Results in! Budgeting, financial planning and expense tracking poll

I’m not sure I’d pay for this, but I would definitely find it interesting. I think a rolling 30-day average (is it flat? trending up? down?) would be good to know, ideally with breakdowns by merchant and category.


I think its almost inevitable that there will be a cost as there is a considerable amount of work involved. I await [with bated breath] @Revels template on the subject - when he can tear himself away from work :smile: R-


Ha, I’m at the next stage now… Trying to write the support guide to go with it! :exploding_head:


Last call for votes! :ballot_box: :bar_chart:


And… we’re done! :tada: Thank you to everyone to took the time to click buttons.

Now, what have we learnt? Some edited highlights:

  • Financial planning is super important to everyone: 89% of people plan for future spend, either consistently or when they need to.

  • Of the 11% who don’t plan ahead, half of those would like to. So that’s a whopping 94% of people that’d find financial planning or budgeting tools of some form useful!

  • 63% of people track their net worth. And 24% of people would like to. That’s a total of 87% of folk who need their net worth itch scratched.

  • It’s a similar story for modelling future finances: 76% either model their finances already (40%) or want to (36%). This feels like an underserved need.

  • Spreadsheets are still the kings and queens of personal finance. 59% of folk use a spreadsheet to budget and 40% of people use one to understand their past spending.

  • When it comes to budgeting, it looks like a combination of methods are used (70 people voted, but selected 92 options). Most popular were envelope (or pot or piggy-bank) budgeting, followed by zero-sum budgeting (as popularised by YNAB?)

  • Of the Monzo budgeting tools, it’s all about bills pots (67% use those). Surprisingly left to spend came second. It feels to me like folk are hankering after a solution to split discretionary and committed or bills spending…

  • Monzo’s tools are good but not good enough. With hindsight, I think the phrasing of this question could have been better, but a whopping 76% of voters said that Monzo’s tools are good but not not good enough (I’m adding together the ‘helpful but not sufficient’ and ‘good ideas but don’t work for me…’ answers. Only 20% said they are very effective.

  • Budgeting needs to include other accounts: only a third of respondents said they look at one current account when budgeting. 66% said they look at more than one account (the most popular being looking at current, credit card and savings accounts in the round).

  • There’s a big revenue opportunity for Monzo: 33% of people said they were currently free account holders and would pay for an account if it had better financial planning or budgeting tools; 28% of people said they’d upgrade if they got better tracking, analysis or insight of previous spend

  • We really want more data on our previous spend: 85% want more insight; 82% of folk like to look back and see previous spend grouped by category or merchant (although I’m not sure it’s that easy to do that…)

  • Year in Monzo has a mixed review (47% of folk thought it was useful). But 71% of folk wanted something similar in the app. Explanations below please! :writing_hand:

  • There’s a big overlap between analysing previous and planning future spend: over two-thirds of respondents (69%) said they use data on previous spend to help them budget.

Lots to get into here! Off the top of my head, I think it means Monzo would be well advised to beef-up future planning (short, medium and long-term) in the app, help us mine our own data for insight and evaluation and to build out from beyond the personal current account into other accounts, too.

I might have some thoughts on how that could work later in the week!

In the meantime, what stood out for you? Any surprises?

And what would you do on the back of this, if you were Monzo?


I think it comes down to the fact that getting it once a year while nice isn’t all that useful. However if it lived permanently in app then the information might be a bit more actionable.


I agree and touched on it in the comments for the other poll:


Why do you say this?

Your app might be popular but it’s not for everyone. Not everyone has accounts that they wish to get all together. Not everyone is comfortable in sharing their account details with another app.

Starting off small I think is more important. How can I learn/know what’s going on across all my accounts if I haven’t go my head around the main account?

I usually have 5 transactions a month on my main account, so for me it’s more a question of what happens on my credit card.

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I’m not sure that’s true. This poll has shown that folk have unmet needs. Indeed, as you say…

… so I think if folk can’t get this through their bank then they’re right to look elsewhere. And if @edo1493 and co can both create viable businesses and prompt banks to up their game, what’s not to like?

Think of Emma as a MoneySuperMarket 2.0, that’s what we do and we’ll do.

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But E**a is an aggregator isn’t it? It’s also yet another app to manage.

I don’t think it’s a bad thing at all and if people want to have another app to see it all together and if that nudges Monzo to improve then I’m all for it.

But first and foremost I think individual banking apps should have some insights in them, in the same way that I shouldn’t have to build a sheets dashboard myself, Monzo should be showing/encouraging me to look at these things.


Banks are too busy trying to be a bank.

This stuff can’t and will never be their day to day problem to solve, while at Emma is life or death. :wink:


Out of interest, does this poll broadly align with your research? Or are we too much in a bubble to provide reliable results?

(Also, do you factor this sort of data into your product planning?)

Considering he comes here and searches Emma all the time, I’d say there’s value!

We look at everything. :stuck_out_tongue:

I always search “Emma”. :wink:

This is what I used to think a year or two ago. Now, I don’t even look at budgeting features from banks. My first question is whether a bank/credit card has an open banking API, so I can hook up to Emma and continue using just one and the same tool…

Any further development of budgeting by monzo is 100% wasted on me

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