I've used Monzo for a number of years, but never as my primary account. I've used the Current Account Switch Service to move completely from my old bank account to Monzo - here's what I've now got setup.
It was tricky having 2 separate current accounts. I tried to use one as my bills account, and one as my 'spending money' account. Trying to work out what things should be bought from what account was getting confusing and frustrating to deal with. Monzo has great budgeting and spending categorisation options so it just made sense to move to using it as my main account over my legacy bank.
With a few clicks and a few bits of information about your old bank account entered within the Monzo app, you can get the process started. It takes 7 days to complete and you're given the date of when your switch will be complete.
The service moves your money and payments (like standing orders and Direct Debits) from your old bank account to your new one.
Full switches are covered by the Current Account Switch Guarantee, so if anything goes wrong you won’t be left out of pocket. And we’ll make sure any payments to your old account always make it to the right place, even after your old account is long gone.
You get 3 years of payment redirection - so if any payments are sent to your old account the will get redirected to your new account, and the originator of the payment will get a message advising them of the new account details. Pretty neat!
A pot is a space to separate money from your main balance.
You can give it an image, a name, set a savings goal, have it round-up transactions (more on this later) and even lock it until a specific date if you want, so that the money can't be taken out of it until that date is reached.
I have the following pots setup:
- Coin jar (rounded up transactions go here)
- Bills (bills are paid from this pot of money)
Monzo has a feature called the "Salary Sorter" where you can have money moved into various pots when your salary is paid in to your account.
Mine is setup so when my salary goes in, Monzo notifies me. I then click a button to move a pre-determined amount of money into pots for bills and savings. I'm looking forward to this being automatic though, one less thing to worry about.
I still transfer money into a separate ISA, as well as into a joint account for groceries and saving for the wedding with my fiancée. At the time of writing those can't be done on the salary being paid in. Instead, I move the money for them into the bills pot on salary being paid in, then I have those setup via standing order to go out on a specific date each month. That way they're out of the main account as the money is set aside to be used for other things. I don't have to think "oh, that money in my account is actually
£X - £Y as
£Y is to be transferred to another account soon".
As Monzo knows the date of scheduled payments and Direct Debits, it will tell you in your list of transactions that there's an upcoming payment.
Monzo allows you to set standing order and Direct Debit payments to come out of a pot instead of the main account.
I have my Direct Debit and standing order payments set to be paid from my bills pot, so that once the money is in there, it's enough to cover the bills and what-not for the house each month.
Monzo will automatically move the money out of the pot before the Direct Debit / standing order is due to be paid.
I have a number of repeating card payments, but unfortunately at the time of writing this post they can't be paid for from a pot. But they are marked as repeating payments though, so in your summary it'll factor in how much money you have left until the end of the month.
I have the transaction round-up feature turned on for my Coin Jar pot. What this does is round transactions up to the nearest pound and put the money in a pot. Say I spent £3.56 in a shop, it'd round up the transaction to £4.00 and put the £0.44 difference into my Coin Jar. You'd be surprised how much money you can set aside without even realising it!
Fun app integrations
Monzo also has some great integrations with IFTTT - a service that allows apps and devices to work together. There's some really neat integrations in there such as:
- Save for a holiday whenever it rains - you can set it to save a specified amount each time it rains in a certain location
- Fast Food Tax - put an additional amount of money aside when you spend at certain fast food locations
- 1p Savings Challenge - on January 1st, save 1p. On January 2nd, save 2p etc up to £3.65 (or £3.66) by December 31st.
And a bunch more on the Monzo IFTTT integrations page.
So, all of this should allow me to be better in control of my money.
I also have to point out that my fiancée started her current account switch before me, so she's the trendsetter in our house.
Here's to a good 2020! We've got a wedding to save for!