What is PocketSmith?
PocketSmith is a comprehensive personal finance management tool originating from New Zealand in 2008. It uniquely combines budgeting with future financial forecasting, enabling users to visualize their monetary trajectory for upcoming months to decades.
By integrating with global financial institutions, it offers a consolidated view of one’s finances. The platform stands out with its calendar-based system, scenario testing, and robust security measures, making it a reliable choice for individuals seeking to optimize and understand their financial landscape.
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Full PocketSmith Review
Do you need to get a better handle on your finances? PocketSmith is an app to help you manage your finances. With forecasting and full synchronization with your financial accounts, this is one of the best virtual financial advisors around. You can track how your spending habits will impact your finances six months down the line to thirty years into the future.
External Pocketsmith Review & Ratings
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After reading through numerous reviews, these are the most revealing reviews from traders who have experienced the platform firsthand:
“This under-the-rader budgeting app is the best I’ve used. And I’ve used all the top ones. The budgeting features are top notch and syncing banks was easy as well. The 2 things that set this apart from other apps is the dashboard, you customize it the way you want. As well as their highly accurate automatic categorization of bank transactions. Very useful for young professionals on the go who want to glance at their budgets and financial standings rather than scroll through different tabs.”
“Tracking finances is very important to me and I have tried a lot of different apps. This is by far the best I have ever used. I imported 2yrs worth of data from 14 accounts and had it budgeted and categorised in an afternoon. Love that you can set rules to automatically categorise transactions on sync. The dashboards are excellent. The only thing is the phone app is very limited. It’d be great to be able to customise the dashboard there as well. A minor quibble though considering. Superb!”
“Keep up the great work pocketsmith devs! The desktop app is amazing! The android app just gives you a rough overview of what’s going on in your account. All the organising and setting up is best done on a browser/desktop/laptop it currently seems. Very easy to create categories, edit transactions and set rules to catch future transactions. Have not tried setting a budget yet but looks like all the options are there. Please continue to upgrade the mobile app! If you are used to xero then this is similar, you can see great breakdowns of all your finances, like a business would have.”
“Very impressed with the way Pocketsmith deals with feeds from banks and makes reconciliation of transactions irrelevant. Handling of transfer is simple and smart – something I always struggled with with other apps. It’d be great to change the default net worth info at the top for lats X days income vs spend for example. Overall by far the best app for my needs amongst all the ones I tried. Kepp up with the great work!”
Most of the positive PocketSmith reviews I came across talked about how easy it is to use and how helpful it was to help get their personal finances in order.
Although many reviewers mentioned, in their ratings, that the mobile app is limited in functionality compared to the website. So, for a quick overview, the app works great. If you really want to dive in and make some adjustments to your portfolio or savings goals, the PocketSmith website will be your best bet.
Alternatively, you can consider checking out the PocketSmith Reddit reviews. I dug through them myself and didn’t find them very useful. Most of the threads started comparing PocketSmith to other budgeting apps and seemed a bit spammy.
PocketSmith is best for:
- In-depth personal finance management
- Financial planning
Our review on PocketSmith shows that this is a financial tracking app that goes further than its competitors. By providing lots of important insights, the PocketSmith app can help you control your finances.
Keep reading my PocketSmith review to find out more.
PocketSmith at a Glance
|Budgeting, tracking, and financial forecasting
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PocketSmith was founded in 2008 by New Zealand entrepreneurs Jason Leong, Francois Bondiguela, and James Wigglesworth. The goal of the app was to create a platform that allows people to manage their finances and receive vital insights via a calendar-like app.
The software uses a Google-like calendar to provide you with information on your current balances and future forecasts. It offers full synchronization with your financial accounts and the different budget categories enable you to drill down into your finances quickly.
My review on PocketSmith believes that the platform comes with features that go beyond what’s ordinarily available with financial tracking apps. The forecasting feature is especially potent and the focus on modifying consumer behavior is a real selling point for this app.
I will examine the core features of PocketSmith below:
Future Financial Forecasting
Perhaps the main selling point of this app is it uses your data to allow you to make financial projections up to 30 years into the future. It will even estimate your daily bank balances. You can perform these calculations using several different time periods.
Although most people won’t need such a high level of precision, it’s worth noting that you can actually find financial projections by month (and even by date!). This tool could come in handy if you’re planning a vacation or anticipating a big life change. Thanks to automatic interest calculations, it can also show you how premature withdrawals could impact the effectiveness of compound interest in interest-earning accounts.
PocketSmith offers seamless integration with over 12,000 global financial institutions. This eliminates the tedious task of manual data downloading or file transfers. After linking your financial accounts, you can sift through and arrange your transactions, aiding in a clearer understanding of your spending habits.
