Fixing financial planning and analysis

So here’s a tweak:

We’re not being explicit about predicted balances - and I’ve added an example of a manual upcoming transaction (I used the :writing_hand:emoji). I suspect that this might be the most technically complex bit: exact value matches should be okay, but fuzzy matching might be more interesting to calibrate…

I deliberately haven’t put a running balance under every transaction - I think that would make the feed too busy. But I think having it on the transaction screen so you can tap on a transaction and see the balance at that time would be super cool and should definitely be done!


I voted no I’m confused on this, and I’ll explain why briefly for now, and come back to expand on it later when I have more time.

I think for me, problems are stemming from keeping the current feed interface as is and adding too many buttons, toggles, and information to it, that it’s gotten a little unruly and overwhelming. In essence, it’s significantly diminished glanceability.

I like a lot of your ideas, but I think they would require a fundamental redesign and restructuring of the feed interface in order to be implemented in a really nice and coherent way. With the way things currently are, this just adds too much complexity for me.

A time machine feature of sorts I think would be interesting to build into the interface where summary currently exists, and actually replace it. Or perhaps it could be accessed by swiping right on the cards pane at the top, rather than trying to bundle it all into a single feed interface.

ETA: for clarity, the bit that’s bothering me is this:


I would agree that you might not want this level of information on the main page or possibly you would want this to be something you turn on as an overlay .

1 Like

Love this.


Can we unpack this a bit?

I’m assuming you’re broadly on board with the concept and what we’re trying to do here (all the stuff in this post) but that it’s how we surface that in the app that you worry over?

On the flash poll, did you vote no because it’s too busy or because it’s genuinely confusing?

I think I see what you mean here. Is it the text? My app currently look like this:

I think the only (fundamental) difference is that there’s the triangle to hide these transactions - is that a bad thing? Or is it the fact we’ve duplicated it to show the rest of the period’s transactions? I’m thinking as I type, but I wonder if we lost the explanatory text (“Predicated Closing Balance”) and thought about a more elegant way of hiding/showing the future transactions (perhaps a pull down/up gesture could reveal them? :thinking:) would that be better? Or do you fundamentally think future transactions don’t belong on this screen?

Sorry for all the questions - I’m not challenging you, just trying to tease out what’s not working here!

One last thing (and I should have probably said this up front): I’d be very up for fundamental changes to the app. I’m trying to do these mock-ups as marginal tweaks to the current app, though, otherwise I think they tend to require much more explanation and can be difficult to follow. But I do get the point that sometimes going back to first principles is the better approach.

1 Like

I’ve been having a think. How about this as an alternative?

In this version, the ‘tabs’ live in the upper section, so the transaction list by default covers them. I’ve kept a summary of upcoming spend for tomorrow, but without the detail, so it’s slightly slimmed down from what we currently see in the app. But I suppose you could also get rid of that too.

Something funky that might be a possibility: swipe left and right on the feed to move from past transactions, to future transactions, to a breakdown (where you can see spending insights by merchant or category etc).


I’m not 100% with N26 but definitely somewhat agree with what he’s saying.

I think this ‘above tab’ option feels a bit better!


Flash poll! Which version works best, do you think?

  • Version 1a: Collapsable sections for tomorrow’s transactions and this period’s transactions on feed screen.
  • Version 1b: As version 1a, but future transactions are in summary only - go to the future tab for individual transactions
  • Version 2a: Tabs are under the card controls so can be hidden. Tomorrow’s transactions shown in summary only.
  • Version 2b: As 2a, but a strict separation between past and future transactions.
  • Some other combination (explain below please!)

0 voters

Edit: user error, poll rebooted, please vote again! (cc @Alexxxxx) :man_facepalming:

Yep! I’m completely on board with the concept and the overall ideas you outlined in the other post. It’s purely just the way you’ve decided to present it and include additional functionality with drop down sections. I feel like it’s all a bit too much for one screen with the current feed interface.

Personally when I think about those might look, I envision them as above the fold content that you’d access by scrolling up above your most recent transaction. But that would interfere with the swipe down gestures that are used for the card controls and the accounts overview currently.

