Louise Tracks Her Spending Across Categories With PocketSmith

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 Louise keeps on top of her spending habits and adjusts accordingly using PocketSmith’s Trends and Reports.

Tell us a little about yourself?

I’m Louise, a 39-year-old single mum from Melbourne. I work in the finance industry and in my spare time I like hanging out at home with my cats (Lenny, Snowy and Ellie), watching Netflix, cooking or hitting the gym — I’m a competitive powerlifter so the gym is one of the biggest expenses in my budget!

How would you describe your role in your household?

I am the sole decision-maker in my household, however, my 9-year-old son often has ideas on how to spend my money. I’m hoping to teach him about financial literacy as he grows up observing what I do on a day-to-day basis.

What drew you to PocketSmith?

I needed some way of tracking my finances, that could also give me a clear visual picture of where I currently stand. I have a pretty extensive Excel spreadsheet, but it’s static and doesn’t have the ability to track expenses or categorize (it’s good as a base to work off). I have tried some other personal finance software with varying levels of success but found that PocketSmith gave me everything I needed.

How long have you been with us?

It’s been a while! I had a quick look at my account details and it said three years! The sad part about that fact is that I haven’t really used it to its full advantage over those three years. Recently, I went through and reorganized all my categories and budgets, using color coding to help identify my different categories. I’m positive this new setup will help me get on top of where I stand financially.

What do you primarily use PocketSmith for?

It’s a way to monitor my spending across various categories, but I also enjoy looking at the trends, especially as, at this point in time, the cost of living is getting quite high. So I’m conscious of wanting to know where my money is going on a regular basis so that I can make changes to my spending habits and redirect those savings into investments. I also like tracking my net worth as it provides a level of motivation over time to see where you have come from to where you are now.

How has PocketSmith changed the way you do money?

PocketSmith has given me much more clarity over my personal financial situation. It’s shown me where I am spending too much (hello Uber Eats!) and gives me the kick up the butt to pull back in those areas and redirect my money to savings or investments.

What are your favorite features?

I love the Calendar, which shows all the upcoming budgets for the month and the impact of your spending on your account balances over that period of time. I also enjoy the Reports section, and the Dashboard — in particular the graphs to show where your money is going. I love the flexibility of being able to show periods of time that are meaningful and being able to adjust that to whatever you want to see.

Got any tips?

Set up your categories from the start! Use the nesting/parent features of the categories so it doesn’t get overwhelming. Stay on top of your transactions, as categorization and confirmation of these make the data much more meaningful. Utilize the editing features of the Dashboard to make the data make sense to you, and to show you what matters.

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

Might not have been the best timing, but I achieved a lifelong dream of purchasing my first home — a sweet little two-bedroom apartment perfect for my son and I. My timing was pretty bad though — the week after settlement interest rates went up! Still, I’m happy to have been able to achieve something I have wanted since I was in my early twenties, and having done it on my own makes it that much sweeter.

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