While the basic version of PocketSmith permits only manual transaction entries, to harness the full potential of live bank feed updates, you’d need to subscribe to their premium packages,
With a subscription, not only do you get to connect to financial entities across 49 countries, but you also enjoy the convenience of automatic transaction updates each time you access the platform. For individuals managing finances across multiple banks, PocketSmith provides a unified platform to oversee it all.
Security is paramount, especially when dealing with financial data. PocketSmith comprehends this and has fortified its platform accordingly. For enhanced security, the application employs two-factor authentication (2FA).
When logging in, users must provide their password and then validate their identity by entering a unique code sent to their mobile device. This added layer ensures that, even if someone knows your password, they won’t access your account without your phone. Users are highly encouraged to activate this feature for added safety.
If you wish, you can grant access to someone you trust, be it an advisor, friend, or relative. he person Tyou’re sharing access with must also be a PocketSmith user.
The platform also keeps you informed through tailored email notifications. You can opt to receive updates on your financial status, reminders for pending bills, and even insights on your budget allocations.
For those transitioning from Mint.com, PocketSmith simplifies the process with its Express Migration tool, ensuring your financial tracking remains uninterrupted.
The PocketSmith budgeting calendar pinpoints your recurring costs and tracks them through their calendar. Use this data to plan your projected expenses. These can be color-coded by category, and the platform also allows you to come up with your own customized categories.
The budget calendar is designed with ease of use in mind, so you’ll be able to drag and drop your way to financial success. Once you’ve entered all of the relevant information, this tool will complete all of the calculations almost instantly, minimizing the time you need to allocate to budgeting. Like the forecasting feature, the budget calendar can also provide you with accurate budget estimates down to the day! This will help you avoid future cashflow issues.
Want to spend a year traveling overseas and don’t know how it will impact your finances?
PocketSmith scenario testing allows you to plan for the future by examining the impact of different life decisions. Just click a button and you’ll see how your big life decisions will impact your finances.
Since scenario testing enables you to see the short and long-term effects of any financial decisions you make, it can be extremely helpful when planning for the future. Since you can create multiple scenarios for every possible expense, you’ll be able to test and know your budgetary limits ahead of time (rather than learning you overspent after the fact).
Income and Expense Statements
Press a button and PocketSmith will report all your income and expenses in one simple report. Turning your personal finances into a profit & loss statement is a great way of getting a high-level view of your finances.
Statements can also be used to track your net worth and get a detailed report on your outstanding debts (such as credit cards, personal loans, or student loans). Since PocketSmith automatically converts foreign currencies to your own, these income and expense statements are ideal for users with international assets.
PocketSmith offers a mobile solution for those who need to oversee their finances while out and about. They provide a mobile app for both Android and iOS devices.
While this app acts as a valuable companion to the main platform, it should be noted that it doesn’t house every feature available on the web and desktop versions.
While the mobile app is great for quick checks and updates, users might want to turn to the desktop version, available for Mac, Linux, and Windows, for a comprehensive experience.
Multi Currency Support
For individuals who have financial dealings in various countries, PocketSmith offers a robust multi-currency support feature. The platform facilitates the integration of bank accounts, assets, and liabilities from different nations.
It then automatically computes the conversion based on the prevailing daily exchange rates. Notably, the application displays both the original balance of foreign accounts and their equivalent in the currency of your preference.
Users can effortlessly track their consolidated net worth in their primary currency. Also, PocketSmith isn’t limited to traditional currencies alone; it extends its exchange rate support to include assets like gold, silver, and even cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.
This makes it particularly beneficial for those with a diverse range of assets and accounts in multiple currencies.
“Killer Search Engine”
PocketSmith’s “Killer Search Engine” stands out as an exceptional tool for diving into past transactions with ease. Rather than sifting through a tedious list of records, this feature allows users to pinpoint transactions rapidly, irrespective of how old they are.
Personalizing transaction details elevates this experience further. Users can categorize, label, jot down notes, and even attach images. Imagine the convenience of associating pictures of receipts directly with your bills.
This is particularly handy during tax season, where specific expenditures, like gas for business mileage, might be deductible. So, not only does the search engine save time, but it can also be invaluable in financial management and documentation.
Most reviews on PocketSmith point out the problematic pricing scheme. The issue is that even though they offer a free version of PocketSmith, the free option is so gutted of useful features that it’s barely worth using at all. We’d recommend opting for a subscription plan if you’re going to use this platform. However, if you decide you’ve “over-upgraded,” you can always switch to a lower-tier plan at any time!
Payments options are currently limited to Visa and Mastercard. PocketSmith doesn’t support American Express (as of 11/27/2022), nor does it allow users to make payments via PayPal.
