No. I never use the Summary “Left to spend” circle. I use the Pulse Graph. It’s right there at the top of my feed when I go into the app, which is why it’s so useful. If the line hits the bottom of the screen before it hits the right edge, my spending is higher than it should be.
“Left to spend” is the whole reason I use Monzo. It’s already annoying that you have to navigate to Summary to view it. It should be on the home screen and the IOS widget.
Pleeeeease don’t remove it
The reason that Pulse and Summary are a bad fit now is actually deeply related. Do you remember when Monzo started out it was really, really good at showing you where your discretionary spending was going? When Monzo became a full bank and people put all their bills and other expenses in there they lost that clean, crisp edge. Pulse showed you how fast you were spending your discretionary money. Summary broke down your discretionary spending into categories. They were two halves of the same whole - giving you insight into your past spending in order to help you to decrease your future spending (Summary), and also see in real-time when things were a bit off-the-rails (Pulse), so that you could correct your short-term behaviour in order to achieve your long-term goals.
But now, what do we see?
Pulse is esentially useless because you can’t get any feel for your discretionary spending anymore. Your fixed (mandatory) spending (rent and bills) will go out no matter what you do. Further, we all have to eat, so your groceries are pretty much a fixed cost, too. And those things dominate spending. So now your discretionary spending is mostly a statistical error, subsumed by the noise of your mandatory spending, and the pulse graph is, yes, totally useless. But it wouldn’t be if you showed it to people in relation to their discretionary spending only.
Summary is more useful than pulse, but it’s hamstrung in the same way. It in no way allows people to see their discretionary and mandatory spending separately. While one might argue that all spending is, in a way, discretionary as you can move to a property with cheaper rent (if you rent), etc, it’s a damn sight easier to cancel that Netflix subscription or to not buy three coffees from Starbucks every day. When the app only contained people’s discretionary spending this wasn’t a problem, but now that people have mandatory spending in there the lack of distinction between the two is a critical problem for your app. I honestly think that a large part of the tension around (so, so many) people asking for additional categories in the app is actually rooted in this - on both sides. Monzo want to still have your various bills spending categorised so that they can cross-sell you cheaper services from other providers (this is in fact the stated business model now), and people are frustrated that the current set don’t let them see where they could save money. Having a cross-cutting categorisation of “Mandatory” vs “Discretionary” would allow people to better understand where they could save. You need to help people to split up the space of their outgoings with respect to saving money that is wasted so that they can achieve their long-term financial goals. It’s not possible to stop paying rent. It’s not possible to stop paying for the tube to go to work. It’s not possible to not pay for water to your house. It’s not possible to not pay your council tax. So why on earth are these things muddled in with things that you mostly have no choice over (groceries) and things that you have discretion over - like Starbucks and Netflix?
There’s a larger point to be made here, though. It’s that Monzo is currently far, far, FAR too tied to the line-item view of the account, and not nearly tied enough to the higher-level overview. You see, while it’s nice to think that irregular payments, irregular income, etc. are not the norm, that’s not actually the case. Let me give you just one dumb example; my washing machine broke and my landlord sent me money to have it replaced, which I duly did. This caused two line-items in my account - a transfer from my landlord, and a payment for the washing machine. While I can exclude the latter from spending, I cannot exclude the former from income. But worse, I cannot mark these items as paired and excluded together. Expenses payments look a lot like this, too. And how about things like a ZipCar subscription, which has both irregular payments and a yearly subscription fee? The line-item level (or its close approximation in the current version of your app - line items divided into months and divided into awkward categories) doesn’t help people get an overview of their financial position now and in the future.
What I truly believe you need to do is move more in the direction of accounting software. It’s not enough to just cross-sell people an ISA, some insurance, and a new mortgage deal and then claim that you’ve solved their financial problems and made money work for them. You need to give people a dashboard from which they can understand where their money is going, extract what their financial goals are from them, and then provide tools to integrate the two together. Help people to actually get in control of their finances at a level above the minutia of their day-to-day outgoings. Give them a financial control centre. Help get their money to really work for them.
Signed up! Looking forward to it.
The tick is actually there, just really hard to see!
We’re probably talking about different things. By ‘Summary’ I more specifically mean the dial and visual mechanics – everything else we had before as part of ‘Spending’ I have mentally segmented. Sorry for making things confusing, my bad.
Below is another early exploration. You’ll see a green “budgeting” widget, that could potentially represent your overall or default to your “left to spend” (this is actually what it does in the Android version currently, @kavi showed me it earlier, it’s quite cool).
At the moment, tapping this takes you to the Summary dial, but I’ve liked the dial less and less over time. In the future maybe it could take you to a simpler, more useful view – or maybe more advanced views and controls?
That’s very reassuring to hear!
I don’t need the dial at all, as long as there are the wider budgeting tools relating to ‘left to spend’ and categories etc.
Any news on when early testers on iOS will start seeing V3?
Glad to see the dial has also gone, can you flick the switch now coz it’s Tuesday
That looks great, but notice how there’s no rent or council tax in that budget? I think that it would be great to have something that looks like this, but in order to achieve it you need discretionary-spending to be first-class in the app again.
You’re not referring to the one I added?
I think Monzo should start sending out surveys with say 20 of our last transactions and say 10 random made up transactions to see how we as customers would categorize things in order for us to get new categories.
Some sort of Pulse Graph, perhaps? (Yes, I’m a fan of PG)
Also, can you add a “tick” visually showing the number of days left? (Like this, but nicer.) Then if the budget goes beyond the days left it could turn orange, then red.
(It would be shame to lose the useful parts of the Pulse Graph, namely helping predict your spending habits. Also the PG would have probably offended less if it had remained hidden until you pulled down, as per its original incarnation.)
I’m wondering if you could clarify if the progress bars showing either “% of budget” or “left to spend” is being released in this this first iteration? I am on android and wondered what will be available. I know summary is not available in this test but not sure about the features above as these did not show on the initial screenshots. Cheers
It looks like I am! I didn’t realise that was your own edit. My mistake
In which case, I agree! I’d find the tick quite useful.
Yeah I think that is there already, just not in this old design I pasted.
Pretty sure in the Android version there’s a left to spend (or budgeting) widget that clicks through to the old summary dial. It’s very hacky and stuck together with tape and superglue.
In the screenshot, no, but this could as easily be a “left to spend” widget that takes these things into account, and clicks through to a more detailed & useful view.
BTW – just in case I haven’t made it clear, all of this stuff is very early! We could throw this all away, and it might be totally different eventually – maybe the entire app will be just one huge pulse graph
We’ve thought of a lot of these points that are being raised and have exploration ideas for each, but we’re taking the approach of “one step at a time” and trying to learn along the way.
None of this is set in stone, and we obviously share the same overall goal as you: make Monzo the most useful and delightful it can be.
Looking forward to the feedback tomorrow when the app drops in the first lucky few’s inboxes
I was going to ask how those selected will know when to try it out. So you are sending I messages via the community?
Out of interest how many have signed up for this trial run? I see the link has been used over 700 times from this thread!
I actually don’t know the answer, sorry. @bruno will be able to answer, but I do know that it is likely to be starting tomorrow.
In that case I am happy to test if I can see what I have left to spend without needing to do some sort of Rachel Riley impersonation.
I would like to test it. I always feel like left out from all this fancy trials