Budget improvements: feedback & ideas

Hey Test Pilots,

22seven is on a mission to give you a financial companion that makes managing your money easy. One of the first steps in that process is making the Budget screen work better for you.

It's no secret that managing your spend can be hard. Keeping track of what you've spent can be overwhelming. So we did some brainstorming here at 22seven HQ and invited some customers round for a chat to find out how we can make this process simpler.

We've been playing around with some new designs for the Budget screen since then and we'd love to hear your thoughts on them.

Remember that:

  • These ideas are very basic and lack the styling bells and whistles the final version will have
  • We want to focus on the functionality and content
  • The concept won't be implemented as is and won't reflect the final outcome

Please comment with your thoughts and questions, or general budget ideas you really think we should touch on.

Budget overview:

 

Category detail view:

Editing tracked categories:

Income view:

Spending view:

'Left to spend' view:

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Comments

74 comments
  • Love the new look. Money left to spend great feature. 

     

    Really cool app guys. 

  • Looks lean & mean! Well done guys :)

  • Yes! Great new look. One thing I would really find useful is a feature to reflect that sometimes you're purchasing something on behalf of someone else (e.g. since I'm going to get groceries, a housemate asks if I can buy something for them) and will be reimbursed by that person. Say I spend R500 on groceries (using my bank card) but R50 of that is on things for someone else. So 22seven shows that I've spent R500 on groceries. But that person reimburses me the R50 (either an EFT or cash) for their stuff, so actually I've only spent R450. I know I could put that R50 down as income under the groceries category in 22seven, but the app still thinks I've spent R500 on groceries. Is there any way I could edit the grocery expenditure itself to reflect that R50 should be ignored as spending?

  • This looks so cool! I like that there is a 'left of' monitor and the icons for tracking the sections spent on. It looks very good and I can't wait to try it out.

  • It looks very clean and friendly. Will it allow for unlimited budget items? Can one create subcategories of a budget item? Eg House\maintenance    House\rates    House\improvements etc. Usually very helpful to break a larger category item down into subsets but also be able to look at the parent categories as a summary of expenses.

  • These look awesome!
    Way more insightful at a quick glance.

    This is a superb app, glad to see it constantly being improved!

  • I really like the idea of a push notification when I've spent my allocated budget in a category. Sometimes when life gets busy and I don't check the app for a couple of days I tend to spend in hoping I have it budgeted for. 

  • I use my credit card for most of my expenses. It would be great of I could mark those transactions so that I can see an actual cash flow for the current month. In the next month it would be great if we could then put a credit card payment transaction to reflect the cash flow for the current month again.

  • @Ariella

    Hi!

    It sounds like our transaction splitting feature would work well for you here. All you'd need to do is click on the R500 grocery transaction, select 'Split,' then split it into two parts of R450 and R50.

    You can leave the R450 categorised in your spending group of choice, but you'll want to categorise the R50 split into the 'Transfer' spending group. This will ensure it doesn't count towards your expenditure at all. Once your housemate refunds the R50 to you, you can categorise that transaction into the Transfer spending group too.

    As a result of this, the R50 expenditure split and the R50 income split will effectively cancel each other out, as neither will reflect on your budget and affect your totals :)

    Shout if you have any other questions. 

  • I like the new look

  • It's great that you are constantly innovating. It's looking awesome. I do think that allowing only 5 categories to be tracked is a bit limiting, unless I'm misunderstanding the feature.

    Another fundamental feature that would enhance 22seven is that your budget should be able to accumulate over time i.e. if you only spent R500 on clothes this month, but your budget is R1000, then you should (optionally via a setting) accumulate the extra R500 to the next month i.e. R1500 for the next month.

    Thanks!

     

  • Looks crisp and clean.

    Big fan of the 'Left to spend' feature! This will definitely help manage financial decision making in future. 

    Keep it up, guys! This App is great!

  • Great new features!!!! Love them. Suggestion: Could you guys look into an additional feature to the over spend side of things... I like that's its highlighted but maybe a prompt to redistribute ("re-budget") what's left so your budget still stays on course...

  • Awesome! Not knowing how to reflect that sort of mixed expenditure was really muddling up my budget, so thank you for the super quick response and how-to!

  • Great app that is looking even better . The subcategory idea would be really useful as well as splitting an amount mentioned in earlier posts. Like the notion of literally going into the "red" in the overspend category.

    BTW, the "nudges" have been quite inspiring but now having used the app for a while, they tend to repeat and for someone who is not a financial wizz would be great if they freshened up more regularly ... but that is less directly related to this topic. 

  • I love the new look.

     

    One thing that I normally do is scroll back in time (say April 2017) in the "Category detail view", and then click "view transactions" I am still at the most recent transaction (May 2018) instead of the month (April 2017) I have scrolled back to. It would be awesome if the "view transactions" took you back to the month you scrolled back to (April 2017) in the bar graph view.

