Yeah I agree I have so many things that I feel probably fall under bill it would be nice to break them up
There’s loads of potential to use the Holiday toggle to improve Travel Reports too (eg: selecting which bank transfers are holiday spending too).
I have a memory of a member of Monzo staff saying they wanted to make some changes to Summary before implementing this, but I can’t remember where (I could be misremembering though!).
I think the issue with categories is that it’s relative for every person.
For example: I’ve seen people go on holiday and then they’d tag every transaction on their destination as Holiday so they can then see how much they spent when they were on holiday. I don’t do this, rather I keep the original meaning.
There’s so much more different use cases like this Monzo can’t cover all of them, so it’s a big challenge to design something that is easy to use and also versatile enough.
This is exactly where the Holiday toggle could improve Travel Reports:
If you want your Travel Report to include all payments & spend you make while on holiday, you can put the Holiday toggle on for all payments & spend you make while on holiday.
If you want your Travel Report to include one or two transfers (eg: include transferring a friend for lunch, but don’t include a the internet bill you had to pay while you were on holiday) instead of all of them, you can put the Holiday toggle on for only the payments you want included.
Having a toggle could also mean a category-by-category breakdown of your spending while on holiday could be included in the Travel Report.
I’d also definitely find it useful to easily see if I’m spending waaay too much on Eating Out while on holiday.
Holiday toggle would be excellent and id look forward to that!
To be honest i think adding new categories is such a stop gap solution.
I know custom categories might take alot of work and isn’t profitable but its a greatly requested feature. I know personally I can’t use Monzo/Summary at the minute because the current categories just dont cut it unfortunately
I think it would be possible to add a few categories without making the feature any more complex though.
E.g. transactions could still be automatically assigned to the current roster of categories, but adding some extras like: household, drinks, that you could choose to re-assign transactions to if you want to be more granular.
Or it could just remember which category you used before.
Agree entirely. If I could manage the categories the way I want to assign them - I would move all my current banking and budgeting into Monzo.
For me the purpose of the categories (and Budgeting) should be so I can make a proper Plan of how I want to utilise my money - and utilise that info to take action when the plan changes.
In my own budget, instead of the Monzo category “Shopping”, I would use, “Clothing”, “Shoes”, “Gifts”, “Household Stuff”. In Personal Care, I would use, Toiletries, Barbers, Prescriptions, Dentists etc etc…
Simply because: the granularity helps me plan better.
Exactly how I feel
Instead of entertainment id have drinks, dates, football, betting, going out (even as sub categories would do)
All of which is too much to keep track of bidget wise under the one larger categorie for me.
@hugo may i ask why custom subcategories where never considered? This way monzo doesnt lose out on the overall data collection and being able to generalise transactions but us users would the option to budget on a more personal and granular level?
Is there something wrong with this approach that ive overlooked? Because to me this would be simply adding a child architecture to the current parent main category structure which shouldnt break anything else
There’s nothing really “wrong” about any of these models. It’s just a matter of trade-offs, one of them is powerfulness vs ease-of-use.
We know the current categories are not perfect (they can’t be, the same way that “genre” in your Netflix collection sometimes doesn’t make sense). However, so far every time that we’ve considered creating that extra flexibility (either via subcategories or full custom categories) we’ve struggled to accept the potential damage to the ease of use. We came up with the tags as a way to try to cover the best of both worlds, like some sort of “power user” mode. But we know that still hasn’t solved the needs of many people.
So it’s difficult, even though we think the categories are probably “fine” for now that doesn’t mean we’ll keep them like this forever. One example is the upcoming
Charity category that it’s very likely to be done as a Monzo Time project very
Bear in mind that Monzo is now way more complex than ever before and we’ve also learnt more about how people use it (thanks to your feedback!) so categories and budgeting is something that we’ll be revisiting (as it’s everything else) and maybe at that time we find a better solution or we’re happy to accept a slightly harder to use app in exchange of that extra power. What I know for sure is that we’ll make better and better as we progress towards our mission of “making money work for everyone”. We need to make it work for all of you, but it might take us a bit more of time
Eating Out Category: Too complex
Appreciate you taking the time to respond!
One thing I’ve learnt from the my time as a Monzo customer/community member is that generally if there is a big enough ask from the community Monzo will listen.
