Reference

This is the illustrated quick-reference for using the service.

How can add my transaction details to Balancion?

You can add your account via “Accounts and cards” page by clicking the logo of your bank. If you can’t see the bank buttons, you can make them visible by clicking “Add account or card” button.

After selecting a bank, a dialogue box opens, from which you can choose to open or download the jnlp file used for retrieving account details. Select open. The right program is Java Web Start.

After the selection, Java Web Start will download the program. The first time, the download may take some time, but on the subsequent occasions the application is downloaded only if it needs to be updated.

Before starting the program, Java Web Start will ask the user’s permission to start it. If the certificate is accepted permanently the first time, it won’t ask again in the future.

After this, the program used for retrieving account information will start. By clicking “Continue”, the program will take you to your bank’s website.

Now you are able to retrieve your account information from your bank’s online service. By entering your bank’s login information, you authorise the service to transfer your transaction details into the Balancion service. The transfer is made over a secure connection. Bank login information is never entered into Balancion, but they are entered into the bank’s website and system.

NOTE. With some banks, a mobile or text version is used.

After a successful sign up, the browser will bring you to a page where you need to enter your security code. Also, the security code query is always made within your own bank’s system.

With some banks, the search for transaction information is started straight after a successful sign up. On the other hand, some banks require the user to enter a security code.

When the security code has been successfully entered, the program will begin retrieving user’s account information from the bank’s online service.

The bank browser will always ask after finding a new account or loan: Do you want the bank browser to also retrieve this account’s or loan’s information?

In case of a loan, the bank browser may also ask to select a debt service account for the loan if the bank browser is unable to automatically recognise the debt service account.

Searching for information from the bank’s online service may take several minutes, especially when done for the first time. Next time, the searching will considerably speed up, since there is less searchable information.

The bank browser will inform you, when the account information search is complete. The secure connection to the bank will close automatically after the search is complete. By pressing “Close” button, you are able to return to the service.

Update the browser while still being on the service page. Your information has transferred from your computer into the Balancion service and your new information is shown in the service.

Next time, you can update your account information by pressing ”Update Account Information” button at the top right corner of the page.

How do I categorise my account information?

You can categorise your account information at ”Income and Expenses” page’s ”Account Transactions”. The service automatically categorises the transactions it has recognised in various income and expense categories (more systematic classification FAQ in). Uncategorised expenses, or transactions, which the service hasn’t recognised, are found by clicking ”Uncategorised” category under ”Expenses”. Uncategorised income transactions will automatically go into the “Other Income” category. You can categorise all transactions similarly, regardless of which category they are in.

You can begin categorising by opening the class you wish to, and selecting the transaction you want to move to a different class. NOTE! Subcategories open by clicking the main category’s name. Please also note, that by default, empty categories will not be shown. You get all available categories by clicking “Show All” button.

Transactions can be categorised by two different ways:

Example 1

You can drag and drop one or more transactions from the transaction listing onto the proper category. If you wish to drag and drop more than one transaction at once, first choose the transactions from the list in front of the transaction.

Example 2

You can also categorise a transaction by clicking the transaction’s name, in which case an ”Edit Transaction” window will open.

You can choose a category from the drop down menu, in which you want to move the transaction. The service may suggest a category, which has been marked with a star at the beginning of the category listing, depending on the category the user has previously selected for the transaction.

From the right side of the window, you can choose similar transactions, which the service has automatically recognised, and simultaneously categorise them into the right category. In the ”Edit Transaction” window you can also ”divide” or ”chop” a transaction, mark a ”recurring transaction”, or ”tag” a transaction.

What is the ”Other” main category?

Under the "Other" category, you may transfer all income and expenses, which you want to separate out from the regular income and expenses. These kind of transactions includes, transfers between own accounts, loans to friends, or reimbursements of expenses. Credit card bills may be transferred into the "Other" category, when other credit card expenses have also been retrieved into Balancion - otherwise the transactions will be shown two times in the expenses.

Tip: also large purchases (apartment, etc.) is recommended to be transferred into the ”Other” category, otherwise the pie chart won’t be very useful when one transaction constitutes 99.9% of expenses.

How can I delete transfers between my own accounts?

Transfers between your own accounts can’t be completely removed from the system, but they should be moved into ”Other” category. You should also transfer other transactions, which burden the income or expenses, into the ”Other” category. “Other” category can be found last of the category listing, when you are categorising income or expenses..

When the right category has been chosen or saved, transfers between your own accounts have been removed from expenses and is shown in the “Other” category.

How can I add or hide categories?

