• Alex Mizerski

PocketSmith review 2022: get your finances in order [updated for 2022 with new features]

Updated: Jan 2


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links through which I'm paid. No additional cost to you, more here.

 

PocketSmith is one of the few personal finance tools I believe everyone should try out. I personally started with the free version, but quickly found myself upgrading to the Premium package because it was such an easy-to-use tool that had a solid impact on our finances. Read on to understand how PocketSmith can help you get your finances under control and build a plan for long-term wealth.


How does PocketSmith Score:

Cost and Fees: 7 out of 10

Security: 8 out of 10

Ease of Use: 7 out of 10

Features and Tools: 10 out of 10

Overall: 8 out of 10


Cliffnotes Version:

PocketSmith is one of the most effective budgeting tools available. While the best version of the tool comes at a monthly cost, for those that value detail in their budget the cost is well worth it for the vast feature set you get. PocketSmith intends to help change your spending behavior for the better, is easy to set up, and has a full-featured app that functions great on the go.


What is PocketSmith?


PocketSmith is a robust budgeting tool that anyone can use. It predicts where your money will go based on past spending habits, helping you potentially save more and/or change habits you want to get rid of.


If you have ever struggled to get your finances organized, or if you have made money mistakes in the past because you weren't paying close enough attention, then PocketSmith may be the solution for you.


PocketSmith has built a wide variety of tools to make organizing your finances quick and easy. They have built data connections with most banks, automated reports, and a fully functional app so you can check on your finances on the go.


Another key benefit of using a tool like PocketSmith is the behavior change you can experience. Frequent use of budgeting tools will help you be more mindful of how you are spending your money, and, in turn, show you better ways to spend and save!


PocketSmith will cost you money, so if you are looking for a free alternative look to Mint or Personal Capital. Mint and Personal Capital are supported by advertisers so they can offer you many of their services for free. I personally prefer as many ad-free experiences as I can get so if I were to choose between these three options I'd go with PocketSmith all day long.


Another consideration with PocketSmith is the amount of money you could potentially save by investing in the paid versions. For me, PocketSmith saved me from overdraft and check cashing fees. After using PocketSmith for a few months I was actually saving money!


PocketSmith offers one of the most robust budgeting and money management toolsets in the space, the cost is low, it is super easy to use, and offers a companion app that is fully featured. All in all, this is one of the best budgeting apps out there.

How can PocketSmith help you?

PocketSmith's software intends to change your money management behavior by providing crisp clean visuals that clearly highlight your spending behavior. That is the main way PocketSmith can help you, by changing your spending and saving behavior with little nudges along the way.


The ability to categorize spending, add comments, pictures and tags put a level of detail and clarity around your personal finances that is hard to come by on your own or with other personal finance software options.


In addition to the nudges PocketSmith sends via their online tool, or their companion app, you can set up a Budget Calendar. I love this particular tool because it ensures I know what bills, and how much they are, so I can plan my finances. If I have $100 in my account and in 2 days my $50 gym membership will be coming out, I know that I only have a $50 buffer in my account.


PocketSmith Pricing

Basic - this is the only free version they offer. You get most of the main features and it is a great place to practice honing your budgeting skills. You won't get automatic bank feeds that make things manual for you, but that might be a good thing at first so you can really get the hang of the tools and budgeting.


Premium - $9.95 per month, but all the manual effort is taken out of your hands. You automatically get feeds from your bank and your transactions are categorized for you which is a huge undertaking if you have more than a few card swipes per month. This is definitely the plan for you if you have a little experience budgeting and are just looking for the right software to take it to the next level.


Super - $19.95 per month. This is for those of you that want to jump right in and/or already have a budgeting system in place and just want top-of-the-line software to help manage it. Either way, this isn't for the faint of heart. You need to have conviction in your desire to budget and be successful if you are going to pay $19.95/month and take advantage of all these features.


PocketSmith Features

Dashboard - All your data in one place!

PocketSmith Dashboard
PocketSmith Dashboard

Budgeting - easily create and track your budget just as you would with many other software tools. The only difference here is that budget is tied into all these other features


Income and Expense Statements - if you have ever wanted to run a business then this tool will help you understand a balance sheet.


Net Worth - we love net worth at The Saving Dude! Because they have all your banking information they can easily give you your net worth. What's more, is they can forecast your net worth based on previous spending habits and your transaction categorizations.


Transaction Search - I don't know about you, but my bank's software makes it really hard to find individual transactions or a group of transactions from a single source. PocketSmith solves that issue with an outstanding search tool.


Security - second to none. Two-factor authentication is the first step to ensuring your financial data is safe. Next, they don't sync/directly connect with your bank. They use a bank feed to get your transaction data making the transfer of data significantly safer than other types of personal finance software.


Mobile App - everyone is on the go these days, an app is simply a basic tool that is necessary if you are going to offer any type of service. You don't even lose any features on the mobile version vs desktop and that's not something you can say about competitors in the personal finance software space.


Multi-currency Capability - for anyone who travels or has dealings that involve more than just US Dollars, PocketSmith supports you as well. If you have accounts in another currency PocketSmith does all the conversions on your behalf of the linked accounts you set up.


