Coin Jar style Personal Finance Management Strategies and Ideas

6 posts were split to a new topic: (Coin) Jar Jar Binks

Monthly Outgoings: At the start of the month, when I get paid over £x,xxx amount, move £yyy to a monthly outgoings pot.

This outgoings pot would be used for regular monthly direct debits (phone, magazine subscriptions, web hosting, utility bills)

Monzo should detect recurring automatic payments and assign to this pot.


Definitely this, but why wait to settle daily? Instant Access Savings Keep any positive balance in an interest bearing pot, with funds automatically withdrawn as and when needed. Maximise interest without worrying about ever accidentally triggering an overdraft.

Swear Jar every time you utter an expletive you transfer £1 to this jar. Could use IFTTT to create a swear button / icon to do this. Even better - the facility for your colleagues to trigger the transfer (still to your own pot obviously).

Lunch money every time you are paid your salary X amount is transferred to the pot which is then released slowly back into your account at a rate of Y per day (at whatever hour you set as lunchtime!)


Flexi Jar Talking of IFTTT earlier got me thinking why not allow some user selectable options so they can create their own tailor made jar themselves.


Pay my expenses Pot Sweep incoming expenses payments from [my company] into my Expenses Pot and pay my [Amex] Direct Debit from my Expenses pot

Pay my [bill] Pot I will add £x to my [bill name] Pot and my [company Direct Debit] will be debited from this pot

Beat my target Pot At the end of the month, sweep the amount I’ve not spent under my [category] target into my [Category] savings Pot


Unjarred - liberates you from the jarring sensation induced unpredictable savings.

TL;DR: One big pot with an associated list of items (TV, holiday, house deposit, …) that you want to buy. The user inputs the items and their costs, and the app calculates the date at which they will be able to purchase each. The list is re-orderable, allowing the user to quickly and fluidly create future scenarios. The app knows the user’s effective savings rate which, when combined with the item costs and item order, is used to calculate the dates. Transfers happen into the account as infrequently as possible - ideally once per income period (typically a month), but only at the end of the month once the money is definitely saved.

TL;TL: I wanted to provide more detail on my thinking, apologies for length.

I think that it helps to consider savings in their essence - discretised deferred spending. One pot per item, the current model, is overly discretised and makes it hard for people to know how much to put in each pot, and makes it hard to fluidly reprioritise the items. The pots feature should allow the user to view different predicted futures, so that they can decide on the one that they want to actualise. To achieve this, I suggest one large pot in combination with a list of items and prices of those items. Then, in combination with the predictable savings rate (see below) you can allow the user to reorder the items in the list and the app can update the date that they will be able to buy each item.

How can we get predictability in the savings rate? I suggest minimising the number of transfers both in and out of savings. Ideally there would be one transfer in per month, and only purchases outgoing. Many of the ideas here are variations on "if <arbitrary condition>: <transfer money to pot>". I think that this approach is flawed because it doesn’t take into account what it’s actually possible for the person to save. They’ll either save too little (and potentially end up with needless discretionary spending) or save too much (and have to tap savings to meet expenses - reducing predictability). However, people didn’t suggest these strategies for no reason, and I think the unifying element is the laudable “get the money out of my sight ASAP!”. If you don’t have clear edges to your expenses - and it all appears in one big pile in your account all month - then you get numb to your day-to-day discretionary expenditure.

Thus, to minimise expenditure, maximise savings, and provide predictability over savings, I suggest the following 4-pot “buffer” strategy:

Discretionary pot

  • Minimal amount
  • Inducements not to spend (“You’re spending too fast!”)
  • Containment for discretionary spending unpredictability

Bills pot

  • Minimal amount
  • Inducements not to spend (“Switch your electricity provider!”)
  • Containment for bills unpredictability

Buffer pot

  • Remainder amount (income - (discretionary + bills))
  • Bills pot needs to be able to refill from this, because bills are asynchronous

Savings pot

  • Maximal amount
  • Reminders to buy stuff (“You reached your goal - now buy X!”)

In the current strategy Discretionary, Bills, and Buffer are all in one big pot (your main account), and bills & large expenses will be hidden from the spending target by flagging them individually. I think it would be a lot easier to plan if these different kinds of expenses were segregated more clearly in the app.

