v7: Predicting your finances just got easier

What’s new?

Planner is our major new section that lets you see where your total balance will be at any date in the future, across all your current, credit card and savings accounts.

You can add predictions for any regular spending (such as bills) or one offs, as well as income (such as salary). If you link a future prediction to one of your accounts, you’ll know what your individual balance will be on that day.

If a predicted transaction has already happened earlier than expected, you can mark it as ‘paid’ to help you keep track of exactly what has come in and gone out.

Planner works seamlessly across all devices, meaning you always have access to your finances – past, present and future.

Our Crowdfunding campaign so far!

Having reached the half way point in our £1 million equity crowdfunding campaign, we’ve analysed the data from our first 1,000 investors and want to share some interesting insights as we push on to reach our target. We’re particularly pleased to have investors from all over the world.

We’d love you to be one of our next 1,000 investors but there’s less than two weeks left so please be quick!

Get involved here. Capital at risk.

 

Money Dashboard Launches Mortgage Affordability App

Pioneering mortgage technology enters FCA Sandbox

Money Dashboard is launching a new tool to create a digital mortgage journey. TrueView™ offers an instant assessment of a consumer’s ability to afford a mortgage, by aggregating and organising financial transactions from online accounts and mapping them to mortgage lenders’ criteria.

The innovative nature of the offering has seen it taken into the FCA’s Sandbox for live testing. The FCA Sandbox is part of Project Innovate, an initiative launched in 2014 to provide new innovations with support to navigate the regulatory system, and promote competition in the interest of consumers.

Steve Tigar, CEO of Money Dashboard commented:

“Our consumers’ top financial goal is to get on the property ladder but they find the prospect of getting a mortgage incredibly daunting. The complexity of information gathering means they put off seeking professional advice until the very last moment, which is far from ideal given that it’s the most important financial decision that most people will ever make”.

Applying for a mortgage is still a painfully offline, paper-based process. According to research conducted by GBG, an estimated 65% of consumers no longer receive paper bank statements and 42% do not hold paper copies of utility bills, resulting in a 3 hour document collection process. The whole process is so stressful that 35% of buyers are made ill by it, and according to research by Aldermore, the top consumer priority to alleviate this problem is simplification of the customer journey.

The start of a borrower’s journey is equally difficult. Research by Money Dashboard found that 76% of consumers take over 2 years to prepare for a mortgage. Contrary to expectations, it is only in the final 3 months prior to applying for a mortgage was there any significant increase in activity to financially prepare or seek advice from a broker or lender. The preceding 21 months were occupied almost exclusively online with trying to understand how various different product and information providers might be able to help them.

As Money Dashboard’s Head of Operations, Rory Bailey explains:

“Spending 21 months searching for assurance from one information source after another, akin to being knocked around the inside of a pinball machine, blindly hoping for the result you want, is far from ideal.”

Money Dashboard’s TrueView™ solution instantly aggregates & organises income and expenditure data from all online current accounts, savings accounts and credit cards, giving a unique bespoke assessment of what a consumer can afford based upon lender criteria. It replaces nervous consumer ‘guesstimates’ and potentially unfavourable models with an impartial and accurate view of their financial position.

Consumers can use the tool to both plan for and improve their affordability, and when they are ready use the assessment and data to apply for a mortgage. The app replaces fact-finds, affordability assessments and bank statement collection. Verified data can be directly accepted by brokers and lenders to support a digital mortgage application making applications digital, simple and transparent.

TrueView represents the latest evolution to Money Dashboard’s affordability tool, which was in beta last summer and formally launched at The Council of Mortgage Lender’s inaugural digitisation conference in October 2016.

For more information please get in touch with us at info@moneydashboard.com or 0330 221 0574.

 

Money Dashboard empowers consumers to make better financial decisions via its free personal financial management service, crowned “Best Personal Finance App 2017” by the British Bank Awards.

Based in Edinburgh, the company’s mission is to help anyone and everyone who wants simple, digital accounting to enjoy their money more.

They pioneered this industry in the UK in 2010 and today are the largest provider in the market.