If you wish, you may add new and useful categories for yourself or hide unnecessary categories in ”Settings”. You'll find the ”Settings” link from the top right corner.

When you’ve opened the ”Categorisation” window in settings, you’ll see all the categories, which are in the service by default. By clicking on the check box before a category, you can hide it, and alternatively you can make it visible by clicking on it again.

(+) sign before a category indicates, that there are subcategories under it. You can open the menu by clicking on the category's name.

At the end of the category listing, you can create a new category by entering a desired name in the box, which opens, and clicking OK. You can remove a category you’ve added by clicking on a cross beside the category's name.

Finally, remember to click ”Save” so your changes will be saved.

How can I chop transactions in several categories (e.g. water bill and parking fee have also been paid in conjunction with rent)?

You can chop a transaction into several categories by clicking ”Chop” in the transaction’s editing window. “Edit Transaction” window can be opened by clicking the transaction’s name in ”Account Transactions".

You can enter a desired category and sum into the Chop menu. The amount will be automatically deducted from the other category.

If you want to chop the transaction into several portions, click the (+) button beside the lower category selector. Finally, click “Save”.

How do I divide a part of a transaction to several persons (e.g. I want to divide half of the rent to my spouse)?

You can divide a part of a transaction to one or several persons by clicking ”Divide” in the transaction’s editing window. "Edit Transaction" window is opened by clicking the transaction's name in the "Account Transactions".

In the ”Divide” menu, you can enter a person’s name and adjust the percentage portion belonging to the person by moving the slider. In to be divided box you see how much is left to be divided and the full amount next to it.

You can add and remove persons by clicking (+) or (-) buttons. Finally, click “Save".

What are Tags and how do I use them?

Tags are keywords, which helps you to monitor, for example, a certain project's or trip's costs, even if the costs are split into different categories. For example, kitchen renovation costs can be monitored by adding a "Kitchen Renovation" tag to the Tags box in “Edit Transaction” window to every renovation related transaction.

You can browse your Tags at Account Transactions or Trends tabs.

How do I update my account information?

You can update your account information on any page by clicking ”Update account information” link on the page's top right corner (Learn more about account information search)

If there is something missing in the previously retrieved account information, you may retrieve the information again by clicking ”Update account information” and “Is there something missing from your information?” below it.

How can I change an account or loan name?

You can change your desired account or loan name in ”Accounts and cards” page by clicking the account or loan name. After you've entered the new name into the box, click ”OK”, and the name has been changed!

How can I modify the cash balance?

You can modify the cash balance by clicking the current balance in the ”Accounts and cards” page, then enter the desired amount and press OK.

You can also update cash balance by adding transactions to the cash balance in ”Income and Expenses” tab.

How do I remove my information from Balancion? How do I restore my information?

You can remove a desired account or loan information from Balancion on ”Accounts and Cards” page by clicking on the (X) sign beside the account or loan. Deleted accounts or loans can be restored by updating account information and adding the account or loan again into the service.

You can also hide an account, in which case its information is hidden in the service, but it won't be removed completely. A hidden account and it’s transactions can be restored by clicking ”Restore accounts” link on the bottom of the page. From the list, select the account you want to restore by clicking “Restore”.

How can I delete all of my personal information and user names from Balancion?

You can remove your account completely in ”Settings” (you can find the link to Settings on the page's top right corner). At the very end of the Settings is a blue link ”Delete User Account", through which a form opens. By filling the form and approving the deletion, your account is removed and the information is permanently deleted.

How do I create a savings goal?

You can create a savings goal on the ”Financial Planning / Goals” page. First, choose the account name by clicking on the account, from which you want the saving to be calculated.

After choosing an account, you will need to enter and save the goal's information. If you want the savings to be calculated from the past as well, set the starting date in the past. Like this, the service will take account of the already saved funds in the savings account. If you wish, you may add a picture for your goal by clicking "Browse", choosing a file, and clicking "Send".

If you have multiple goals, for which you want to save money, you can choose ”divide” or ”stagger” as a savings model. In the "divide" model you can set in what proportions the saved funds will be divided among the goals. In the “stagger” model you can set in what order the goals are fulfilled. When you have added your goal, you can choose a savings model by clicking ”Edit Goals” and then the desired model name.

In the ”Edit Goals” view, you can also set a Balance Threshold, or the amount you want to keep in the account as a buffer. For example, if you use your checking account for savings, you can reserve a certain amount of funds for everyday consumption, but all funds over the buffer amount will accumulate your savings.

In the same view, you can also choose a tracking method for the goal, or how are the savings calculated. If you choose a savings account, the savings will be calculated by the most recent balance. If you choose a checking account, the accumulated savings will be calculated by the lowest balance of the month.

