Sarah Anticipates Upcoming Expenses Using PocketSmith’s Calendar

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 Sarah achieves peace of mind by using PocketSmith’s forecasting features to ensure she has enough funds for upcoming expenses.

Tell us a little about yourself?

I’m an IT Professional living in Chicago, Illinois, USA. I moved into Chicago from one of its suburbs to go to university and have stayed here for the last 25 years. I spend my time outside of work studying Aikido.

How would you describe your role in your household?

My cat, Ivy, is certainly the head of our household, but I would say I’m the primary breadwinner. I take care of all the finances, while she is in charge of waking me up in the morning and being super cute.

What drew you to PocketSmith?

Initially, I was using Mint, way back when it first came out. Being able to view all your transactions and balances across accounts in one place was a game changer. Sure the ads were a bit annoying, but it did most of what I needed. I tried over and over again to set up budgets in Mint, but they didn’t quite fit how I naturally manage my finances. I don’t really set aside a total amount for groceries, for example, and then use up that amount. I’m fortunate in that I don’t need to keep that tight of a grip on my spending. What I naturally do is work my way backwards. How much money will I have at the end of the month after I’ve accounted for my recurring bills and income? This gives me a general idea of how much leeway I have for spending for the next few weeks. What I really needed was a calendar view of my balances and transactions. Mint had nothing like it. Frankly, PocketSmith was the only application I could find that had both bank feeds and a calendar view that supported the way I manage my money.

How long have you been with us?

If I search my transactions, the oldest one for PocketSmith shows November of 2016.

What do you primarily use PocketSmith for?

Mainly for managing income and expenses month to month. Of course, I use saved transaction searches periodically for gathering information for tax purposes or giving myself a gut-check on… HOW MANY SUBSCRIPTIONS DO I HAVE?!

How has PocketSmith changed the way you do money?

It allows me to take all the information I have in my head about upcoming big expenditures and pop it into my PocketSmith calendar. I can see the impact ahead of time and adjust accordingly. It relieves all my anxiety about missing payments or not knowing whether I will have enough cash on hand if an emergency comes up. It’s also a big factor in helping me find fraud ASAP. Logging into PocketSmith and confirming all of my new transactions from my feed is the first thing I do at the computer each morning. I have eyes on anything that posts to any of my accounts. If something is questionable, I simply leave it unconfirmed until I’ve sorted it out.

What are your favorite features?

Definitely, the calendar view for forecasting is my favorite. Additionally, if things are getting hectic, I will temporarily synchronize my PocketSmith calendar with my Google calendar. In this way, if I’m going out of town or some other major event is coming up, I can make sure my finances will be all handled ahead of time for that period. This lets me focus on what’s happening in my life, knowing that I’ve already sorted out the money.

Got any tips?

PocketSmith has a ton of features. Don’t feel like you need to use all of them all of the time to get value out of it. I’ve been using one scenario for the entire time I’ve been using PocketSmith. I think I’ve changed my budgets and categories a handful of times. Yet I’ve got all the information I need to make good decisions. When I have time and feel like “nerding out” I will spend several hours playing with the other features, but on a daily basis I’m in PocketSmith for less than five minutes.

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

Since my spending went down during the lockdowns, I doubled the amount of money I auto-transfer to Savings each paycheck. Now that things are getting more expensive, those savings will come in handy.

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