Yes, but spotting a typo and having to find the transaction to fix it would be crap.
Not if clicking on the Tag/subcategory in the breakdown gives a list of all the transactions with that Tag, just like clicking on a category in the breakdown does now. Then you could easily correct the typo - the process would be the same as if you want to correct a misclassified transaction now.
It’s a shame search filtering isn’t available on Android. Every time I bring this up, it falls on deaf ears.
Please stop guessing what categories we want and allow us to create/customise our own.
You added family and personal care (what, for haircuts?) which are all but useless for me along with some of the other default categories - what about money spent on pets or home improvements?
It bugs me a lot that I essentially have to miss-categorise many things because I can’t make my own suitable category (which would surely screw up any comparisons between other users - which I have no real interest in anyway - everyone’s finances and lifestyle is different).
Oh yeah- what is this about comparing to others, anyway?
The rest of the app is a delight to use, but you’re not doing it well when it comes to categories, and that’s why users have been complaining consistently for years about it. Seems to me you have two pathways:
Improve current categories radically, by adding more, not renaming them (Cash -> Finances??), fix the UI so that it handles more categories better by hiding ones we don’t use. Perhaps ask the users which new categories they want (for example Savings has been consistently ignored but was most requested in a user poll).
Choose custom categories, and address the design problems you bring up:
How and where do you manage your custom categories?
I’d suggest under the category chooser screen. This is something most users would do once.
Can you choose a custom icon and colour for each category?
I think you could decide on this and people wouldn’t mind, users have suggested subcategories as a solution, or you could just give them the current icons/colours as choices.
What happens to your transactions if you delete a custom category?
Just offer the user the option to pick a category, that’s what other apps do.
Can you remove any of the basic categories?
An option to hide would be nice, if it’s problematic, I’m sure people could live with your decision on this. It’d be nice if categories I don’t spend in didn’t appear in spending reports though, it’s really weird I see little ghosted entries for stuff I don’t care about. Re splitting, subcategories would elegantly solve this. Also weird that in new spending I only see three categories, I want to see all.
If you split the bill with friends or connect my account with a third party, can they see my custom categories?
I think people could live with no transferring categories initially at least. It certainly would be possible but strikes me as a really niche feature. People care about their own spending, not other people’s.
Can you create your own subcategories
Either you offer top level custom categories, or you could offer custom subcategories. 2 levels is not required. This doesn’t have to be complicated!
Is there a limit for categories? Can you create dozens and dozens?
Why would there be a limit? Allow scrolling on the category chooser screen and done, if a user wishes to introduce lots and have a huge list that’s on them.
If everyone is using their own category systems, how do we show you information about your spending?
You haven’t done this in several years, so apparently it’s not really something your customers want very much. I haven’t seen requests for it but have seen plenty for custom categories or better categories. Your data is also polluted by mis-categorisation given the limited categories, so it’s not going to be useful for comparison unless you ignore user categorisation, and if you do that, it doesn’t matter what users pick and you can still do this in future with your own data, ignoring user choices (which is probably better). Custom subcategories also avoid this issue.
The reason tags was not well received is it does a different job than categories, and requires manual work. So people are asking for subcategories not because they want to manually classify everything and make it horribly complicated, but because they want to add a few categories once so suit their spending, classify transactions and then see breakdowns based on what they spend, not on what Monzo thinks they might spend on.
My suggestion would be to explore custom subcategories, which have been brought up by several users indepenently, it would solve a few problems above, and let you focus on the main categories mostly in the UI, but gradually add support for more breakdowns later, and keep those happy who want to categorise their spending.
I think a lot of people in this thread have given some good feedback as to how some level of custom categories could be achieved.
This is what bugs me about the Monzo “experience” at the moment. They’ve made it so you can see what you’ve spend on certain categories which is great and got people into a more analytic mindset but seem happy for us to miscategorise spending just so they can do some level of comparison between users? I think a lot of people would be happy if they added some more of the suggested categories, yes not everyone would use e.g. Pets but it would then mean us Pet owners weren’t just shoving that transaction into a completely wrong category, obviously this applies to other categories too
This. We need this
Custom categories are not the way forward. Yes, they would give a lot more control but that would require effort by you - constantly. I don’t want to recategorise the majority of transactions I make. They would be a short term fix that would hinder development of a seamless experience in the future.
