Toshl Finance Blog

Tips from a Money Coach: a Talk over Coffee with Debbie Katzav

In times when the lockdown is slowly being lifted, life is more confusing than usual. From a financial perspective, the global pandemic brought us new challenges. The good news is that we now have time to reflect on what is happening to our personal finances.

Experts note that when the situation gets uncertain, people should not rush to make big decisions or make hasty changes in their financial pictures. Seeking professional financial advice might be a useful step to help. 

Having that in mind, we have decided to talk with the financial coach Debbie Katzav and share her tips on how to manage personal finances in a time of global crisis. 

We’ve met with Debbie by video call over morning coffee. She inspired us immediately with her vivid energy and positive attitude. Here are the moments from our talk.

Debbie, could you please introduce yourself? What is your job?

My name is Debbie Katzav. I live in the center of Israel, just north of Tel Aviv. Officially, my title is Personal Finances Advisor. It is also known as a Money Coach in certain countries. 

Basically, what I do is I guide people – it can be singles, couples, or small business owners – towards understanding, managing, and organizing various aspects of their finances. It can be their budget, expenses, their incomes, or their savings. I explain how to reduce expenses and create savings, to make sure they put some money away for pension time and so that they know what’s going on with their insurances. I’m not an insurance agent or broker. However, I have enough knowledge to point my clients in the right direction and ask the right questions of their brokers and advisors. As those areas are full of information and terminology, whenever people get a report or request from their agent, they get scared and don’t know what to do with it. But I know how to deal with it.

One of the reasons why I am in this field is that I’ve gone through different things in my life, all of which had financial implications. I migrated between countries three times. I was married, got divorced, got married again. I lost my dad at a pretty young age… So I’ve had a lot of different experiences and more… I made money, lost money, bought and sold properties, and so on. All these events had implications also on my finances, so eventually, I wanted to help other people to avoid financial problems and mistakes. 

Besides this, I love organizing. I love knowing where I can find information quickly and be able to use it. And I enjoy everything digital: apps, programs, technology… For instance, I’ve been using Excel and PowerPoint since the 1990-s. Now I learn how to use any new app very easily and quickly. 

To go back, I became self-employed 9 years ago, I’m 52, by the way. Till then I was always an employee in large organizations for over 20 years. I worked very hard building my business and raising two small boys at that time. And I was really lucky to get great marketing opportunities at the beginning which took me further. I charged forward with those opportunities, as I knew that I’d need to step outside my own boundaries in order to succeed as a small business owner. Taking those risks paid off and I managed to build my business very well. For example, I had a regular column on one of Israel’s biggest websites and that led to TV appearances, radio broadcasts, and other media contacts. Right now I prefer to invest in my own media: website, blog, and podcast (in Hebrew at the moment).

Wow! That’s amazing.

Yes, that’s a lot of life behind me! (Laughing)

You’ve mentioned that you love to use the apps. How did you get to know Toshl?

I use the Toshl app for more than 4 years. I don’t really remember exactly but either I’ve heard about it through a client or my sister who lives in New York. Anyway, I’ve been a paid Toshl Pro customer for 4 years and it is really worth the money… I did explore other apps at that time and I found that Toshl was really intuitive, nicely designed, and user-friendly.

As a financial coach, could you please share: what should we focus on when managing our financial life?

Obviously, the first thing is control of the day-to-day expenses. I call them variable expenses – expenses that occur daily and we actually have to put a hand in our pocket to take a credit card or cash, or use online banking to make a transfer – all of these expenses need to be tracked because it is very easy to lose control over them. 

Aside from those, we have fixed expenses. Although they are repeating every month, we need to control them and think if there is a way we can reduce them. Some people say: “Oh this is fixed. I can’t do anything about it”. But sometimes you can. For instance, in Israel, we have a pretty cheap cellular service for less than 10 dollars per month. And I still see some people using the more expensive program even though there is no reason for them to have it. 

Then, we need to make sure that we have savings, liquid savings. Especially now, in the times of the global pandemic, a lot of people suddenly didn’t have an income… And if you have some money to put back in your current account that you’ve saved up for a rainy day, you are in a much better position than people who haven’t done that. So you need to have money that is pretty liquid and you need to have savings for retirement or when you stop working. It can be in many formats: rent from the property, saving accounts, investments. 

