Happy Book Keeping with Toshl

Financial discipline is a hard trait to come by these days. With our wallets stuffed with so many free credit cards, it is incredibly hard not to fall into the debt spiral. One good practice that can save you from this trench is to keep a close tab on your spending. You will be surprised how much we waste our hard earned money.Tracking finances is not that easy as it sounds. Apart from self discipline, we need an intelligent tool which can set us in the right direction. Papers and spreadsheets simply do not work. There are many other nerdy alternatives like Mint, which will make your life hell before you know it, with all its complex configurations and pointed antlers.

A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon Toshl and was instantly intrigued by its stunning simplicity. At first glance it looked like just the thing that I was looking for. Can it live up to its expectations? Join me after the jump to find out.

What is Toshl?

Over the years I have tried several expense trackers and duly disappointed One thing that I have noticed is most financial managers are structurally same, beneath their boring interfaces. Most of them are incredibly complicated that sometimes even their developers get lost. And many are were plain old native apps and stored the data locally. It was impossible to track stuff when you were on the run while expenses keeps piling up. Toshl tries to bridge this gap.

Toshl is a very simple webapp that lets you manually track all your expenses, create budgets, add income streams, watch spending trends and more. Built as a SaaS service, your data available across your devices and makes it easy to keep a close watch. Does it have enough strings to keep us hooked? Well, we think so.

Getting Started

The whole sign up process is a breeze- just an email and a password, and you are good to go. The basic version is up for grabs at the Store at cost. Once you pick it up, you can have a tab on your expenses as soon as they occur.

Expense List

Expenses Listing

It is easy to add an expense. Just hit the little + button you see on the bottom of the screen and hit the desired amount. Attach a tag to it, to describing the category of the spend, so you exactly know where your money goes. You can also setup recurring expenses, using the drop down towards the end of the screen. If you prefer you can also store the GPS locations, every time you incur an expense, to precisely know where we spend.

Income streams

Income streams

The key to a sound financial plan is to never spend more than what you earn. With that in mind, Toshl also lets you make a note of your income streams and track your expenses against it, so you don’t go overboard.

Your personal Finance Minister

Your Personal Finance Minister

Of course all this would be worthless if there is no way to plan your monthly budget. One can setup multiple budgets, either for a specific tag or against your whole income. It could be daily, monthly yearly or even an one time shot. The system also allows you to carry forward the reaming funds if you want.

Usability

Add an expense!

Add an expense!

I always assumed that bookkeeping apps have to be boring. The team at Toshl has somehow managed to turn it around with funny messages and one eyed monsters. The interface is pretty. The add expense screen in particular is gorgeous and it is evident that a lot of thought has gone into it. The application is charming enough to hoodwink you into it and make an habit of recording your expenses. Overall the User experience is just great.

Pricing

The basic version of the app is totally free, but it lacks some nice features, which you can otherwise live without. The professional version allows you to add a multitude of export your data in a variety of formats. You also get to extrapolate one specif tag into a pdf and share it across using their webapp. It has come in handy on several occasions for me especially when I needed to split expenses with my friends. It will set you back by $20 a year but personally I find it a worthy investment. I have been using it for a while now and it has helped me bring down my expenses by 25%.

Other thoughts

A fun experience

Monsters are cool!

The application is very well designed but it does suffer a few issues. The reports generated aren’t that great. It displays each expense individually rather than categorically. It gets murky over time and hard to look out for things. Another feature which I terribly miss is the filters. for instance I have 2 tags grocery, and Joe. Let’s say I want to look for grocery bills that are paid by Joe, it is impossible with the current design. All it does is to list out everything under grocery and Joe. But I’m sure they will rectify these issues in the future releases.

Wrapping Up

Toshl is one of the most intuitive apps that I have ever used. It is simple, it is fun and it is engaging. I would strongly recommend you to check them out today.

How was your experience with Toshl? Have you tried any other finance managers? Do join us in the discussion below and let us know your thoughts.


Summary

A beautifully designed cloud based finance manager for your Windows Phone.

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