Read how Jimmy and his family use the income and expense report to change their mindset about their regular purchases.
I’m 31, part of a family of four, and have always worked in sports. For the last six years, I have managed sports clubs in Auckland and Nelson, New Zealand. My partner also works full time and we have two young kids, an 8-year-old boy and an 11-year-old girl.
My partner and I share roles. The nature of my work has given me some financial understanding, so I got the role of managing our accounts by default.
Every Christmas holidays when I had some spare time I would sit down and review my personal finances. This was done on paper, Excel spreadsheets, and by scrolling through my online accounts. It took hours. I used business accounting packages for work so it occurred to me that there must be something better for personal finances. I did some research and found multiple options but ultimately decided on PocketSmith as the best option. It was a bonus that it was an NZ-based company.
I have been using PocketSmith since February 2021.
Initially, to monitor and cut expenses to save as much as possible for a house deposit. We bought our home in late 2021 so the primary use changed to setting and tracking against a new budget, taking into account the financial changes home ownership brings.
We look at our income and expense report at the end of each month in PocketSmith. It changed the way we thought about regular purchases, small and large, because the cumulative total of our categories added up to be far more than we expected. When we saw this, we were able to take steps to bring expenses down to what we considered reasonable levels.
For example, when we saw the total cost of our subscriptions, we made the decision to cancel less-used apps. We were spending too much on food so we made changes to the way we shop at supermarkets and ate out less.
Automated bank feeds coupled with setting up filters to automatically assign your transactions to the desired categories. These features automate almost all the work, saving a lot of time.
The bulk of the work is done at the beginning, and it will take a little bit to get used to the software (just like anything new). Don’t let this scare you off. PocketSmith has an impressive array of how-to articles to help you with the initial set up e.g. establishing categories that work for you, linking your accounts, etc. My tip would be to automate as much as possible by:
Once this is done, you’ll be able to view your finances in real-time on a variety of reports and charts with very little effort.
An overall change in mindset around money, particularly expenses. We are prioritizing expenses that will make our lives easier or more enjoyable (i.e. travel, experiences, or useful appliance purchases) and cutting the lower priority expenses so we can afford these.