I think it is also important to be a smart consumer. It means not being roped in by clever advertising or a friend or celebrity who posts an Instagram photo of an item that was just bought but rather  – to investigate, do price comparisons in advance. I’m not saying: “Don’t buy”. I love buying myself and I think it’s fun. Just let’s be clever consumers.

It is better to buy one good-quality expensive item than many cheap ones. Personally, I don’t like online shopping for cheap clothes… That’s just like… Where I’m going to put it?! (Laughing) It might be the wrong size or colour, or maybe the quality of the material will be very low… I’d rather buy good things, more expensive and not so many. That’s being the smart consumer.

To sum up, just control your expenses, make the savings, and be a smart consumer.

Do you suggest looking at it individually?

Oh, absolutely. For instance, a situation in my family is very different from the situation of a family with small children. Yes, I can give very general advice but at the end of the day, each person or family and each household is in its own situation. All in all, it is very individual. 

You know, I cannot tell a family who has a coeliac kid to spend much less on food. They will spend more because that gluten-free food is very expensive. So everything needs to be adjusted. Only when I do individual work with a family, I can point out the areas that are not in line with what it should be.

Now we live in times of the global pandemic. Some of us could experience uncertainty about our financial future. Are there any specific tips on how to act in these circumstances?

I think you need to put on your creative hat and realize that you have to move out of your comfort zone. For example, what I’m doing now (as I finally had the time during the 2 months of lockdown) is putting together an online workshop. Yes, it is a lot of work but I’m moving out of my comfort zone to create new services which will bring me new clients and new income. That is what we need at the moment of uncertainty. 

On the other hand, we need to exercise restraint. As the lockdown is lifting slowly, I see that people are so craving to go to the mall and buy… And maybe they don’t have money… They need to think first: “OK, the mall is open but it doesn’t imply that I HAVE to go and spend!”. You know, don’t go to the mall, go for a walk around the block! 

So we need to become restrained and keep being optimistic and learn some new skills. I think there are lots of opportunities to learn skills that you can sell to create an income. These things could be a little bit more difficult, though it’s worth trying.

What else? We should put off some purchases… For example, before the pandemic, you planned to renovate your house during the summer. But now, if your income has changed, you need to put it off, to leave some money in your bank account. 

This is also a time to review the budget of your monthly expenses. You need to do it every month but in times of uncertainty, you need to adjust it even more. And in this sense, Toshl is a very handy tool.

Recently, the global market has shifted to the Internet. Many people purchase goods and services online. Are there any hints on how not to overspend?

It’s a big problem. I see it with a lot of my clients. Apart from purchases that require delivery services, there are subscriptions for online products. When my clients go through their bank statements having transactions from App Store or Play Store, sometimes they can hardly answer what that online purchase was for. When you’re buying online, it is very easy to think: “Oh, it’s just three dollars!” I think our minds are not capable of aggregating everything that we purchase over a period of a month and we cannot work it out unless we see it on a screen (in Toshl!)

Another thing… Most of my clients use Toshl manually. One of the things I teach them is that they have to enter their purchases on the same day. Because the next day you wake up, your mind is like a blank page and you don’t remember anything. I’m also quite a big online purchaser of services for my business Yesterday I paid for Zoom and I put it in Toshl right away. And that’s how I can control myself because it is very easy to get lost.

Could you describe: who is your typical customer?

I have three types of customers. The first ones are couples or individuals that want to learn how to manage their finances. I teach them how to analyze their expenses and how to create, maintain, follow, and track a new budget. These people come to me to learn and I guide them in that. 

The next type is people who ask me to manage things for them as a personal financial assistant. Typically, these are older people. Normally, they are well off, and if they want someone to deal with it for them, they can afford it. I’m the one to clean up the messes and consult them. 

And the last ones are small business owners. If you are a small business owner, you have to sell your service or product but at the same time, you need to manage your business on your own. A lot of small business owners don’t know how to manage the financial aspects of their business. Most deal only with the tax aspects and amounts that need to be paid to the authorities. I’m the one who really goes into the numbers and says: “Oh, you spent too much on equipment!”. What I do with small business owners, I look at the details and advise them every month on what they need to be more careful with. I look at the numbers from a different point of view than the accountant does.

And now I might have one more type! These are the people who are going to learn and do everything on their own using the Toshl app. 

Yes, we’ve heard about the workshops you organize to share your knowledge with others. Could you tell us more about these events?

