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
  • Looks cool, however I would like to see all my preferred spending categories in the budget view under each section, not limited to only 5. I like the idea that I can choose which ones to display, as sometimes there is a rare spend in a category that then shows for evey month. If I had to choose though, I would rather see too many than too few

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  • Much better!

     

    Sub-categories would be great, for example under "Eating Out" - I would like to know which restaurants I eat out the most at.

     

    I would also like to have more flexibility around the budget dates. I don't always get paid on the 26th and I like to run my budget from pay day to pay day. As this day differs depending on weekends and public holidays, a manual option to change the odd differing budget dates would be great.

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  • Well done and thanks for a great product.  Herewith my wish wish list/comments:

    1) Replace spend-o-meter with horisontal bar char chart with Income, Budget (stacked colour by spending group), Actual expense (stacked colour by spending group), Unused budget (Avalable to spent) and a bar for overspend amount.  Similar to example of budget overview.  However not as two frames.  Just on 5 line horisontal bar with net values on side of each bar.

    2) Ability to change period (or date) of income.  Sometime income is received before of after the budget period.

    3) Ability to enter budget for period as list of items that is then totaled to the period budget.  When determining the budget for a period I would like list items with their budget. E.g. Under holiday and Leisure budget list:  Accommodation : R 1000, Bungy jump R500, Helicopter flip :  R500, Zoo entry fee: R200.  You can then build up the budget for a category from detail items or enter single value.  Same for Transport and fuel:  Gautrain ticket, Fuel and toll.

    4) Ability to budget in future periods - next month or even thereafter. As you remember future commitments or plans then capture them in those periods as budget items (see above item regarding budget breakdown items). It will assist with saving now for future exceptions. Like car services or holidays.  Again with ability to budget detail lines under the category.

    5) Ability to set the  budget detail items as recurring. Annual membership subscriptions. Set frequency in months.  i.e. every month, 4 months, 12 months.

    6)  The sample category detail view is great.  Vertical bar chart.  Previous and current period bar should show the budget against  actual.  You can then see for the spending category the historic budgets and actual.   Have the budget display above the bar and the actual in the bar.  Currently you have to click on the bar to get the value of the bar. Show the value of the average.

    7) I do not like the black frames on above examples.  Frames are from the 70's

    8) The budget and spend views should be graphical instead of language "R 100 recieved / R 300"  The scale of the bars should follow the value of the budget and not be percentage.  If I am R100 over on the R200 fish food budget  it is not as bad as R1000 over on R5000 fuel.  Not sure how, but over spend should be shown graphically and proportionally to their value 

    9) I do not like the separate income, spend and left to spent views. I like the current way where income and spend is on the same view as different groups. 

    10) The budget, actual, left to spend and over budget should somehow be reflected graphically with values in and on the side of the bar in a single view.  No toggling 

    11) Ability to allocate refunds (credits) directly to spending category without having to use the split transaction and transfer work around

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  • I like the firs view with the little pie charts, showing how much spent and balance for the month.

    I have scrolled thought the other comments, and agree with a lot of the suggestions here!

    I still don't use the 227 app exclusively (still use excel) because of all the little tweeks that I can't make as per the above suggestions from other users.

    One more thing, my wife doesn't work, so its just my income and we share a credit card for spending. Is it possible for her to login under the same user account i'm using on her phone/pc to see the budget? (Since she spends more than i do ! lol)

    IE one account with 2 users?

     

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  • Hi Team,

     

    Great job on some clean, intuitive designs. Obviously, room for improvement but that is the reason you put them up here in the first place so props for that. I'm very impressed by the way you engage your users these days & must say putting out a design for public scrutiny like this is ballsy AF but the way I believe products should be built. Well done.

    Some of the users already cover most of my feedback but in summary the following:

    • I'd love to see the proposed designs for web as I use that exclusively (app is always giving me connection issues)
    • I dig the "what is left" additions
    • I support & upvoted some of the feature suggestions including:
    • budgets that stretch over time
    • allocating "left over" to the next month
    • also hate the auto budgeting that is fudged by unfortunate large exception spends like car service etc.

