Review of: PocketSmith
Reviewed by: Carrie Smith
Last modified: September 15, 2017
Track all of your accounts, such as checking, credit cards, student loans, and investing accounts, and forecast your financial future at a glance.
What if you could see the future of your finances? PocketSmith, a web-based personal finance app that allows users to create budgets and calendars, proposes to do just that. PocketSmith analyzes your spending and creates a projection of future balances based on your budgeting scenarios.
PocketSmith is unique in that it allows you to create a budget at any time, for any amount of time. This flexibility is in contrast to the standard monthly budget that begins on the first of the month. PocketSmith allows you to create daily, weekly or monthly budgets that start on whatever day you want.
In addition to tracking recurring expenses like rent or utilities, you can add one-time expenses or income like quarterly taxes or freelance income. PocketSmith allows you to track all of your spending with standard budget categories, but you can also create your own.
PocketSmith provides clear information on your spending habits, comparing your budgeted versus actual expenses to see where you are off track. In addition, PocketSmith shows itemized spending categories in an easy-to-read pie chart.
While PocketSmith appears to be user-friendly, it takes a while a to grasp all the services and functions of the app. To this end, PocketSmith has a YouTube channel with instructive tutorials about each aspect of the product and appears to have great customer service — the site is always improving its services based on customer feedback.
|Price||$0.00 - $19.95/month|
|Access||Website, iOS App, Android App|
What Is PocketSmith?
PocketSmith was founded in June 2008 by Jason Leong, James Wigglesworth and Francois Bondiguel, who is based out of New Zealand.
On their site, they state, “PocketSmith began with the idea that a calendar- and event-based approach would be a powerful paradigm for communicating and managing financial information. Our work continues, and our vision is to make financial comprehension and decision-making as natural as possible for you.”
The Google-like calendar is helpful to see current account balances alongside future forecasts. The calendar syncs up to your accounts and your budget categories. This feature is the real selling point of PocketSmith over other financial tracking products.
The app is also compatible with Mint and is available worldwide.
To get an idea of how the calendar works, take a look at their YouTube video:
Plans and Pricing
There are three different types of accounts on PocketSmith. The free version, of course, is the most limited. It doesn’t allow you to sync your bank transactions, so you would need to download your transactions from your bank and upload them to the site. If you prefer not to sync bank accounts due to security concerns, that is a nice option. However, if you like to seamlessly track your finances, then the free version requires more work.
Here’s a breakdown of what each account gets:
- No bank feeds
- 12 spending categories and budget events
- 2 calendars
- Forecast 6 months into the future
- 2 bank or credit card accounts
- 3 months’ transaction analysis
- Live bank feeds
- Unlimited spending categories and budget events
- 20 calendars
- Forecast 120 months into the future
- 10 bank or credit card accounts
- 60 months’ transaction analysis
- Live bank feeds
- Unlimited spending categories and budget events
- Unlimited calendars
- Forecast 360 months into the future
- Unlimited bank or credit card accounts
- 120 months’ transaction analysis
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|Promotions||None||Join for FREE||FREE First Two Months|
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How to Create an Account With PocketSmith
Creating a PocketSmith account takes only a few seconds (seriously, it took about 25 seconds for me), and there are a total of five steps. There’s no confidential information required upon sign-up, and you can change your plan, upgrade, downgrade or cancel the service at any time.
After creating your account, you’re offered three choices: Import your information from another service (like Mint.com), manually add your bank information and transactions, or take the tour to see how it all works first.
In my case, I tested out importing information from my Mint.com account. PocketSmith explained some simple instructions in order to do this, which involved logging into my Mint account and exporting the information. Then I simply uploaded the Excel file to PocketSmith’s site.
Once your account is ready, you’ll be taken to the Dashboard, where you can view your earning and spending habits. By clicking on the different buttons, you can see your past spending history for up to six months (for the free version).
Here’s a quick snapshot of my information for the past three months (this is for one personal account only and doesn’t include any business transactions).
After taking a look at your overall spending information, the next step is to create a budget. This will help you spot any problem areas where you’re over- or under-spending.
Pros and Cons
- Flexibility — Create a budget at any time for any amount of time -- daily, weekly or monthly.
- Track One-Time Events — PocketSmith allows you to track one-time events such as quarterly taxes or freelance income.
- Create Your Own Categories — PocketSmith lets you create your own budgeting categories, in addition to standard categories.
- Google-Like Calendar System — You can set up a calendar to see your current account balances alongside future forecasts. This syncs up with your accounts and budget categories and is a real selling point for the app.
- Compatible With Mint.com — You can use PocketSmith to enhance your Mint.com experience.
- Smooth Sign-Up Process — It's easy and quick to sign up and get started (honestly, it took us seconds).
- You Won't Master It in a Day — We found that it takes a while to learn how to use all of the app's functions.
- Free Version Is Limited — If you're serious about using PocketSmith's functions, you're going to have to purchase a subscription.
PocketSmith is a fun, useful tool. The beauty of PocketSmith is the calendar function, which is used to track all of your accounts, such as checking, credit cards, student loans, etc. The free version of the app offers two calendars, which could be used to track a checking account and a credit card account, but that’s it.
Most people have many accounts they are looking to track and see projected forecasts for. In this case, upgrading to a Premium or Super account is necessary.
For $9.95 a month, the Premium account is considered their “best value subscription.” If you are looking for high-level, detailed information on your accounts, and future financial forecasts, PocketSmith might be worth the investment. However, if your current, free system is working, I recommend saving your money for something else.