The workshops are my new service. It’s something that I’ve been wanting to do for a couple of years but it was quite challenging to get people to come at the same time and to the same place. Then the pandemic came… And now everybody meets and learns online. So I said, “OK, now it is time”. What I want to share is completely teachable in the online environment. 

Basically, I run the workshop to teach people how to use Toshl to manage their personal finances. I’ve discovered over the years how to use the app correctly and stick with it over time. It needs to be set in a certain way and I’ll share these tips at the workshop. The session lasts for 1.5 hours and it is in Hebrew. There in fact going to be 2 workshops – for beginners and an advanced session. I also have an idea to do it in English for clients from all over the world. And hopefully, I’ll also sell the workshop as an online course.

Which methods and approaches do you use in your work?

First of all, my approach is that order and efficiency are the basis for effectiveness. If you have all your ducks in a row and everything organized in a clever way, then you are probably going to be efficient and effective in whatever it is: your business or saving. Another approach is that at the beginning you’re always sweating a little bit more until you get everything organized, and then it goes pretty quickly and smoothly. 

In terms of actual methods or tools, I use a lot of different ones to run the business. With my clients, I use Excel and Toshl: Toshl – for tracking the day-to-day expenses and controlling them and Excel – for looking at the big picture and doing more complicated analysis, etc. 

Is there anything else you would like to add?

During the last two months, many people were writing statements such as: “Now I know that it is important to save, spend money on the right things and not to overspend”. I think in a few months most of us will go back to our old habits because we are creatures of comfort and we like buying items and experiences. But I do hope that more and more people will understand that it is OK and not so boring to control personal finances… It can be done quite easily and in a more calculated way. There are so many handy tools for that! So do not forget what we went and are still going through with Covid-19 and spend wisely. 

Useful links: Debbie’s website, Facebook page, blog, about the workshop (in Hebrew)

Posted in Family finance, Opinions, Personal finance, Tips & Tricks

How to Merge Your Financial Accounts (Web App)

The merging feature is handy if you want to put the data from a few financial accounts on one account. This is especially useful when migrating from manual to connected financial accounts, or if reconnecting a previously connected bank, which then creates new financial accounts. 

Merging manual accounts with automatic (connected) ones

Perhaps you were initially tracking your bank account expenses and incomes manually. Or, perhaps, you’ve used a different type of bank connection before and switched to a new automatic account for that bank.

When you connect your bank or financial service, new financial accounts for this connection are created in Toshl. Connected accounts update automatically and are marked by a green globe icon.

It’s likely that you’ve put some effort into categorizing expenses and incomes on your existing financial account and do not want to lose anything when importing new accounts from the bank connection.

To keep your manually entered data and import automatically from now on, you can simply set the automatic account to import from a certain day onward and then merge it with the earlier manual account.

When you connect your bank, choose the date from which you’d like to import the transactions. This should be the date after which you’ve stopped noting the transactions manually. This way, you’ll be able to merge the two accounts and avoid potential overlap of transactions.

As soon as you are ready to merge your manual account with the account(s) imported from the bank:

1. Click the Accounts button on the top right of the screen. The Accounts list will show up. Click Edit on the bottom of the Accounts list.

2. Find the financial account you want to merge and click the Edit icon in front of it. The Edit account screen will open.

3. Click Merge Accounts.

4. Select the account(s) you want to merge with.

The default title of the final (merged) account will be shown in the Title field. You can change it into anything you like.

If you select multiple automatic accounts for merging, you’ll need to pick the accounts that will continue to feed the data from the bank into the newly merged account. The accounts can continue to keep updating from multiple connected financial accounts at your bank.

If the currencies of merged accounts differ, you’ll be prompted to select the currency of the final merged account as well.

5. Click Merge Accounts

6. If you’re sure about merging the accounts, click Merge Accounts again.

The newly merged account will then be displayed in the Accounts list.

The balance of the merged account will depend on how you chose to keep the account updated. If it continues to update automatically from bank accounts, the balance will keep being updated as the one that the bank provides. If you chose not to update the account automatically, the balance will be based on the sum of transactions and reconciliations up to today, like any manual account.

Merging automatic accounts

You might also want to merge connected accounts. You can do so following the same steps described above. 

As with cases above, if you chose to continue updating from the bank, the balance will also be updated from the bank. If you continue to update from several accounts, the sum of those account balances will be used.

