I’ve had an idea which I would like to moot to those in the powers that be
Basically, the categories feature for spends is brilliant, but looking through the threads there are people who understandably want more choice or more specific categories and Monzo want to keep control of the categories for their own reasons (which I can’t remember now but made sense when I read the reason)
Why not have a vote on the forum to allow maybe an additional 3 categories? Monzo come up with say several new categories such as Sports and Leisure or Pets etc etc and the forum are given so many days to vote for their favorite one. The top 3 results are then implemented into the category schema at some point in the future?
Obviously this will only happen if Monzo want to make the change but I admit, I would like a few more category additions for my budgeting purposes.
This has been asked for for a while, and I think its something that could be coming in the upcoming rewrite of the payment management schemes. I currently use the hashtags in the description to get around this for the time being. Not ideal but until the rewrite comes into play, its all we have.
I did a little poll some time back that might give you some ideas. Unfortunately it was consigned to oblivion in one of the mega threads Monzo merged any posts about categories into. You may find some ideas there though. I agree this would be a nice idea, and many many customers have asked for changes over the years. They did add two this year I think.
The reasons given for not expanding were that it makes the design (for choosing, for displaying spending) more complex, and it’d make classifying data across customers more difficult. Personally I’m unhappy with the current spending design as it doesn’t display all the categories I’ve used in a given month, only a few, and then displays lots I never use (why?), I’d go for more sub-categories if they don’t want to expand the top level ones and display all the ones used in a given month. Tags are not a good replacement for categories because they don’t have auto-classifying - I have no interest in manually classifying transactions, maybe others are ok with that, if so I think tags are probably ok for them.
Savings is the big area I feel like they’re missing a trick on - at present saving is treated as spending, which is just wrong in so many ways, particularly when they want to encourage financial responsibility. Might take a while and a few more savings accounts in marketplace before they tackle that though. Anyway, lots of ideas here from customers, but little movement from Monzo on it unfortunately.
Personally I think that this is the dominant reason that Monzo won’t expand categories; it’s about what the product will become later and not boxing themselves in. Though it’s very frustrating for us users who dearly love more fine-grained categorisation.
I was going to suggest just this, though you’ve beaten me to it by several months. It’s definitely the best trade-off if, indeed, preserving the general categories is important to Monzo. You could even have sub-sub categories. Why not let people define their own tree?
Yes, yes, double yes and another yes on top. At the bare minimum it shouldn’t be anywhere near the spending calculations - but as you say, it would be better to encourage financial responsibility in a more harmonious way. Coincidentally, I suggested inverting the role of pots the other day (albeit in an opt-in way) so that your salary could be assigned to a pot by default, and then your budgeted monthly outgoings would be transferred to your main account. This savings-by-default would, I think, encourage financial responsibility. I had a post in an old thread, similarly buried as yours, on the topic of “generate ideas for pots” (here, fwiw). It’s probably too complex / clunky, I concur: There’s something missing at the core around the way that savings are dealt with in Monzo.
I wholeheartedly agree that the categories feature is lost on many many people who require a more tailored budgeting platform. I also believe sub categories are the way to go if Monzo still desire massive data analysis. I sincerely hope Monzo review this soon, as it is the one feature holding my wife and I back from using Monzo as our main account. I am finding the hashtag feature is too much of a bodge to try and make work the same way and I can’t find where you would search via hashtag anywhere on the app anyway.
Apart from that, I have been really enjoying the ease of use of this banking app and wish I’d discovered it sooner. The export feature is great for being a sole trader and the scrollable dated transactions are so clear to search through. What a great platform!
My thought process here was that it would be best of both worlds. Monzo would still be able to control what categories are in place but the end users who want new categories would get the chance to have a say.
Personally, if I had the opportunity to add in 3 more categories I would have:
Sport and Leisure
Special Occasion (ie birthdays, anniversaries etc)