Spending Insights: Your Thoughts


#1

Have you had a chance to try out Spending Insights in the app? What do you think? What surprised you the most about your spending habits?

In case you didn’t catch it, you can read about the feature on our blog.


Spending Insights overhaul needed
#2

Love the insights; really useful feature. What would be great is if suggestions could be made for any savings that could be made across my outgoings. Such as any regular subscriptions that could be cancelled. Also I quite like the idea of ring fencing income to pay critical bills such as mortgage, rent, council tax, gas electric.


#3

I’m not sure ring fencing money is a good idea. it isn’t for a bank to tell people what to spend their money on. It’s great that Starling are looking to help people understand money but they shouldn’t be telling you what to spend it on.

Instead a gentle reminder. When you have you salary paid in it tells you after your bills what you have left to do as you wish or suggests x amount goes to a savings goal.


#4

Thoughts:

  • No “Savings” category. I transfer money to MoneyBox and other savings accounts and i’d like to see this accumulated.
  • I’m not sure what the name of the category should be, but a way to track money loaned between friends would be great
  • I find it difficult to differentiate between “Entertainment” and “Lifestyle”. Perhaps these could simply be “Social” ?
  • I’d like it if I could categorise the transaction from the push notification in real-time - especially for ATM transactions

#5

Any plans on supporting custom categories or at the very least subcategories?

Different people need granularity for different categories, e.g. for myself it is important to tell apart having dinner out with friends and grabbing coffee to go.


#6

Thanks for the feedback!

The reason we had Lifestyle as a separate category was for things like gyms, spas, hairdressers, etc. I also agree that we’re missing a Savings category so expect to see that appear in the near future.

In the short term, how about you share what categories you’d like us to add and we’ll run a poll and pick the top 3 or 4 to add to the app?


#7

I’ve noticed that an Itunes payment is in Lifestyle and a National Lottery Top-Up is in Entertainment. I guess sometimes it’s semantics


#8

@rawkode spot on…I’d like to have more control over the categories. For example; I could shop at Tesco for food, clothes and DVDs. I’d like to be able to tell the app what category to put a particular transaction in.


#9

After a few more days using this feature:

  • Why can’t payments to companies / people be categorised?

I understand that you’re probably refraining from custom categories, as you’d lose the ability to categorise our transactions automatically; so what about defining the top level categories and allowing us to create labels within? As requested by @cgkr

I like your definition of Lifestyle and Entertainment. A night at the theatre with the misses is Entertainment. Gym membership is Entertainment. So really what is missing is “Night Out”.

  • Pets (Supplies, Vet bills)
  • Healthcare (Doctors, Prescriptions, Dental)
  • Savings
  • Donations / Charity
  • Night Out

#10

@rawkode - We are working on adding the other payments into the feature at the moment. Expect to see them appear in the next couple of weeks.

Thanks for your category suggestions too. I’ll go through the various topics first thing next week and collate a list of top new categories and we’ll add those in.


#11

I’m really enjoying the insights feature. For the first time ever I actually properly know how much I’m spending and it’s great!

The one problem I have is that it’s not always entirely clear how I should categorise some transaction. In particular, I’m sometimes not sure if I should categorise something as “Shopping” or “Lifestyle”. I’ve noticed both Halfords and Waterstones come up as Lifestyle when I’d have thought they’d be Shopping (or even Entertainment for Waterstones?) which is adding to my confusion. I’m also never sure if I should categorise a DVD or music purchase as Entertainment, or if they should be Shopping and Entertainment should be reserved for things like the cinema and theatre.

It might just be that the automatic categorisation needs perfecting so that the purpose of each category is clear, or maybe each category could do with an in-app description. However, I’m inclined to think that the categories could do with being sub-divided further, although I know that opens up a can of worms. It just seems strange that my chiropractor bill and my book store receipts end up in the same category.

(Oh, and another small issue - Krispy Kreme is automatically categorised as Groceries when it should be Eating Out)


#12

It’s been a bit longer than I’d hoped, but we should be in a position to add a few categories in the next week or two. Currently, looks like the most useful would be:

  • Savings
  • Social (for nights out)
  • Home / Family

Any objection if we went with those?


#13

Sounds good to me


#14

Its a great feature, is there any plans to make the month dynamic. For example could the spending insights run from Payday to Payday, then everything in your payday period would be nicely grouped ?


#15

This would be amazing for me. Too many things run 1st to the end of the month. I’m paid on 26th so it really doesn’t run for every day of a month for me. For budgeting it’s much more helpful to change the dates.

Even if there was a way of seeing “Previous 30 days” - at least then on payday I could assess where I had spent the month prior.


#16

While the spending insights feature is useful it lacks some detail. For example it would be useful to be able to:

  • Track month on month changes i.e. I spent £100 / 50% more on Groceries in July vs June.
  • Transaction search. It would be useful to be able to search for transactions by amount or merchant.
  • Historic payments for a particular merchant. At the moment you can see all payments to that merchant in a particular month, but it would be useful to see all historic payments. This is useful to see how your phone bill has varied from month to month for example
  • Direct Debit variation. It would be useful to be able to set up alerts if a regular direct debit changes by more than a certain amount or percent vs the average. This would help identify potential issues with large phone bills or a direct debit being stopped.
  • Ability to export transactions to analyse elsewhere or as a formal statement. The latter is particularly important as a lot of institutions still require bank statements i.e. when applying for a mortgage.

This alongside the upcoming Goals functionality are what are stopping me from switching my current account(s) to Starling.


#17

98.1% in Pret :flushed:


#18

Really great ideas - thank you for taking the time to write these all down! In terms of statements - you can export a statement in PDF or CSV in the app already, its a bit hidden on iOS at the moment and we’ll bring making it more discoverable this week. If on Android you’ll find it in the Account Management menu and on iOS it’s one level lower under Legal Docs (I know, no surprise you haven’t found it!). Hope this helps.


#19

We apply default categories but you can change these by tapping the category on the transaction detail screen. Someone else feedback that they hadn’t realised that - so just letting you know in case…


#20

An enhancement maybe for the insights some form of graphical representation of my monthly spending habits by category for example id like to be able to select my shopping category and then see my monthly shopping habit up to the last full month for the current year in graph form (bar chart) probably would be good example so that I can see and compare this category month by month very similar to how some energy suppliers provide your monthly usage. You could enhance it further by being able to select multiple categories and then see the monthly spending to compare against. The current spending insights gives me access to this data to see at the month level but not to compare and not in the form of a graph I think this would be a good way of seeing potential trends in my spending