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  • Alex Mizerski

PocketSmith review 2023: A Comprehensive Personal Finance Tool

Updated: Jan 27


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.


PocketSmith is a powerful personal finance management tool that helps users take control of their finances by providing detailed financial insights, budgeting tools, and forecasting capabilities. With PocketSmith, users can easily track their income and expenses, set financial goals, and plan for the future. The platform also offers a wide range of integrations with popular banks, credit cards, and other financial institutions, making it easy to import and organize financial data. Additionally, PocketSmith provides a secure and user-friendly interface that is accessible from any device. Whether you're looking to budget for a big purchase, save for retirement, or just get a better handle on your finances, PocketSmith is the perfect solution for anyone looking to take control of their money. With its powerful features and easy-to-use interface, PocketSmith makes personal finance management simple and stress-free.


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:

If you're looking for a comprehensive personal finance tool to help you take control of your finances, PocketSmith is worth considering. In this review, we'll take a closer look at the features and benefits of PocketSmith to help you decide if it's the right fit for you.


First, let's start with an overview of PocketSmith. PocketSmith is a personal finance platform that offers a range of features including budgeting, bill tracking, and financial forecasting. The goal of PocketSmith is to help users make informed financial decisions and achieve their financial goals by providing them with the tools and resources they need.


One of the standout features of PocketSmith is its financial forecasting. This feature allows users to see how their financial decisions will impact them in the future by creating a forecast of their finances up to 30 years in advance. This can be a helpful tool for long-term financial planning, such as saving for retirement or buying a home.


In addition to financial forecasting, PocketSmith also offers a range of budgeting features. Users can create detailed budgets with multiple categories and subcategories, as well as customize their budget based on their pay frequency. PocketSmith also offers a bill tracking feature that allows users to see all of their bills in one place and set up reminders to help ensure they don't miss any payments.


Another useful feature of PocketSmith is its calendar integration. This feature allows users to see their financial events and commitments alongside their personal schedules, helping them to better manage their time and money.


In terms of support resources, PocketSmith provides a knowledge base, email support, and a community forum for users to get help and ask questions. The company also offers a range of tutorials and guides to help users get the most out of the platform.


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


Example Budget - image courtesy of PocketSmith
Example Budget - image courtesy of PocketSmith

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



Example Income Statement - image courtesy of PocketSmith
Example Income Statement - image courtesy of PocketSmith


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.



Example Net Worth - image courtesy of PocketSmith
Example Net Worth - image courtesy of PocketSmith


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

  1. Comprehensive financial management: PocketSmith offers a wide range of tools for tracking income and expenses, budgeting, forecasting, and setting financial goals.

  2. Integrations with popular financial institutions: The platform can easily import and organize data from a wide range of banks, credit cards, and other financial institutions.

  3. User-friendly interface: PocketSmith's interface is easy to navigate and accessible from any device, making it simple to manage your finances on-the-go.

  4. Secure platform: Personal financial data is kept secure and private with PocketSmith.

  5. Accurate forecasting: The platform uses advanced algorithms to generate accurate financial forecasts, helping users plan for the future.

  6. Customizable budgeting: Users can easily create customized budgets based on their specific financial needs.


PocketSmith Quick Tour
PocketSmith Quick Tour


Cons

  1. Limited investment tracking: While the platform offers comprehensive budgeting and financial management tools, it does not offer extensive investment tracking capabilities.

  2. Price: PocketSmith is a subscription-based service, which may not be affordable for some users.

  3. Limited support for international users: PocketSmith currently only supports a limited number of international financial institutions.

  4. Limited account types supported: The platform may not support all account types such as business accounts.

  5. Limited customer support: While PocketSmith offers a comprehensive knowledge base, the platform may not offer extensive customer support options such as phone or live chat.

