@futureshape raises a very good point. To get a truly accurate picture of “Where is my money going?” it would be useful to delve down to product-level detail.
For example, today I might buy a sandwich at Pret and that will be categorised as ‘Eating Out’ but tomorrow I might purchase another sandwich from Tesco along with a book, a bottle of wine and maybe even a TV. Would these be classed as groceries?
Perhaps the solution will be to:
- Extract information via the ‘Add Receipt’ feature like cloud-based receipt organisers eg. Lemon.
To upload paper receipts, people can download a mobile app and simply snap a picture of the receipt. Lemon will subsequently digitize and store the data.
Lemon squeezes out all the juicy details [receipts] contain to help you stay organized, see where your money goes and save some cash along the way. Lemon extracts data from each receipt down to the product-level detail to generate insightful reports and graphs that illustrate spending trends, make it easy to prepare for tax time or submit expense reports.
Over time, Lemon will also offer users targeted discounts and promotions from relevant brands and retailers based on their spending habits, giving users access to exclusive deals, future discounts on products they purchase often and personalized offers from their favorite brands.
- Allow custom Categories and Tags (similar to Gmail labels).
Tags could provide a second layer of manual categorisation separate to categories. Like Gmail, multiple tags (labels) could be assigned to a purchase unlike categories (folders) and filters could be set up to assign them automatically.
Wow, that sounds like an excellent hackathon project, are you game? http://attending.io/events/mondohack-3
I’m really with @billinghamj here on the CSV export thing - although on iOS a direct export to Numbers would be a good primary option in my opinion with fallbacks to export to CSV files in either iCloud Drive or Dropbox (both of which have APIs I believe).
Also some way of exporting the CSV along with linked photos of the receipts would go a long way to helping with one of the most hating tasks of executives everywhere: expenses. Direct export to Expensify? That would be literally life changing for several sales people I know.
I guess there are quite a lot of reasons a user might be wanting to view their spending so its hard to design for them all.
For me personally I think there are exciting things that bank that ‘knows me’ could do.
For example what about identifying trends in my discretionary spending to help me manage it? Am I spending more or less on lunch / coffee each day than I normally do? Could I be considering going to a different merchant nearby to save money (or maybe there are more popular/highly rated ones)? I think some things here can be done without line item information e.g. if I spend each day between 11.30-2 its probably my lunch
I find the current category list a bit difficult to use for the purposes of tracking my discretionary spend as giving ‘eating out’ there are several types that mean very different things to me from a money management point of view:
- What I spend on lunch each day
- What I spend when going out for meals with friends/family etc (would spend a lot more but am interested if I’m spending more or less on this over a month etc!)
- What I spend when eating out on holiday (I see this more as a ‘holiday’ cost and would be more interested in the cost of the holiday overall)
The uncategorised amounts are a pain! I would be interested in how mondo tags all spending? money dashboard is a nightmare for that
Agreed. The challenge for team Mondo is how to achieve this without requiring a lot of manual effort from ALL users.
My feeling is that “Where is my money going?” automatic categorisation should work straight out of the box for all users albeit with these limitations. For users who require greater granularity, a second layer of manual tagging (like Gmail) could help to solve this along with receipt OCR mentioned above. Then crowdsourcing this manual effort plus a bit of simple AI could assist with automation.
On prediction and action: it’d be handy to have a feature which nudges you to rein in discretionary spending, based on known upcoming transactions. You’ll know when (large) regular direct debits or standing orders leave my account - mortgage, car finance, childcare - and when salary is paid in (or multiple salaries assuming joint accounts will be a thing)
Getting a warning a few days before a large debit is likely to leave would be useful - you’ve spent £x today, your balance is £yyy, and you have £zz leaving within the next few days - would nudge you to head to Lidl rather than Waitrose (or, conversely, maybe think about paying off more of your credit card bill).
I like that idea - also getting a clear view when your salary comes in of how much is available for discretionary spend (and have that count down separately to total balance?)
Totally agree @cliverchrdsn Thanks for the suggestion
So far (because we don’t have recurrent payments) we are not doing anything like that but at some point we will do. Probably via the pulse (that little graph on top that already estimates your spending based on previous months) + bespoke notifications we’ll try to give you a proper understanding of upcoming transactions.
I hope down the road we’ll be even able to investigate some intelligence around seasonal events (we tend to spend more on xmas, summer holidays, etc.) but I presume that must be much much harder… at least it sounds like sci-fi to me
In the past I’ve used “Spending” app to do my analysis - found it useful, except for the fact you had to manually add everything in. Mondo will completely replace that app.
One thing which would be awesome is the ability to break a particular transaction down for analysis - for example if I go to Sainsburys and buy my groceries but also pick up some beauty/health products, it would be good to be able to separate that transaction.
Also the totally lazy/forgetful person in me would love to be able to mark a transaction where I want to make a return (e.g. Topshop) and it to remind me the date I need to take it back by…
Apologies if it has already been mentioned!
I love the idea of being able to mark a specific transaction to do a return! I’m adding that to our “Kickass Ideas” post-its wall right now
can we have a total top up amount over a given time period ( maybe re settable at tax year or calendar year ? ) similar to spend at certain outlets history ( number , average, total ) - along with monthly wage ( ? ) top up shown on graph - I presume when you are licensed this would be wages in total as opposed to “top ups”
Quick custom tags would be an awesome feature
@iansilversides exactly, our current Top up is just a workaround while we wait until we are a bank and you can actually pay your salary in. The rest of things you mention I think we’ll cover them at that point (budgeting, etc.).
@AlexSavin tags represent a really difficult battle on a financial product. The advantages are strong and power users usually like them a lot. On the other hand the moment you include tags (“tag” behaviour instead of “folder” behaviour) things like comparisons start breaking because the numbers never add up (the same transaction can have three tags associated).
Before the alpha (when we were building the app internally without even a website up) we had a tag system working into the app and this is one of the things we learnt. I’m sure we’ll revisit it at some point though
For now, probably the best solution for you is to write your tags on the “Notes” section, then you can search for them.
What we could have is a simple way to export the spending, then you could use spreadsheets or your favourite tool to generate/visualise these charts.
Yeah, I’d really like to give people a simple way to export a CSV of their spending. We might try to build this at the hackathon this weekend.
Ok sure - I think I would potentially be ready for things not to add up - this should be obvious if you’re associating multiple tags with transactions. But yeah, I bet you did more research than me
Big fan of the adding receipts to expenses - especially with an eye on all the trips I make for work and their protocols on expense submission!
I found a small bug.
“Your spending” analytics doesn’t consider refunds.
If I get a refund, I would expect the amount to be deducted.
For me, the other side of the “where is my money going” coin is “how much of my remaining balance is already spent before I get paid again”. A cool feature would be some kind of forward looking spend view based on:
- Scheduled payments (once account supports DDs, SOs etc.)
- Historical spend (interesting challenge to come up with an algorithm that doesn’t simply average previous category spends)
- User input future spend (holidays? dinner plans? etc.)
A few banks have tried this, but lack the richness of data and elements of AI/Machine learning to create a properly useful feature.