More automatically added metadata, deeper breakdown of categorisation (sub categories) that are automatic is what’s needed but that will take time. Simply throwing in hundreds of new categories will make the UI unwieldy and adding custom categories now will render future features useless.
Tags are an ok solution for now but they need better presence within the breakdown/summary.
Categorisation will get more refined but it’ll be a lengthy process. It’s frustrating because custom categories would be an immediate benefit for individuals but unfortunately reduces the apps ability for long term benefits for everyone.
With customisable categories I would assume the originals would remain so if you wish to, you need do nothing.
Also I would hope Monzo would remember when I tag it. So if I have Eating Out > Coffee when I go to Starbucks then the next time I go I don’t need to do anything.
I like the idea of reporting, but you could do this by only allowing subcategories (ie. Groceries > X and Groceries > Y). When it comes to reporting, make all transactions in a subcategory also in the original category and report on that (in the same way you would do now).
Surely this is a good way between both?
I don’t think anyone is asking for custom categories without auto-categorisation based on previous actions. That would be pretty pointless, but no-one is asking for it.
Tags are a bad solution for this reason.
I just edited my post to add this
So many thanks for all the comments, I’m going to try to answer to the main themes. Please flag if I’m missing something.
Not so much of a substitute but something that can solve the problem for those that need it, without too much clutter for those that don’t.
This is something we have designs for and we’ll probably do, just one step at a time
It’s on the list for future improvements, similarly to some sort of “Gifts” category. On the other hand we might solve it via pots, having a place where you can donate directly, giftaid and all that stuff.
That’s the beauty of the API integrations. I’m sure third-party apps will be able to deal with certain problems better than Monzo. The same way that Twitter power-users don’t use Twitter apps. Can’t wait to see how you folks solve it.
You’re totally right. To give some transparency about why some of those issues happen: There are certain complications with things that we originally thought to be synchronous but in reality are asynchronous. This is not ok, of course, and we should fix it.
Do they have a mobile version counterpart?
What if you hide one by accident? How do we let you make it visible again?
These questions are the core of our approach here. Yes, everything could be an option but not everything can be.
Finances as money moving from one place to another when you own both places (it might be a savings account, it might be your wallet in the form of cash). That’s why we’ve merged them.
Credit Card Category
Can we have a category for pubs or something alcohol related like bars?
Wouldn’t you consider that
I’m afraid that’s structurally against how we design here. The product shouldn’t let you “break it” by not having established the right limits or taking the tough decisions. The responsibility of the experience making sense is on us, not on our users.
We tend to think about those as
Entertainment, wouldn’t that work for you?
Yes and no if i’m honest. As much as I love my cat, if I think of the Family Category it makes me think “Family birthdays” or buying something for my grandparents, sending my family money, getting cash out for a non monzo family memeber etc something along those lines.
It really doesn’t make me think, Pet Insurance, Cat Food, Cat Treats, Toy Birds, Cat Litter and so on.
Putting it in Family “works” but it isn’t as accurate as I would like it to be (might just be being fussy)
I wonder if the icon could help on that if at some point we have a silhouette of some people and a dog or something along the lines. For now I’d encourage you to use
Family and let us know how it goes. We need to learn how people use it and go from there
Yes, I use the mobile client daily. The mobile version gives breakdowns of categories and subcategories and the budgets for each, as well as individual accounts, and lets you add individual transactions (enter amount, start typing vendor and generally autocomplete within 1/2 characters, automatically populates category and account based on past transaction). The mobile version lacks the ability to add or modify categories, but that’s the sort of thing I’d rather do on an actual computer anyway. The mobile and desktop version use the same database which syncs between the two via Dropbox (YNAB also have a fully ‘in the cloud’ version I do not use due to its more limited functionality).
I definitely think an icon could help with that. Would probably make me think more broadly about that category