Using Monzo to monitor your spending

Using Monzo to monitor your spending

I’ve been using Monzo for some time now and I can 100 percent confirm that it’s helped me stay on top of my finances more than any other method I’ve tried in recent years.

You need to know how it has helped me, in order that you may also start to use it and we can fight the establishment all sort out our savings and become better with money.

If you’re not familiar with Monzo then go, familiarise yourself. Start by reading their About page, then read this article about how after 2 years, they’re still not really being taken seriously by Big Banking, despite the fact that they should be.

Back? Ok cool.

So I’ve had Monzo for about six or seven months now, and it’s honestly incredible. It’s everything that a modern day bank should be. The app is incredibly easy to use, and everything you need is right there. But how exactly does it help you, and what are the benefits over a traditional banking app? Let’s investigate 🕵️

Targets 🎯

One of Monzo’s best features is Targets. Targets are exactly what they say on the tin, they let you set monthly targets for yourself. That way, you can monitor your spending and adjust accordingly.

I set my targets originally based on what I thought I would need. Turns out I was waaaay off. But then Monzo stepped in. After using your card for a few months, when you go to set your targets, you’ll see that Monzo has already suggested some targets based on your previous spending patterns. Neat right?

financial targets on monzo

Right. Not only can you see what you would typically spend overall in a month, under Total Spending, but you can also break it down by category.

Admittedly, some of the categories don’t necessarily align a lot. For example, I always seem to overspend on ‘Eating Out’, but this is because a lot of the pubs near my work are classified as ‘Eating Out’ by Monzo, when really they should be ‘Entertainment’.

But by using Targets, you’re able to see exactly what you’ve spent so far this month, as well as what you have left for each area.

Plus, at the end of the month, you get a spending report where you can see your spending broken down. It’s fab.

spending report

Repeated notifications 📲

So Monzo’s notifications system is kind of neat. I’ve since noticed that my other ‘traditional’ bank – Santander – has started giving me notifications now, but they’re not nearly as useful as Monzo’s are.

How much you’ve spent today 💸

The first kind of notification that Monzo gives you is the ‘You’ve spent X today!’ type notification. This is triggered whenever you purchase something. This is incredibly useful for me because I can see at a glance how much I’ve spent that day, without even opening the app, and I know whether I need to speed up or slow down (it’s usually slow down…)

You can also see how much you’ve spent today in the top of the app. Again, super useful. Why other banks don’t do this, I don’t know. But this is incredibly useful to help you see how much you’ve spent during the day.

You can even see the How Much You’ve Spent figure in the Monzo widget, which is nice. So all I have to do is swipe left from the home screen and I can see exactly what my financial situation that month looks like. So whenever anyone says ‘Who fancies a Nando’s?”, I can simply swipe, look and then say “No thank you I’m too poor.”

You’ve overspent! 🔴

This is the slightly more annoying one. I love the targets feature in Monzo, it’s incredibly useful – like I said above. But, having said that, whenever you’ve spent your monthly target, you’re kind of screwed.

Once you hit your target, Monzo starts giving you notifications like this one.

It’s like yes, I get it. I overspent this month and I’m a bad person. But it was only the 20th and there were 8 more days until payday, what am I supposed to do? Not leave the house? Not eat?????

I get the point of these notifications, but it shows up that little red dot every time you buy something and it does get slightly depressing. However, I guess this is a good thing, because it shames me into purchasing as little as possible. No more unnecessary purchases once I’ve hit that target.

Easy to use 👍

The whole point of Monzo is that it is incredibly easy to use. Banks are weighed down by horrible slow moving rules and regulations, as well as their own impressive weight. They’re old, they’re slow and they’re clunky. Nobody needs that. We lead fast moving, busy lives.

The customer service is unrivalled. If you’ve ever had to deal with customer service at a traditional bank – which most of us will have done – then you’ll literally be left gobsmacked with the speed and friendliness of the Monzo staff.

Want to get involved in Monzo? Hit me up on Twitter and I can give you a Golden Ticket, so you can skip the queues and get your card instantly.

EDIT: Do I now need to disclaim the fact that I’m an investor in Monzo? That’s right folks, I invested a whopping £10 in Monzo. Can’t wait to draw out my £20 return in 7-10 years!