I have an account with BOA and they recently spammed me talking about how cool their new budget tool is. I used their old tool and it sucked. This new one doesn’t suck.
To get to the tool, don’t look in the logical place under the Tools & Investing -> Budget area. Instead, look under Accounts -> View Spending & Budgeting as shown below:
Then you get to see the below view. Images slightly censored bc don’t rob me:
Why is it better than the old version? Because the new version:
- Looks sexier
- Quick View feature shows historical data without changing pages, and in an otherwise convenient way
- Easy to drill down to specific line items and adjust categories as needed
- Anecdotally, it seems their categorization engine has gotten smarter. This is based on limited use with my account, not real science from credible sources.
- One of the main problems with the old budget tool is it didn’t save time because I had to adjust so many transaction details.
- Easy to copy and paste categories table data then navigate around months and collect several months of data
Room for improvement
- I may be missing it, but I would really like an export feature.
- The tool calculates simple averages but it has no tools for trend or regression analysis, forecasting, summary statistics, etc.
- It’s hard to tell if the categorization feature is actually learning. It’s easier to work with now, but I would still like it to eventually work by itself.
- Eg if I shift Transaction A from category B to C then it should either learn, know, or ask whether all transactions from A belong in category C.
- It would be awesome if we could create custom categories or tags and assign many to a single transaction or vendor, then pull data along different queries.
- Like, I would pay a monthly fee for this.
- Third party integration with Betterment and other prominent firms to build a better wealth analysis picture.
- Or even a manual entry option to the same effect; although automation ftw.
- Bank of America notices that I send money to Betterment and correctly categorizes this as a finance category transaction.
- But Bank of America considers this an expense, not realizing that it is actually a transfer and appreciates according to an interest rate.
- Same my mortgage, other investments, and payments toward outstanding debts. These are all considered expenses with no notion of equity or return.
- As a result, Bank of America thinks I am spending more than I earn each month, which is decidedly not so.