UK personal finance manager app now out

new personal finance app UK 2015

Money Dashboard is a Fintech company which essentially means it offers a financial service as a personal finance planner through ever developing technology that it is one of the many startups making the most of gaps in financial services and significant opportunities.

New app release

Money Dashboard has announced this week that they have released our new personal finance manager app on iTunes for Apple devices and Google Play for Android devices. This great app lets you see all of your accounts in one place and help you track your spending to let you be good with money.

Be good with money

With all your accounts in a single money management app, Money Dashboard helps you save money, budget more effectively, and make better decisions about how you use your money. Use it to keep track of your spending across your current, credit card and savings accounts, no matter who you bank with, and start making daily savings by understanding where all your money goes each month.

Money Dashboard is there to make your financial life easier, taking the hard work out of managing your money. Past spending patterns are used to predict future outgoings, helping you plan realistically for the future based on your real outgoings. And by giving you better visibility and control, you can set individual budgets to achieve your personal targets.

In addition, Money Dashboard offers personal recommendations on things like how to avoid unnecessary bank charges, cutting down on household bills and where you might get a better interest rate on your savings. Using intelligent software that scans your everyday spending, Money Dashboard serves up data driven recommendations to improve your current financial situation.

Here’s what others have to say about Money Dashboard:

The Times ‘If you struggle to keep on top of your household finances, Money Dashboard can help.’

The Independent ‘An overall picture of your financial health is clever financial planning. Money Dashboard makes this easy.’

BBC ‘Money Dashboard lets you take control through one central hub so you know what’s going on with your money.’

Safe and secure

Aggregation services like Money Dashboard’s are already used by more than 80 million people in the States. We’re the first to bring this kind of service to the UK and we use the same financial security practices as the world’s leading banks, which means all your bank details and personal information are 100% secure.

The Money Dashboard app and desktop platform is completely independent, free to use and is compatible with all major UK bank and credit card companies, including Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, NatWest, Nationwide, RBS and Virgin Money among many others.

Because Money Dashboard updates all your transactions daily, you will need to enter your bank login details in order for the software to refresh your accounts. Our application is read-only, so no payments, withdrawals or transfers can ever be made from any of your accounts.

New features

If you are already an existing Money Dashboard user you will find our app has lots of new features to make the most of. New features include:

  1. Spend tracker tool for easy budgeting on specific items
  2. Auto login now installed for easier access should you want it
  3. Compare month on month spending instantly
  4. Easier tag search to help split your spending into categories
  5. Further improved speed and navigation

Sign up for Money Dashboard

Sign up for personal finance manager Money Dashboard now. Money Dashboard is the free, easy way to save money.

Fintech focus: Apple Pay, what next?

apple pay uk 2015

Money Dashboard is a Fintech company which essentialy means it offers a financial service as a personal finance planner through ever developing technology that it is one of the many startups making the most of gaps in finacial services and significant opportunities 

Fintech friend

David Brear is the Chief Thinker at Think Different Group Ltd (@TD_Grp on Twitter). He is a FinTech Strategist, Speaker, Scholar & Writer. He spends his time these days helping banks, regulators & governments be better.

David recently came to Money Dashboard HQ in Edinburgh to visit the team and we enjoyed hearing David speak about how Fintech is changing and how firms like Money Dashboard fit into this (pictured above).  This week he speaks to us about Apple Pay and how it fits into the current Fintech landscape.

Changing Fintech landscape

Money Dashboard: What does the advent of Apple Pay represent in the current landscape of digital banking and Fintech? i.e. Is this a sign of momentum increasing and what can we expect to follow?

David Brear: Someone of Apples scale entering the payments areana is huge. They have more money, better technology and fundamentally more customers than any bank on the planet meaning the old defence of size and scale that banks had with the likes of startup banks in the 90’s is completely eroded. Apples ability to control the hardware and software as well as their ability to negotiate hard with the banks and suppliers in their chains will make them a formidable foe.

This coupled with other regulatory changes like PSD 2 mean that the momentum is well and truly with people like Apple. The adoption of ApplePay has been steady and usages seems to be rising well particularly in London with integration into TFLs systems for Tube, Bus etc transportation.