     

    • then something I've suggested a few times from a feature standpoint is the ability to manually set the date range for a budget period WITHOUT it being encompassing. Think consultant or freelancer. There is no 1st of the month to1st of the month & even for those paid on a schedule it happens that some months you'd get paid on the 25th (cause the 27th is a Sunday) other you'd get paid on the 27th as normal. I don't want all my budget months to change based on this selection. It can default but ideally, I want to be able to override it on a month to month basis.
    • I also think having an "exclude from all budget/calculations" function would be nice. Sometimes we'll order a mass meal in the office and someone fronts that to be paid back later. I don't want to have to go and categorize that stuff. Ideally, it's an X IN and X OUT transaction that I just don't want to care about. Also having the ability to manually add transaction would be great.

    Keep doing what you're doing. Putting your customers first has always worked in your favour!

     

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  • Loving the new features.

    I definitely second finding a way to state your month of income, as paydays do change (due to weekends etc.), so sometimes it seems like you've received two salaries in one month and then the next month none. At this stage I've "overcome" this, by setting my "paydays" earlier, but then it reflects payments that were actually still part of a previous month. I think this will then also more truly reflect what is "left in the budget" and what the real income is.

     

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  • Hey 22seven.

     

    Looking great and thanks for involving us.

     

    Right off the bat I see a problem with the new "speedometer". I actually realy like the old speedometer circle style and all that was missing is an income ring"

    The new layout separate income/expenses from budget. This makes your income and budget seem like they are equal, when they are not which could lead people to overspending and not noticing without carefully reading the numbers. If you use visuals then they need to make these important facts visible and obvious.

    If you kke the circle and simply ass the income as a relative additional ring in green then you can in one go compare income, budget and actual without reading a single number.

    This could also be done on the straight line version but the important part is that all three must use the same scale.

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  • Have "Exceptions" been removed from budget forcasting? These are exceptions by design and explicitly selected as such by the user. They should not affect the regular future budget as an exception is not expected to be repeated next month.

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  • Absolutely love the app! I promote it to all my friends and brag about all its functionalities! I specifically like the search transaction part. The new update is really cool! I like the “left to spend” view. Looking forward to the new release!

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  • What I will find helpful is notification on especially recurring expenses, in other words if your insurance decide to have a price increase or something then it flags expense differences.

     

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  • Like the new look. easy to read and follow whats going on. making life simple! 

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  • Really like the side-by-side comparison of spend vs income!

    Agree with some previous comments that being able to budget ahead for some months and "accumulate" a larger amount towards certain categories that seem to throw one month's budget out. Think holidays - a large amount spent over a few days but that (unfortunately) don't happen every month.

    Would also love a feature that allows to sub-categorize savings or save towards a goal, in one account, over a couple of months. For instance, if I was depositing R10 000 into one savings account, but that money was split between saving towards a holiday, a deposit on a car and emergency funds, I'd like to be able to see how much I've saved for each event over X number of months, without having to open different accounts for each event.

    Thanks for the great app

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  • I would like budget, income and expenses to be shown simultaneously somewhere. It seems its only two of the three paired for any one of the screens.

    I also struggle with the "annual expenses" such as memberships, car services etc.If you take it into account in the monthly budget (ie spread the cost) then you need to collect/save the portion required so the cost is covered in the month it is due. Hoping I'm not alone in spending my entire paycheck each month. Covering bond and all costs but no spare pennies for the goals...which is a different topic but I'm going to mention that here.

    The concept of goals is very sound. BUT you have only given "investment" options, as far as I can see. What about "reduce your overdraft" - where is tracks your balance on a consistent day (eg immediately after you are paid) so you have a frame of reference.

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  •  

    in the web app, please could we have the tracking bars back? It's helpful to have them on individual categories, not just the whole spending group.

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