I don’t know if it’s bad per se, more that it just seems to clutter the UI. An above the fold approach like I explained above but with a running total as you scroll would achieve the same result I think, but with less toggles and text present on the screen. You suggest the same sort of idea here too, and I think it would work better:

I think if they’re going to be on this on this screen, that’s how I would personally go about including it. At the same time, I think you could also take an approach and build a time machine page of sorts that’s completely separate from the feed and could incorporate all your ideas from this post in a nice coherent package that would also tie into:

I keep referring to it as a time machine because I imagine it as a bit like a mission control that provides extensive insights into your past and future spending, budgets, and goals. Glanceable info could then be taken from that and plugged into the feed, like the left to spend balance, and an above the fold list of upcoming payments and transactions.

If you’re up for the challenge, I’d be very interested to see how you’d envision a fundamental redesign to the app that would incorporate the features and improvements discussed on here! Whilst the rest of the app has been receiving incremental but much needed tweaks and enhancements, the home tab has been left completely untouched and is in much need of some TLC and a bit of a rethinking I think. Including the way we interact with pots and summary. It’d also probably be a huger undertaking though as it’s the most feature rich tab in the app and could arguably benefit from being split up a little bit.


Thanks for all that - super useful! Any views of the alternative designs? Do they work better for you?

So I’ve had a go at what that might look like in Monzo. It’s kinda hooked into the previous designs, though - but hopefully it’ll make sense when you see it:

:exclamation: Disclaimer: this is all made up. I don’t work for Monzo!

If you’re up for it, could you expand a bit on this? I like the idea but am struggling to visualise what it might look like. (Spoilers: my current thinking is to repurpose the Summary button top-right for insights, breakdowns and graphs. Then the ‘breakdown’ tab for stuff associated to an account (if you remember it, the (very very) old Spending tab before Summary was a thing, that gave a breakdown by merchant etc).)

So many ideas! Probably for separate discussion (and let me get this stuff out of my system first!) but it does seem that the design system has evolved over time, and that it’s not really that consistent what goes where. The new design (swipe-able cards replacing pulse) was meant to fix that, but I’m not so sure that it has. I really don’t think my design skills are up for the task though!

I don’t think the feed should be called the ‘Home’ tab, though. I think there’s an argument for a beefed up Accounts tab to have that honour. Or just to avoid promoting one tab over another, and for the app to load up on whatever the last tab selected was…


So I think with my previous comment I should have been 2a, but I have thought more and gone with 1b now :slight_smile:

1 Like

I like this! I’d probably rename the tabs to Transactions and Upcoming though. Fewer words, indicate the same thing

You probably should!

I’ll go one further and wireframe what I’m imagining here and post back with those later tonight!

Credit to Monzo here, because they did achieve a very orderly and structured interface for navigating a lot of information. It’s quite the feat. I don’t think it’s scaled as well as they intended though. It works, but the more you add to it, the more tedious it becomes trying to achieve your aim or find what you’re looking for.


Absolutely. And lest anyone from Monzo is reading and grumbling at me, I really don’t think that anything is bad! I just wish that it’d been iterated a bit.

For me, two big things jar: the accounts screen is super important, yet I’m not sure it’s discoverable enough. And secondly, the skeuomorphic card interface doesn’t really work. It centers the app around cards rather than accounts (which is partly why virtual cards don’t work where they are) - I think I’d prefer to be able to upload an image (like with pots), but would need to think about it properly.

I also think there’s a whole bunch of minor things that need fixing (like the balance not being shown when the transaction list is full screen). And that’s before we even get onto the horror of the bottom tabs!

I like this idea. I shall make it so.

Edit: I have made it so:

Thoughts on what to call what I’ve labelled ‘Breakdown’? I’m thinking it’ll contain lists of spend by merchant or by category for a given period.