The disintermediation threat to banks and card providers like Amex is significant as without a real need to go into your Amex app anymore, seeing as you get a quick touch Id accesses view of your recent payments etc, then they run a real risk on not having as much engagement with their customers as they used to. The could and will lead to a real shift in who the customer thinks they are doing business with and also how banks will have to go about engaging and selling their customers products.

What does this mean for banks?

Money Dashboard: Where we once had banks and cash withdraw we now have digital bank accounts, personal finance manager apps and easy pay at tills. What does this mean for banks?

David Brear: Don’t get me wrong cash will be around for at least the next 5 years but significantly reducing over that time period. It isn’t safe, clean or traceable and those three things will be the nail in its coffin.

Through into the mix the storage costs and security risks for banks holding physical cash and they should be clambering to get rid of it. The issue comes when the banks stop being a system to move paper and people and start becoming that moves bits, bites and value.

When the banks truly embrace digital and become digital to the core then the surfacing of services and data through PFM, tills, TV, Branches or anywhere for that matter become a simple enabler for experiences.

Currency perception

Money Dashboard: How do you see platforms like Apple Pay and Android Pay changing the perception around currency?

David Brear: As it stands I don’t see ApplePay or Android Pay being real drivers for a change in perception around currency.

They are friction removers from the payment model but not removing significant part of it. Companies and partnerships like the one between Earthport and Ripple on the other hand I think can do huge amounts for really legitimising crypto-currencies which can do a lot more in this space.

The whole block-chain and crypto-currencies space has a huge amount of hype around it in the moment with lots of people heralding in the next phase of value transfer but I think we have a long way to go before we get there.

About David

David was the Global practice lead for Digital Banking in Gartner until April 2015, when he decided to pursue an independent career with Think Different Group. He is a Digital Financial Services Transformation Consultant, Designer, Technologist, Curator, Consultant, Writer, Speaker, Digital Strategist and general FinTech fanboy.

With a deep range of experience and qualifications across a number of digital disciplines gained from over 10 years working at an agency, consultancy and on the client side for a number of top financial services global brands.

Having transformed the digital landscape for a number of banks and insurers, David is now working as strategist and advisory to banks looking to take their Digital Transformation to the next level. Boiling it down, and in his own words, David is just “an eloquent nerd trying to make banks better”.

david brear

Sign up for Money Dashboard

Sign up for personal finance manager Money Dashboard now. Money Dashboard is the free, easy way to save money. 

Is it OK to borrow from your kid’s piggy bank?

A child saving money in a piggy bank

Mike Hall brings up a delicate subject which may get you thinking about your children’s financial future.

There’s a wide range of feelings on the subject of borrowing from your children. Some parents see it as morally reprehensible, akin to stealing from the needy. Others see it as a normal practise in a family that supports each other. An article in Time magazine states that between 30-50% of parents take money from their children’s piggy bank or savings account. Of these parents, around half said they did not feel guilty, and around half never pay the money back.

It’s yours anyway

An argument in favour of borrowing from your children, is that it can be considered your money. A child’s savings are often mostly made up of money given to them by their parents, and while you are their legal guardian, you’re responsible for everything they own.

Reverse Logic

On the flip side, you have to consider the example you are setting for your children. If you take money from them when they are young, they might be more likely to take money from your purse or wallet when they are older. They may see taking money from family as normal, or they may feel resentful of you for stealing what they understand to be their property.

Asking Permission

The age of the child is obviously a factor. Often parents start saving for their children at an early age. If your child is too young to understand money, then it wouldn’t really be possible to discuss borrowing with them. If your child is in primary school or older, you could ask for their permission before borrowing the money. It’s more honest than just taking it, and they will understand what has happened to the money if they are looking for it. However, you will have to respect their decision, even if you are refused, or you are teaching them the wrong lesson, and they won’t feel guilty about taking money from you without permission.

Interest Levels

If you get your child’s permission to borrow their money, you can discuss remuneration to incentivise the deal. They might be more than happy to let you have the money, but why miss the opportunity to teach them a bit about personal finance management, an important part of life that is sadly underemphasized in their school education.

