There are a number of topics related to better budgeting by having a “smart balance” that takes in to account upcoming regular bills and only shows you what you can safely spend until the next pay day. I’d like to see Starling have this feature with these kinds of predictions and for it to be automated.
But for the manual approach for people who don’t want to trust an algorithm, and generally speaking for all goals, I’d like to see the ability to specify the “when” on a recurring payment in to a goal to be “immediately after being paid”.
Then I can set up a “direct debits” goal with an amount transferred in each month equalling my estimate for the total of all my monthly bills.
The transfer would happen the second after my pay comes in, so at virtually no point in time do I see my balance and think I have more spending money that “month” than I do in reality.
The usefulness of this applies to all goals, not just direct-debit related goals. Ideally there shouldn’t be a gap between income and known “outgoings” (even if it’s only a fake outgoing to a goal), so you only ever see your real spending money.
(Of course it will only be safe to do the above when you can choose to have outgoing payments come from a goal.)
The “when” shouldn’t be “pay day”, but “when I get credited by this entity”, and there should be a priority order for goals, with potentially some goals failing (with an in-app notification) if not enough money was credited to fulfil all goal requests.
(I suggest this because I have a normal salary credit that almost all goes out to my joint account for shared bills, but I also have rental income that comes in on unpredictable dates (sometimes with unpredictable deductions) that I use to fund my personal direct debits and goals.)