Include pot transfers in Budgets/Summary

Hi all,

I wonder if any of you could see if you’re having the same issue as me. Customer Care are already looking into it but so far they don’t seem to think there is an issue, when I’m clearly seeing it.

Within my Summary page, if I make a transfer to a Pot it doesn’t reflect that change within the amount of money my budget has left. According to Monzo’s description of the budget feature, that should happen.

So for example I set my budget to £50, I move £10 into my Pot but the budget still says I have £50 to spend that month. It should reduce to say £40? At least that’s how I read the description of the Summary tab.

Is anybody else seeing this same problem?

Summary doesn’t take in to account internal movements in to or out of pots.

2 Likes

To echo this I would imagine it’s because pots aren’t actually different accounts, they’re just closed off versions of your main account.

So according to support and this on Monzo’s help pages, it should take into account movements? It would be pointless if it didn’t. Money moved to your pots my still be in the same “account” but it is no longer useable as such. So not adjusting the dial seems a bit pointless…

I do agree that it can be confusing, possibly because of the whole ‘left to spend’ concept (which I find faulty for this and other reasons) which Summary is build around. But yes, you haven’t spent the money so your monthly budget is technically unaffected – try seeing savings and any movement to pots as committed spending.

If this method doesn’t work for you, you can disable the overall budget, making sure that at the start of each month (or whenever works for you) you leave in your main account your preferred amount of money. The amount left to spend will then take into account every movement, effectively matching the account balance. Even with overall budget disabled, you can still set budgets for individual categories if you want.

1 Like

Ha!!!

I never tried that.

So a) what an absolutely pointless work around! I mean yes it works, great, but the whole point of having a system that creates a budget is that it does the work for you.
b) it’s such a shame that this piece of functionality isn’t actually fit for purpose then. Having the budget off doesn’t mean that money moved to pots is any less of or more spent.
c) why on Earth are support and a “specialist” looking into this, making me send screenshots etc etc etc if it’s actually just poor functionality :joy:

To be fair the way it works makes sense to a lot of people, I guess it’s just different ways of managing money (everyone is different!). Personally I’m with you, I stopped using overall budget after I started using round up transactions – things didn’t add up anymore for me.

2 Likes

It’s just such a shame :frowning:

Plus I think the help page wording needs adjusting, was very easy to mistake that summary page as including pot movements.

Just to clarify, when budget is off the dial/ring thingy shows the money available in your main account, so if you say, move money to a pot it will decrease accordingly. It will still try to predict whether you’re on track with your spending (but whether this actually works or not is for another discussion).

1 Like

Yeh I got you. I tried it out and swore. A lot. :joy:

2 Likes

If you accept that the Budget is set for Spending then I guess it’s based only on what you spend.

I agree that moving money into a pot isn’t an expense so in that sense it works. (I don’t use the budget feature, I work from my balance so pot transfers all play a part as already discussed.)

1 Like

Moving money to a pot could be considered as either

Deferred spending; if you have a large bill and you’re putting part of it into a pot every month, you are in effect spending that amount on the bill each month, and the actual eventual payment is little more than a finalised settlement of what you’ve already ‘spent’.

Conscious saving; where putting the money into the pot is effectively a statement of “I do not wish to spend this money”. You’ve no real goal for it, but you’re putting the money aside because you don’t want to spend it.

The former is effectively spending. The latter is perhaps effectively committed spending. Either way, the sensible thing would seem to be to take them off the ‘left to spend’ because, either way, the money has been ring-fenced and isn’t actually ‘left to spend’.

I fear at this point Monzo are very muddle about how they are treating pots. In some areas they’re excluding them, in others they aren’t. One could reasonably say that if Monzo are counting money transferred to pots as ‘left to spend’ then they should also count it as full account money, except they aren’t. If you go ‘overdrawn’ in your main account (but your pots more than cover it), you’re considered overdrawn. Pots are excluded just fine there.

There really does need to be some more joined-up thinking, I would say.

I also think the whole setting budgets process could be a lot smarter. An ‘autotune’ button like you get in photo editing apps, except in this case it uses past months to predict your income, and sets your individual budgets according to your past spending pattern and a bit of magic sauce.
Or, simply, once you’ve set an overall budget, it doesn’t let you set any of the individual budgets in such a way you’d go higher than the overall (see for example, Humble Bundle, where if you set the amount you pay and then adjust one tip, it lowers the other tips instead of increasing the amount you pay).

1 Like

That’s exactly what I’m doing, deferred spending. I am effectively spending the money on a credit card but I move the money into a Pot ready for the final bill to be paid off.

Either way I agree with bother you that lots should absolutely be included and it makes little sense that they are not.

I don’t disagree, my point was more literal than that. Once you get into ‘how pots are used’ then all sorts of things are possible and the budgeting software is incapable of divining that so doesn’t bother trying.

Taking a big picture view, until I fell in love with Summary, I used to be a YNAB user. YNAB says ‘this is how to do budgeting our way’ and it works, our finances were turned around by it.

:monzo: on the other hand has provided a range of budgeting tools. So you can use Summary, or you can set an overall budget or you can set detailed budgets. But the tools don’t play nice together, overall budgets plus pot movements =messy for example. I think they’ve done that to allow for as many different approaches to budgets as possible, but it can get confusing.

One thing YNAB does really well and Monzo could do too is webinars about the budgeting tools. Sometimes when things don’t work as you expect someone to explain and answer your questions is invaluable…

I may be on my own here but I believe that balance moved to a pot should be treated as a transaction in summary… it’s been moved away from my balance and so I obviously do not want it to be available for spending.

In the event that someone does not want this behaviour they can use the “exclude from summary” option; but as it stands I cannot force a move to pot to reflect in my summary balance.

In essence I think (when it comes to summary) that a move of funds to a pot should be handled as if you are sending cash to another account/out of the account.

4 Likes

Yes please, it is confusing to have an entry in transaction history but not applied to balance.

1 Like

Got my vote!

It’s annoying for me because if I want to budget £500 and benefit from roundups, I need to have £510 or £520 in the account and the amount getting rounded up doesn’t come from any budget or category.

I wonder how many people actually use the summary feature, as this is quite a serious flaw and not seen much mention of it.

This feature has already been suggested. You can vote for it here:

1 Like

Is it possible (it should be if it isn’t) to include a pot transfer in spend for the month the same way a payment can be excluded?

Im collecting for a sweep and putting the money in a pot so effectively I’m paying a combined fund rather than moving my own money to my own ‘other place’ but it doesn’t register as spent on my budget