Heres to hoping down the line this becomes more of a priority and I hope Monzo finds the easy to use and powerful solution that we all want.
Just on another point, could we name this new category gifts instead of charity possibly instead of pigeonholing it to strictly charity it could be used for presents etc also?
I think “Gifts” or “Gifts & Charity” (which only uses two characters more than “Entertainment”) or even “Gifts/Charity” (which uses the same number of characters as “Entertainment”) would be more useful to more people.
Hmm, I immediately recoiled from that. I don’t gift money to charity - I give money…
(Not saying this is a good enough reason, but my initial reaction was “do not want”).
Definition of Gift - a thing given willingly to someone without payment. Which is pretty much exactly what charity is. Also, charities reclaim tax using the Gift Aid scheme.
But fair enough if you get an immediate dislike response. It’s difficult to change how you feel.
As someone who currently pays a subscription to YNAB to do my budgeting, and an additional subscription to sync my bank transactions up to that, I would very much appreciate free reign over spending categories and budgets.
I don’t see why an opt-in setting to enable custom categories would be negative in any way. The ease of use wouldn’t change, because someone would have to go out of their way to turn it on and tinker.
Expansive budget and transaction features would make me go all in on Monzo and remove the need for 3rd party extras.
@Braxzy - I am in the same boat as you, using both YNAB and Monzo (and a handy feature to sync the two!).
I’ve found the YNAB budget approach to be very powerful. My finances are complex, and more granularity in sub categories helps me keep track of the things that need to be more specific than 10 or so ‘top level’ categories.
It’s like pots, budgets, summary and pulse all combined in one place - and is super powerful.
I’ve been pondering why Custom Categories might not be coming - and I suspect it’s that Monzo want to integrate entire user wide category based insights, and using custom categories loses their ability to do that (which, if they choose to sell that data, or integrate marketplace where you can act on the data - means also losing £).
I’m happy with the YNAB budget as a solution - but wish Monzo would offer a stronger solution.
Another Monzo / YNAB / YNAB Sync user here.
I work with that system and it serves its purpose, but to have true custom categories in Monzo would be great. I have been one of the many people asking for this for years and I also don’t understand why they don’t do it. I would love to know what they feel the downsides / degraded user experience would be?
Yeah as i am becoming closer and closer to going full monzo the need for custom categories has become greater for me.
In order to truly seperate my monthly budget up correctly in a way that works for me at present im left using a combo of my legacy bank and monzo for things like my actual monthly entertainment spend.
Drinks, dates, football, its too manual at present to think where each spending should be categorised in (i use family for gf, entertainment for football, dates go down as eating out) its all a bit too clashy for me.
A long time ago I remember there being lots of talk about custom categories vs the new feature of tagging transactions. I’d be interested to hear if other people have found tagging useful, but as far as I can tell it just doesn’t serve any purpose.
I basically never have any transactions in the bills, finances, expenses, family, holidays or personal care categories - what I do have is basically everything in entertainment, shopping and eating out.
If I buy a case of beer to have with friends, that goes into the shopping category (fair enough, Monzo doesn’t know what I bought), but I don’t want to account for that spending with my food shopping. I could put that into entertainment, but that’s where I track bowling, movies, games etc.
Likewise, if I go for beers after work that usually gets put into food & drink, but I’d rather be able to compare spending on drinks vs actual meals out with my girlfriend.
I could tag each time I spend money on things I’d like to track but that takes way longer than changing the category and (genuine question here) what is the point of tagging? I can’t see how much I’ve spent on different tag each month or compare them. I could export the data and make my own breakdown in a spreadsheet app, but isn’t Monzo supposed to make this stuff easier?
The least-bad solution is to just use a random unused category for tracking things monzo decided don’t get a category and ignore the fact it’s got an irrelevant name. But really, Monzo can’t just let us rename categories?
Hope you don’t mind but I’ve moved your post to this thread, it seems that it’s something Monzo are considering from reading Hugo’s posts above. Feel free to have a read for yourself.
Personally I try not to be too granular with my tracking and just stick to the main categories.
Drinks go into entertainment as it’s a social event.
Food goes into eating out unless it’s groceries.