Money tracking/budgeting

I am very interested in the budgeting tools recently created, however, I feel like there is a lot of room for improvement.  Some of the improvements require code audit and updates to the code, but some of the updates would be a change in the process.

 

Here are some of my ideas:

1) The new cash flow is great idea.  I use it mainly to track the account that all our household monthly bills come out of, ie mortgage, utilities, payments, etc.  Since 95% of the payments out of this account are recurring and auto-pay, I know they are due on one day, but the money isn't extracted from our account until a day or two later (longer if the due date falls on a Sat/Sun).  Once the date has past, the cash flow transaction disappears if it remains unpaid.  I think an improvement would be to allow a "grace period" for it to be marked as paid and linked to a transaction.  I assume linking it to a transaction will "teach" the cash flow to know what to track and start auto linking to entries.  

 

2) Another improvement to the cash flow enhancement, would be to customize when things are due.  There are preset intervals, but for example, I have one bill due every other month.  It's a utility, so it's not an uncommon bill or interval for people to have.  I figured out a work around, but it would be nice to say pick it's due January, March, May, July, September and November. 

 

3) The new goals feature, allow for a sunk cost goal.  For example, I know I want to save up $X by Y date, help me know what I have to save each month.  Or if I want to have a credit card paid off by a certain date, help me calculate the interest and tell me how much I have to pay on it each month to meet that goal.

 

4) Allow to pick which goal is a priority.  You have preset options again, but it would be helpful to be able to customize the order things are prioritized.  And not just within one category.  You might have one savings goal as a top priority then a debt payoff goal as a secondary priority.

 

5) There is a flaw in the "Spending".  It will pull transactions that outside the date range, or it will not pull transactions that are within the date range, or both.  For example, mortgage is paid the first of the month.  When the date range is set from 1st to 10th, it doesn't show mortgage transaction, but will show a restaurant transaction from the 31st.  When the date range is set from 31st to 10th, it will show the mortgage transaction (as occuring on the 1st), and will still show the restaurant transaction.

 

I would really like to make this work perfectly.   It's the best budgeting/spending tracking application I've used and I've used them all.

10 Comments
BECU Employee
Status changed to: On the Radar

@slampert- Thank you for sharing such detailed and thoughtful feedback with us! I know our money manager team is eager to dive in and appreciates what you've outlined here. In the meantime, let me share a few things I learned:

 

  • I’m pretty sure the system will learn to match back that transaction over time, but the grace period is a great idea and it's been shared with the team.
  • Bi-monthly as a frequency option has recently been researched and will be added in the coming months! Thanks for validating it will be useful.
  • The Goals functionality is our first phase- your suggestion is definitely reassuring that we're on the right path to expand that functionality.
  • Priority goals will be shared and evaluated.
  • The team hasn't heard of or experienced this issue before, but we’ll keep an eye out for other reports- if you see consistencies though please do let us know (like it’s always a certain card or FI)

Thank you again for your contributions and check back here for updates as their delivered. Cheers, KristinA 

 

 

Trailblazer
I love the budgeting tools in the app! I run into the issue of budget changes, month to month, and want to keep a record of my budget and the changes. For example, my husband and i have a trip planned and we will be adjusting our monthly budget to have more gas and more groceies but less restaurants and take out. When i adjust these for the trip, all of my previous budgets adjust too! Same thing happened when we found out we were expecting - i now have a budget for diapers for five years ago which was before we even got married. Is there a way to have like a "preset" budget and then make changes each month?
Tangential to that: could the preset budget be percentages of your previous month's income? My husband and I use Dave Ramsey's financial peace university for our budget and it would be great to be able to set that as our budget and then just adjust for life.
Community Manager

Hey @Sfrisch. Hope you saw my message about merging your idea with this thread to show continued support. Please let me know if you have questions! JohnS 

Sightseer

For monthly bills that I have in autopay, it would be great to have that information show up in money manager. Same with scheduled transfers.

Community Manager

@Snale Thanks for showing your support for more budgeting tools. To Clarify, are you looking to have monthly bills and scheduled transfers show up in Money Manager as pending transactions?

Sightseer

I would like to see Money Manager improved in several ways:

 

1. Let the user define the categories.  The current system does not give me enough choices of ways to keep track of expenses and please let the user delete the built in categories!!

 

2. Better reports!  The current pie chart reports are not very helpful.  Give the user an option of producing a report in P & L format with totals per category.  Look at Quicken and see all the report choices available.

 

3. Improve budgeting!!   The current system for want of a better word just sucks.  Dragging bubbles does not work for me.  I would like to be able to budget by either inputting a monthly budget by category or carrying one month forward to the next or averaging the months for the last 12.  Take a look at the Quicken options, they work well.

 

Overall Money Manager needs major work, it is a very weak product and needs major improvement.  How about just switching to Quicken and integrating with that rather than reinvent the wheel?   I am a financial professional so I expect more of accounting software than BECU is currently offering on their online system.  

 

 

ski
Sightseer

New Request here for Money Manager Spending Categorizations:

  1. Provide multiple select for recategorizing multiple transactions.  This will save serious users hours of effort.  Had to change over 100 today.
  2. Allow querty categorization when selecting category (navigating can be slow.)

Kudos for the powerful search filter when looking at transactions.  Very nice!

 

Community Manager

@ski Thanks for the shout out and additional suggestions for managing spending categorizations. I'll share these with our money manager team! Have a great afternoon! JohnS

Sightseer

It would be great if we could have the option to set bill payments for every six months in Cash Flow!

 

Community Manager

@mesecac Thanks for weighing in! In Bill Pay, you can set up AutoPay for any bill and one of the frequency options is every six months. I did notice that when I tried to add an event in Cash Flow through Money Manager, every six months isn't an option. I'm forwarding this feedback to our partners on our digital team to review and will keep you posted with any updates. Please let me know if you have any questions! JohnS