In a world of checking accounts, savings accounts, loans, credit cards, student finance, and mortgage payments, managing your personal finances can be a daunting task. This is especially true when one considers that 69% of Americans have less than $1,000 set aside for a rainy day.
This is where the likes of PocketSmith aim to assist.
The company offers an innovative software solution to personal finance. The platform gives you the chance to keep track of your financial ins and outs via a central hub, subsequently making it super easy to budget for the future.
In our comprehensive PocketSmith review, we’ll cover everything you need to know. This will include what the platform offers, how it works, pricing, user-friendliness, and more.
Exclusive Coupon: If you would like to try a premium subscription with PocketSmith, use this link which will give you 50% off for the first 2 months.
Try it Here.
What is PocketSmith?
In a nutshell, PocketSmith is a software tool that aims to help you keep track of your personal finance. Not only does the product aim to make it simple to view all of your financial assets and liabilities, but it also seeks to forecast your future spending habits.
The platform was launched way back in 2008, illustrating that the service has an established track record.
In order to understand what PocketSmith can do for you and your finances, think about the following scenario.
You currently have a monthly financial obligation to pay your credit card bill, which is linked to your primary checking account.
However, you completely forgot that you recently paid off some of your student loan with funds from the same account, subsequently leaving you short. As such, you miss your credit card payment and have now been hit with a late payment charge.
This is where the PocketSmith platform could have avoided such a mistake. The software tool would have pre-predicted that you were likely to miss the payment, based on the accounts you had merged into the PocketSmith platform.
One of the best things about PocketSmith is that you can import your accounts – whether that’s checking accounts, credit cards or loans, in to the central platform. As such, there is no need to individually check each account individually.
So now that you have a better understanding as to what PocketSmith is, in the next part of our review we are going to explore its features in more detail.
Here is a run-down of the main features.
Accounts and Transactions
As noted above, one of the main aspects of the PocketSmith platform is its ability to import your personal accounts into one central hub. The team at PocketSmith claim that the platform supports over 12,000 financial institutions from 36 different countries. This includes the likes of the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the UK.
In terms of account types, this covers everything from credit cards, checking accounts, savings accounts, loan accounts, and more. This is a really useful feature, not least because you would otherwise need to log in to each and every account that you hold to check your transactions and balances.
On the contrary, every time a transaction is processed within one of your imported accounts, the PocketSmith tool will automatically update your central hub. Furthermore, each of these transactions are categorized, making it super easy to see where you are spending your money.
For example, if you book a flight using one of your imported accounts, the PocketSmith tool will categorize that as a travel transaction. This is really useful, as you can assess your spending habits at the end of every month.
We should also add that you can import multiple accounts from the same financial institution into a customized PocketSmith category. For example, if your family each has a personal account with a single bank, you can merge all of the accounts to keep track of family spending.
If you currently have accounts with financial institutions located in different jurisdictions, the PocketSmith platform can help you keep track of assets and liabilities held in different currencies.
This is useful if you hold stocks and shares in a different currency to the one you use with your domestic bank account. The currency converter does this automatically for you, based on the current mid-market rate.
Budgets and Planning
Due to the advanced technical capabilities of the PocketSmith software, the platform also allows you to budget and plan for the future. Through the platform’s forecasting tool, you can create cash projections at the click of a button. In fact, the software allows you to view your bank account balances up to 30 years into the future.
PocketSmith achieves this by analyzing your current assets, liabilities, and historical spending habits. The budget and planning segment of the PocketSmith platform also allows you to set-up and view your financial calendar. This is ideal for scheduling upcoming payments and bills.
For example, if you have a Netflix payment scheduled for the 17th of each month, a credit card payment on the 20th, and you get paid on the last Friday of each month, the PocketSmith budget calendar allows you to view this in a seamless manner.
If you want to take things to the next level, PocketSmith also offers a really innovative tool known as ‘What-if scenarios’. In a nutshell, this allows you to assess the short and long term effects of specified financial plans.
For example, if you’re thinking about taking out a lease on a car, the “What-if scenario” will be able to evaluate what effect this will have on your financial circumstances. This is an excellent tool to ascertain whether or not you can afford a particular financial outlay.
You can make adjustments to the “What-if scenario” tool to view different outcomes, which is ideal if you are looking to see exactly what you are likely to be able to afford.
The budget and planning tool also allows you to pre-define the period that you want to plan for. Whether its a weekly, monthly or annual forecast you’re looking to obtain, PocketSmith allows you to do this with ease.