     

    I would also like it, if each bar graph had a label, showing that months spend. It is hard to guage the amount spent from only the average amount line.

  • Good changes. It would be good to show income line under spend so we can we see how income is tracking against spend?

    Great work team!

  • Indeed, great new look. Glad to see the Tracked Spending function is still available

  • Question: If the amount being budgeted differs from month to month - must one change this each month or can you apply this to the necessary months in advance.  (i.e.) Rental budget 4 weeks per month versus 5 weeks per month.  

    My Salary also often reflects as Transfers and not income - how can I amend this to always reflect as Income ?

     

     

  • Really like the summary page showing actual income/spending vs. budgeted spending. 

    Given that most people do most of their spending in the beginning of the month (debit orders et al.), and then the budgeting really starts. A countdown on the budget page (something saying 8 days left of the month) would be something I would find useful (and perhaps others) when I'm tempted to overspend. If I'm reminded it's only x days, I'm more likely to remind myself that I can wait until the next month. 

  • Love the new look!

    On the budget overview would like to see it in the below order

    income
    budget
    Expenses
    spent of budget

  • It looks very good. There "Tracked Categories" and "Income View" are a great addition.

  • I really like the tracked categories as there are generally only a few line items in my budget that are variable and I would like to see them at a glance. 

    The spending and left-to-spend views are also great. 

    Please consider the following:

    - allow us to plan our budget for future months (i.e. before the month actually starts)

    - I have challenges where there are transaction reversals on my accounts. I can't post  reversals of an expense to the expense line (as a negative) as the only options available for credit transactions are income or transfers. While I can post offsetting transactions to transfers, this doesn't always solve the problem and your AI will then allocate future transactions with the same description to transfers. Allowing allocations to day-to-day and recurring would mean credits to go to the expense line. This would also allow us to allocate, for example, fuel cashback to the fuel expense line. 

    Thanks for a great app and for getting our input!

  • A major reason why I don't really use this app for general use is that I can't assign income (or general transactions) to a particular budget month. We have dual income coming into one account and sometimes payment is made early- but the app doesn't cater for that, it just has a fixed payday date, which makes the budgeting facility unusable.

  • Can the transactions on different Cards be linked to different Budgets? I have extra Credit Card that my brother uses and I don't want his transactions to be linked to my budget.  I want only my Credit Card and Bank Account transactions to be linked to my budget.

    Thanx for the efforts.

  • The new design looks great! Under the Category detail view where it's showing ATM and cash, I would like to see the actual spent rand value displayed either in or above the blue bar graphs for each of the months.

    I would also like more fine control over the transactions such as:

    1. Ability to completely delete or hide a transaction, not just forced to label it as a "transfer"

    2. Ability to modify the date of a transaction. Purchases made on credit cards do not reflect the true date as it's always listed a few days later by our banks and some people may want to change the date of a debit order from the last day of the month to the 1st of the following month.

    3. Ability to change the value of a transaction. E.g. if a portion of a purchase was reimbursed as cash.

    4. Ability to add manual transactions for such transactions that occurred in cash like a haircut or donation.

  • This is definitely a step in the right direction!

    It's not super easy for me to see what the functionality of these screens is without them being interactive or linked together, but this linear approach to comparing income and expenses makes much more sense than the "spend o meter" which is a pretty but largely meaningless graph to me. "projected spending" has also always been confusing as it seems to just be an arbitrarily large number I can't control.

    I've been exporting numbers out to an Excel spreadsheet so that I can actually track categories over time - this has two forms:

    1) spending categories such as "Clothing and Shoes" where I don't spend any money some months, and then loads every few months. Having a monthly budget for this doesn't make much sense so I track it annually/quarterly instead

    2) Monitoring categories - eg "Eating Out" or worse, my own category "Lunch" - and trying to spend less each month. 

    This looks like both of these may get easier?

    In response to the earlier comment about shared expenses - when you are being paid back for some part of an expense - I too use the split workaround described, but the UI for splitting a transaction is slow and painful. If you could address that also I'd have a much better view of my household spending.

    Restricting to only 5 tracked categories seems like a step backwards. I like the idea of focusing on only a few, but I hope there will be a click-through to see all of them as we currently have - and even better if it's easy to compare months!

  • Hi, the design has always been very aesthetic.

    For me the biggest hurdles was over-customization / too much data. I'd like to specifically track spending - not recurring things like internet bills etc.

    Below you can see my budget as setup in GoogleSheets. The only item I would like to track is the Spending column. For me, I keep getting confused as to what the actual state is of my budget in 22 Seven.

    So essentially I only want to track till swipes and cash withdrawn. Although it's nice to drill down to the sub-categories, from a general tracking point of view, it's confusing.

  • What about adding sub-categories? 

    Thanx.

  • The svens on top of things as always. Will be lost without this app! Thank you!

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