Ian Uses PocketSmith’s Insights To Reduce Spending On His Vices

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 Ian understands the effect of the cost of living on his finances with PocketSmith, and the bad habits he was able to identify and cut out.

Tell us a little about yourself?

I am a father in a blended family — I have two of my own children, either in or nearing their teenage years and two stepchildren who are both adults. I am a person of fast obsessions; I cling on to something and immerse myself in it until I see the next shiny thing! So far, the pattern has been Air Jordan shoes which got too expensive and was only for me, then American low-and-slow BBQ which enabled me to entertain family and friends, then exercise because of how unhealthy I got by eating too much BBQ, then board games during covid to have great family experiences together, and now I am getting a sparkly new obsession of knives and knife sharpening.

How would you describe your role in your household?

In a way, I play the role of master of coin, while my wife plays the role of health and mindfulness. Together we are a team that looks out for elevating ourselves and our children.

What drew you to PocketSmith?

The cost of living is rising, mortgage rates are rising and grocery prices are increasing, so tracking where our money has gone is becoming increasingly more difficult.

We recently refinanced to another bank and now make all of our purchases by credit card and pay off the balance monthly. There is a lot of admin to managing a credit card correctly and when you are in a partnership that shares finances, navigating through your family’s monthly expenses can be a challenge.

I had been using spreadsheets to go through my monthly expenses and pay off my credit card bill. I found it was taking me hours to categorize and I would routinely adjust the spreadsheet while struggling to balance my finances.

PocketSmith delivered a software that automated that process and removed hours of work. It was software I could trust to categorize our purchases and forecast our budgets.

How long have you been with us?

A couple of months.

What do you primarily use PocketSmith for?

I started using PocketSmith to understand how the cost of living was affecting us and to look back on where our money was going. Now I have a better understanding of that and have begun using it for budgeting our yearly finances and understanding how much we can spend.

How has PocketSmith changed the way you do money?

I always know where our money has gone and how much we can spend in certain areas of our everyday life. 

An outcome of routinely categorizing our purchases was finding out how much we spend per month on our vices, which helped us make an informed decision to stop spending on things that do not serve a purpose for health or joy.

What are your favorite features?

  • Automatic categorization
    • Setting up the automatic categorization removes so much admin time when going through your monthly expenses.
  • Splitting expenses
    • Splitting expenses into several categories is a godsend. For example, we may make a large purchase on AliExpress where a portion will be for Christmas and others on home improvements. The ability to split that out works wonders for our budget.
  • The mobile app
    • Categorizing on the fly through the mobile app works really well and saves us time.
  • Dashboards
    • Dashboards and charts to give us a quick glance at insights into our finances enables me to have an understanding of how we are doing financially.

Got any tips?

Take your time categorizing. Once you have a few months of categorized expenses, then begin working on budgets.

Read the Learn Center article so that your categorization works for you.

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

Through PocketSmith, I found that we were spending a combined amount of over $350 a month on our vices. Understanding that impact drove our decision to quit, and we are now on our way to living a healthier lifestyle.

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