How Daniel Uses PocketSmith to Manage a Very Busy Household of Four

We asked some of our wonderful users to share how they use PocketSmith to be productive with their money and plan for the future. Their stories are filled with ideas, suggestions and inspiration on how you can start crafting a meaningful relationship with your finances.

Read how Daniel turned the chore of doing the family budgets, checking the credit card statement, and looking into transactions into an enjoyable experience!

Tell us a little about yourself?

I’m a father of two young kids, a girl and a boy, who are absolutely amazing and frustrating at the same time, and I’ve been married for 10 years to the most wonderful woman. We’re living in Sydney, and both of us have pretty high-demand jobs in IT and Risk Management.  

Our life is really fast-paced. Both of our jobs are intense, and with two young kids, we have to be as organized as possible to keep on top of everything — meal planning every week, setting budgets for all of our spending, and keeping our calendars updated with everything each of us is doing, and an extra “Family Calendar” hanging on the kitchen wall with all the activities for the four of us and Nana (who lives in our granny flat). It’s go, go, go most of the time.

How would you describe your role in your household?

There’s typically two people in a relationship — the organized one, and the fast and loose one. With us, let’s just say I’m not the fast and loose one! Everything has its place, and everything in its place, is generally how I like to operate. My wife, however, likes to make a mess and loves to just run with stuff. It’s a perfect balance. If it was my way all the time, we would never do anything outside of our comfort zone, and life would be incredibly boring. So, I love that we are so different.

What drew you to PocketSmith?

We had both been focused on getting our finances more under control and were working with our budgets in an Excel spreadsheet, updating everything manually each month. It was really time-consuming and did my head in. I did some pretty intense research, having used MYOB, QuickBooks, MS Money (back in the day), and others in the past. I was looking for some budgeting software that was designed for personal finances rather than business finances. 

PocketSmith ticked all the boxes for our needs. It was just perfect, easy, and really intuitive. Out of the box, I was able to connect to my bank feeds, categorize my spending, and set up budgets within an hour or two. Once the basics were done, I was able to really drill down into the detail and get things fine-tuned. 

How long have you been with us?

I’ve been using PocketSmith since around July 2017, and I wish I had found it sooner. Once we got serious about tracking our finances, it completely transformed our ability to see what was going on, where we were spending money unnecessarily, where there was leakage, and could really see the forest for the trees. Absolute clarity!

What do you primarily use PocketSmith for?

Day-to-day budgeting, tracking all our spending, keeping on top of what’s going out and coming into our personal and investment accounts — all of it. We have a couple of investment properties, so I have one account to track our personal finances, and a separate PocketSmith subscription to manage our investment properties and all the finances for those. At the end of the financial year, the preparation of figures for our accountant takes me maybe an hour, at most, and she has everything she needs to get our tax returns done. No mucking around, no stress. I just click a button and I have everything I need.

How has PocketSmith changed the way you do money?

It used to be a chore and a complete headache to do the budgets, check the credit card statement, and look into transactions I wasn’t sure about. It would cause arguments in our house as we tried to wrap our heads around what was going on. Today, it’s a completely different story. I have the PocketSmith portal permanently open in a tab on my browser and refer to it regularly. Trying to work out what transactions are coming in and going out is so simple now that we very rarely have arguments about what’s happening in our finances anymore because it’s really clear what’s going on.

Sitting down and looking at what’s happening in our finances is now more pleasurable than it is pain… yes, that sounded just as weird to me as I’m sure it sounds to you.

What are your favorite features?

The mobile app is great. I’ve got it set up with our most frequently used budgets at the top of the page so we know how we are tracking. Eating out, getting coffees, alcohol, and entertainment are all areas that we would blow out before we got a handle on it. Now I can quickly check to see how much I’ve got left in the budget for the period so I can make better decisions on whether I spend in that area or not. 

Got any tips?

Don’t wait to get your budgets in order. It was a game-changer for us, and I’m sure it will be for you too. 

What’s the best money decision you made in the past 12 months?

The amount of money we are saving simply by having visibility about what’s going on is nuts! I can’t stress enough how much easier it is now than it used to be. There has been no “one big decision” that we have made in the past 12 months, it has been a series of well-informed decisions because we can see what’s going on and we have a handle on it. Incremental decisions made all the difference in the world!

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