as often happens.

Cash withdrawals from ATMs are also transfers between accounts. In most cases, they should be detected automatically. If not, click on the ATM expense imported from the bank, click Make transfer, then select the Cash account.

Find out more about how transfer matching works.

Splitting into multiple entries

You can also split an entry when reviewing. This is especially useful if you want to split a single purchase among several categories or tags. For example, if your grocery shopping appears as one big total payment, but you want to track your food, cosmetics, and booze separately.

To do that:

1. Tap “Income” / ”Expense” on Review entry.

2. Turn ON the switch “Split into multiple entries”. The usual splitting interface will show up and you can assign different amounts, categories, and tags.

3. Tap “Save” or the tick button.

You can also split on entry details. Just click the Split option.

Correcting categories and tags

If an entry wasn’t categorised correctly or wasn’t categorised at all (marked “unsorted”), you can edit the entry and set a different one.

Toshl will track your corrections of the categories and tags and match those changes to particular elements of the description. In other words, Toshl will learn from your past choices and apply them to new entries as they get categorised. This works best if the descriptions of the new entries are similar as well. In case you notice that the expense or income from the automatic account has an inappropriate category:

1. Tap on Expense or Income to open the entry details.

2. Tap “Edit”.

3. Tap the category label and change it into the category that fits the case.

We realize that no automatic categorisation system with such a variety of data and choices can be perfect. Anyway, we’re doing our utmost to improve and bring you the correct categorisation in the vast majority of cases. The more you use Toshl and adjust your categories, the more precise it will become. Learn more about categories that learn from you.

3. Track cash and manual accounts 

Not all spending can be tracked fully automatically yet. There’s cash and despite the thousands of bank connections on offer, there can still be banks that aren’t covered yet.

Add manual financial accounts

A financial account to track cash is added to Toshl by default. At least one manual account is always present, so you’re able to add expenses and incomes from the app.

You can add more manual accounts by clicking the accounts button on the top right of the web app, then click “Add account” below the account list.

Find more details on how to set your cash and other manual accounts in this tutorial. As time passes, remember to enter the expenses and incomes from manual accounts (e.g. Cash) on the fly to keep the balance on your manual accounts accurate. 

Add your salary and other incomes (repeating incomes)

If your regular income comes on a manual account, you can enter them in advance and set them to repeat automatically so you don’t have to enter them manually each month. The salary will show up automatically in each period. Learn more about adding repeating incomes.

Add your regular bills (repeating expenses)

Add the repeating bills that you know will be coming each month on your manual accounts 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.

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. Learn more about adding repeating expenses.

4. Set up budgets to control your spending 

Now that entries from both automatic and manual accounts are coming in, nicely categorised, it’s time to set up budgets to regain some control over your spending.

Set up your main monthly budget

Take a look at how much you usually earn and spend each month in total. Based on what your goals are, pick a number lower than your income that will be your monthly spending goal. If you’re ok with your current spending, you can keep it much the same as it was in the previous months. If you want to spend much less than before, reduce the number accordingly. Notifications will remind you of your budget limit and spending trends, thus giving you the chance to take control of your spending. 

Set up budgets for specific categories

Besides the main monthly budget, you can easily create monthly budgets aimed precisely at your spending weaknesses. For example, add a budget for the category Clothes & Footwear, then set the budget to equal the amount you can spend on your monthly clothing needs sustainably. Toshl monsters will warn you as you approach the limit, so you could stop and think before buying some related products. You can also set any budget surplus or deficit to automatically roll over into future months.

Learn more about setting up budgets.

5. Enjoy precise tracking of your finances with Toshl app

That’s it. Finally, it is time to discover the gems of the Toshl Finance apps! Now that you’ve made sure all your expenses and incomes are flying in and added the budgets, the financial visualisations in Toshl will look a lot more fun.

Take a peek Monthly overview and River flow graphs to see how you’re doing this month at a glance. Found something odd? Dive deeper with Expense graphs to clarify your spending distribution among the various categories and tags.

Monthly overview graph

River flow graph

Expense graphs

Better yet, take a longer-term view with Planning and explore the trends of past years to better plan for the future.

Planning graph

Feel free to explore other advantageous features of Toshl app! You will find plenty of other hints in the Tutorials and Frequently Asked Questions.

As our monstrous friend Giuliano says: “The joy of truly knowing your finances comes second only to wearing strange hats.” How very true. His wife and children were not available for comment regarding his priorities.
Posted in iOS Tutorials, Tutorials