Toshl Finance Blog

Tracking Travel Finances – MissBeHelpful’s Journey to Barcelona

With great travel comes great responsibility. That’s not exactly how the original phrase goes, but we’re using our artistic license here to make a point. Getting your finances in order ahead of and during travel, is essential to keeping your leisure time enjoyable and stress-free. The financial part can even be fun if you do it the right way. I.e. by using the Toshl Finance apps, of course. ūüėČūüėä

To explore how tracking your finances works on a trip, we partnered with Yanely, better known as MissBeHelpful on YouTube.

She made some really great videos with her first-hand accounts both of her experiences of traveling in Barcelona, as well as her finance tracking with Toshl during that time. Check out the videos, as well as some extra questions we asked Yanely below.

 

 

How did you first come upon the Toshl app?

I was a teacher fresh out of college and really struggling to manage my credit card debt which was almost $20k in total! I had way too many unnecessary expenses at that time and I definitely wasn’t budgeting, so I google searched budgeting apps and I read a few articles. I downloaded a couple of different apps and I remember thinking that Toshl was one of the easiest ones to use. (I was also glad it was free because I was broke.)

 

What did you like the most about it?

I liked that I was able to get started in no time! I literally had a budget with a spending/saving goal in a matter of minutes. I loved the visuals, the fun little monster and the notifications reminding me to enter my expenses before bed. As with all budgets, if you don’t use it consistently, it really won’t work for you. The reminders helped me stay consistent and keep the budget up to date.

 

Are you using it on Android or iOS phone?

I use it on my iPhone 7.

 

Did you try the Medici premium plan?

I tried Medici premium for a month since I was traveling for the summer and I figured it would be best to have everything in one place. When I started out I was in a lot of debt, so paying for an app wasn’t high on my list of priorities, and I don’t recommend paying for apps when you’re still in debt. But now that I’m debt-free and I have a nerdy passion for personal finance I’m a lot more willing to invest in apps and services that I know will help me reach my goals.

 

 

Who would you recommend the Toshl app to?

It’s definitely great for new budgeters who want a simple and quick way to get started. I work with a lot of HS and college students who use mostly cash and debit cards to make transactions, so I recommend the app to them. Also, people who aren’t interested in budgeting tools that have strict rules which you need to follow to the T. There’s a lot of wiggle room when it comes to how you use the app which is great – you can choose as many categories as you want for an expense and you can decide if you want to budget by category or by a certain time frame.

 

Posted in Goodies

How to Protect Your Phone on the Go

Look, we get it. Articles about phone protection are a dime a dozen and you only start paying attention to them when you actually lose your phone and start asking yourself the important questions. For example: ‚ÄúHow do I call the police to report my phone stolen?‚ÄĚ

We have also read the studies on two approaches to teaching people about security. Apparently you can be nice and cuddly and proactive or you can be rude, threatening and catastrophic – but none of those two approaches work.

So we thought of another way. We will talk about phone security through a series of Marvel gifs from the Avengers universe. Everybody likes Avengers, right?

 

Tip 1: Lock you phone with a passphrase

See, despite the laughs War Machine got in the theater when revealing his password, he was actually on to something.

Passphrase ‚ÄúWARMACHINEROX‚ÄĚ is actually better than those weird passwords that include glyphs and numbers and other complex characters. Why?

Well because a) you remember it easily and there is no need for those pieces of papers, b) you can add a ton of characters which increases complexity and c) if it is embarrassing enough, you will not reveal it through the attempts of social hacking.

 

Tip 2: Secure your passwords

Even passwords need protection! These are dangerous times we are living in my friend and if you think you are in the clear just because you have followed through the tip 1, you are wrong. Like – Loki in Thor 1 wrong. Which is pretty much the most amount of wrong you can be. Think about investing a bit of effort in a two-factor authentication app and a password manager, so all of your passwords will be safe inside a vault. Of course you still going to remember THAT password but, it’s a lot more realistic you’ll manage that than keeping hundreds of different, secure passwords in your head.

 

Tip 3: Use privacy-first chat apps

When it comes to phone security, you should have trust issues. From apps to unprotected networks to weird messages to basic theft Рyou really should think about adding layers of security to your phone. This can mean adding more encryption by, for example, replacing the Facebook Messenger app with something a little more secure Рmight we suggest Signal?

 

Tip 4: Update your app selection

‚ÄúPerfectly balanced. As all things should be‚ÄĚ is a great advice when deciding on which apps to keep and which to remove. You just have to remember that you hold the infinity gauntlet and that you are responsible for all the apps on your phone. Apps that want permissions, might leak your data and do other scary things – and you are not even using them anymore. Be like Thanos. Perform the snap every once in a while.

 

Tip 5: Use a VPN connection

By using a VPN you significantly reduce the amount of information the network providers have on you. Less information, more privacy. Of course, you are still letting the VPN owner take a peek at your traffic, but there are some providers who protect that information.

 

Tip 6: Backup your data

See? Hulk backs up his data. That is his secret. That is why he is calm. Lost a phone? Restore from backup. Phone died? Restore from backup. Phone stolen? Restore from backup. Hulk know. You should be like Hulk. Not the smashy part. The backupy part.