The PocketSmith platform is also an excellent way to view your financial metrics via a clear and crisp report. Whether its budgets, account balances or planned spending, you can view everything at a glance. You also have full control over how you want your dashboard to look.
For example, if you want to have a large chart that clearly lists your earning and spending habits by category, this can be done. The reporting segment of the platform also allows you to view your net worth in real time. You’ll first be presented with an overview of your assets and liabilities, which is used to report the net worth.
You can then break each asset and liability down, such as cash, debtors and shares in the asset column, and credit cards and loans in the liabilities column. The awesome thing about the net worth tool is that it updates on almost a second-by-second basis.
For example, if you imported a particular equity into your PocketSmith dashboard, and it increased by 10%, then this would be reflected in your net worth dashboard. You also have the option of linking specific liabilities to assets. For example, if you have your property in your asset column, you can link this to the specific mortgage agreement.
If you need to view your income reports, you can easily do this with PocketSmith too. This would be especially useful if you are a freelancer that accepts payments from multiple clients. Don’t forget, PocketSmith also allows you to convert currency rates in real-time, so you can factor this into your income report.
Import from Mint.com
The PocketSmith platform allows you to import your entire history from Mint.com. For those unaware, Mint.com offers a very similar service to PocketSmith, insofar that the platform provides a seamless tool to manage your personal finances.
If you’ve previously used Mint.com, but want to switch over to PocketSmith, you can transfer your entire history within minutes. Not only this, but all of the accounts that had previously imported in to Mint.com are automatically set-up with PocketSmith. As such, there is no requirement to individually merge your accounts back in.
Read: Our Review of Mint
Due to the sensitive nature of the account information stored within your PocketSmith account, the platform offers two-factor authentication (2FA). This is where a unique code is sent to your phone every time you log in, which you then need to enter to confirm the account login.
This means that nobody will be able to gain access to your PocketSmith account without being in possession of your mobile phone. Although setting up 2FA with PocketSmith is not compulsory, you are strongly advised to do so.
PocketSmith now allows you as the account holder to give access to third parties. Whether it’s family, friends or a financial advisor, you can easily share your PocketSmith account with other users.
All you need to do is enter the email address of the person that you want to give access to your PocketSmith account, and they’ll be able to access and manage your information. You’ll have a transparent overview of who’s signed in and when, and you can easily remove access whenever you want.
The sharing feature is a great idea if you are currently going through the process of obtaining a mortgage. Due to the sheer size of the loan, mortgage lenders will want to scrutinize each and every aspect to your financial life. Instead of having to provide them with countless documents, you can simply give them access to your PocketSmith account.
So now that we’ve covered the vast bulk of account features, in the next part of our PocketSmith review we are going to discuss pricing.
How much does PocketSmith cost?
As good as all of the aforementioned features and benefits sound, it is important to note that PocketSmith charges for some of its services.
Although you can still access some PocketSmith features free of charge, you will need to pay if you want unrestricted access.
We’ve broken down the three plans below.
Basic Plan – Free
PocketSmith labels the basic plan as suitable for the “casual budgeter”. If you decide to go with the free version of PocketSmith, then you will need to manually import each and every account. Furthermore, and perhaps most importantly, you can only import 2 accounts in to your PocketSmith portal.
This is extremely limited, and kind of defeats the object of using the platform. The whole purpose of using PocketSmith is to merge multiple accounts in to a single hub. By going with the basic plan, you’re essentially limiting yourself to just two accounts.
For example, if you chose your checking account and credit card card, but you also had a student loan, mortgage, car loan, stocks and shares, and property, all of the budget and planning reports you generate would fail to paint the true picture.
The basic plan also only allows you to set up 12 budgets, and limits your future projections to just 6 months. As such, you would be unable to generate yearly budget targets.
Nevertheless, if you want to start with the basic plan just to get a feel for the platform before commiting financially, then this is perfectly fine.
- Maximum of 12 budgets
- Maximum of 2 accounts
- Manual imports
- 6 months’ worth of projections
Premium Account – $9.95/month or $7.50 per month when paid annually
If you need more than just the basic account, then you might want to consider upgrading to the premium account. This will cost you $9.95 per month, however if you pay for the entire year, then you can get this down to $7.75 per month.
By going with the premium account, you’ll get automatic bank feeds. This is where each and every account transaction is updated in your PocketSmith account in real-time.