Remember to save the changes in the end!

What savings targets? How do they work?

You can set savings targets for yourself, or such expense categories, from which you want to save. You can set and monitor your savings targets on the "Financial Planning" page right under savings goals.

You can set up to five categories as savings targets. Choose the desired category from the menu under the graph. Click (+) to see more menus.

After choosing a category, you will see your spending trend from the graph. So from this section, it's easy to check if you have spent more or less in the categories you especially want to keep an eye on!

The savings goals are also marked in your budget with an euro.

How can I choose recurring transactions?

You can choose recurring transactions, such as rent, or electric bill, as sc. contracts. You can set a transaction to be a contract in the edit transaction window. A transaction can be edited by clicking the name on the “Income and Expenses / Account Transactions” tab.

When you want to set a transaction to be a contract, check the box titled "Recurring, associated with a contract”, and fill the desired information. You can name the contract and define when and how often the transaction will recur. Finally, click "Save".

You will see the recurring transactions you’ve set as a list on the ”Financial Planning / Contracts” tab. On this page, you can also edit and remove your contracts, or get savings tips from Balancion related to your contracts. For example, Balancion may suggest you to check if there's a more inexpensive electric company available, or offer tips for other independent price comparison services.

How can I plan my finances in the service?

You can begin planning your future on the "Budgeting" tab. On the top, you can see the current or next year on the year selection. By selecting the last year, you can see the income and expenses of the previous year. You can also view the outcomes of an account by clicking on the account name and "Refresh" button after that.

You can plan a budget for the ongoing or next year. When you click ”Calculate budget for the year”, the service calculates a suggested budget for each category and subcategory, based on the last year’s income and expenses. A suggested budget will be shown in a category view as blue, realised budget will be shown as orange.

A suggested budget works as a base, which you can easily modify. By clicking ”Show budgeting”, a view opens, from which you can see all the main category’s subcategories, and how the suggested budget has been divided amongst the categories.

If you wish, you may edit a category’s suggested budget by clicking "Show budgeting" under the category. Then a budgeting table will open under the category. It’s possible to edit all rows at once, or a single cell at a time, in the table. To edit, click the cell and enter a desired amount. If you want to fill a whole row at once, it's done by moving the mouse on the right edge "cogwheel" button, and by filling in the desired information.

The edited figures will be shown as bold in the table. You can modify the service's suggested amounts similarly. Finalise the editing by clicking “Save”. Now the saved budget will be shown in the graph as a blue line. Like this, the whole budget of the household is built piece by piece, and every category will be handled separately.

You can calculate a new estimated budget for a category by clicking "Calculate an estimate" button. By calculating an estimate again, the service will take your new categorisation into account in the budget. Previously entered figures by the user will not be replaced when recalculating an estimate.

How are my loans handled in the service?

If you want, also your loan information will be retrieved from the bank’s online service in conjunction with the account transactions (more information about Transaction search). more information about Transaction search

On the Debts page it is possible to browse the total debt or individual loans by clicking the loan name on the listing.

On the Debts page, with the illustrative bar charts or area graphs, you can see how e.g., a mortgage interest rate and repayment amount have been developed within a loan. On the page, you can also easily see how much you have repaid and how much you have paid interest on last year.

On the Debts page, with the illustrative bar charts or area graphs, you can see how e.g., a mortgage interest rate and repayment amount have been developed within a loan. On the page, you can also easily see how much you have repaid and how much you have paid interest on last year. (For more information on the classification)

What is the purpose of the Trends page?

In Trends, you can examine your income and expense categories’ development more closely. You can choose what categories you want to examine from the menu under the graph. Click (+) beside the menu to see more menus.

By moving the mouse on a category's curve, you can also find out which events have caused a spike in consumption.

In Trends, you can also compare the ongoing year’s expenses or income to, for example, last year’s expenses or income by choosing the last year as the reference period.

What is the purpose of the Comparison page?

On the Comparison page, you can compare your own income and expenses to other users of the service. The service statistically handles all of the users’ information, so you will only see other users’ information on a statistical level.

On the Comparison page you can conveniently see how much you are spending, for example, on clothes, cosmetics, transportation, travelling, etc. in comparison to every user or users’ similar to yourself.

You can compare your own information to others by clicking on a desired category, defining the comparison group criteria from the drop down menu, and clicking “Retrieve comparison information" after that.

Where can I edit my account settings / pay for the service?

Where can I edit my account settings / pay for the service? (For more information on user accounts that have been deleted)