Merging manual accounts

You have collected some cash in a box. You’ve created a “Box” account in the Toshl app and have been entering all the amounts. What if you take all the cash from the box and decide to track it within your main “Cash” account? No problem! You can merge your “Cash” account with the “Box” account. For that:


1. Click the Accounts button on the top right of the screen. The Accounts list will show up. Click Edit on the bottom of the Account list.

2. Find the financial account you want to merge and click the Edit icon in front of it. The Edit account screen will open.

3. Click Merge Accounts.

4. Select the account you want to merge it with.

The default title of the final (merged) account will be displayed in the Title field. Feel free to change it into any custom option.

In case the currencies of merged accounts differ, you can select the currency of the final merged account as well.

5. Click Merge Accounts.

6. If you are sure about merging the accounts, click Merge Accounts again.

The merged account will be displayed in the Accounts list. 

After merging the manual accounts, the balance of the merged account will be re-calculated based on the sum of all transactions of the merged accounts up to today.

Merge with care, as such operations cannot be undone. Some of our Toshl monster friends learnt that the hard way. But they also report that their relationship has improved with merging. They can finally see eye to eye regarding their finances.

Posted in Tutorials, Web App Tutorials

How to Merge Your Financial Accounts (Android)

The merging feature is handy if you want to put the data from a few financial accounts on one account. This is especially useful when migrating from manual to connected financial accounts, or if reconnecting a previously connected bank, which then creates new financial accounts. 

Merging manual accounts with automatic (connected) ones

Perhaps you were initially tracking your bank account expenses and incomes manually. Or, perhaps, you’ve used a different type of bank connection before and switched to a new automatic account for that bank.

When you connect your bank or financial service, new financial accounts for this connection are created in Toshl. Connected accounts update automatically and are marked by a green globe icon.

It’s likely that you’ve put some effort into categorizing expenses and incomes on your existing financial account and do not want to lose anything when importing new accounts from the bank connection.

To keep your manually entered data and import automatically from now on, you can simply set the automatic account to import from a certain day onward and then merge it with the earlier manual account.

When you connect your bank, choose the date from which you’d like to import the transactions. This should be the date after which you’ve stopped noting the transactions manually. This way, you’ll be able to merge the two accounts and avoid potential overlap of transactions.

As soon as you are ready to merge your manual account with the account(s) imported from the bank:

1. Tap the Accounts / Time span button on the top right of the screen. Or swipe from the right. The Accounts list will show up. Tap Edit on the bottom of the Accounts list.

2. Find the financial account you want to merge and tap the Edit icon in front of it. The Edit account screen will open.

3. Tap Merge Accounts.

4. Select the account(s) you want to merge with.

The default title of the final (merged) account will be shown in the Title field. You can change it into anything you like.

If you select multiple automatic accounts for merging, you’ll need to pick the accounts that will continue to feed the data from the bank into the newly merged account. The accounts can continue to keep updating from multiple connected financial accounts at your bank.

If the currencies of merged accounts differ, you’ll be prompted to select the currency of the final merged account as well.

5. Tap Merge Accounts

6. If you’re sure about merging the accounts, tap Merge Accounts again.

The newly merged account will then be displayed in the Accounts list.

The balance of the merged account will depend on how you chose to keep the account updated. If it continues to update automatically from bank accounts, the balance will keep being updated as the one that the bank provides. If you chose not to update the account automatically, the balance will be based on the sum of transactions and reconciliations up to today, like any manual account.

Merging automatic accounts

You might also want to merge connected accounts. You can do so following the same steps described above. 

As with cases above, if you chose to continue updating from the bank, the balance will also be updated from the bank. If you continue to update from several accounts, the sum of those account balances will be used.

Merging manual accounts

You have collected some cash in a box. You’ve created a “Box” account in the Toshl app and have been entering all the amounts. What if you take all the cash from the box and decide to track it within your main “Cash” account? No problem! You can merge your “Cash” account with the “Box” account. For that:


1. Tap the Accounts / Time span button on the top right of the screen. Or swipe from the right. The Accounts list will show up. Tap Edit on the bottom of the Accounts list.

2. Find the financial account you want to merge and tap the Edit icon in front of it. The Edit account screen will open.

3. Tap Merge Accounts.

4. Select the account you want to merge it with.

The default title of the final (merged) account will be displayed in the Title field. Feel free to change it into any custom option.

