# Spread unexpected purchases over a budgeting category for set duration

When making big purchases, i.e a Laptop or Phone it can have a detrimental effect on budgeting. The purchase “spike” can ruin budgeting for that month.

The current solution is to “ignore” the payment from your budget to make it seem like it never happened. Although this helps, it’s less than ideal since I would like to plan and budget for these big spends.

My current workaround is to use regular payments to pots, such as putting in £50 per month for big spends which will then fund these purchases.

However it has one big downside, I must save up the money first each month before purchasing, even if I already have the money in my main balance. The pot payments per month also don’t appear in my balance as they are counted as fixed extras.

To reduce the need for the above workaround, Monzo should give us the option to spread out a payment over a desired duration. For example a phone I may choose spread the cost over 24 months. This would then result in 24 equal payments coming out of my spending budget.

EDIT: To clarify, I’m not suggesting using Loans to make purchases.

this would be funded entirely out of your own balance. However the lump sum purchase would not be negated for your budget for that month. Instead the subsequent monthly payments would

EDIT 2: To futher clarify here is a working example.

Month 0: Initial balance £1000 , spending budget £100
Purchases £1000 phone, balance goes to 0, for the next 20 months £50 comes out of spending budget
Month 1: balance 0, spending budget £(100 - 50) = £50
Month 2: balance 0, spending budget £(100 - 50) = £50
.
.
.
Month 20: balance £0 , spending budget £(100 - 50) = £50

Sounds like you’re describing a loan. In which case Monzo already do this:

If I understand you correctly you want Monzo to pay for your purchase and then use your pot to make the minimum payment each month?

Maybe I should clarify the post, this would be funded entirely out of your own balance. However the lump sum purchase would not be negated for your budget for that month. Instead the subsequent monthly payments would

This is giving me De Ja Vu!

See here for an explanation of why what you’re suggesting is actually a loan even if it doesn’t seem like it at the moment:

So let’s say you are going to buy a £1,000 phone. Who is going to give the money to the retailer, and where is it going to come from?

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That sounds very messy.

If I did this for multiple purchases how would you keep track of what your balance and actual budget was

It says in what you quoted. The £1000 would come out your main balance. However it wouldn’t count against your budget for that month as you’re spreading it over a desired number of months.

I read it and it still sounds confusing and messy but perhaps it is just me

Using @Anarchist example:

I pay £1,000 for a phone. You want it to come out of your balance but be hidden from the summary. Then you want £83 per month taken from your budget for 1 year?

How is that giving you any better visibility of your finances? If you’ve already paid the £1,000 why do you need to budget for it every month?

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Well obviously it’s an optional feature that is not forced on people. But payments such as holidays, phones, cars, etc can hardly be considered regular payments which people budget for.

If I brought a £1000 phone the cost of that should be spread over it’s likely usage (24 months). That cost per month should be reflected in my budget, not the initial £1000 spike payment.

It sounds like you’re getting confused about the intended use of the budget feature.

If I was saving for a holiday I’d set up a scheduled payment into a ‘Holiday pot’ and each of those payments would be part of my budget. Then when I’ve got enough money I will pay for the holiday. I’ve then obviously spent the money so that too is shown in the budget.

So what you want is the reverse of that?

Of course It seems like people are not understanding what you’re asking for, so if it isn’t clear to those people then it isn’t going to make sense to Monzo. It’s nothing personal, just trying to get clarification.

It sounds like you’re getting confused about the intended use of the budget feature.

If I was saving for a holiday I’d set up a scheduled payment into a ‘Holiday pot’ and each of those payments would be part of my budget. Then when I pay for the holiday I’ve obviously spent the money so that too is shown in the budget.

So what you want is the reverse of that?

I address that in my original post, where I say that is a workaround but not an ideal solution. The problem with the above is that I need to save up money into pots to even if I already have the funds available.

For example with the phone example, I would need to save up 24 equal payments before the purchase. When in reality the cost to my budget should be reflected after the payment, for the duration I have the phone.

I’m still not understanding it at all sorry

I’ll leave it here for someone else to jump in and hopefully Monzo consider your idea too

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Right. The easiest work around, in my view, is to set up a current account somewhere else (one with interest, preferably), and pay your £50 into that. Then buy the phone from that account.

This sounds like a solution to @Johng123’s problem. However, scheduled pot transfers aren’t currently included in budgets, so you’d have to deduct the amount in your scheduled transfer from your budget manually when you set up the scheduled pot payment.

Overall, I think @Johng123 would like a way to spread the cost of a purchase over a budgeting category for a certain amount of time.

For example:

• Your monthly budget for the Shopping category is £200.

• Your phone breaks unexpectedly and you spend £1000 to buy a new one.

• You set the £1000 to be spread over your Shopping budget for the next 8 months. Monzo recalculates your shopping budget as £75 per month (from: £200 - £1000/8 = £200 - £125 = £75).

• After the 8 months has passed, your Shopping budget is automatically reset to £200.

## I think this would be a useful budgeting feature for unplanned expenditure.

3 Likes

Ahhh I think I get it now!.

I imagine it would take a lot of work to make it easily visible that your phone purchase is effecting your shopping budget. You’d need a place to manage all your spread payments, set start and end dates, define what budgets they’d effect and so on.

Am I right in this understanding?

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Basically.

Even though it sounds like it would take a lot of work, I think this idea and the ability to roll excess budgets over to the next month would really help people with long term budgeting.

Weird, I don’t see any of these options on my account!

It seems completely random who they sneak their little beta tests onto