Help understand Flex and Trends

Hi,

I am struggling really hard to understand how flex transactions are counted in my trends. On february 3rd I spent £32 online, and I flexed the transaction (splitting it in 3). I then paid the first instalment right away, £11. I bought some theatre tickets, which means this falls under “entertainment”.
Now, when I go into the trends page, I see that I’ve spent £0 on entertainment, which is obviously false. I would expect Monzo to either show I’ve spent £11 (which is the only logical amount to display), or alternatively (but less preferable) display £32 (even though I have so far only paid for 1/3 of it).

Where is the £0 coming from? I am guessing it’s because the £11 payment is marked as a “transfer”, and transfers are automatically excluded from spending (also: why is that? If I send £20 to a friend to split the bill, is that not a transaction worthy of being in the trends? This is really confusing).

I also tried turning on the “show Flex in trends” option in the labs, and something even weirder happened. When I go to trends now, it shows 3 transactions for entertainment: -32, +32, -32. For a total of -£32 being spent on entertainment this month. This is “reasonable”, but actually I haven’t spend £32 on entertainment this month, and counting all of this spending in the month of february defeats the purpose of using Flex to dilute my biggest expenses over a longer period of time to stay within my budget.

Is it just me, or the way flex and trends work with each other is really confusing? Or am I just missing some setting to be turned on that can make everything work automagically? How do you all use it? Because I used to use the “budget” page but that also has a whole other number of issues and I was recommended to use the trends page.

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Can you please stop replying to threads on here until you’ve actually read everything people have written properly? …………

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They paid the first instalment, so logically that should show £11 no?

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Monzo have broken it.

I ignore what they say, categorise any payment to flex as a payment to that category and be done with it.

Changing everything to transfers has made a real mess and Trends doesn’t fix it.

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This is a lot of work though if you use flex regularly. Do you categorise every instalment of every transaction just to make them show up in the trends? That’s a lot of work though isn’t it?
By the way if you do that and later turn on the “show flex in trends” option in the labs, you’ll see an incorrect result in the trends, in my case I see 32+11 = £43 spent on entertainment, which is nonsense.

Are the developers at Monzo aware of this issue? Surely they must be as confused as I am whenever they look at their expenses in the app.

Not sure how I skipped that half of the paragraph.

I do struggle with reading a lot of text in one go, thanks for pointing out :upside_down_face:

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Pro-tip: Screen readers are a god send

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It’s the lack spacing of large amounts of text, the text starts to jump around eventually so I go split look away and come back and easily miss some, as I did here :sweat_smile:

But yeah. Apologies OP.

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Hey @Gifhn

The challenge with account aggregation for credit products is that people have different models in their head of how it should. Some want to attribute spend at the point of purchase, and others want to attribute it at the point of repayment.

We’ve designed Trends to give you a complete overview of your spending at purchase - so if you Flex £100 on Entertainment this month it will show up as £100 on Entertainment this month.

I appreciate that doesn’t match what you were expecting to see from Flex in Trends. For what it’s worth, Flex works the same way as connected credit cards do for Plus and Premium members in trends.

Please do share the feedback in the thread as I’m sure there are others with the same questions :pray:

Sure, but I doubt anybody wants to see 3 transactions for one purchase (-32, +32, -32), or even ending up in a situation where the total is just wrong (32+11).

I understand that people have different needs, but it seems like right now the calculation is wrong for every use case. Besides, it doesn’t “just work” out of the box and for me that is enough to not use Flex anymore and keep everything on a credit card with another provider – where ironically the spending is calculated correctly. It’s bizarre that Monzo’s own products don’t work well with each other.

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This only happens when you buy something using your current account and then move it to Flex, and reflects the money moving between your accounts. If you use the virtual Flex card it will show as a single transaction (-32)

When does this happen? It shouldn’t… :thinking:

If the original purchase is categorised and then you change the initial payment to the same category would it do that?

(I assume that’s why the payments are set to transfers otherwise you’ll end up with double the initial category)

Ahh good point. Yes, if you start recategorising repayments it’ll break! But it won’t show that by default.

You’re right, that’s why we recategorised monthly payments as transfers.

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Perhaps there needs to be a Flex or Credit category to at least differentiate from normal transfers

I understand what you guys were thinking, but I want to see what I pay Monzo Plus to do for the very fact that I can see my budget to reflect reality. If I’m flexing 100£ this month, this whole amount can’t be categorised as shopping because I didn’t spend 100£, which is different than other accounts connected. What you say here does not reflect the reality of spending for Flex customers.

I agree with you and I do it my own way.

Use my Flex card, so there’s no in and out to start with.

Then the payment towards whatever I’ve bought, I put in that category. So when I spend £99 at B&Q, that first payment is £33 and I put that in DIY.

Monzo have it backwards.

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