Customer Support - the company is based in New Zealand which can make support tough at times. If you are a late riser and night owl, then their 5pm-1am EST phone support hours work out just fine for you.


Forecasting - probably the main feature that sets them apart from their competition. With the Super plan, you can get a forecast out 30 years. And not just a retirement forecast, but a forecast of all parts of your budget and personal finances. That is a powerful tool to have at your disposal. It will also help you visualize the impact of all the little changes you are making along with your budgeting and saving journey. I've talked extensively about the impact of little changes, here, here, and here. This is just a software tool to help you see it with your own eyes.


Demo Mode - the ability to test a tool out before committing to buying is super valuable. This can help give you a sense of whether you are interested in committing or not. There are two demo modes offered on PocketSmith, traditional demo mode with a set of dummy data, or hard mode where you dive right into the tool. After testing out hard mode, it really isn't that hard, but if you want to get a sense of how the tools display data then traditional demo mode is just fine.


PocketSmith Review Demo Mode Options
PocketSmith Review Demo Mode Options

PocketSmith Review Hard Mode
PocketSmith Review Hard Mode



Pros

An amazing list of features

Super flexible budgeting tools

Very simple to use

Transaction search is second to none

Categorization tools

Demo Mode

Quick Tour - a brief video guiding you through PocketSmith features


PocketSmith Quick Tour
PocketSmith Quick Tour


Cons

Cost vs competition

Missing some features (bill pay, investment tracking, credit score monitoring)

Active tracking required for best results

Limits to Demo Mode - after entering 2 accounts they ask you to upgrade

PocketSmith Review Demo Mode Limits
PocketSmith Review Demo Mode Limits

PocketSmith Alternatives

Mint

Quicken

YNAB - You need a budget

GnuCash

Personal Capital

iBank

BudgetSimple

and a ton more


PocketSmith Best Alternatives

PocketSmith

Personal Capital

Monarch Money

Rating

8/10

7/10

​7/10

Budgeting

Yes

​No

Yes

Investment Monitoring

No

No

No

Retirement Planning

Yes

Yes

No

Bill Payment

No

No

No

Manual Entry

Yes

No

Yes

Bill Management

Yes

No

No

Advice

No

Yes

Yes



How to get started with PocketSmith

Setting up an account is really basic and can be done in a few easy steps. I will say that while the steps are basic I would set aside 20-30 minutes to get everything set up. Between linking accounts, categorizing transactions, setting up budgets and forecasts, you have your work cut out for you. In the end, it is all worth it because this really is a top-notch budgeting tool.


First, follow this link to open your account. This link will take you to a plan selection page.



If you have made it this far you will probably want to sign up for the Super or Premium plans because you care about your budget and personal financial situation. After you select your plan, and set up payment if you select a payment related plan. You walk through the easy step by step process. PocketSmith takes you through a process that helps them learn about your goals so they can better tailor your experience to help you meet those goals. First, they as you about your motivation for signing up.


PocketSmith Review Motivation
PocketSmith Review Motivation

Next, you get a quick description of the checklist you will be going through. Anywhere along the way you can skip a step, but to me it just makes sense to set aside some time to get this part of the process done so you can focus on budgeting.



Setup checklist
Setup checklist

Next, is your actual check list. These are all the datapoints that PocketSmith's personal finance software needs to set you up for success.



PocketSmith Checklist
PocketSmith Checklist

Then you connect your bank accounts



PocketSmith - Set up Bank Accounts
PocketSmith - Set up Bank Accounts

Step two is categorizing your transactions. This part will take a bit longer, but is well worth the time spent to get your finances on the right track. This process took me about 15-20 minutes because my November transaction list was a bit longer than other months (lots of holiday gifts were purchased in November!).



PocketSmith Review Categorize Transactions
PocketSmith Review Categorize Transactions

The next step is where the nitty gritty budgeting begins.



PocketSmith Review Start Budgets
PocketSmith Review Start Budgets

And last, once you have your accounts connected, transactions categorized, and budgets set, you get a view of your personal digest.


PocketSmith Review - Summary
PocketSmith Review - Summary

Now you have your account all set up. From here PocketSmith will take over and begin presenting you with advice on how you can achieve the goals you identified while setting up your account.



Who can benefit from using Pocketsmith?

Anyone can benefit from using PocketSmith, but there are a few specific types of people that will benefit more than others. Those interested in taking full control of their finances and those with more personal finance information than they know how to manage.


Taking full control

If you are ready to take over your financial life the PocketSmith is the tool for you. You can actively manage your day-to-day spending and pour over every detail. Your financial present and financial future will be in great hands with the robust toolset offered.


Too much information

For those of you that have acquired more financial responsibility than you can manage on your own PocketSmith is a great tool to keep you organized. In addition, you might want to consider a financial analyst. PocketSmith can combine data from 12,000 different accounts (it has that many integrations) so no matter how many financial accounts you have acquired PocketSmith can combine them all and help you manage.


Summary

PocketSmith is a great budgeting tool with one of the most robust set of features in the space. It is easy to use and the cost is minimal for anyone interested in taking control of their finances through budgeting.


If PocketSmith sounds like the type of tool you can use, click here, and get your account set up if you haven't already.


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