Improving Budgeting (Summary) and the Payments Tab

As you might have seem over in the We’re working on a new look for the Monzo app thread, the Monzo team is, well, working on a new look for the app!

There’s still all sorts of work to do on the home screen, but it sounds like the team isn’t going anywhere once they have finished there:

So, without wanting to get ahead of ourselves too much, I was wondering what folk wanted to see on Budgeting/Summary and on the Payments tab? I’ve put them together as I’m not sure that you can effectively split them out - I was changing some recurring payments for Summary this morning and was hopping between the two screens quite a bit!

I’ll almost certainly come back at some time with a mega post about my thoughts on this, but I wanted to see what people’s priorities are? If Monzo were to address budgeting/transfers from the ground up, what would you like to see?

A quick starter for 10 from me:

  • Cleaner, simpler transfers, with the ability to save a contact without having made a payment
  • A more intuitive interface for upcoming payments - it’s split across the Payments tab and Summary at the moment
  • Transfers to/from Pots being treated the same way as other payments. I find it odd that there’s a different way of doing this from the home screen!
  • The transfer/payments tab becoming modal, so it reflects whatever card is shown on the home screen (I reserve the right to change that one once I’ve thought about it more!)

What does everyone else think?

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Do you mean the ability to transfer to/from a pot from the Payments tab?

If you mean the ability to create a scheduled pot transfer from the Payments tab, I completely agree.

Transfer direct from pot to pot would be great

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Especially under the new navigation, if I want to add money to a pot (which in my head is a transfer from the current account to a pot), I tend to go to the bottom tab. I then end up going back, lowering the card and tapping the “add money” button.

I suppose what I’m asking is that these two experiences become seamless, so I’d move money between my Monzo pots the same way that I would do between my Monzo and other accounts. That would also open up - hopefully - all the same functionality to pots that we have for transfers - scheduled, recurring payments etc that are accounted for in Summary etc.

  • At the moment Summary doesn’t show all committed spends e.g. I have weekly direct debits but it only shows the first one in the month which means my committed spend is more in reality. I’d like this improved.
  • I’d like Summary to improve visually, so things like pic charts, bar charts etc would help me see how I’m doing against e.g. categories or merchants.
  • I’d like the Request money feature to actually work with the contact. At the moment if you choose a non-Monzo contact it brings up the share sheet (iOS) to then find the contact again via messages or email. I’ve already given Monzo access to my contacts so it would be good if the persons contact options (text, email etc.) are displayed when pressing their name in the Monzo app.
2 Likes

My two pennies worth:

  • Make ALL incoming payments excludable from summary.
  • Split transaction feed items between multiple categories
  • Custom categories
  • Make tagging useful
  • And for the love of Kylie, sort out Android search!!
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I think the best way to solve this would be to have an income category, which was auto excluded from Summary:

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There’s a couple of use case scenarios where that wouldn’t work - I posted about it in one of the feedback threads.

If I pay for something big like a holiday, exclude it from Summary and categorise it as “Holiday” it’s excluded fine. But if I then split that payment with someone, the incoming money cannot be excluded from summary if I categorise that as Holiday to offset my initial payment. My budget is then screwed as it says I’m in a surplus.

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Good point.

There should definitely be the option to exclude each incoming transaction from Summary. Also, it would be good if any incoming bill splits for a transaction which has been excluded from Summary were also automatically set as excluded from Summary, just like the category of the incoming Bill Split is automatically the same as the split transaction.

I do think an income category would help with dealing with income in budgeting generally though. If there was an income category, which is excluded from Summary, then Faster Payment bank transfers could be included in Summary without the issue of income affecting your budget.

With talk of a potential future Monzo credit card and also being able to see transactions from third party cards (I wonder if this will include the Apple Card?) in feeds, this made me wonder again about if we will eventually see a consolidated summary and/or budgeting at some point in the future?

Has this ever been discussed?

