Monzo is a fancy new fintech (financial technology) tool which has been made to modernise the way we use banks. Some people have chosen to use Monzo as their main bank account, but I’m not quite there yet.
So far, I’ve used Monzo to help me manage my spending abroad. Now, I’m using it to help me move out of my family home for the first time. Managing my finances responsibly isn’t new to me, I’ve been known to create spreadsheet after spreadsheet to help me keep on track of my budget and my spending.
Having a separate bank account (my Monzo account) means I can save money easier than before, while still making sure I have enough money in the bank to last the month.
Managing my bills
So, my current set up (which may change as I grow and learn through moving out) is to keep all my bills in my Barclays’ bank which I’ve had since I was 13 years old, and move my spending money to my Monzo account.
I still have a trusty spreadsheet to keep me on track. In Google Sheets, I create a calendar half way through the month for the upcoming payday (28th of the month) until the following payday. I fill this in with what will come out of my bank, when and how much it’s going to cost me. I add all these up, rounding up to the nearest £10 to make sure that I do have enough, and then move whatever should be left on payday to my Monzo account.
I have a designated “bills” bank account, and a “spending” bank account. I can then leave my bills account alone until the day before next payday, where I see what I have left over and what I can transfer to my Monzo account.
As an example, what you can see is a payday-to-payday rough look at what goes in and out of my bank account. This current spreadsheet is shared between me & my boyfriend, so we can both share and keep on top of bills where necessary. Some numbers have been changed for privacy reasons.
On the 28th of every month I get my wages in my bank, and Reece gets paid every Friday so I’ve broken his bills down by week and I’ve broken mine down by month.
This spreadsheet will be printed out and annotated with a pen (red ink for me, blue for Reece!) throughout the month with any changes/additions which I will need to know ahead of creating the spreadsheet for the next month.
Managing my spending
Throughout the month, I don’t look at my Barclays account unless I really need to. I trust my maths and myself that I’ve left enough money in there to cover the bills (rounding up helps!). I tend to focus more on my Monzo account.
There’s a handy bar which keeps track of your spending and tells you whether you should have enough money to last you until the end of the month or not. This is great, but it can take a while for this to learn enough about you to understand the way you as an individual spends money. I can have weeks where I don’t spend a single penny, and then days where I drop £100 in one go.
Being able to see the exact amount of spending money I have is great, because I’m not the best at mental maths and I’d have to sit there every time I check my Barclays account to make sure I can afford what I want to buy, or I’d just buy something anyway and accidentally go into my overdraft when a bill comes out.
I also have a few IFTTT apps set up connected to my Monzo. In order to save up my deposit (as well as a few other techniques) I used the app which automatically puts in a penny every day to my ‘Home’ pot, and also another which deposits a pound every time I hit my step count on my Fitbit. When setting up my pot, I also told it to round up any spending and put the difference into the pot too.
This allows me to save money without thinking about it and without seeing it come out of my account.
Another feature of Monzo I’ve grown to have a love/hate relationship with is the notifications you receive the second you spend any money. I say a love/hate relationship because it’s quite the call out when it tells you how much you’ve spent today.
Managing my money has become so much easier with Monzo, and I can’t wait to see how it helps a few months down the line. Even though I’ve paid my flat deposit and I’ve almost bought everything with the money I’ve saved, I’m going to keep my ‘Home’ pot open so I can continue to save my money in case an emergency happens.
(We never know when my boyfriend’s car is going to break down, or we’re going to need to fork out for something expensive. Or I’m going to randomly book a holiday!)