If you are borrowing pocket change, it will easy to pay back more than you borrow. If you need £2, you could pay back £2.50 the next day, or £3 at the end of the week. If you are borrowing a larger amount, like from a savings account for their future, then you could look into how much it would cost to borrow the same money from a short term cash loan company, and pay your child something similar. It will stop you from relying on borrowing from them too often, it will teach them how borrowing and lending works in the real world, and surely you would rather this money go to your child’s future instead of a loan shark.

Money Box

If you often find yourself short on change, and needing to borrow small amounts from your child’s piggy bank or money box for small purchases, then perhaps there’s a better solution. With £10 of change from the bank and a few small notes, you can create your own petty cash box. Put your spare change into the box when you have some, and try to refill it if it gets low. This avoids any conflict or mixed messaging for your children.

Borrowing from Savings

If you find yourself regularly having to borrow money from your children’s savings account, there is likely something wrong with the way you are managing your finances. You should have savings of your own to borrow from, or at least a buffer amount in your account for unexpected payments.

Using Money Dashboard you can easily view and sort your monthly income and payments and set a budget to stick to. If it doesn’t leave you with a small amount to put into your savings, after paying off your monthly bills and debt repayments, then you need to consolidate your debts into a lower monthly payment, or scale back your lifestyle. There are lots of tips on how to save money on the Money Dashboard blog.

Pocket change is one thing, but if your children have more spendable wealth than you do, then something isn’t right. If you need to take the money back off them before the month is over, then you are paying them more than you can afford to.

About the author

Mike Hall is a media and marketing professional, specialising in video production and content marketing. From Edinburgh, Scotland, Mike now lives in Glasgow. He has experience is short film production, podacasting and Internet radio, as well as having worked with SMEs in the technology industry, and private clients as a web designer, and an IT and marketing consultant.

Mike Hall

Should you lend money to your boyfriend or girlfriend?

Couple fighting over money

Pocket change and small amounts of money aren’t likely to cause a problem in a loving relationship, but if you are considering lending a larger sum of money to a boyfriend or girlfriend, think twice. If it’s for a rent payment, a large bill, or for a big purchase like a car, it’s going beyond a reasonable favour, and has to be taken seriously to avoid someone losing out and getting hurt. Keep track of how much you’re spending on your partner by using Money Dashboard

Check your budget

The first step is to work out whether you can afford to lend money at all. Check your Money Dashboard to make sure you have the money in your accounts to spare. Remember that costs can come up unexpectedly and income is sometimes temporarily delayed, so ensure you have your own safety net before helping others.

Money vs relationships

Lending money to your partner can get very messy. You might think your relationship is in a great place and that you trust them completely, but financial debts don’t often bring people closer together. Is your partner good at personal finance management? If so, why do they need to borrow from you? If there are not, what will happen if they can’t or won’t pay? Financial difficulties will strain any relationship, but if money comes between you things could turn sour much faster. An otherwise healthy and supportive relationship could come to an end if the money isn’t repaid and feelings are hurt.

How close are you?

Traditionally, married couples share property and finances. If you are engaged to be married, or living as a married couple, then lending shouldn’t be necessary, you can make the payment together. If you are not at that stage, then there is doubt in your mind about the future of your relationship. Remember that, and make the decision with your head, not your heart.

Consider it a gift

A good way to deal with lending money to people close to you is to consider it a gift, and don’t expect it back. You may call it a loan and agree on a plan for repayment, but don’t lend the money unless you have already made peace with the fact that you may never see it again, because that is always a possibility and you don’t want it to ruin your relationship.

Make it interesting

If you won’t be getting the full amount back for a while, you should consider charging interest. It’s likely your partner is coming to you so that they can avoid high interest rates from banks or other lenders, but if you had that money in your savings you could earn interest on it. Figure out what profit you would make from saving the money, and see if your partner is willing to match that rate.

