@Thaugh, totally makes sense. Splitting and customising categories are one of our most commonly requested features!
Our Head of Design Hugo offers a great explanation as to why we haven’t done this yet and how we plan to approach this in future.
First of all, please don’t think we’re going to keep the categories exactly the way they are now. We’re constantly learning and we’ll adjust them to make them better (we’ll create new, split others and probably remove too). As you well said, probably they will never be ideal but I think we all know we still have lots of room to improve
Regarding tags and custom categories. Both options have important tradeoffs (the reasons why we haven’t build them yet).
If you use more than 1 tag per transaction (for example, a meal could be
#lunch and #food) then we couldn’t give you easy comparison tools because the totals per tag wouldn’t add up. For some people that’s not a problem (they understand exactly how the calculations are made) but for others it will be confusing “How’s that possible that this week I’ve spent £50 on #food and £30 #lunch but I’ve only spent £50 in total?”.
There are ways to solve that but it’s one of those cases where (I think) reducing the complexity in the first place is the only acceptable solution. Yes, it’s a bit less powerful, but it’s way easier to understand and use for the average user.
If we let you create custom categories then we can’t aggregate transactions in a meaningful way. It would be much harder to send you reports and insights. We wouldn’t be able to tell you “hey, people similar to you are spending a 20% less on this category than you”.
I know my reasons sound a bit abstract because we don’t have any of this built yet, but let me ask you for a leap of faith and you’ll see it does make sense once we have the rest of the pieces in place
Good thing is that thanks to the API I’m sure sooner or later we’ll have apps exclusively designed to let you perform all sorts of powerful categorisations and reports, made by power users for power users