Goal (sorry money pot 😉) improvements!


Okay I love goals and this was one thing I was waiting for most of all the new features last year. Not only do I use them for their intended “Saving Goals” purpose it I also use them as pots of money and there is another post on this from someone else here so I won’t go over those ideas :bulb: again but… I wanted to add my own ideas for making it more useful for money pot use!

First… Allow negative Goals! Let Em explain (it’s going to be long sorry!) why I think it is useful if not required :wink: for good money management:

First let me explain how I use my Starling Acc… (I have already mentioned this in other posts recently so soz for the repetition!) As we can’t yet specify what pot (Goal really) out direct debits come out of I have left them in my old Halifax along with my salary payments. But on the first of the month a standing order transfers all the money that isn’t used for direct debits into my Starling Acc. I have scheduled payments set up on all my Goals and montly Pots. This leaves my account at £0 (pretty much) then every time I buy something I get a notification from Starling and it puts me into my overdraft (Well really goal money so free) and I transfer that money from what ever pots it was used for. For example it might have been £45 in Tesco so it comes out of my “Groceries” pot. This puts my account at £0 again. Then maybe I go to the cinema and spend £24 if which £15 comes from my “Entertainment” pot and £9 from my “Eating out” pot. Again my account is £0 and I can see at a glance how much I have left for each pot for that month! All great :+1: thanks Starling I finally have a grasp on my finances! :heart_eyes:
NOW suddenly my car :blue_car: breaks down and I need £300 to repair her… I have £230 saved in my “Car Maintenance” pot but that’s not an issue as I have £2k odd saved in other pots I can use until it can save up more so I pay my mechanic and drive off and then later when I have a sec I transfer the £230 from my “Car maintenance” pot into my account and… BOOM!! :boom: My system is bust! I now have -£70 in my account and no tracking of why! But if I could have transferred £300 from my “Car maintenance” pot putting it into -£70 it wouldn’t be an issue as it would be clear what has happened and I can transfer some extra from going out over the next few months to bring it back up as well as the standard auto transfers every month to that pot.

SOO… does that make sense? :blush:

Here is a pic of my Goals screen I took shortly after I set it up a few months back with a few monthly pots at the top (I have 7 currently) and savings Goals towards the bottom (12 currently).


So what you’re saying is that you’d like your overdraft to also be applied to your goals - not just your main account balance. That’s a pretty good idea.


I know exactly what you mean. I do a similar thing. Every time a direct debit or standing order etc comes out I go into my goals and transfer the equivalent amount back into my main account. However, I think having an ‘overdraft’ on a goal is a bit much. You just don’t put enough aside for your dodgy motor. :rofl:


Starling Goals are best I think, at least when compared with Monzo Pots.

Both banks calculate interest differently.

Monzo calculate on the total amount of your overdraft excluding money held in pots.

Starling calculate on the total amount of your overdraft less any money held in goals.

If you main account is overdrawn by say £100 and you have two Goals each containing £25 then Starling charge interest on £50.

If your main account is overdrawn by say £100 and you have two Pots each containing £25 then Monzo charge interest on £100.

I think Starling have got it right!


No @LauraJ that already happens!


Yes, but it isn’t applied completely in the way that it doesn’t allow you to go into a negative figure, whereas your main account does.


I have to be honest, I wouldn’t want to see a positive balance on my account and actually be in my overdraft say I had 4 negative goals adding up to £-400 and my balance on the main account was £100 I’d actually be £-300 and potentially blissfully unaware of being in the overdraft - this would be a massively confusing feature to add.

If you had a surprise car repair, you don’t have negative car budget, you’ve either lost part of your disposable income or savings as that money does come from somewhere and it’s not your repair budget.


The concept of negative goals makes no sense to me whatsoever! I get the reasoning but I think a good budgeting tool would be more useful.