Free Plan – PocketSmith describes this plan as ideal “for the casual budgeter.” However, we wholeheartedly disagree with this description! The “casual budgeter” is likely a person who wants to quickly determine how much money they can spend without overextending their finances. This hypothetical person probably wants to avoid spending time entering and calculating data.
Unfortunately, the “casual budgeter” won’t be able to fully enjoy either of these benefits with the free plan. To be fair, the free plan does provide a complete financial picture with financial forecasts (which can be helpful when trying to make important money decisions). However, users will need to enter any and all data manually, which—depending on the number of additional transactions they’re trying to track—could take a long period of time. You’ll also be restricted by a 2-account limit.
The free plan is marginally more effective than creating a paper budget calendar. Considering there are many budgeting services out there that offer more features for free, we’d recommend considering alternative options (such as the Premium & Super plans).
Premium Plan – This plan is PocketSmith’s “most popular subscription,” and for good reason. With a maximum price of $9.95 per month, the Premium plan unlocks all of the features you’d expect from a budgeting app. You’ll enjoy instant access to automatic bank feeds and automatic transaction categorization.
This means you’ll no longer have to manually enter data yourself (assuming you bank at one of the 12,000+ supported institutions). That said, you’ll still have the option to enter transactions manually if you wish.
Have foreign accounts? Not a problem: PocketSmith will automatically convert your foreign currencies to your local currency, making it easy to keep track of your balances and debts.
The Premium plan allows you to set an unlimited number of budgets, which you can use to project your finances for up to ten years in the future. The 10-account limit imposed by this plan should be adequate for most subscribers, although those with more than ten active accounts will have to upgrade to the “Super” plan.
As mentioned above, the monthly plan ($9.95/month) is the most expensive option for the Premium plan. You can save 16% by subscribing to the quarterly plan ($24.95/quarter) or 24% by subscribing to the annual plan ($89.95/year).
Super Plan – The “Super” plan is ideal for power users with active budgets who need help managing over ten accounts at once. It’s also perfect for those who want the ability to micromanage their bank account(s) with the 30-year forecast feature!
This all-access plan includes all of the features—such as automatic categorization and unlimited budgets—that Premium offers, sans any restrictions. In other words, you can track unlimited accounts with this plan.
Currently, “Super” is offered as a monthly plan ($19.95/month), a quarterly plan ($44.95/quarter), and an annual plan ($169.96/year). We recommend opting for an extended plan, as this can save you up to 29%.
Who Should Avoid Using PocketSmith?
While I definitely think that Pocket Smith offers a great service with plenty of premium features, I can’t—in good faith—claim that this personal finance tool will be ideal for everyone. I don’t recommend PocketSmith if:
- You only have one or two accounts. While the PocketSmith financial tools do allow you to manage two bank accounts for free, there are other budgeting apps that will give you a better experience (such as not requiring manual transaction entries for budget allocations).
- You want a premium experience for free. We really don’t recommend the free version of PocketSmith, as it’s really only suitable for the simplest individual budgets. You’ll need to subscribe to a spending plan if you want more advanced features, but you can get these for free with alternative budgeting apps.
- You don’t care about projecting future income/expenses. If you’re only concerned with monthly budgets and aren’t trying to predict your financial situation years in the future, PocketSmith doesn’t have anything unique to offer you.
If you fall into one of the previous categories of people who should avoid using PocketSmith, don’t worry, there are budgeting apps for you. One popular PocketSmith competitor is YNAB.
YNAB stands for you need a budget, and beginning budgeters love their zero-based budgeting strategy. To learn more about what zero-based budgeting is and YNAB’s other offerings, check out my Pocketsmith vs YNAB comparison.
I couldn’t talk about PocketSmith alternatives without mentioning a staple in the financial planning industry, Quicken. Quicken is an all-encompasing personal finance tool that has been honing its offering since 1984. To see how they compare, you can read this PocketSmith vs Quicken article.
The last PocketSmith competitor I will mention is Mint. If you are looking for a comprehensive budgeting tool that features accurate automatic categorization and real-time alerts, Mint might be up your alley. To decide which is best for you, this Mint vs PocketSmith review will provide all you need to know.
If you are already a Mint user, PocketSmith allows you to seamlessly switch over with easy import features. You can import your complete history from Mint with the click of a button.
Is PocketSmith Right for You?
My review on PocketSmith can conclude that this is the perfect app for people who want to get serious about taking their finances to the next level. Personal finances are tough to manage, but this app goes beyond basic tracking of day-to-day spending.
It can also be fully integrated with Mint, which many customers enjoy. Overall, other than the high pricing, I can’t say anything negative about PocketSmith.
Check out PocketSmith and sign up for a free account today. Save 50% on the first 2 months with our link.
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