(Originally posted on credit card topic but might be better here)

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I’ve had a bit of a think, and here are what (I think) are the bits causing a bit of friction for me at the moment:

Budgeting

I think the biggest problem for me here is that Summary just tries to do too much so it becomes a bit unknowable but also scruffy around the edges because it doesn’t cover all use cases. A few examples:

  • there seems to be some logic that tries to predict daily spend, which is great, but never seems accurate.
  • the left to spend / dial never shows me the “you’re out by X amount” if I’m at the beginning of the month. That might be marginal as you’re expected to be in credit at that time, but why have that limitation?
  • Making transactions recurring is a great idea, and works reasonably well, but it means that they get spread across the Payments tab and Summary. If I want to stop one recurring, I can’t tap into a forthcoming payment in Summary and frequently get confused about how to do it.
  • But making transactions recurring has a draw back - I know that I’ll be spending X on Y date. I sometimes just want to be able to plan for that in the app without having a transaction. For example, I know that my credit card bill will be extra next month, but there’s nowhere that either allows me to specify the amount of the next transaction, or to add a completely new budget line.
  • As others have said, Summary isn’t particularly elegant with money coming in. I’d like to be able to predict both money in and money out.

Payments

My thoughts here are more or less covered in my first post, namely:

So, putting this all together, I think the following would be game-changers:

  • Summary disappears and becomes Budgeting.
  • Some form of analytics comes into the app to show where your spending goes up/down (my previous take is here, but would need updating given the navigation changes to the app)
  • Tidying Budgeting and Payments up - so recurring transactions and things that feed the budget aren’t necessarily shown on the Payments tab - but there should be a home there for things like direct debits and continuous payment authority that you should be able to cancel in app, but may or may not feed a budget.
  • Budgeting lets you plan for incoming payments as well outgoing ones - with more sophisticated timings (people get paid in odd ways!). It’d be super cool to be able to use those timings to drive payments, too.
  • Allow money in / salary to drive actions in the app. Like moving money to pots, or money moved to external accounts. This would be a massive win!
  • The Left to Spend figure becoming less ‘clever’ - just money in minus money out for that payment period. (Or, of course, a headline budget amount instead of money in for folk that budget like that).
  • Either no separation between spending and committed spend - or a much better approach to it. I keep coming back to this post, which I think really nails the problem. I have no solution, but definitely something to think about.
  • Whatever budgeting solution Monzo comes up with is extensible - i.e. that it can work on the basis of one current account, but could form the basis for multiple account budgeting - or even budgeting on another account that’s hooked into Monzo via open banking. (I’m primarily thinking about a Monzo Credit Card, though)
  • Lots of focus on a smooth, efficient payments tab. Focus on payments of contacts, getting the basics right in a way that’s clear, crisp and elegant.
  • Also on the payments tab, maybe using the carousel on the new home page to allow for transfers between Pots and between accounts. If the open banking payments thing (PISP) that lets an app initiate a payment from your account ever gets off the ground, you could even imagine using Monzo as the only app for your connected accounts
  • I’d also be in favour of having a calendar in the app that shows upcoming payments. And options like you get in your favourite calendaring software to manage recurring appointments/payments (letting you change the value of one recurrence in a set of payments three months hence down the line, or taking out one payment, or changing every payment from December this year…)

Also, and this is extreme wish-list territory now, I’d like to see integration between Monzo and my phone’s calendar to show me upcoming payments, with a link that’d open the app to view/amend. And also for payments contacts to be stored in some form of open standard, which means I could sync them with my phone/cloud provider/other banks…

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Yeah, I kind of wish that someone from Monzo would read that post. I think a lot of the problems in the current app are down to (1) the lack of separation between discretionary and mandatory spending, and (2) the lack of a higher-level interface than the line-item to dealing with our money (i.e. it needs to look more like an accountancy package that takes account of the past (debt), future (savings), and in general things that span more than one month or one line-item).

1 Like