Read how Connor uses PocketSmith’s analytics and multi-currency features to track the trends of his spending habits as an expat living in Canada!
My name is Connor. I am from Wellington, New Zealand, but currently living in Ottawa, Canada.
My wife works for the Canadian government and I run my own online business called Unicorn Factory, which is a freelancer marketplace in Canada and in New Zealand. I also run a little YouTube channel where I teach people who don’t know how to code to set up their own online businesses without having to hire developers.
When it comes to money, we are a team. We make all financial decisions together. We are very open and transparent about our personal financial goals, we hold each other accountable for reaching those goals, and PocketSmith has been a great tool for keeping an eye on all of our accounts.
It’s New Zealand-made! I came across PocketSmith when I started getting into investing and personal finance. When I started my business, I started using Xero and that gave me a lot of confidence when it came to understanding the financial health of my business. PocketSmith does the exact same for my personal finances. As a data-driven person, being able to use a tool like PocketSmith has helped me identify habits and trends in my day-to-day life which has had a big impact on my relationship with money.
I have been using PocketSmith personally for the last three to four years. As a household, we have been using it for about a year (since moving to Canada).
We mostly use PocketSmith as an analytics tool to identify spending habits. At the end of each month, we sit down together and review how we have been spending our money over the last 30 days, and make a plan for the next 30 days.
PocketSmith has helped me keep an eye on my spending habits. Over time your spending habits will change (for better or worse) and I find it very helpful to be able to identify those patterns sooner rather than later, so I can either cut them out or double down on them.
This has been particularly useful when it comes to smaller expenses like a $5 takeaway coffee or spending $10 on takeaways here and there. I now use PocketSmith to annualize those smaller expenses. For example, if I have four $5 takeaway coffees per week on average, I know that I am going to be spending around $1k per year on takeaway coffees. When you think about that $5 coffee as a $1k per year expense, it changes how you make decisions.
I have two: Multi-currency (because I have accounts in NZ and Canada) and the automatic importation and categorization of bank transactions (it’s a huge timesaver).
Even though I think it’s really important to cut out on smaller expenses like coffees, takeaways and so on, I find it even more important to do little side hustles that will allow you to generate extra income on the side. We have a bunch of part-time freelancers on Unicorn Factory who help local businesses with copywriting, social media marketing and other little projects while working a full-time job (they just work after hours or on weekends). Making $500 helping a local business with their blog posts is a fun win-win for everyone involved and if my maths is correct, justify you buying up to 100 takeaway coffees!
I decided to go without alcohol for a year (starting last November). It has been the best decision I have made for my health, but it has also improved my finances.