Toshl Blog

How to Use The Budgets (Web App)

Let’s take a look into the details of an individual budget. We’ll take a look at a monthly budget for all expenses and see what all the graphs and data mean.

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Budget type & basic stats

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Title & budget amount
The title is pretty self evident, but it’s worth mentioning that they are generated automatically, based on the type of budget you created. If you want, you can change it by clicking Edit on the right of budget details, Show more and then changing the title near the bottom of the form.
The amount shown on top is the total amount for the budget for the given time period. You can use your main currency for the budget (recommended) or a foreign one, if it’s your travel budget while you’re abroad, for example.
Time period, Accounts Tracked, Budget Type
The 3 basic settings of the budget.
Time period: shows what kind of period of time does it track and how quickly it transitions to the next period, e.g. daily, weekly, monthly, yearly or one time. You can set a budget to a custom time period: e.g. every 2 weeks, every 3 months etc.
Accounts tracked: Whether the budget is set to track the expenses noted on all financial accounts or only some.
Budget type: Whether it tracks all expenses, those in specific categories, those using specific tags or excluding expenses some categories or tags.
Budget statistics for the current period
Used & planned: the amount of money that was already spent from this budget in the displayed time period. If it mentions “planned” it also includes the expenses that you have already added in the future of this time period, but weren’t due yet. For example, bills that haven’t arrived yet this month. If you want to see just the expenses until today, click the time span setting at the top of the screen and set the “Show planned expenses in graphs” setting to OFF.
Left: The amount of money remaining in this budget, that you have not spent yet.
Left per day: The amount of money remaining, divided by the number of days remaining in the budget period.

Budget overview graph

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All the elements of this graph take a little bit of getting used to, but once you get the hang of it, you get a great feel for the real state of your budget in a single glance.
Progress bar and the blue/red lollipop
The blue-coloured background tells you how much of your budget still remains. In the beginning of the period it’s all blue, but as you add more expenses things heat up and it starts shrinking towards the right side. Kind of like a glacier. The blue lollipop shows the end of the progress bar and displays how much money is left in the budget.
If you surpass the budget amount you have set for yourself, the progress bar will start appearing from the left in red colour, with the red lollipop up front, displaying how much you surpassed your budgeted amount.
The today lollipop
In the budget graph for the current period, you’ll also see an upside-down lollipop in dark grey with “today” written on it. This lollipop shows current time compared to the whole budget period. The entire length of the graph is the entire amount of time in the budget period and the lollipop displays where you are now.
The red columns
These columns are daily sums of expenses. They show how much you spent on a given day in the budget period, telling you when you spent the most and helping you to find the main culprit of overspending. Click and hold the cursor over the graph to see the daily details. The taller and darker the column, the more was spent.
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Compare the “money left” and “today” lollipops
Comparing the lollipops quickly tells you how you’re doing with your current budget. The blue lollipop tells you how much money you have left in the budget, the grey one tells you how much time you have left.
If they’re aligned or almost aligned, you’re right on track so far. You’re on the way to spend the almost exact amount of money you budgeted in this period.
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If the today lollipop (grey) is way ahead of the money left lollipop (blue), then you’re doing great with your budget. You’ve spent less than you thought you will in this amount of time. If this happens a lot, perhaps it’s time to lower the budget amount and save more.
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If the money left lollipop (blue) is way ahead of the today lollipop (grey), then you’re not doing so well with your budget. You’re spending more than was expected. Time to reduce your spending, or if that’s not possible, make the budget amount larger next time.
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If the lollipop has already turned to red, you have already spent more than the money you had put in the budget amount. The lollipop simply tells you by how much.
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 The budget history graph
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This graph shows the previous budget periods and the total amount of money that was spent in the period. By clicking and holding over the budget history graph you can also see more details for the period, including the amount of the budget, amount spent and how much was saved or lacking in the period.
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Click on the period title below the graph and you will be taken to the complete budget details for that period. If your budget is a monthly one, you can also move there using the time span arrows on the top of the page.

The budget list

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 All the budgets that you have in the current time period are present on the list of budgets on the right of the screen. The one that is currently displayed in the budget details graphs is marked with dark grey.
There is also a quick preview of the progress bar, that includes the same data as the graph in the budget details. That way you can quickly monitor the current state of all your budgets at once.
If you use monthly budgets, you’ll notice that budgets are displayed in two ways:
– Monthly budgets for all and monthly budgets for categories
The top budget is your general monthly budget for all expenses. The white-coloured category budgets below each represent a percentage of the total monthly budget. They are effectively sub-budgets as the categories all sum up. That’s why the little progress bars beneath each category budget are of different lengths. The categories for which you have not yet made a budget for are covered in the “Remaining budgets” section. That way you get a rough picture of how your monthly budget for all expenses is distributed among the categories.
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– All other budgets
All the budgets which are not monthly for all, or monthly for a category, are displayed as individual budgets. They cannot be displayed as sub-budgets as they don’t match up in time or can’t sum up to 100%, like budgets for tags for example.
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Included expenses
When any of the budgets is selected, an extra row titled “Included expenses” will appear in the list. Clicking there will display all the individual expenses that are included in that budget. You can display and edit them, just like any expense list.
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Filtering

Budgets displayed in the list are filtered just like any other content on Toshl.
Only budgets that have a budget period in the currently chosen time span will be displayed.
If you used the filtering option on the top right, only the budgets that fit those criteria will be displayed. For example, if you filtered to display only one financial account, only the budgets that track that account will be displayed. Same goes for categories, tags and other filtering options.

Toshl Pro budget limitations

While using the free Toshl you are limited to adding 2 budgets. With Toshl Pro you can add as many as you like. If your Toshl Pro subscription expires, the extra budgets will be deactivated. The data will not be deleted, if you extend your Toshl Pro subscription you can continue using them normally.pro_badge_beige
Toshl Pro is available as one of these plans:
$1.99 / month
$19.99 / year
$59.99 / 3 years + free T-shirt
Want to start budgeting, but don’t know where to start? Read our tutorial “How to Set Up Your Budgets and Control Your Spending” and you’ll be set up in a heartbeat. Maybe two heartbeats. It will be a few more heartbeats really. It’s just a figure of speech, get of my back, will you!? ;)
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Posted in Budgeting, Personal finance, Tips & Tricks, Tutorials, Web App Tutorials