Get it in writing

This may seem like an unnecessary step, but small claims courts regularly deal with couples who have lent money without a formal agreement, who later disagree on how much should be paid back, or whether it should be paid at all. If you are serious about lending your partner money and they are serious about borrowing it, then a loan agreement should be written up. It should include the amount borrowed, and when it will be paid back, whether that is monthly payments or the full amount after a stated period. The agreement could also include penalties for late payments, or provisions for extending the loan if necessary.

A formal agreement is probably more important than the small amount you would make from charging interest, but if a rate of interest has been agreed, this should also be included in the agreement. It should then be signed by both parties and a witness.

About the author

Mike Hall is a media and marketing professional, specialising in video production and content marketing. From Edinburgh, Scotland, Mike now lives in Glasgow. He has experience is short film production, podacasting and Internet radio, as well as having worked with SMEs in the technology industry, and private clients as a web designer, and an IT and marketing consultant.

Mike Hall

Money Dashboard’s best of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Edinburgh's Royal Mail

Its mid-August which means that the Edinburgh Fringe is in full swing, and as Edinburgh residents, we at the Money Dashboard office are taking full advantage of the entertainment on offer. So, we’ve put together a list of our top picks to see before it’s all over. Don’t forget to check out our blog on how to save at the Edinburgh fringe before buying your tickets!

Jason Byrne – Stand up comedy

Jason has attended the fringe for the last 20 years, and his side-splittingly funny shows have the audience howling with laughter within the first few minutes of being on stage.

“In all his shows he often gets audience members up on the stage to participate. He’s incredibly quick witted and his delivery is always amazing, I’ve been to see him 3 years in a row and always end up crying with laughter”.

 

Nina Conti – Comedy ventriloquism

Nina is a comedian and ventriloquist who is joined on stage by her hilariously dead-pan and sinister side-kick monkey, named Monk. The act depends largely on audience interaction and is mostly improvised. Audience members are asked to take the stage where they are fitted with a mask that covers the lower part of their face and can be manipulated by a hand help pump help by Nina to make it look like they are talking. Nina often uses this to put the audience member in awkward and funny situations, such as making them say they want to dance, while their body language suggests the opposite.

“Nina is absolutely hilarious. I could go see her every night and still find it funny. It’s a completely different show every night as it’s completely improvised using different audience members every time. She is incredibly quick and witty and had me in stitches the whole show. Highly recommended.”

 

Colin Cloud and Doug Segal – Comedy/Mind reading

If magic and mind reading is more up your street, these two guys are some of the best in their field. Both will read your mind and tell you everything about yourself, with Colin taking a slightly more serious approach by trying to get away with an actual murder on stage, where as Doug will astonish you with lots of laughs along the way.

“Colin was incredible. I honestly have absolutely no idea how he did some of the tricks. It’s like he can just pluck information about you right out your head. He could tell you the exact town people were from by listening them to say one word. It was unbelievable.”

 

“Doug was really funny and relatable. His tricks were very impressive and had the whole audience engaged and interested the whole way through. He swore quite a bit though so maybe not the best bet if you’ve got children to entertain. He showed the audience how to do a few of the tricks he performed which really appealed to the side of me that likes value for money. At £9 a ticket it was definitely worth it and I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a laugh.”

BLAM! – Comedy and Physical Theatre

You’ll love this is you’ve ever had a boring day in the office. The guys of BLAM! take you for a ride in their imaginations, transforming a tedious work environment into a world full of superhero’s and villains, full of amazing stunts and breath-taking physical feats.

“The guys in BLAM! were great, they must haver been absolutely exhausted by the end. The stunts they performed just got better and better as the show went on. Extremely imaginative and fun.”

 

Out of the Blue – Music

If you’re a fan of the Pitch Perfect movies you’ll love this. It’s an all male a-capella group from Oxford, who sing in perfect harmony with some (often unintentional) funny moments and dad dancing.

“I absolutely loved this show. The guys are all extremely talented and their dance moves are so bad they’re good. My friends and I were singing, laughing and smiling the whole way through.”

 

Software tales – to reuse or not to reuse?

Udi Dahan business logic review

In the first episode of our Money Dashboard Developer Series, Adam Lubek dissects Udi Dahan’s ‘Business Logic, a different perspective’.

