Sue tracks her renovations and travel spend with PocketSmith

How Sue Holloway uses categories to track their costs

Tell us a little about yourself, Sue!

I’m 62 and living in sunny Napier; married to a builder and working 4 days a week as a Dental Therapist. I love my work!

I’m grandmother to Kahu; he and his Mum live down in Wanaka. I am constantly scheming how to get there, or them here.

My husband Mike and I both do yoga to keep fit and sane. I walk a lot and at the moment we are renovating our house… a crash course in patience and acceptance.

What do you primarily use PocketSmith for?

I put everything through PocketSmith…. even parking money! I get my $20 of coins from the bank and categorise it as parking. We are using PocketSmith to track our renovation job and it’s been wonderful to be able to see where all the money is going. Fortunately, I’m married to the builder! At the moment we are on one wage and PocketSmith has been so helpful to adapt to that.

How has PocketSmith changed the way you do money?

I’m miles more confident making decisions when buying stuff (or not). Funnily enough, PocketSmith actually makes you spend less, because you really know where it’s going and don’t have this “oh bugger it… let’s just have a little treat” kind of attitude. Believe me, that’s not good training for retirement. Food and café expenses are actually controllable once you know how much you spend a week.

What pages/features in PocketSmith do you use most?

The Categories and Transactions pages.

How often do you log in?

About two times a week. On the weekend I go through and work out my spending. Mike just puts the expense receipts on my desk… handy for cross-referencing!

Any tips?

Probably at the beginning, (I have been with PocketSmith a few years now), I had too many categories… it just got silly . If you go on holiday — say to Queenstown — a good trick is to categorise every transaction in that time period (except for the ones that are going on at home) into a specific category called ‘Queenstown’. Doing that can save you a lot of hassle and you’ll get a real idea of how much the holiday really cost.

What is one of the smartest money decisions you made?

I could see how much we were spending on insurances, so I sat down with our agent and was able to shave a few dollars off there. We also changed power company, changed mobile provider… it all helps.

I also bought a copy of Vicki Robin’s book Your Money or Your Life; it’s the best money book that I have ever read.

This interview is part of New Zealand Money Week (NZMW) 2017. NZMW is led by the Commission For Financial Capability, and it involves events all around the country to encourage New Zealanders to talk about money and develop greater financial capability. To further the conversation about money we got in touch with some of our favourite Kiwis to get their perspectives on their finances.

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