Expensify: The Quick Guide

I once wrote a review about Expensify, which to me is the simplest financial management tool around. Unfortunately I have several friends who find it complicated to use.

Here I will provide a quick guide on how you can save your expenses and review your financial performance with Expensify.

Assuming that you already have an account. We will begin with managing your preference.

Expensify preference
Managing Expensify preference

As you can see there are several preference you can assign here. I’m going to talk about Currency. Assigning Default Output Currency is important when you are adding new expenses and managing your reports. I choose Malaysia Ringgit (MYR) as my preferred currency.

Managing Categories and Tags

Next is to manage your categories and tags. By default there are several categories being assigned by Expensify. However there is no tags being assigned by default. Categories itself is not enough as it does not provide clear details.

For example assigning an expense as Meals is insufficient as I need to know which meal do I spend the most on. Hence I will assign breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner as tags for the category Meals.

To manage categories and tags go to Settings and choose Categories and Tags.

Managing categories and tags
Managing categories and tags.

Managing Expense

Once done with managing your preference. We will begin managing expenses. First step is to add a new expense.

Go to Expenses page and click on new expense.

Adding expense
Adding expense

In this example I’m adding expense for my breakfast meal from McDonald’s. You can also attach a receipt to this expense for future reference. Once done, click on done.

Expenses added
Example after expenses has been added

Managing Reports

It is best to assign your expenses to particular reports. For example I categorize my reports monthly. To create a new report go to Reports and choose new report.

Creating a new report
Report for January 2012

Once report is created you will need to assign expenses to it. This can be done in two ways. Adding through Reports page or adding through Expenses page.

Adding expenses
Adding expenses through Reports page.

To add expenses through Reports page, click on add expenses and choose which expense to be added from the popup window and click on add to report.

Adding expenses
Adding expenses from Expenses page.

To add expenses to report from Expenses page, select which expenses to be added and choose which report to be assigned to. Once selected click on add to report.

Once done you can view all selected expenses in your report.

Expenses in report
Expenses added to report January 2012

You can choose how you prefer your expenses to be grouped. From the left panel you can choose either category or tag.

Viewing Financial Performance

Finally the most important reason why I choose Expensify. It allows me to view my financial performance. At Expenses page you can filter the data that you need.

Example below shows that I want to view only cash expenses that has not being added to report and only from the meal category.

Unreported expenses
Unreported expenses from category meals.

You can choose either you want to view it in line, pie or bar chart. Options are available on the left panel below the filter.

While the example below takes a longer period 23/10/2011 to 31/12/2011. In this chart I want to know within that period how much did I spend for dinner on each months from reported expenses.

Dinner performance
Financial performance for last three months for dinner.

Based on this chart I can identify that my spending for dinner has increased in November. In order to identify where do I spend the most I can change the filter for group by from Tag to Merchant.

With that I can identify where I have been spending too much and decide if it is necessary to cut it off or lower it.

As mentioned this is a quick guide on how to use Expensify. There are many other functionalities being offered such as assigning policies and importing your cards. If you see I made a mistake in my guide please feel free to inform me. Also if you are unclear about certain functions, feel free to ask in the comment section. I will try my best to help you.

I hope you will find Expensify helpful in improving your financial.

Author: Rashidi Zin

I write code and run on the road.