Overall, PocketSmith is a comprehensive personal finance management tool that offers a wide range of tools for tracking income and expenses, budgeting, forecasting, and setting financial goals. However, it may not be the best choice for users looking for investment tracking or who are on a tight budget, or for those who need more extensive customer support.


PocketSmith Review Demo Mode Limits
PocketSmith Review Demo Mode Limits

PocketSmith Alternatives


Personal finance management is crucial for achieving financial stability and reaching your financial goals. One tool that can help you take control of your finances is PocketSmith. However, it's not the only one out there. Here are some alternatives to PocketSmith that you can consider:

  1. Mint: Mint is a popular personal finance management tool that offers a wide range of budgeting and financial management tools. It's a free platform that can easily import and organize data from a wide range of banks, credit cards, and other financial institutions. Mint also offers a user-friendly interface and a range of financial tools such as bill reminders, credit score tracking, and investment tracking.

  2. YNAB (You Need a Budget): YNAB is a budgeting app that focuses on helping users create a budget based on their income and expenses, as well as providing them with the tools to stick to it. The app is paid and it offers a 34-day free trial. It also offers a wide range of features such as automatic transaction importing, account syncing, and detailed reporting.

  3. Quicken: Quicken is a comprehensive personal finance management tool that has been around for decades. It offers budgeting, financial management, and investment tracking tools. Quicken offers both a desktop and a web version, and it's a paid service, it also offers a free trial.

  4. Personal Capital: Personal Capital is a financial management tool that offers a range of features such as budgeting, investment tracking, and retirement planning. It's a free platform that can easily import and organize data from a wide range of banks, credit cards, and other financial institutions. Personal Capital also offers a user-friendly interface and a range of financial tools such as bill reminders, credit score tracking, and investment tracking.

  5. CountAbout: CountAbout is a personal finance management tool that offers a range of features such as budgeting, financial management, and investment tracking. It's a paid service, it also offers a free trial. CountAbout can easily import and organize data from a wide range of banks, credit cards, and other financial institutions, it also offers a user-friendly interface and a range of financial tools such as bill reminders, credit score tracking, and investment tracking.

Each one of these alternatives has its own set of features, pricing plans and user experience. It's important to consider your personal financial needs and preferences when choosing a personal finance management tool, and to try out the free trials or demos of the software before making a decision.


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?

Personal finance tools like PocketSmith can benefit a wide variety of individuals, including those who are just starting out with managing their finances, as well as more experienced individuals looking to take control of their financial future.


One group that can greatly benefit from using a tool like PocketSmith is young adults, such as college students or recent graduates. These individuals may be just starting to manage their own finances and may not have a lot of experience with budgeting or saving. PocketSmith can help them keep track of their expenses and income, set financial goals, and create a budget that will allow them to live within their means while still saving for the future.


Another group that can benefit from PocketSmith is individuals who are working to get out of debt. The tool can help them create a plan for paying off their debts and track their progress over time. Additionally, PocketSmith also provides you with a clear picture of your net worth, which can help you stay motivated as you work to improve it.


Individuals who are nearing retirement or are already retired can also benefit from using a tool like PocketSmith. It can help them plan for their golden years by creating a budget that takes into account their fixed income and expenses. Additionally, PocketSmith can help them track their investments and plan for any unexpected expenses.


Finally, PocketSmith can also be a great tool for small business owners. The tool can help them track their income and expenses, as well as forecast their future financial position. This can be particularly helpful for small business owners who may not have a dedicated finance or accounting team to help them manage their finances.


In conclusion, personal finance tools like PocketSmith can benefit a wide variety of individuals, including young adults, those working to get out of debt, retirees, and small business owners. These tools can help individuals keep track of their finances, set financial goals, and create a budget that will allow them to live within their means while still saving for the future.


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

Overall, PocketSmith is a comprehensive personal finance tool that offers a range of features to help users manage their finances and achieve their financial goals. Whether you're looking for a tool to help with budgeting, bill tracking, or long-term financial planning, PocketSmith has something to offer.


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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