 

Tip 7: Keep your phone updated

Finally, do not be like Nick Fury. If the phone or an app requests an update, you update. Updates are usually filled with improvements and important fixes that can affect security and who are you to argue with the engineers and people who know their stuff? Update. Your. Phone.

In conclusion, there are many things you can do to protect your phone, your data and your privacy. Of course, you have to think about security as a process and not as a state, meaning that you have to be on your toes for the next glitch in the matrix. Ooops, sorry, wrong franchise.

 

 

Toshl has your back!

Did you know Toshl offers and additional app passcode and two step authentication which can greatly improve the security and privacy of your finance flows? Here is how you turn it on!

Posted in Tips & Tricks

Keyboard Shortcuts (Web App)

When using Toshl Web App to record the latest expenses and monitor your personal finance, it is now possible to navigate through the functions quickly just by using your keyboard.

 

Keyboard shortcuts:

  • Keyboard shortcuts list ¬†– ¬†?

General

  • Create a new expense ¬†– ¬†e
  • Create a new income ¬†– ¬†i
  • Create a new transfer ¬†– ¬†t
  • Move between fields ¬†– ¬†tab
  • Save ¬†– ¬†cmd / ctrl + s
  • Cancel action/close ¬†– ¬†esc

Time span

  • Move to my current financial month ¬†– ¬†m
  • Move to next month ¬†– ¬†n
  • Back to previous month ¬†– ¬†b
  • All time ¬†– ¬†a¬†
  • Display calendar year ¬†– ¬†2018, 2019, …

Notifications

  • Dismiss top notification ¬†– ¬†d t
  • Dismiss all notifications ¬†– ¬†d a

Navigation

  • Main screen ¬†– ¬†g m
  • Expense ¬†– ¬†g e
  • Incomes ¬†– ¬†g i
  • Planning ¬†– ¬†g p
  • Budgets ¬†– ¬†g b
  • Locations ¬†– ¬†g l

 

Check the list of shortcuts in the Web App at any time by selecting the link in the bottom left corner, or by pressing ? on your keyboard (combination of keys for this will depend on the keyboard settings on your computer).

 

 

Example: saving an expense using keyboard shortcuts

 

To create a new expense, press the e key. After opening the form, first enter the amount as usual. To move to the next field for the selection of a category, use the Tab key. To enter the desired category, begin typing its name and the list of suggestions will be brought up automatically. Navigate down the list with the arrow keys and confirm your selection by pressing enter.

Input the tags in the same way. You can of course add more than one, and confirm them by pressing enter. Move to the next field with the tab key again.

Don’t forget that it is possible to cancel any action, or close the form completely, by pressing the Esc key at any time. If you currently have the focus in any field, Esc¬†will first move the focus out of the field. Second press of Esc¬†will close the add entry form completely and discard the entered data.

When selecting the date of your expense, it is possible to simply input the day, month and year by typing in the numbers. Move left and right through the form with the arrow keys, and confirm your input by pressing enter.

Your expense is now ready to be saved, since all the required information – the amount, category and date – are set. Pressing the tab key again will move the selection onto the Save button, or you can simply use the shortcut Cmd / Ctrl + s.

To reveal the options to save additional information with your expense, press tab again and confirm the highlighted “Show more” option .

For the location details, browse through the list of suggestions or enter the details manually. Use this trick with a comma to simplify the search.

When you’re done, continue down the list, and confirm the expense input with the Save button or the Cmd / Ctrl + s shortcut.

 

Try using the rest of the shortcuts on your own, such as quickly navigating through the sections in the main menu, time spans, or switching through next or previous months with n and b. 

Where multiple keys are written with just space in between, for example g m, they can be pressed in rapid succession to activate. You don’t need to hold them simultaneously.

Where multiple keys are written with a + in between, for example Cmd / Ctrl + S, they need to be pressed simultaneously to work. Cmd means Command and is used on Macs, while the same shortcut is used with Ctrl (Control) on Windows.

 

Forms for incomes and transfer work the same way, and the option to set repeats, reminders and photos with expenses and incomes becomes available with Toshl Pro or Toshl Medici subscriptions.

 

When going through forms, Toshl monster is a true ninja – fast, efficient, deadly, and dressed all in black. It’s the new orange.

 

Posted in Announcements, Tutorials, Web App Tutorials

Toshl Medici Bank Connections Available in Canada

We are so sorry!

The Toshl team is proud to announce an expansion to our Toshl Medici service. We have added the Canadian banking system into the fold which means the Toshl Medici plan is available to our Canadian users as well!

This means we are currently providing seamless bank account integration to all of our US and Canadian based users with over nine thousand different banking institutions. And in accordance with a proud Canadian tradition – we are so sorry!

By connecting your bank or other financial service, like PayPal for example, you are able to track the expenses more precisely with less hassle. You can also add your account from selected cryptocurrency exchanges for that extra oomph or gentle heart-attack in the morning.

The Medici plan is free for a month, but if you want to join the family permanently, the plan monthly cost is 4,34 $CA or 3,33 $US. For more details, see the features and pricing of the Medici plan. 

89 Canadian financial institutions or types of financial accounts are available at launch. Log in on the web app to see the full list of available bank connections.

Some of the more popular options include:

Posted in Announcements