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by Hillary Patin

How to Get the Most Out of Simple Reports

Simple Reports can help you understand where your money is going, and how to curb spending. Here’s how.
How to Get the Most out of Simple Reports | Simple

Do you know exactly how much money you earned in the last year? Or if you spend more money in the summer than in the winter? Your Simple account does—you just have to know where to look.

With automatic push notifications for each transaction, auto categorization of transactions, and filterable graphs, viewing our financial selves in our natural habitat has never been easier thanks to Reports.

Whether you want to create a budget, or see where you can cut spending, Reports give you a detailed look into where your money comes from, where it’s going, and how often it’s going out. Sounds scary, right? Some people don’t want to know if they’re spending money in silly or embarrassing ways. But don’t be afraid – finding out exactly where your money is going can help you be more mindful about spending in the future.

Get familiarized with Reports

To view Reports, you’ll need to log into Simple on the web (unfortunately, Reports is not supported on mobile, yet!). The “Reports” button is the dotted graph line to the right of the on-page search bar.

Once you’re in Reports, you’ll see a graph that shows three things: what you’ve earned (in green), what you’ve spent (in red), and your ending balance (the blue dotted line) over time. Below the graph, you’ll see a breakdown of the categories included in the graph as well as the description of the transactions from largest to smallest. To the right, you’ll see how much you earned minus how much you spent, leaving you with your total for that time period. There’s even a map that shows you where you’ve bought things!

How to Get the Most out of Simple Reports

Narrow in and zoom out

Find the answers to your spending and saving questions by changing the time span and the display. The time span changes how many days worth of data is included while the display changes how that data is divided up and presented.

Time span

By default, Reports is set to a time span of 90 days, but you can change that to 180 days, 270 days, 360 days, or all time. Play around with the time span to see your spending and earning journey from the last quarter, the last half year, or an entire year. The graph, categories, descriptions, and total will all change accordingly.

How to Get the Most out of Simple Reports

Display

You can also change the display, which gives the options of total, by day, by week, and by month. If your time span is set to 90 days and you set the display by day, you’ll notice the graph gets very granular, and the calculation to the right shows how much you earned, spent, and saved on average every day for the last 90 days. If you change the display to months, you’ll see that the data is clumped into months instead.

Target practice

Here’s some questions you might be curious about, and how you can use time span and display to answer them:

  • How much did you earn in the last year? How much did you save? Select last 360 days and total, then look at “earned” and “total” in the calculation on the right.
  • What is your average monthly earnings over the last half a year, and how does it compare to this month? Select last 180 days and by month, then look at “earned” in the calculation on the right to see both your average monthly earnings from the last half year as well as your earnings from the last month. This is especially helpful for those with variable income.
  • Have you been saving more this month compared to the last couple of months? Select last 90 days and by month, then look at “total” in the calculation on the right to see both your average monthly savings from the last 90 days as well as how much you saved in the last month.

Digging into Categories

Now that you’ve got a handle on time span and display, we can start digging into categories. Each transaction you perform on your account is automatically categorized into a category and subcategory. For instance, “Food & Drink” is a category with subcategories like “Groceries,” “Alcohol & Bars,” and “Restaurants.”

You can toggle the time span and display to see how much money you’ve spent on each category in a given time frame, along with your largest transactions for that time frame. For instance, try:

  • How much money have you spent per month on Food & Drink in the past year? Select last 360 days and by month, then look below under “Categories” and “Monthly” for how much you spent on “Food & Drink.”

How to Get the Most out of Simple Reports

Filtering Reports

To the answers to more granular questions, you can filter Reports. The easiest way to filter a Report by a category is to click on a category you see listed. When you click on a category, the graph will only show transactions under that category as well as the subcategories below.

In doing this, you might have noticed the on-page search bar says “category:”Food & Drink”.” You can search for any category in the search bar to filter Reports. By clicking on the search bar, you’ll also see helpful suggested filters such as weekends, year to date, and transactions over $20. Have a search you do often? You can save it by clicking “New Saved Search” under the map on the right. You can also search by merchant name to find specific transactions. Want to know how much you’ve spent at your favorite bar this year? Type it into the search bar. (We can’t however promise whether your results will make you smile… or cringe.)

Disclaimer: Hey! Welcome to our disclaimer. Here’s what you need to know to safely consume this blog post: Any outbound links in this post will take you away from Simple.com, to external sites in the wilds of the internet; neither Simple nor our partner banks, The Bancorp Bank and BBVA Compass, endorse any linked-to websites; and we didn’t pay/barter with/bribe anyone to appear in this post. And as much as we wish we could control the cost of things, any prices in this article are just estimates. Actual prices are up to retailers, manufacturers, and other people who’ve been granted magical powers over digits and dollar signs.