With PocketSmith, Alex Gets Macro Visibility Over His Finances

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 Alex uses PocketSmith to remain elastic in tracking his budgets and adjust to any unforeseen circumstances.

Tell us a little about yourself?

I’m a husband, dad, part-time bad poet, and information systems manager. I’m both left brain, and right brain; psychologically, spiritually, and politically. This means I tend to sit on the fence in edgy debates, but play a very good devil’s advocate to explore viable solutions to problems, and gain complete satisfaction from penning terrible rhyming tales as bedtime stories. I also fly kites (both at the beach, and metaphorically) and enjoy night-hiking (it’s cooler in the tropics, and you can’t see how far you’ve got to go). 

How would you describe your role in your household?

I take on responsibility for macro-financial matters; who to invest superannuation with, management of mortgages and tracking bills, etc. And as it’s related to my role at work, I also try to keep my family safe online by sharing with them best-practice security and banking techniques.  

What drew you to PocketSmith?

I’ve previously written feedback where I said that I’d tried “Xero, MoneyBrilliant, YNAB, Pocketbook, QuickBooks, Wave… nothing managed to marry the GUI with function, and be appropriate for an individual managing a family budget, at the price point PocketSmith offers.” That was probably two years ago, and it still stands today. 

There’s also a bias as I saw it was a Kiwi platform (true to my right/left brain summary, I herald from both South and North Islands), although to be fair, I only discovered this after thinking “this is cool”, and looking into the team that built PocketSmith in more detail. 

How long have you been with us?

Since Q2 2020, I believe.  

What do you primarily use PocketSmith for?

Managing my family’s budget and providing macro visibility over my finances. It’s super important to be able to understand what is remaining in any specific budget, and to allow ongoing adjustments in order that unforeseen events can be accommodated.

I also use it to track income and expenditure related to side gigs, which helps enormously at tax time.

How has PocketSmith changed the way you do money?

Doing money is like juggling jelly in a pair of oiled jandals — it doesn’t matter how detailed your preparation is, there’s likely to be unforeseen variables that need to be accounted for when you’re already committed to your plan.

PocketSmith is the antidote to oiled-jandal jelly juggling. It’s super easy to adjust budgets on the fly, and see that everything’s going to be okay. This was one of the things that sold me. 

It’s the only tool that I’ve found that allows both zero-dollar-type forecast budgeting, and post-spending tracking budgeting, without compromising either. And possibly because of this, it’s moved me to a more dynamic and big-picture way of managing my finances, rather than being lost in the details. 

What are your favorite features?

My favorite feature is the Budgets page (go figure!) where I routinely spend a lot of time changing the time period I’m viewing to see how I’m tracking. I like the fact that while this week, for example, may have blown a particular budget, I can see that within the context of the entire month (or even a year) I’m okay, and can accommodate this over-spend.

Got any tips?

I use custom categories, and highly recommend daily checking-in to confirm or categorize transactions. Building this into my daily routine has helped provide financial confidence, as I remain on top of budget health.

Secondly, I love creating money out of nothing. Okay, so it’s not really out of nothing, but when something unexpected presents itself that needs money put aside on a regular savings plan, I’ll look at my overall budget for individual budgets that have some wiggle room. It’s as if I’ve created money out of thin air, when really, PocketSmith has done its thing — informed me where  I’ve underspent on specific budgets, and therefore allowing these funds to be allocated to this new budget.

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

Upgrading to the PocketSmith Super plan! I’ve ended up connecting all financial accounts that I can, including superannuation, and multiple bank accounts. The comprehensive overview of my assets, liabilities and budgets (including offline accounts or assets) is absolutely worth paying for the top tier in my view.

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