Yes there would need to be a way to specify that you were overdrawn if you were but in my example I am NOT overdrawn as the money is in other goals! :slightly_smiling_face:


I agree I haven’t got a Monzo account so didn’t know about there pots but yes if you have money in your account in any form then you shouldn’t get charged insterest! :scream:


I disagree. My budgeting is fine. You can’t budget for an unknown amount. This is a way to easily recover from unknown/expected costs.
Maybe if you think of them as Goals then negative values don’t make sense but that is why I referred to them as Goals for savings (as Starling inteded) and pots for the monthly pots of money. I can see from the people in this thread alone that I’m not alone in my use of the Goals as monthly money pots and if you look though posts from pre release of Goals there are lots more that planned to use it this way. :slight_smile:
It’s a really good way of keeping on top of your spendings AFTER you have done the budgeting part. After all budgeting for an amount and then having no idea how much of each pot of your budget you have spent is not going to work. :pensive:


I wasn’t suggesting that your budgeting is bad @GazB - on the contrary, it sounds like you are totally in control of your money! What I mean is that a good (separate) budgeting app would probably be better suited to this as it seems a bit over the top for an app that is solely intended to be the “best current account” available.

I believe you can set budgets in Yolt (probably Emma too) and Starling works great with those. I want to see additional features in Starling but would prefer the team to concentrate on the core banking features.


This sounds a little bit like, well, Monopoly money. I use YNAB (and its previous iteration, YNAB4) so I’ll explain why I think what you’re doing sounds a lot like creating monopoly money in YNAB.

If you’re unfamiliar with YNAB, you set categories, not unlike Starling’s Goals, and you budget money into those categories. When you spend money, it goes against those categories. So if I put £100 in my Food category and spend £20 on food, when I tell YNAB about it, I’ll have £80 left in that category.

YNAB4 allowed you to spend more in the category than you had budgeted and let the negative roll over into next month. However, this created monopoly money in your budget. If I spent £120, my Food category would say -£20 and encourage me to move money from another category to cover it but if I didn’t, it would leave it there and roll it on to next month. So if I budgeted £100 into the category next month, I would have £80 available to spend because it’d offset the overspending first. This wouldn’t take me overdrawn or anything, because the £20 was in the other categories. But it meant that I couldn’t trust my other categories to guide my spending. There was £20 in those that I actually didn’t have. If I spent all of my categories down to zero (as might be the case if you happened to be a person with no savings), then I would end up spending £20 more than I had, thereby causing debt. Now you can argue that “oh well I definitely do have the money and I won’t be spending all of my categories” and that’s fine, but there’s a reason why the YNAB team took that out. It was confusing. It caused people to not actually budget with the money they had and instead allowed people to create monopoly money in their budget that didn’t exist with the intention of “paying it back”.

So I think that Starling implementing this feature would just cause problems for people. That’s why I think Goals should operate only with the money you actually have available to you (including your overdraft because that is a necessary part of budgeting for some people).

ETA: when I say that YNAB took this feature out, their way of dealing with it was that any category that was overspent would be deducted from your Available To Budget for the next month. So if I now overspend Food by £20 using a “cash” form of spending (ie. cash, a current account, etc) and don’t move money from another category to cover it, when April begins, I will see £20 less available to budget. So if I get paid, say £1200, I will only have £1980 to actually budget into categories. This way, YNAB forces me to account for the fact that I spent £20 that I didn’t have. If I spend the £20 on a credit card and don’t account for it, YNAB will increase my debt balance and ask me to budget £20 to a credit card payment category because, even if my card is currently “paid in full”, it won’t be because of that extra £20. All my credit card spending will be accounted for in my payment category (that category being the one that shows me how much to transfer over to my credit card to cover all of the spending I’ve done so far) IF I ensure my categories are not negative at the end of the month.


What if a Pot/Goal could also be a savings account from a 3rd party acquired through the marketplace - if would then give opportunities for different savings rates, depending on what you were saving for.


I agree Emma is excellent and has budgeting features that Starling lacks.


Monzo charges a flat fee of 50p per day regardless of how much you borrow. If you have money in a Pot & didn’t want to pay interest on an overdraft, you’d simply move the money from the Pot into your main account.

It doesn’t make sense for your main account’s balance to show that you’re overdrawn but for the user not to be charged interest (because they have money in a Goal) in my opinion. That’s potentially quite confusing.


In my opinion, it does make sense. My reasoning is that unlike at bunq bank where goals are separate accounts with their own account number, at Starling goals are Not distinct accounts and do Not have their own account numbers, they are part of the account and therefore the money in any goals does need to be taken into account when deciding (a) if interest should be charged, and (b) how much should be charged.