Budget conscious travellers like me meticulously list down expenses while traveling. Traditionally, I jot them down on a notebook by the end of the day. But I must admit, the advent of smartphones have changed my documenting habits. While I still do list them down occasionally, my process has become much easier since I started using Toshl Finance App.
I tried several expense tracker and finance apps before but the thing that really got me hooked with Toshl are the little monsters and witty status lines while syncing. As a graphic designer, I thought it has one of the best user interface in an app I’ve seen. The attention to detail along with functionality was done well. C’mon, money and finance doesn’t have to be always dead serious right?. Toshl made a way to put finance tracking, fun and humorous.
What’s the use of good graphics if it’s not easy to use as an app? Fortunately, I found Toshl’s learning curve pretty easy that I soon found it second nature to use the app when logging expenses. I won’t go into details but once the initial currency is set up, you simply enter the expense, add a tag, set the date (if its different from the present date) and add in optional details if you like. After a while, the most used tags are easily accessible, but previous tags are easy to retrieve from a suggestion drop down from the text field.
Additional option are the Repeating Expenses. Let’s say you purchased a gadget on instalment, you can set the expenses to repeat monthly until a certain period, say 6 months, a year or even forever.
Tags have their own special tab so you can see the history of expenses on that tag category. Let’s say “Snack” you look for the snack tab and click on each entry for the details. During trips I usually create Tags fot the trip or destination. Like for my last Myanmar trip, I tagged them as “Myanmar 2011”. On each expense during that trip I add that tag. Expenses can have multiple tags.
What I really find useful when I go out of the country, I can change the currency of the expenses. When I enter an expense from the local currency it will automatically convert the the total amount to its base currency. The exchange rate would be based from its recent sync (I’ll tackle in a bit). If I think the exchange rate isn’t the same online, I can manually input the exchange rate in the app.
Across the Board Sync
The beauty of Toshl is that it backs-up the data in their cloud servers making it accessible and sync to multiple devices. Toshl is also available on multiple operating system, currently I’m using three devices with IOS, Android and Symbian and they sync without a problem. Toshl is also available on Windows Phone.
Web Up in the Cloud
I guess the biggest strength of Toshl is its web interface. On site, aside from adding entries, I can analyse expenses and spending patterns through graphs. I can compare tags from previous month and there’s the Bubble Graph showing where a big chunk of my money went to. It’s pretty cool.
Continuous Development and Improvements
Since I started using Toshl, almost 1 and a half year ago, I noticed the features added by the developers. I can now add Income and Budgets which are welcome so I can also track my savings and balance them both.
The downside though of developing for multiple platforms, their deployment is not simultaneous. I could see that their priority is on the IOS. It’s been April since they updated the IOS app (version 1.7.2) which added the Income and SumUp but we haven’t seen these updates yet on Android or Symbian. I guess the guys at Toshl have their hands full with limited manpower.
Free and Pro
The core features of the App is free and fully functional. But subscribing to a Pro account enables more entries for the Budget and Income, more options to export reports to PDF, Excel and Google Docs, expense search and more importantly supporting the App developers for their great program. It took me about 6 months of free use before I decided to go pro.The US$19.99 a year may seem steep but its worth it. Now it’s easy for me to document not only my daily personal expenses but details from my travels as well.
Check out the app at www.toshl.com