Toshl Finance: A Simple Approach To Money Management

Money management has always been a daunting task for most folks, not just because it rarely works, but also because of the overwhelming amount of tools, apps and services that are available online. While multi-featured services like Mint or Pocketsmith are great tools that allows for detailed planning of your finances, some of us may want to take a simpler approach.

This is where Toshl stands out and carries out the task just as efficiently as its other weightier counterparts. If you’re looking for a fun, easy way to plan expenses, check this app out.

As simple as it gets

The first thing you’ll notice about Toshl is its cool, minimal interface. Upon loading the app, you’ll get three tabs on top for Expenses, Income and Budget. Below it, the current month is indicated (or where you left off from the last time you used the app), along with expense/income comparisons from the past month.

A succinct summary of expenses and income

You might also a clever blurb beside the Toshl logo. This is just one of the things that make a light-hearted approach towards a rather serious task of managing finances.

In the middle of the app’s page, the viewing mode is divided into Timeline or Tags. By default, the app shows the Timeline, either for Expenses or Income.

A clean interface provides insight to your finances

User interaction with Toshl is minimal, because all you need to do is to click on the Add Expense/Add Income buttons accordingly and they are automatically calculated and projected on a graph (shown on the right side of the screen). These graphs also do a comparison of tags whether you’re spending more or less than the previous month.

The Tags view, on the other hand, is a nice animated graph of how much of your money goes to which expenses, as organized by their assigned tags. Clicking on the tag circles will show more details.

A cool way of knowing how much you spend on what

Quick and easy input

Now, for the easy and fun part: putting in all your data. This is as simple as it gets — the big Add Expense/Income buttons are easily accessible from Timeline view. A new window pops up to enter information. You’ll need to put in an amount, a tag (this is mandatory), a date and a description. You can also set the item as a repeating expense/income. However, a free account will only allow repeating expenses, but not incomes.

Adding the details for income and expenses is a breeze

From the same Add Expense window, you can switch to Add Income by clicking on the tab above.

If you’re a non-US user, you can change the currency under Settings. The main currency applies the changes to everything in the app. From this screen, you can turn email notifications on or off, or opt in or out of expense reports that are also delivered via email. This is also where you can sync other devices which has the mobile app installed. There’s a Synchronise button for fixing sync problems such as incomplete data seen on your mobile device.

Changing currency in Settings

Great insights for better management

Toshl may be designed for recording expenses and incomes, but it does so much more than that. In addition to the helpful graphs, the Tags tab is another way to understand where your money goes each month, and how much you’re spending – and what you’re spending your money on.

A comparison with the previous month’s data

Another example is the Budget tab. Here, you can set a budget cap to daily, weekly and monthly expenses. You can apply the cap to all expenses, to specific tags or all except some tags. You can also set a start date for the budget.

Creating a budget for better expense management

If you choose to assign a budget to specific tags, it’s important that you remember this as you add expenses under the said tag. This way, the app can properly inform you if you’re spending below or beyond the allotted budget.

A summary will now show on Budget view, which shows you how much has been spent for the current month, and how much remains. It also lets you know how many days are left until the cap’s is reset.

Unfortunately, this feature is limited for free accounts, as it only allows adding one budget. To add more, you’ll need to upgrade to a Pro account, which starts at $1.99 per month or $19.99 per year. If you’re not sure about making the purchase, there is a 30-day money-back guarantee. You also get a 20% discount when you share your membership to both Twitter and Facebook.

As mentioned earlier, you can sync Toshl with most mobile devices through its iPhone, Android and Windows 7 apps.

Conclusion

Toshl’s user interface is designed to keep things simple and takes less than five minutes to use. However, I find the free plan a bit limiting. As a freelancer, I have more than one source of income, and if I want to add multiple income sources, I’ll have to upgrade to the Pro plan. That said, there is no doubt that Toshl is a solid money management app that is a great alternative for other pricey services.

As a free app, Toshl can do the basics of tracking your money and generating accurate, easy-to-understand reports. It’s great for those who are new to budgeting, or those who want to try a faster, simpler method.


Summary

A simple finance management web app

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  • I’ve been wondering when a review of Toshl will come out. Thanks for this! And I’m extra happy to see that it works well with the Philippine peso. 😉

  • I love Toshl I also came around Yomaney recently which seem like a very organized finicial planer. http://www.yomaney.com