Custom Categories - 10

(Patricia Tosi ) #1

It would be nice to create a few of my own categories such as kids

(Ben Green) #2

Hi Patricia,

Monzo will be reviewing the categories regularly but as far as own custom categories go, it’s unlikely although it is a popular request. Hugo gives a good explanation of the issues surrounding the development of this feature here

(Craig) #3

I agree that not allowing custom categories is a good idea. I’d rather the app knew all the possible categories so it can categorise stuff for me, otherwise I’d have to go into every transaction and make sure it was right.

Having said that, I do feel like the categories at the moment are too restrictive. Especially “Eating Out” - I currently use this for restaurants, buying lunch (i.e. packaged sandwiches), coffee, and drinks at the pub. I’d love to be able to split this out so I can see exactly where I’m wasting my money. Good to hear Monzo are open to making adjustments!

(Alex Sherwood) #4

Yeah, the categories are being reviewed (& I assume more will be added) in about a month’s time so now’s the time to make your requests for additional categories!

Custom Categories - 11
(Ben Green) #5

Interestingly, there was a little playing around with the idea of automatically tagging purchases at cafes/restaurants/take-away, etc as breakfast, lunch, dinner depending on the time of day that you bought them.

(Jack) #6

I understand the need to have set categories in by default so Monzo can run their own analytics and reporting. Would it be a possibility to allow users to set their own subcategories? So we would categorise them as we do now but we could break it down further as we need.

That way, Monzo get to report on the top level categories as needed but users also get to make it a bit more granular as we need.

For clarity, I mean rather than just categorising as Shopping we could set our own subcategories underneath it like:

Shopping -> Gifts
Shopping -> DIY
Shopping -> Home

etc etc

(Andy Little) #7

That’s been suggested before, and I think it’s the best compromise tbh. Don’t worry, I’m sure people will take advantage of the API and build better versions of the categorisations into a separate app.

(Alex) #8

I know the team have been pretty blunt on this and I’m sure they’re not really taking this on board anymore at this point. But honestly, Hugo’s explanation. I understand his overall point, but there’s still no good reason that we couldn’t set our own sub-categories as jwd2017 says above.

Users who don’t care or understand wouldn’t have to use it, but it would be so useful for us power users. It’s honestly the only problem I have right now, but some of the categories are so awfully wide. I just don’t see how it would in any way be a downside to let power users define their own sub-categories. That way I could see the difference between clubs and pubs spend, stop having to group meal deals in with nice meals out, and see whether I’m spending more on taxis or trains more easily.

I love the app and the team, and I think they make a lot of good calls. If their reason was that they don’t think it’s worth the effort of implementing for a supposedly small subset of users, then fine. But I just can’t accept the current reasoning and I’d rather they were at least honest or came up with a better response.

(Craig) #9

It’s difficult because I guess different people will want different things.

I buy way too much coffee, and I’d love to see my month-on-month spend for this. Someone else who doesn’t drink coffee wouldn’t care about this (sub)category, so if they popped into Costa to get a sandwich or something, they’d want that transaction to just say ‘Eating Out’ rather than ‘Coffee’.

Maybe the solution is Monzo setting up LOTS of different ‘sub-categories’, and then power-users can choose which ones they care about. If you don’t care about any of the sub-categories, transactions just get labelled as the general Eating Out/Shopping/etc. That way normal users can still have the current simplicity, “power users” get to drill down further, and Monzo can still do its fancy data analysis!

(Alex Sherwood) #10

My assumption was that the sub-categories would be customisable, whereas the ‘primary’ categories would be set by Monzo. That seems like the best of both worlds :slight_smile:

Whereas if Monzo set up the sub-categories too, you’d always end up with gaps & a very long list of potential choices :see_no_evil:

(Colin Robinson) #11

Definitely don’t want that! We have to use Replicon at work for timesheet billing and scrolling through long lists of projects trying to work out where the work should be charged is a pain.

(Craig) #12

You’d only have to make that choice once though, when you set up which sub-categories you want to use. So in my example, person B never sees the Coffee option because they already told the app they didn’t care about it.

The problem with custom categories, as I understood it from Hugo’s explanation, was that it made it more difficult to aggregate that data. If you let a thousand people type the word coffee slightly differently it feels like you’re missing out on an opportunity to do the reporting of “your spend vs other people” which sounds pretty cool.

(Alex Sherwood) #13

My other assumption was that Monzo wouldn’t try to aggregate the sub-category data. Any category that Monzo wants to aggregate would be a ‘primary’ category & anything else - the more user specific, niche categories - would be a sub-category. How does that sound?

I’m a big fan of the insights that Monzo could share through aggregation too!

(Craig) #14

In that case then yes, what you’re saying would make more sense! But I feel like those insights would get less helpful as they get more general. Maybe it’s a combination of the two - expanding the main Monzo-sanctioned categories list and also allowing custom categories.

(Liz) #15

I would suggest to add a new category for Chemists too. At the moment this is being categorised under “General”, which isn’t very specific.

I would also request to split the “Eating out” between food and drinks. I.e. between bars and restaurants. Google splits these out when you are searching on Maps, so I imagine it should be fairly easy to split this on Monzo. Just a few thoughts :slight_smile:

(Andy Little) #16

Given the number of custom categories threads that have been created, I can see one of two things happening. Either Monzo will build in a custom categories feature, or someone will build an app which does it and people will start using that.

I’ve started ignoring the Monzo categories altogether and using the API to implement a spreadsheet based solution instead. One of the challenges that I think the API will create for Monzo is people doing their own thing and minimising the amount of useful data Monzo can gather.