We asked staff members how they use PocketSmith to manage their different budgeting needs. They’re short reads, and we hope they give you ideas about how you could use PocketSmith too. Feel free to ask any questions, and we’ll be sure to answer.
Meet Mindy, our designer! She’s responsible for tailoring PocketSmith’s design, both for things you see in the app, and for bits and pieces we publish to social media and our websites. Mindy also works closely with our user experience team to continually improve parts of PocketSmith!
What do you primarily use PocketSmith for?
Looking ahead and being prepared. I find it most valuable for day-to-day and short-term planning.
How has PocketSmith changed the way you do money?
I’ve always been pretty bad with money: spending impulsively and being deliberately ignorant about my financial realities. PocketSmith helps me to feel organised and educated. Now that I’m more aware of where I’m at financially, I make better decisions.
It has also been super helpful for facilitating money conversations between my husband and I. It’s kind of weird to talk about money and so being able to see things with real data and actual budgets has made planning and decision making so much easier.
We’ve got some pretty major financial responsibilities and goals at the moment; we recently bought a property and are doing significant renovation work on it. PocketSmith has been essential in ensuring that a) we didn’t commit to something that was beyond our means and b) we don’t break ourselves financially while we’re renovating.
What pages/features in PocketSmith do you use most?
Hands down: the calendar! If you use a planner or diary then you will love the calendar.
I check it out when I’m organising the weekend, or a trip next year, or a big upcoming invoice. I used to dread seeing the power bill or my car registration reminder because I wasn’t prepared for it. Now all of those pesky grown-up responsibilities are totally transparent and I don’t feel like I’m on the back foot if something unexpected comes in. There’s nothing worse than putting a bunch of money into savings only to have to take it out the next week because you forgot about your water bill.
On the calendar, you can choose to show your actual transactions in your history so you can see interesting patterns in your spending in a calendar format. For example, we used to have one weekly grocery budget that we just chipped away at throughout that period — often resulting in overspending. After seeing our actual spending behaviour we now have multiple smaller grocery budgets which is much more representative of our day-to-day spending and gives us more flexibility to shuffle budget events around as things change.
How often do you log in?
A lot! I basically treat PocketSmith as an extension of my daily (and weekly, and monthly) planner. I log in most days to see if there’s anything going on that I haven’t written in my diary yet and to check through and annotate my recent transactions.
Write notes and attach images and PDFs to your transactions! I absolutely love transaction notes. Providing more context in your transactions than just dates and merchants is so helpful for looking back and recalling important information.
Some merchants are obvious but ones that aren’t so self-explanatory can be tricky to work out later.
Plus, adding notes when you have a broad merchant makes searching for those transactions heaps easier down the track.