Oliver tracks his UK and AU bank accounts with PocketSmith

Interviews

How Oliver used PocketSmith to become a homeowner 🏠

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A little about you Oliver!

I am a wandering Kiwi — 13 years into working overseas in Australia and now the UK. I work in tech.

What do you primarily use PocketSmith for?

I use PocketSmith to keep track of my finances and it’s absolutely brilliant. Easy to set up and the team have been incredibly supportive with any questions I’ve had. PocketSmith accepts my bank feeds for all UK and Australian bank accounts. Previously, a single view of my finances was impossible. I have this with PocketSmith and so much more! Spending is categorised easily and it’s so great to have a single view of where our money is going.

How has PocketSmith changed the way you do money?

Using PocketSmith was literally the first time I really saw where my money was really going. I could then do something about it and set savings goals. It helped me buy my flat in England! It was so encouraging to see my projection on the net worth chart for when I’d have the deposit ready based on my savings rate.

I’m a lot more calm about my finances now, because I know where I am at. And if I ever slip — like tonight, for example — I go in, categorise recent payments and check where I am at as a result. It is the most empowering thing.

What pages/features in PocketSmith do you use most?

Dashboard for the overview of accounts, recent payments and the pie chart I love so much. I’m visual, so I love seeing where my money is going.

The Transaction page to search and categorise transactions (e.g. An Amazon purchase that is related to home improvement and claimable on tax).

Budgets. Having the past 6 months’ activity really helps me see how I’m going in a given week.

How often do you log in?

Once a week on average.

For all those other PocketSmithers out there getting started this year, what advice would you share with them?

  1. Set transfers between accounts as ‘mark as transfer’, using a rule, so they don’t interfere with your categorisation… unless it’s payments to a savings account!
  2. Get nerdy on your categories. Update them and the results will be so useful: a complete view of your money. Wow!
  3. Set a custom date range for the dashboard pie chart (e.g. 12 months). Click on segments that need categorisation (e.g. online payments) and clean them up. This chart is so valuable.
  4. Read the weekly email on a Monday. It is so helpful to browse all balances and easy to charge debit cards, spot unexpected payments (or expected payments that are missing), etc.
  5. Set up budgets for the important things; food, utilities, petrol, savings. These are so helpful on the weekly emails!

What’ s the smartest money decision you made in 2017?

Without a doubt, opening a mortgage offset saver account. It’s a bank account with my lender and any money I have spare I save into it. It’s balance reduces the mortgage by that amount while the money is there. So I have saved plenty on the overall period of the mortgage while just switching my short term savings account!