Feedback on Trends - Some improvements for consideration

I’ve just been looking at my finances (much fun). A few improvements would really give me a lot of value from Trends:

  1. The ability to change the year view from the calendar year to the financial year (or, perhaps more importantly, to be able to specify a start date).
  2. To choose a custom period to view in trends (e.g. from October 2020 to current date).
  3. For the current period, for the average (weekly/monthly) figures on the graphs to calculate only until the current period. e.g. in the yearly view, it’s now June but the the average is calculated over 12 months instead of 6, giving off results. Similarly, there’s a similar discrepancy the year I moved to Monzo because not every month has data, therefore the averages are way off.
  4. It would be really most excellent to be able to import old data. I’ve data exports from bank accounts before Monzo - it’d be good to load those in. Or at least to be able to enter the data (transaction - or at a push, category level - manual accounts maybe? :pray:
  5. It would be fantastic to have a way to archive connected accounts, or be able to mark them as closed. That means that old connected accounts could stay in Monzo without the need to have their connection renewed.
  6. I love that we can now exclude categories from Trends, but I think what I’d really like is a set of different category groups that I could configure the way I want, and all with graphs. So I could set up income (with sub-categories), spending, bills, savings/investment and transfers.
  7. I find myself wanting to drill down from yearly view, to monthly view, to transaction view. That’s not really possible at the moment (and I’m not sure the UI really allows it - but I want to anyway!)
  8. Can we have a search box? It would be useful to help drill down (for example, using #tags) or to quickly find one transaction (flipping to the feed and back can be a bit difficult).
  9. When we first had Trends, tapping ‘more’ under categories would (I think) just show categories that there’d been spend in. Now it shows everything - I’ve got quite a few (okay, a lot) of categories, so that doesn’t really work for me. Could it perhaps be top 5 categories, more to show all categories with spend, then more again to show everything? :thinking:

Phew, that was a lot off my chest!

But loving your work and loving Trends. If we could have just two from the list, mine would be 1) custom time periods, and 2) manual accounts and transactions.

:monzo: :hot_coral_heart:

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2 & 8 for me.

Plus budgets/trends in one place & trends for Business.

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Thanks for starting this, I have sent lots of feedback on Trends through the app in my short time with Monzo!

From the OP points, I too would be looking mostly for 6 and 8.
But my use case is slightly different I suspect.

Use case / requirement:
Ability to have all regular payments (whether from Monzo or connected accounts) predicted every month, and the total balance shown at any point in the month to include all expected monthly payments, so that at any point in the month I know exactly how much I can spend without ending up with less money than what the upcoming monthly bills require.

Current issues & improvements:
At the moment, Trends can pretty much do that for me, but it takes a lot of tinkering and it’s not all automatic.
I have set up many regular main-to-pot transfers, one for each bill. You can’t set notes for each regular transfer (why??) so I am lost as to what bill each transfer is for; this also makes it difficult to check if I’ve included everything, which transfer to change if an amount changes and so on.
I have done that because I need all my bills, whether joint or personal, Monzo or connected accounts, to be removed from my main balance on payday, or at least to not show as available money in the Trends overall balance, and this is the only way I found to do that.

Now, I set these transfers as either Bills or specific category (e.g. TV subscription). When the actual bill comes out, and it is also marked for the correct category, I have to go and reset the pot transfer category to ‘transfer’, otherwise the bill shows double in Trends. Plus, I have to go and transfer the bill amount from the pot back to the main balance if it’s a bill paid from a connected account.

I hope the above makes sense. This system results in the outcome I want, but of course it’s very cumbersome - ideally it should all be done automatically by Trends.

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My feedback is that the graphs are wrong. In the month view it shows category spending for the month but the bars in the chart are weekly, and in the year view it shows category spending for the year but the bars in the chart are for months.

In the month view it should show monthly bar charts with the current month being the rightmost bar. Same for years, have the bars showing yearly spend with the current year as the rightmost. While we’re at it the same logic should be added for a weekly view too.

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One other thing that is really making Trends less useful for my use case is pending transactions:

  • They can’t be categorised until they settle, so joint pending transactions can’t be split, meaning they show as entirely my spend, which makes the total amount shown incorrect.
  • My Nationwide credit card seems to be dating pending transactions ‘10 days from now’, so after the 20th of the month, pending transactions on that card don’t show on my Trends balance at all until they settle, causing the balance to be even more incorrect.

For a tool like Trends, I would expect it to be able to show the correct balance 24/7, and not have to wait for pending transactions to settle before they can be shown correctly.

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This is a quirk of Nationwide, I’m afraid. I had another credit card and using that one fixed this particular issue.

I’d love Monzo to fix it, but I’m not sure it’s in their gift, so I voted with my feet to use a credit card that plays more nicely with open banking.

If anyone wants to throw in any more ideas, I feel a poll might be coming on…

:bar_chart:

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If they ignored the expected settlement date provided by the other bank, and allowed categorisation of pending payments as normal, it can certainly be fixed by Monzo :wink:

I suppose they could do that. But it’d been Nationwide becoming an atypical case that would need Monzo to manage it differently to banks that do it properly.

The problem seems to be with Nationwide so I’d rather push the pain to them to resolve, personally, rather than expect Monzo to put a plaster over it.

I don’t quite know what you mean by “as normal” here. Monzo card payments are never presented in the app as pending and (frustratingly) categories for pending (greyed out next day) direct debits / BACS payments etc can’t be changed.

That said, I like the aspiration and would love to see it. Looks like Monzo doesn’t get quite enough data to do it properly though:

Sorry, I should have been more clear that I was referring to connected account transactions.

Well it shows the merchant name and amount… and even if that’s not enough, they can allow manual categorisation surely.

For what it’s worth, I’m pretty sure that’s always been the case. But I hear you as to whether it should work that way :stuck_out_tongue:

Thanks for your feedback, it’s always a good read! :pray:

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So I’m not sure if this is a ninja change from Monzo (:ninja: :monzo:) or if I was just having an off day but this seems to have been (mostly) fixed:

  • Averages don’t take into account future periods :tada:
  • They do still include the current period (which is a good thing at the end of the month and not so good at the beginning)
  • Months before I moved to Monzo are still out, but I’m not sure that that will ever be fixed!