Tracking spending with Monzo v budget apps

(Jane Lucas) #1

I can’t see this specific question anywhere so apologies if it’s already been answered.
I’m looking at accounts which can help me track spending. So was thinking I’d add all my bank, credit cards etc to something like Emma. But I don’t really want/need a budget app (or anything where I have to log in through a third party). I just need to track spending. I know how much I have each month. Can someone tell me if Monzo does this? Hard to tell from the website.
I can’t see that any of the budgeting apps are worth the faff… I may as well keep a pencil and paper note.
I have a Santander account which is pretty good and quick to access on iOS. It also pays interest on current account and cashback with credit card on food and petrol. It gives me an overview of my balances, but I’m looking for more than that.
I’ve read through the topic relating to monzo v Santander but it doesn’t answer my question.

(Marcel Ruhf) #2

I would really look at Emma, it’s the best of these budgeting apps in my experience. Plus, you only have to log into your bank accounts once to authorise Emma to fetch data from them, that’s it, the app will periodically sync with your bank accounts.


Monzo almost does it. It lets you track the current month by category and against targets. There’s no merchant analysis or month Vs month though and it’s only Monzo spend at the moment. They’re currently integrating American express somehow but I don’t know to what detail, possibly just to make the balance visible.

As @mrmr says, Emma is probably your best bet for this (unless you want to get stuck into the API).


I say that but I just use a Google docs spread sheet :hushed:

(Jane Lucas) #5

Thanks… I did look at Emma thinking that would be good option but don’t like having to go via Facebook (though can see both sides of that debate). Horses for courses I guess.

(Jane Lucas) #6

I will probably give Monzo a go… I used to use a google finance thing for investments but they stopped it. I’ll check the spreadsheet.
I think I will have to try Monzo and see how it goes.
Thanks again.

(Marcel Ruhf) #7

Facebook? I’ve never used Facebook with Emma.

(Jane Lucas) #8

You login with Facebook account kit. I believe it is perfectly secure, but … at the least Facebook will be gathering data. I object to that.

(Colin Robinson) #9

I don’t use Facebook but I do use Emma so there’s obviously more than one way to log in.

Monzo has got to the point where nearly everything I need is in it already :wink::+1:

(Jane Lucas) #10

I was under the impression that you have no choice…you don’t need a Facebook account. Account kit is just an authentication app that they have developed and Emma uses it. I downloaded the Emma app just last week and I received a text message with a login code provided by account kit. However, I didn’t proceed with Emma so perhaps that login method is a one off. Anyway. It doesn’t matter. If I really wanted a budgeting app I could give that a go.
I think though I’ll try Monzo first. It’s the only way to find out!


Hi, yes I also have Emma and do not have to login via Facebook. Emma will allow you to sync across current accounts, savings accounts, Investments, credit cards so you have a full view of your finances. Monzo does not do this yet, but they have said it’s in the plans. Yolt is also a good option and neither have required anything to with Facebook since I am not even a Facebook user.


(Kevyn) #13

Emma does use Facebook to authenticate mobile numbers when registering.

In order to verify your phone number, we use a service called Facebook Account Kit.

Do you share data with Facebook?

No, we don’t share any of your financial data with Facebook.

Do you use Facebook login?

No, Facebook Account Kit has nothing to do with Facebook Login or any other form of authentication that Facebook provides.

Do I need to have Facebook to use Emma?

No, you just need a phone number.


To be fair unless you have more than one bank account Monzo is fine, I also use Emma, but it has its limits due to other companies api like with capital one you need to re login every time, but I am still logging into the other apps to track anyway so something like Emma my be useless for me soon :wink:

(Jane Lucas) #15

Ahh… that explains it… if it’s a one off code I expect people forget they ever had one.
There is another topic about this somewhere I think.
Sorry all. I didn’t want to make this about Facebook or Emma particularly and thanks for all your help and comments.
I’ll give Monzo a try.


Hi Cobweb (Jane). I agree budgeting apps are generally a faff and categorisation is generally very woolly, mixing wants and needs. Would you use an app where you could categorise spend by how it makes you feel? i.e. you find you’re spending £200 a month on morning coffee, but it’s part of your life and makes you feel good - so look for savings elsewhere on stuff that doesn’t make you feel so good?

(Jane Lucas) #17

Yes I agree. The categories are too odd… but I think you can set categories yourself in the Pro version. I find it odd that I can’t set the amount in payday…

(Christiaan) #18

I’ve tried to use Monzo to budget but I don’t like that you can’t role budgets over from one period to another.

I finally go going with You Need a Budget. I tried it a year or two back but couldn’t be arsed manually inputting all the transactions. But now I’ve hooked it up to a auto-sync service and it’s going great. Wish I’d had it since I was 17.

(Jane Lucas) #19

I think if we’d all started when we were 17 we wouldn’t now be looking for help! (-: