Every day I wake up with a phone full of notifications from apps competing for my attention, and then through the day I’m bombarded with adverts from companies competing for my wallet — it’s actually very difficult to keep up with what I am spending, and where.
Traditional banks don’t typically help you to keep track of your spending. A bank statement is usually just a list of transactions with unhelpful names and very little information to enable you to make better decisions with your money — you have to copy the information into spreadsheets or budgeting tools to learn anything interesting, but not everyone has the time, inclination or Excel skills to do that.
At Starling we are motivated by a desire to help customers lead healthy financial lives and take control of their money. We’re a mobile bank and that should mean being able to understand your spending patterns in an intuitive way, straight from your phone.
So I’m really excited to share with you a preview of Spending Insights, which is the next step on our journey to help you take control of your money.
See where your money goes
We want our customers to be able to see at a glance where they have been spending their money, to help give them ideas about where they can save money, or spend their money more wisely.
We have created Category Insights, so you can see how your spending is changing from one month to the next across ten key spending categories, for example, Travel and Lifestyle; we’ve also added an additional category for business expenses so you don’t forget to claim those back too. We automatically pick a category for each transaction, but you can also quickly change the category if we didn’t get it quite right (just tap on the category on the transaction to pick a different one).
Sometimes you want to see a more detailed breakdown, so we’ve also created Merchant Insights to help you compare spending between different merchants. This is especially useful when you want to compare places where you typically spend a large amount once or twice a month, with those where you make lots of small purchases.
I’ve already found this feature useful myself. During testing, I realised my Uber spend was creeping up month on month, and I was spending more than I wanted to on breakfast on the way to work. Instead, I decided to cut back on those two things and put the money towards flights for a holiday to Chile later this year (check out our travel blog about using your money abroad).