Results in! Budgeting, financial planning and expense tracking poll

I think the Core App squadis the squad working on the Payments tab.

At least that’s how they introduced themselves in the thread:


Couldn’t say it better myself.

It’s things like this why Nested categories / hierarchies as so so valuable. You can sort of force it in Google Sheets, by manually grouping the lot together. But not easy or ideal.

But lets talk some real world use cases for it. Categories like:

  • Personal Care
  • Eating Out
  • Groceries

Can be so vague and wide, that it doesn’t tell you much about the health of the category, or even if all your needs are covered.

Eating Out as a master category; I have that split between “Coffee”, “Takeaway”, “Meals Out”, and “Drinking”. I know in a given month I want to allocate only £x on the whole category. If on Day 2 of Month I go for a big slap up meal, I know I’ve spent 85% of budget and need to tone down the rest accordingly.

Or say a Personal Care category; I can split that into Fancy Moisturiser, Subscription Pants, and Hair Cuts. I know I need to allocate on Feb 1 some money aside for a hair cut booked for Feb 13th. Without the ability to split things, I can get carried away on buying Fancy Moisturiser and still be in budget, but don’t have enough to cover the hair cut when it comes.

That’s why I like sub categories anyway.

All that to say; the System Monzo has doesn’t really let you plan for everything you need your money to do that month.


To be honest as much as id love to see budgeting and insights i feel monzo have a few things they could do which could help more with financial planning:

  • Pay from a pot (transfers or card payments)
  • Bills pots w/ subscriptions

These two items i think would really help the short to medium term budgeters massively


Childish, I know, but I couldn’t help giggle at the section “Amount remaining to ass” :rofl:


I put the money WHERE?!


I’d like the Plus/Premium tab renamed/reutilised.

These are some of the most important graphs for me to know where I’m at with anything. Top half for £ and bottom for transactions or something, as I think both are important.

From these I can see how far along I am for my budget vs last month. I have two, one for my discretionary spending and one for everything. But in the app I think you should be able to select any merchant or category and any months to compare them. December isn’t like January.

For any pots with goals, how about something like this.

coin jar

The app will currently tell you the percentage of your goal, but it won’t tell you if you’re ahead or behind. If I want to save £1200 for the year and I have £150 now, then I’m quite clearly ahead, but what if I want to save £184 for 63 days time and 4 days have gone and I have £18 in there. How am I doing? How far behind/ahead am I?

If you’re good with maths and/or good with Excel, you can build these things yourself. Some people don’t even think of these things, they don’t think they need them. But it’s surprising how simple the above is it making me want to stay above the line.


Before monzo look at getting better budgeting they need to look at and enhance their aggregater functionality. There is an awful lot that is missing at the moment when compared to Emma. How can you measure expenditure against budget when you do not have the actual amounts.

I think it’s the other way around. Get your own house in order first.

The majority of people don’t use a service like Emma, they don’t have the need. But people do need to see their spending habits in a clear and concise way.


Do you make these in Google Sheets using Monzo export or are you manually doing these in Excel?

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It’s using the Monzo export into Google Sheets. I used to do it manually but this is much better for me.

I wish I could get that kind of data done right. I suck at using that data.

What a poll! It’s all about the zero sum budgeting for me. Used to use YNAB but now just use a spreadsheet. I find the one-two hours I spend compiling it at the end of each month time well spent.

And gotta track that ‘net worth’ too :chart_with_upwards_trend:. remind yourself why you have a pension scheme!


I’m in the process of making a template that people can just dump their data into and will be of some help I hope.

But work keeps interrupting me and everytime I think of something else, I want to add it.

Hopefully I’ll post something up this week!


Ah what a star.

Custom categories for joint accounts. The default ones are pretty pointless for us as we end up using one for a different purpose, so the names mean nothing, so we don’t use them.

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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?