PocketSmith Gives Garry Transparency Over His Net Worth

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 PocketSmith is giving Garry and his wife oversight of their day-to-day finances so they can concentrate on the bigger things, like planning for retirement. 

Tell us a little about yourself?

I’m a project manager in the digital team (Information Technology) at the Bay of Plenty Regional Council. I’m married to Sharon, who works for Boffa Miskell as a Marine Ecologist. The last of the kids is moving out… yay from me, tears from mum. Now that the kids are spending less time with us, I have rediscovered mountain biking. Unfortunately, the money spent on everything associated with mountain biking has recently been exposed with us adopting PocketSmith!

How would you describe your role in your household?

Keeping the family happy.

What drew you to PocketSmith?

Through work, I attended a half-day retirement planning course (I’ve still got 10 years before collecting the Gold card!). The course consisted of two parts, lifestyle changes and the financial side of retirement. The key messages of the financial part were to get an understanding of your net worth, where you are spending money and how much you could be saving. A reference the presenter provided was the Sorted website, and one of their suggestions was PocketSmith. I had a quick look at the PocketSmith website and it appeared to meet all our requirements, is affordable and we love supporting New Zealand-made where we can.

How long have you been with us?

About two months.

What do you primarily use PocketSmith for?

Personal finances.

How has PocketSmith changed the way you do money?

Firstly, a few eyebrows were raised when we realized how much money we were spending in “discretionary” areas. It also made us look at the number of subscription services we have — they sure add up quickly. 

After adding in our assets, debts, investments and KiwiSaver accounts, the cool thing for us is that PocketSmith has exposed that our net worth position is a lot better than we thought. Now we can focus on the lifestyle planning side of retirement!

What are your favorite features?

  • The automated bank transaction importing. This, combined with setting up category rules, takes all the hard work out of it.
  • The out-of-the-box reporting periods (e.g. rolling month, last week, quarter, etc) make getting the information you need really easy, without having to export and manipulate the data in another application.
  • The Financial Digest, and Income and Expenses report. These two reports are our “go-to” reports. We are reviewing these a few days after each month’s end. The monthly comparison graphs are a great way to see how we are tracking.

Got any tips?

  1. Spend time on setting up the categories. I stuck pretty close to the default categories but introduced sub-categories to get the reporting granular enough. I had a couple of attempts at it; thankfully the searching and group editing tools make changes easy.
  2. Using labels to further categorize the transactions is useful… but can also get you in trouble because it can highlight how much is being spent on biking!
  3. Get a PocketSmith subscription that has bank feeds functionality — you won’t regret it, it saves so much time.

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