Bank of America’s New Budget Tool is Cool

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.

1 thought on “Bank of America’s New Budget Tool is Cool”

Leave a Comment