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Toshl: Reorganize Your Financial Life (with little Monster Gnomes)

It’s that time of the year when taxes are in the air. You’re probably irritated, wondering: where are my receipts? Why didn’t I document my finances better? If this rings true, it might be time to look into some personal finance software. Heather has blogged some reviews of applications that she has used earlier, and today ProfHacker reviews a fun little application called Toshl.

Toshl is a multi-platform app that allows you to keep track of your spending. When you pay for something, you can enter the expense either on its web-based application, or on your mobile phone. Toshl is multi-platform (iOS, Android, Symbian and the Windows Phone) and syncs smoothly across different devices.

Toshl is a multi-platform financial management app (with cute graphics).

Toshl is a multi-platform financial management app (with cute graphics).

What’s cool:

The Pro (paid) version of Toshl allows you to implement envelope budgeting  electronically. Dave Ramsay calls envelope budgeting “grandma’s way of handling money,” but it’s really quite useful still for those who prefer to handle their finances electronically. In the original form envelope budgeting, you would divide your take-home salary into literal envelopes set aside for different expenses. In Toshl, you would do this by creating individual budgets for different expenses (your “envelopes”), and by tagging your expenses with the same budget name. The tags add up in your budget, allowing you to keep track of how much you’ve spent in each “envelope.” Toshl allows you the option of rolling over leftover funds from one budget into the next month.

Fun visualization tools, example 1.

Fun visualization tools, example 1.

Toshl offers fun visualization tools for you to see where your money is going. You also get the option of having your expense report emailed to you every month, or to export your data at any time via CSV (and, if you sign up for the Pro account, Excel, PDF and Google Docs.)

Fun visualization tools.

Fun visualization tools, example 2.

Toshl allows you to set up bill reminders.

Toshl allows you to enter expenses in different currencies, and even provides current exchange rates for 34 currencies. This might be helpful if you travel internationally often.

Toshl requires you to enter in your own expenses, which means you don’t need to turn over your secure passwords to services like Mint.com. However, this might be a negative for people who like Mint’s convenience.

Toshl’s interface is clean and intuitive, and the graphics visually appealing and amusing. (Adorable little monster gnomes with pots of gold? C’mon!)

Your money's in good hands with Toshl

Your money’s in good hands with Toshl

What could be better:

Toshl only allows you to keep track of spending within one account—you can’t sync across two or more separate accounts. A workaround for those who want to link different people’s spending within a household: use the same account.

The free version of Toshl is pretty restricted in what it can do. You can only set one source of income in the free version, and only create one budget—making it impossible to implement the envelope budgeting system. The application itself isn’t exorbitantly priced: it’s $1.99 a month or $19.99 a year.

NB: I paid for my Pro version of Toshl myself, and have not been compensated by the company for the review.

What personal finance applications have you found useful?

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