The key is to provide predictability, and hard (psychological) edges around the savings. Once it’s in there it shouldn’t be used for arbitrary discretionary spending, or to meet the expense of an outsized bill. Once a few months of data have been logged then the app will be able to show predicted savings into the future and thus be able to assign dates to each of the items listed in the pot and allow the user to reorder items and create possible future scenarios.

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Credit Card Jar: Use Open Banking APIs to monitor my credit card spending and ring-fence enough money to cover the bill at the end of the month


Locked coin jar - putting a sealed until date on the coin jar so that you can’t transfer out of it until after that date


Naughty Jar - If you succumb to buying fast food you are fined (such as KFC, McDonalds, KFC, Greggs, KFC, Burger King, KFC etc). The fine to be placed into a jar (and preferably locked for a period of time, or difficult to retrieve). The funds being locked could be an extra incentive in resisting the temptation. The jar would work in 2 ways. It would either save you a lot of money from not buying all those fast food meals or more likely if you are anything like me the fines would rack up.

Regular bill jar - Any direct debits or standing orders would be taken from this jar. When you are paid the estimated value of the expected direct debits would automatically transfer into the jar. To start with it may not be accurate however over time Monzo would better learn how much is required and be more accurate. Any surplus at the end of the month could be transferred to the coin jar.


Schrodingers Jar. You can transfer money in but the balance always stays zero until a specified date.


5 posts were merged into an existing topic: Schrodingers Jar

Bills coin jars Very similar to the idea my gran had when I was a kid - saving money in a jam jar for different bills that were coming up. Could be taken away from salary when credited to the account - so the balance in the account is what you’ve actually got spare to spend after bills etc.

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Aligned pots - pots that are aligned to the spending categories - following salary payments money is distributed into each category based on a prederminded amount with anything left going into an additional jar for saving. At the end of the month anything left in the jars automatically go into the savings jar. It would be helpful if some categories could be customised eg shopping sub divided into home, clothes, accessories and so on. With the ability to add money to a specific category from savings if required.

This would be helpful to see what you’re actually spending your money on & limiting your spending on certain things

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Regular payments pots: Not sure if this is possible to do. Direct debits and standing orders taken from the pot and not the regular account balance. You set aside the money for your months regular payments into the pot and they go out of there and you don’t impact them with your day to day debit card spending. Would be good if cpa debit card payments could go from pot too, but I don’t think these are distinguishable from one of debit card payments at the banking level.

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A simple Smart Savings Pot or Percentage Pot. You can set a percentage (say 10%) which would automatically come out of a marked payment provider ( say work monthly salary). An added bonus would be to have interest within this Pot.

lotto jar, kinda like pot of gold jar mentioned above, so if you have a lotto jar and all lotto jars on Monzo are taking part, so on a sat night or once a month you get a chance to collect everyone else’s jar money as the prize, each user can deposit as much as they want tlinto thier jab and will get 1 chance of winning per £1… I use to play the lotto but lost interest when they introduced the multiple games. I just want to pay a quid and possible win it big… sorry that been badly described but I’m in a hurry… :slight_smile:

Kid1 jar which would have it’s own card and I could give it to my child, obviously there are room for more jars and kids as required.

shared jar allow other monzo users to come together and save in a common jar for a night out or a birthday present etc etc


A daily/weekly budget jar, so I can only spend a maximum of what I set in my jar on a daily or weekly basis. In the event of an emergency, you can request the jar to be unlocked further but takes x amount of minutes to activate, time for your emotions to settle down to help you to decide whether you really need that purchase…

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Having a fixed pot would be good that lets you set your own time limit e.g i set a date of 5th August 2018 and I can’t withdraw money until then but I can still deposit money in to the fixed pot every month. Minimum time of 3 months


Good idea, that’s how I used my prepaid monzo card when I got it, I loaded my months spending money on to it, and when it was gone it was gone… :slight_smile:

Locked Jar - Select your payday, and each time you get paid, whatever money is left in your account goes into the Locked Jar. This jar can only be opened after 12 months and acts as a savings account which you cant access. It is too easy to transfer the money back to your main account.

At the end of the 12 months, you can chose to withdraw a certain amount and after the withdraw, it locks again for another 12 months.