AMAZING :hot_coral_heart: (ahem)


This is totally off topic, but seeing your modified Android Monzo pic has reminded me how much the text alignment of “PIN & Card number” looks so off to me on the iOS Monzo app! Such a small, I guess insignificant detail, but to my eyes looks so much better the way it’s done on the Android app :blush:





Oh my goodness. I see the logic, but no! :joy:


Great thread. Someone in the under staffed Department of Budget Science and Planning Department, get on the :phone:

To sort of capture thoughts as I’ve read from the “new” suggestion post and the comments since;

  • I heard the phrase “Safe to Spend” referenced recently here (maybe @N26throwaway ?) - I like the context that brings and I think overhauling future transactions around that concept would be a better implementation than today’s approach.
  • Tying things in to the budget makes a whole lot of sense - they are two sides of the same instrument (one is a plan, one is a ledger).
  • @davidwalton made some great posts about how YNAB handle future transactions - I’d mirror some of the same sentiment and say the ability to forecast for future spending is really crucial - and not just recurring or estimated spending. An ability to tell the app about up coming spend would really enrich the usefulness of that Safe to Spend data.
  • Also, capturing budgetary constraints - if in one month I want to budget £1000 to increase my emergency fund - the app should reduce that Safe to Spend amount (no money has left my account, so in current Monzo terms, that would show up as available, yet it has a purpose so isn’t available)

In terms of the Look and Feel stuff -

  • I personally think the Running Balance should be toggleable - I think it can clutter up the view. Maybe that could toggle between the current mechanism of Total Daily Spend / Running Balance by day.
  • I generally hold the view that predicting future transactions shouldn’t include future income - or at least, there’s a balance to strike there, and I’d err on the side of not including them in things that can affect the budget. (i.e. if it can artificially inflate the appearance of available cash - don’t do it, if it is a chart specifically for forecasting, do).

There’s a whole world of interesting UI stuff, and app behaviour stuff in all of this - so I hope at least the Team are having a good read of this thread :slight_smile:,


Ooh this is interesting. I have thoughts / comments (sorry!):

Question: when you say ‘today’s approach’ do you mean what’s in the app currently, or the approach I’ve taken?

More generally (and bad the me for not explaining it), I think I’ve been trying to combine and rationalise envelope budgeting (stick stuff in pots) and line item budgeting (the future transactions stuff).

The way that I see it is that if, when you create a future transaction, you are prompted to move that to a pot (or, if it’s a long time in the future, to create a savings plan to put enough aside to afford the item) then you’re getting to a ‘safe to spend’ figure by default. But sometimes you’ll just want to have the money ring-fenced in the main account without physically moving it. I’m calling that the Left to Spend figure (because that’s what Monzo calls it, because legal issues with Safe to Spend).

If we’re agreed we want to move towards a genuine ‘safe to spend’ figure, then I must admit I’m a bit baffled by this. One of the reasons I can’t really use Monzo’s budgeting features at the moment is because it doesn’t effectively forecast income, or money in. Indeed, even if the app ‘knows’ I’ve got £30 coming into the account tomorrow (because BACS), Summary doesn’t ‘know’ that. Expenditure only seems like half the problem - what am I missing here? (That’s not hyperbole or me dismissing it, by the way, just that I feel like I don’t really understand at the moment - and I want to!)

(emphasis mine)

I’ve been thinking about there being four different balances that you’d want to see in Monzo. Spoiler, but I think you should probably be able to tap on the balance and choose which one is displayed. In my head, they are:

  • Available Balance: what we have at the moment
  • Left to Spend (or Safe to Spend): This is the available balance minus any future transactions.
  • Absolute Balance: It really irritates me this isn’t in the app - I think it’s a massive oversight. Basically, this is your balance for overdraft, interest and legal purposes. So would include pending transactions that haven’t been collected yet.
  • Budget Balance: At the moment, this is lumped in with Left to Spend, but is logically different. Left to spend is your actual balance minus committed spend; your budget balance would work (I think) in the way that the bit I’ve emboldened in your text suggests - that you set how much you want to spend and subtract committed spend from it. You could lump it in with Left to Spend, but there have been people on here confused about what the balance means, having forgotten that they’d set up a budget, so I think it works better as a separate thing…

Here’s an example:

And here’s what I think could happen if you tapped on the balance:

Under this model, I’d kill the traffic-light indicator from Summary as it’s not needed anymore (and anecdotally seemed to have confused people).


Looks nice. Are these updates going to be released tomorrow or a future date?


(Just in case it’s not a joke:)

So unfortunately how about never? :cry:

1 Like