How to record your expenses with Cointry Telegram chatbot

This article is also available in Russian.

I've been tracking my expenses for over a decade. I started by using a simple paper notepad to record my spending each evening. It wasn't the easiest, but it worked for me...until I got married. Managing a family budget together was twice as difficult and inconvenient. Even with the rise of mobile apps, the daily routine of writing down expenses remained the same for me. While mobile expense tracking apps have provided easier calculations and visual graphs, they haven't fundamentally changed the game. The main problems were:

  1. Speed of recording. The vast majority of money-tracking apps use the same pattern: choose a type of transaction (either expense or income), then type a number, choose a category, write an optional comment, sometimes also choose currency and date, and only then finally save it. It's too many taps that you usually have to do on the go, e.g. on the way out of the store. It's very inconvenient.
  2. Absence or poor multi-user support. You still have to do it on one phone or merge your numbers every month. Multi-user support usually is a paid feature.
  3. Poor multi-currency support. Adding ad-hoc expenses in currencies different from your main currency is a pain in most apps.
  4. Poor custom billing dates support. Sometimes you need to add expenses retroactively.

After years of using different budget-tracking mobile apps, I came to two conclusions:

  1. It seems counterintuitive at first sight but typing expense as a text using the keyboard is much easier than going through a multi-step process of setting an amount, choosing a date and currency, then looking through the list of categories and matching your current purchase with one of them. It simply requires much more cognitive effort to make choices and categorizations in your mind every time. Especially when you are on the go.
  2. A special mobile app is unnecessary for such a simple task. Interfaces with rich and beautiful designs take time to load and may require time to learn and become familiar with. A simple question-and-answer chat-like format would be a better fit.

These two discoveries have shown me the way to the expense-tracking flow I need. I want to use a chatbot with commands instead of buttons, but I don't want to deal with a bot that's dumb and annoying. I don't want to answer endless questions, which is no better than using existing mobile apps. That's why having powerful yet intuitive and simple bot commands is crucial. You shouldn't have to type or remember too much.

I incorporated all these learnings into the Cointry chatbot for Telegram. Now, let's take a closer look at how it works and how it can handle typical situations.

Situation №1

You've spent $20 on a cinema and want to record it. Then all you need to tell the bot is:

20 cinema

That's it! But I guess you would ask "What about the categorization? I want to have a monthly report grouped by categories". If the expense with the title of "cinema" was used for the first time the Cointry bot would ask you to choose a category for it. But don't worry! It won't ask the same every time. Instead, Cointry remembers that "cinema" belongs to, for example, the "Entertainment" category, and the next time you spend on a cinema Cointry will put it into the correct category automatically without any questions.

Situation №2

You purchased something yesterday but forgot to record it. Then just tell Cointry that it was yesterday:

40 barbershop yesterday

The expense will be recorded for the chosen date. You can also specify concrete dates like 23.09.2023.

80 theatre 23.09.2023

Situation №3

You bought something from a foreign online shop in a different currency. All you need to do is just specify that currency:

30000 JPY Japanese whiskey

The great thing is that this money will be properly reflected in your monthly report. It will be converted into your main currency using the exchange rate from the transaction date.

The Cointry chatbot works perfectly in group chats, making it ideal for tracking family finances. You can add as many people as you like to a Telegram group chat and Cointry will listen to everyone carefully, ensuring that no transaction details get mixed up.

Now you have a powerful and free tool to record your expenses with minimum effort. Now you can get some statistics by sending a stats command:


Cointry also sends you monthly reports on every first day of the month.

Congratulations! The first step on the road to fully controllable expenses is done. It's the most boring step that the vast majority of people don't manage to do. I truly believe it's mainly due to the absence of easy enough tools. I built Cointry for myself to make writing down my expenses as fast as possible and I hope it will help you too.

Stay tuned, in the next articles I will give you more insights into efficient personal and family money tracking.

Try Cointry Telegram bot now.