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Updated on Friday, April 22, 2016
When you’re looking for a budgeting app, you’ll find no shortage of options on the market. Yet few mix pragmatic finances with pure fun as successfully as Toshl Finance. As you move through its interface, you’ll be greeted by the Toshl monsters, who will guide and cheer you on.
What is Toshl Finance?Toshl Finance is a budgeting app that is accessible both via a web-based app and on virtually any mobile device. Toshl’s goal is to make money fun, so they’ve set up a friendly user interface to help you evaluate past spending habits, get a snapshot of your current finances, build realistic budgets for the future, and even remind you when bills are due.
How does Toshl Finance work?
When you sign up for Toshl Finance, you’ll be asked to open up your wallet to record your cash reserve. After you have your current cash status uploaded, you’ll have the option of linking your financial accounts.
Using the information from your financial institution, Toshl Finance will give you easy-to-understand charts displaying your spending habits and your current money situation. Using this information, you’ll then be able to build a budget based on your actual, recorded spending habits rather than guesses and assumptions.
What security features does Toshl Finance offer?
Toshl is big on encryption. The web app comes with SSL encryption. All data stored in the database is encrypted, as is all data exchanged between your devices. Passwords are even stored using a one-way hashing algorithm, meaning that even tech support won’t be able to hack your secret code.
What does it cost?
For many, using Toshl is free. However, if you have three or more financial accounts you want to link to your profile, you will need to upgrade. Also, if you want to create more than two budgets, you’ll have to switch to Toshl Pro, too.
Pro comes in at $2.99 per month or $19.99 per year. Along with being able to link unlimited accounts and create unlimited budgets, you’ll also be able to upload pictures of your receipts with this membership level.
If you upgrade and hate it, you can cancel and get a refund within the first 30 days.
Who is Toshl best for?
If you’re looking for a budgeting app that isn’t boring, Toshl is your best bet. The user interface is engaging without sacrificing any functionality. In fact, the ability to both look back and towards the future of your finances is something that’s not found in all budgeting apps, making this a great option for nearly everyone.
Toshl Pro presents interesting possibilities for freelancers or those that want to keep their business and personal finance budgets separate. Because you can add unlimited accounts and create separate budgets, you can simultaneously view your current big picture financial situation while still allotting your dollars to definitively separate endeavors (i.e. rent and groceries versus business cards and automation services.) The added bonus of being able to upload receipts is also great for record keeping.
What are the pros and cons of using Toshl Finance?
There are some amazing pros and a few cons to contemplate before deciding if Toshl Finance is the budgeting app for you.
- Allows you to analyze past spending behaviors while also enabling you to budget for the future.
- Encourages saving.
- Reminds you when bills are due.
- Free option is available for those with two or less financial accounts.
- No ads.
- Fun and functional interface
- Marginal fee for those with 3+ financial accounts or the need for 3+ budgets.
- Functionality on mobile is good, but limited. You will need to use the web app at least some of the time.
- Focused on investing? If so, there are better options on the market.
How does Toshl Finance stack up against the competition?
If you find yourself uncomfortable with any of those negatives about the app, then you may want to look at another budgeting app. Here are three alternatives that may better fit your goals:
Personal Capital has a roughly similar business structure to Toshl. There are no ads; it makes money through subscription memberships. With Personal Capital, though, you can invest directly through the app. If you’re less concerned about basic budgeting and more concerned about managing your investments, this may be the way to go.
Mint.comDislike the idea of paying a subscription fee? Mint.com is an absolutely free budgeting app, regardless of how many accounts you want to link. While there won’t be fun little monsters to greet you, there will be tons of user-friendly charts to help you evaluate past spending and budget for the future. Because they don’t charge a fee for use, you will be inundated with ads.
YNABIf you’re looking to completely revamp your financial situation, you may need more help than the Toshl monsters can provide. You Need a Budget (or YNAB) is more about helping you change your lifestyle than simply helping you track your cash. It’s intensive, and won’t have cute little monsters along the way. It also won’t be as big of a help when you’re looking back at your finances retroactively. What it will do is whip you into shape for a better tomorrow, forcing you to reevaluate the way you think about and spend your paycheck. Fees are higher than Toshl at $6.99/month or $83.99/year, but may be worth it if you find yourself living paycheck to paycheck even though you’re making a comfortable income.
Overall, we like Toshl. If you’re looking for a comprehensive app that brings some levity into a traditionally boring chore, you won’t find too many other options that are able to meet Toshl’s combination of spirit and practicality.