Smart Categories for budgets

I really want to make use of the budgeting feature, but I find the categories too broad. For example, I want to restrict the amount I spend on lunch to encourage me to actually bring food from home, but I don’t want my eating out budget to restrict meals out with my wife.

My proposed solution to this would be the ability to add a category that combines generic categories (in the example above “Eating Out”) with time of day and perhaps other attributes (merchant, location etc), so that I could say “Anything I spend Monday to Friday between 11:30 and 13:30 on something you’d usually categorise as Eating Out, instead categorise as Work Lunch”. This way I could budget more meaningfully!

I’d rather have custom categories that I can create and manage myself.

‘Smart’ ones will be great for 80% of the time but that 20% will be annoying to sort out manually, IMO.

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We’re definitely on the same page with custom categories, but I’d like the option to have my app assign transactions to these automatically based on rules that I set. It really depends on how you use your budgets. If you go through and categorise your transactions as they happen then your memory of when and why something you spent something is fresh, you can allocate it to a custom category and your budget is accurate. This is the only way to get a 100% accurate budget, but requires extra maintenance.

If you want a lower maintenance approach, where you review your budget monthly or weekly, then it’d be helpful to have some automation. The edge cases where your usual rules categorise transactions wrongly shouldn’t be enough to throw off your budget too much, so the net usefulness will still be increased by such a feature.

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I’ve found the automatic categorization to be a bit off, partiularly anything involving food (e.g. buying a boots meal deal is categorized as healthcare). It would be amazing if you could create custom categories and set automatic categorizations yourself.

If not, even just adding a drinks category would really help with budgeting.

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A drinks category would be excellent. Especially when I currently combine my beer and eating out budgets!

I’d personally like to expand on this by being able to assign parts of a transaction between categories. Or to “split” the transaction with yourself and assign each part a different category.

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Yup! I hope that when receipt integration gets further developed a lunchtime shop at boots, as mentioned by @Jackjhr, could split Personal Health and Eating Out items. Until then, a way to manually split a transaction would still be very useful

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