Presenting Udi Dahan’s business logic

At Money Dashboard, we like to learn new things and expand our horizons. One way we tend to do this is through group learning sessions where we watch development related lectures or talks from conferences.

The latest video we watched was ‘Business Logic, a different perspective’ by Udi Dahan. This video encouraged us to take a step back and take on a fresh perspective regarding software reuse and how it sometimes can cause problems.

While we agreed that indeed, Udi is right about how software reuse can sometimes be problematic, he didn’t unfortunately suggest solutions that our development team would be happy with.

Viable solutions

An example problem was business requirement to have string up to X characters (which usually tend to be duplicated throughout solution layers for various reasons) and how to handle inevitable change to that requirement.

Udi suggested that it’s OK to duplicate logic instead of coming up with reuse strategies and when requirement to change the rule comes, just use source control to check where to apply changes so no place is missed (as theoretically we would have all changes under one issue).

We discussed that later and agreed that this is not viable solution as it’s sometimes hard to track initial issue. Or how about if developer forgot to reference one of the commits properly?

Another problem are cases where rule was added somewhere else later on under another issue.

P is for problematic reuse

Regardless of our disagreement with suggested solution, we agreed that reuse can be problematic (for example: how do you efficiently share logic across layers and different platforms/programming languages?) and actually, we have an example of how reuse is causing us some problems currently.

We have business logic layer which is shared by various services that are used by number of platforms we have. This means that any change to business logic for a specific platform requires deployment of all of the services that use business logic layer (as keeping service out of sync is never a good idea).

We agreed that we need to come up with a better solution for this, with initial ideas being separate business logic which would certainly result in some duplications (no!!) or come up with better deployment strategies.

Moving forward

This looks likely to be a topic of team discussions over upcoming weeks; which we’ll commit to because we strive to adhere to one of the most fundamental principles of software development. Can’t live with it, can’t live without it.

In general, talk was interesting and thanks to Udi for prompting us to think about fundamental development practices that like anything, can have exceptions.

Maybe sometimes, when supported by strong case, fundamental practice isn’t right for the solution?

About the author

Adam Lubek is a Developer here at Money Dashboard and spends his time TDDing and complaining about missing automated tests. He enjoys listening to Hope Conspiracy while at work. If you have a question on what Adam has blogged about, do tweet us @MoneyDashboard with our #askAdam hashtag.

adam lubeck money dashboard developer

Virtual reality and mind control drones

virtual reality headset

We were recently treated to a demo of some really cool gadgets here at Money Dashboard HQ. Virtual reality and mind control drones commence…

Dive into virtual reality

It’s been a great year for Money Dashboard reaching a record number of users and helping more people than ever to be good with money. So we treated our team to a gadget lunch where the very cool guys over at Realise brought a fancy Virtual Reality headset and mind control drone for the team to experiment with while we all kicked back with some tasty lunch from Social Bite. 

Mind control drone

The mind control drone that was brought in was by far one of the coolest pieces of tech we’ve seen here at Money Dashboard. A drone is connected to a sensor which then triggers programatic movements in the drone. The idea being that if you can concentrate really hard, the drone will fly higher or start to do pretty acrobatic summersaults. 

Virtual reality

The team also got to try the new Samsung Virtual Reality (VR) headset. This works with a mobile phone slotted into the headset and then users look through the googles at the fully immersive film clip to go through the ‘VR experience’.

Lauren Pyle, Email Marketing Guru at Money Dashboard, had a go at using the headset and was blown away saying,

“It was really cool. I chose a Jurassic World experience, and a dinosaur came so close i backed up to the wall. So realistic and fun.”

John Davidson, Head of Product at Money Dashboard, on having experienced the Avengers Virtual Reality programme:

‘It was ‘Marvel’-lous…’

About Money Dashboard

Money Dashboard is a personal finance management tool and is an award winning service that is free and secure for all those with UK bank accounts. You can watch an overview of what Money Dashboard does and how you can use it to budget by watching our Money Dashboard overview video.