Getting started

This document provides a guide for getting started with Monarch. It covers connecting accounts, customizing categories, creating goals and plans, and further customization options. The guide also includes tips for tracking progress and ensuring financial goals are met.

Check out our video on getting started here:

When you first log in to your new Monarch account, you will be prompted to connect an account to begin exploring Monarch. Once you have connected an account, we provide a checklist of tasks to help you get started.

This guide provides recommended steps to jumpstart your Monarch account. It includes links to our in-depth documentation as well as immediate tips.

Please Note: Money cannot be moved in or out of your bank accounts from within Monarch.

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Connect Accounts

We recommend you connect as many accounts as you can before you start categorizing transactions, setting up rules or budgets. If you have a lot of accounts, start with your main banking and credit card accounts where you have the most frequent transactions.

Add your accounts

  • The Institutions Settings page lets you add accounts, refresh all accounts, edit names, type, subtype, hide accounts, hide balances or transactions, and delete or close accounts.

Choose your data provider

  • If you are experiencing issues with the connection to your financial institution and want to try a connection with a different data provider, or if you have a preference between Plaid and Finicity, you can attempt to connect with whichever provider you prefer.

What if I can’t connect to my account?

  • We are monitoring our connections and are always working to improving users’ account experiences. If you are having trouble connecting or syncing your data, we provide troubleshooting steps. You can also include an account as a manual account.

Delete history

  • The Data Settings page lets you delete all transactions or account balances across all accounts in Monarch before a certain date that you can pick. The main reason you would want to do this is so you can pick a clean start date where you know all your history is consistent across different accounts going forward.

Please Note: Deleting transaction history or balance history permanently deletes this information and is not retrievable.

Refresh accounts

  • If you are seeing missing transactions or an account hasn’t recently synced, it is recommended you navigate to your Institutions Settings ****page to force refresh your accounts. At the very top, you will be able to Refresh All.
  • In each account, you can select the "..." to Update login settings if you need to update your login credentials with this institution.

Add transactions, merchants and deleting transactions

  • If you visit the account page of any account you can find an Add Transaction option. This is located across from Transactions on web and under the three dots “” at the top of the screen on mobile.
  • When you select any transaction, you will see the delete transaction button.
  • To add a custom merchant, you will need to first create a custom transaction. While creating this transaction you can then enter in your custom merchant name that will be usable for all transactions.

Upload account balance history

  • On your Accounts page, you can select the account you want to upload your account balance history for. This is found under your specified accounts "Edit" menu. This allows you to have a complete set of your data. 

Please note: You can only choose your data provider for your connection on Monarch's web platform.

 

Customize categories

After categorizing your income, it's a good idea to review the default system categories and determine which ones to keep and which ones to disable.

Customize your categories

  • The Categories Settings page lets you create new groups, new categories, and organize the order of these groups and categories. Drag the group or category name to your desired location and this will be reflected in both web and mobile version.

Organize your transactions with tags

  • The Tags Settings page shows you all of the default and custom tags created in your household.
  • Transactions can have multiple tags, unlike categories which a transaction can only belong to 1 category at a time. Tags can even span different transaction types, such as income vs. expenses vs. transfers.

Create a Goal

Set up your first goal

  • Goals allow you create a prioritized list that use your account balances to track transactions and contributions.

Create a Plan

To set up a budget, the first step is to ensure that all your financial accounts are connected to Monarch and that transactions are accurately categorized. In particular, you should ensure that your income transactions are correctly categorized as paychecks, interest, bonuses, business income, etc. Since the budget is based on income, it's crucial to make sure these transactions are categorized correctly.

Start budgeting

  • Your total budget for a month is based on how much income you expect to receive in a month. Expenses and savings are subtracted from the income to create a balanced budget. Monarch only budgets by rounding to the nearest dollar and does not show exact cents.

Rollovers

  • Right now our budgeting assumes month to month. What this means is that you have to enter in monthly costs for expenses, even when the expense happens at few months. For non-monthly expenses, you can use rollovers to carry a leftover amount in a budget category into the next month.

Further Customize

Allow edits pending transactions

  • There is an Allow edits to pending transactions toggle in your settings to let you choose between whether you want the ability to edit pending transactions or to prevent edits from them (and exclude them from cash flow / budget calculations).

Add members to your household

  • It's free to add up to 5 people to your household. You'll each get your own login but have the same level of visibility and access to manage accounts, transactions, and budgets. Each household as 1 budget.
  • Invite a new household member to Monarch by clicking on the arrow next to your name on Monarch’s web version. Then go to "Members" and click "Add Member."

Merge history to another account

  • If you have multiple financial accounts in Monarch that are all the same account at your bank, then you can merge the history of the accounts together to see everything in one place.

Please Note: Each member you add will be able to see all of the connected accounts. There is no hiding option available. You will also still only have one Plan page but can get creative with custom categories to distinguish each member’s budget for that category!

Customize your dashboard

Please Note: The order of the cards and which ones are disabled are independent between the web and mobile app so you can have a different order on web vs mobile.

 

It is important to follow these steps to ensure that you have a comprehensive view of your finances. By organizing and planning where your money is going, you can gain a better understanding of your spending habits and identify areas where you can make adjustments to achieve your financial goals. Additionally, practicing reviewing your accounts regularly to ensure that you are staying on track with your budget and financial plan can turn it into a healthy habit!

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