In case the currencies of merged accounts differ, you can select the currency of the final merged account as well.

5. Tap Merge Accounts.

6. If you are sure about merging the accounts, tap Merge Accounts again.

The merged account will be displayed in the Accounts list. 

After merging the manual accounts, the balance of the merged account will be re-calculated based on the sum of all transactions of the merged accounts up to today.

Merge with care, as such operations cannot be undone. Some of our Toshl monster friends learnt that the hard way. But they also report that their relationship has improved with merging. They can finally see eye to eye regarding their finances.

Posted in Android Tutorials, Tutorials

How to Merge Your Financial Accounts (iOS)

The merging feature is handy if you want to put the data from a few financial accounts on one account. This is especially useful when migrating from manual to connected financial accounts, or if reconnecting a previously connected bank, which then creates new financial accounts. 

Merging manual accounts with automatic (connected) ones

Perhaps you were initially tracking your bank account expenses and incomes manually. Or, perhaps, you’ve used a different type of bank connection before and switched to a new automatic account for that bank.

When you connect your bank or financial service, new financial accounts for this connection are created in Toshl. Connected accounts update automatically and are marked by a green globe icon.

It’s likely that you’ve put some effort into categorizing expenses and incomes on your existing financial account and do not want to lose anything when importing new accounts from the bank connection.

To keep your manually entered data and import automatically from now on, you can simply set the automatic account to import from a certain day onward and then merge it with the earlier manual account.

When you connect your bank, choose the date from which you’d like to import the transactions. This should be the date after which you’ve stopped noting the transactions manually. This way, you’ll be able to merge the two accounts and avoid potential overlap of transactions.

As soon as you are ready to merge your manual account with the account(s) imported from the bank:

1. Tap the Accounts / Time span button on the top right of the screen. Or swipe from the right. The Accounts list will show up. Tap Edit on the bottom of the Accounts list.

2. Find the financial account you want to merge and tap the Edit icon in front of it. The Edit account screen will open.

3. Tap Merge Accounts.

4. Select the account(s) you want to merge with.

The default title of the final (merged) account will be shown in the Title field. You can change it into anything you like.

If you select multiple automatic accounts for merging, you’ll need to pick the accounts that will continue to feed the data from the bank into the newly merged account. The accounts can continue to keep updating from multiple connected financial accounts at your bank.

If the currencies of merged accounts differ, you’ll be prompted to select the currency of the final merged account as well.

5. Tap Merge Accounts

6. If you’re sure about merging the accounts, tap Merge Accounts again.

The newly merged account will then be displayed in the Accounts list.

The balance of the merged account will depend on how you chose to keep the account updated. If it continues to update automatically from bank accounts, the balance will keep being updated as the one that the bank provides. If you chose not to update the account automatically, the balance will be based on the sum of transactions and reconciliations up to today, like any manual account.

Merging automatic accounts

You might also want to merge connected accounts. You can do so following the same steps described above. 

As with cases above, if you chose to continue updating from the bank, the balance will also be updated from the bank. If you continue to update from several accounts, the sum of those account balances will be used.

Merging manual accounts

You have collected some cash in a box. You’ve created a “Box” account in the Toshl app and have been entering all the amounts. What if you take all the cash from the box and decide to track it within your main “Cash” account? No problem! You can merge your “Cash” account with the “Box” account. For that:


1. Tap the Accounts / Time span button on the top right of the screen. Or swipe from the right. The Accounts list will show up. Tap Edit on the bottom of the Accounts list.

2. Find the financial account you want to merge and tap the Edit icon in front of it. The Edit account screen will open.

3. Tap Merge Accounts.

4. Select the account you want to merge it with.

The default title of the final (merged) account will be displayed in the Title field. Feel free to change it into any custom option.

In case the currencies of merged accounts differ, you can select the currency of the final merged account as well.

5. Tap Merge Accounts.

6. If you are sure about merging the accounts, tap Merge Accounts again.

The merged account will be displayed in the Accounts list. 

After merging the manual accounts, the balance of the merged account will be re-calculated based on the sum of all transactions of the merged accounts up to today.

Merge with care, as such operations cannot be undone. Some of our Toshl monster friends learnt that the hard way. But they also report that their relationship has improved with merging. They can finally see eye to eye regarding their finances.

Posted in iOS Tutorials, Tutorials

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 support@toshl.com.

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