Looking for advice / guides on using Monzo for budgeting


(Darren ) #1

Hello there. New Monzo user, and first post. I was wondering if there’s any pre-existing advice or guides on how to set up a budgeting and spending system using Monzo for couples. Here’s the background:

2 years ago my business failed and my family went from one fairly substantial income to one modest one and one micro one (wife has started part time freelance work £25 an hour, around £400 a month). We’re worjijg with step change and a debt management plan to keep credit payback under control and to eventually get ourselves back on track and out of the red.

At the moment we have a joint natwest account, that my salary goes into, and individual current accounts. What we try to do is leave the joint account with all of the DD’s and bills coming out, and just enough to cover that in their. We then move the remaining to a savings account only I have access to, then I drop feed money into both of our individual accounts as and when we ‘need’ it. I’m trying to avoid us fighting over the same pot of money. I work in London all week and the missus stays in the midlands all week looking after our kids so we don’t get to talk / plan much.

I’ve recently got my Monzo account up and running and I can see it’s value for personal spending monitoring and budgeting. However, as I understand it you can only have one account per person. So how would you clever money people suggest we set things up?

I’m thinking we leave the natwest salary / bills account as is and get my missus to open a Monzo account and we just transfer each of our spending / housekeeping money into our monzo’s on pay day. Is this what you’d recommend? Or do you think I should move everything to Monzo? We’ve never managed to sort out our financial system of joint accounts and budgeting - and we’ve been married for 13 years! We are desperate to get organised and stay on track.

Any help, advice or links to guides to help with this kind of stuff would be fantastic. Thanks in advance, Daz.


(MikeF) #2

The first thing to be clear on is that you can have one solo account per person and a share in one joint account. Thus, between the two of you, you could replicate your current three accounts in Monzo if that’s what you want to do.

Sorry if you know that already, it wasn’t clear from your post whether that was the case.


(Darren ) #3

No I didn’t know that. At the moment* Just I have an account. My wife is opening hers today. So what does this mean? I can open an additional joint account? Or I convert our individual accounts to be joints? Not sure how this will work?


(MikeF) #4

When you both have a Monzo account you can then open a separate, additional, Joint Account between you. If you do that, you’ll end up with 3 bank accounts between you and two debit cards each (one single and one joint).

Note that not all account features are supported by the Joint Account yet (e.g. pots, Current Account Switch Service) so that may affect your decision processes.


(Colin Robinson) #5

(Change Works) #6

I think I’d be tempted to have a joint Monzo account and drip feed cash into it for spending. There’s the advantage that you’d both know how much there was left to spend per week/month. You wouldn’t need to use your individual Monzo accounts at all.


(Darren ) #7

The thing with that is we compete over the budget / pot. The problem with having seperate spending accounts on the other hand is not knowing the overall picture.


(Mo) #8

My hubby and I effectively run 4 main accounts between us. We have 1 for DDs & SOs and 1 for shared monthly expenses like food and transport. Then we have 1 individual account each into which we pay a set weekly allowance.

We also had several savings accounts which we used as pots to save for things like next year’s house insurance or holidays.

When I opened my individual Monzo account I closed most of the savings accounts and moved the money into pots on my account. What I really want is for those pots to be on the joint account so that we can both see them but that’s not available yet.

My DDs & SOs go from our legacy account, which we need to keep open for now anyway (as Monzo can’t accept cash deposits etc.) and we use the Monzo joint account for the food shopping etc. The summary page is good for setting budgets and seeing how you’re doing against them by category, but I find some of the other bits, like the graph a bit pointless.

Good luck with everything, sounds like you’ve had a rough time. Speaking from experience, it will get better.

Edit: Monzo also has a really helpful feature that shows you in advance when your DDs are due to go out. If you’re putting in enough money in one go to cover all your bills for the month it’s less relevant (which is what we do and why I haven’t bothered moving them from our legacy account yet), but if you are paying in throughout the month it’s a really helpful feature


(Change Works) #9

I see your dilemma. I feel that for budgeting purposes, seeing the overall picture trumps fighting over one ‘pot’ of money.


(Darren ) #10

Do you recommend going ‘full monzo’?


(Mo) #11

If they had pots on joint accounts I would. It’s supposed to be coming soon, but I don’t know how soon.


(MikeF) #12

That’s such a hard question since it’s really an individual choice depending on circumstances and needs. I probably would (if I could persuade my wife to move banks) but I never pay in cash or need foreign transactions. I would want joint pots, however, so that would give me a problem.

You might want to think how it would impact your management regime (for good and bad).


(Sean) #13

Just my opinion but I think you would benefit from using your monzo account for a few weeks/months to make sure that you are happy with the features. I would recommend moving some smaller DDs so you can see how committed spending works with the summary. Another feature I think is helpful is that you can see direct debits the day before it’s taken out.

If you’re both happy with the features and you’d like to go full monzo then you can replicate your NatWest set up on Monzo and just leave your savings account where it is since interest isn’t available on Monzo yet and it’s a good idea to keep multiple cards in case of issues with mastercard or visa.

Whatever you decide to do you might want to check out Emma where you can see all of your accounts in one place, which should help you get a proper view of your money.


(Darren ) #14

Are they really a deal breaker?


(Mo) #15

For us they are. The whole idea is for our joint money to be transparent to both of us. That doesn’t work when the pots are all in my personal account.

Also, you can now schedule money to move into an out of pots automatically, or use IFTTT to do things like pull money out of a transport pot into your account when you buy fuel, but that’s no use when the pots sit in a different account to the one we’re using to pay for fuel.


(Nick) #16

I would recommend NOT going ‘full Monzo’ just yet. The value of having a completely separated account that you can deduct DDs and bills from first before dealing with the ‘spending’ money cannot be overstated.

What I would suggest is, open a full set of Monzo accounts (you, your wife, a joint) and see if that set-up works for you. Probably transfer the spending money into the joint account, and either spend from there or move to one of the individual accounts for spending.

Either way, it should give you a handle on how much you’re each spending per month, and perhaps highlight areas where you need to change behaviours.

If that all works out well, then maybe you could think of going ‘full Monzo’. But you’d have to be sure you’d both be disciplined enough to not dip into any money that needs to be left to pay DDs and bills.