You’ll also have the option of automatically importing your transactions, which are then categorized on your behalf. Unlike the basic account, which restricts you to just 12 budgets, the premium account gives you an unlimited number of budgets.
Furthermore, you’ll get to upload a total of 10 accounts with the premium account, as opposed to just the two you get with the basic plan. In most cases, this should be enough to get all of your accounts in to the one portal.
Finally, the premium plan also allows you to generate up to 10 years’ worth of projections, which is significantly better than the 6 months you get with the free account.
- Automatic and manual transaction importing
- Automatic categorization
- Automatic bank feeds
- 10 years’ worth of projections
- Unlimited budgets
- Maximum of 10 accounts
Super Plan – $19.95 per month or $14.16 per month when paid annually
If your financial planning needs require more than what the premium plan offers, then you’ll likely need to go with the super plan. This will set you back $19.95 per month, however, if you pay for the plan annually, you can get this down to $14.16.
The top-tier plan gives you all of the same account features that you get within the premium plan, but you can merge an unlimited number of accounts. This means that you can import your entire financial lifestyle in to the PocketSmith hub.
Although the 10 accounts that the premium plan permits might be enough for some, when you start to break things down, you might actually need more.
For example, you might have multiple checking and savings accounts, outstanding credit cards with several providers, a mortgage, car loan, and stocks and shares with more than one broker. If this is the case, and you want to get the most out of PocketSmith, then the super plan can facilitate these needs.
As we discussed earlier, PocketSmith is most effective when you have the capacity to view, manage and track all of your finances. If you have key accounts left out because you are restricted by the plan you’ve gone for, you’re potentially limiting what the tool can do for you.
Finally, the super plan allows you to generate financial projections up to 30 years in to the future. Although this might sound excessive, this takes in to account long-term financial obligations such as mortgage payments and student loans.
- All features available in premium plan
- Import an unlimited number of accounts
- 30 years’ worth of projections
So now that we’ve covered pricing, in the next part of our PocketSmith review we are going to show you how to get started.
How do I get Started With PocketSmith?
If you’d like to get started with PocketSmith, then we’ve created a simple step-by-step to help you along the way.
- Head over to the PocketSmith homepage – Head over to the PocketSmith website and click on the ‘SIGN UP’ button. You’ll find it at the top-right-hand corner of the screen.
- Choose your plan – You will now need to choose the plan that you want to take out. If you want to test out the platform first, go for the basic plan. You can easily upgrade once you’ve got used to all of the features.
- Choose a username and strong password – You’ll now need to choose a username and a strong password. Due to the sensitive nature of the accounts you’ll be importing to PocketSmith, make sure that your password is extra secure. You’ll also need to enter your email address and then read and accept the terms and conditions.
- Set up your dashboard – Once your account is set up, you will then need to import your accounts. Don’t forget, you can only import two accounts with the basic plan.
Once you’ve uploaded your bank account(s), you can then begin to categorize your transactions, create your budgets, and forecast. If this is the first time setting everything up, then PocketSmith guides you through the process in a really simple manner.
By selecting “demo mode”, they’ll show you exactly what you need to do to get your dashboard going.
Is PocketSmith Safe?
One of the most common questions that we get asked is whether or not PocketSmith is safe. The reason for this is that you are effectively importing all of your private financial information in to a third party.
First and foremost, every time you access the PocketSmith website your information in encrypted. This prevents malicious actors from obtaining your account credentials remotely.
Customers are also concerned about the live bank feed service that PocketSmith offers, with fears that the platform might be able to access their bank accounts.
You should not be concerned with the bank feed feature, as the data is received by PocketSmith in “read only” mode. This means that they are unable to actually access your accounts, and consequently, move money in or out.
The platform uses a company called Yodlee to obtain the information linked to your accounts, who themselves have been trading since 1999.
PocketSmith Review: The Verdict?
In summary, the features and benefits offered by PocketSmith are really useful in your endeavors to manage your personal finances. Attempting to keep track of each and every asset and liability you hold can be a difficult task, especially when you hold accounts with multiple institutions.
Not only does this hinder your capacity to effectively budget, but it can also make it challenging to know what debts you need to pay. With PocketSmith, you can alleviate all of these concerns in a single hub.
The features offered by PocketSmith go far and beyond just tracking your personal finances. On the contrary, you can assess your future financial circumstances through a range of tools, such as the “What-if scenario” feature.
However, it is important to note that to get the full benefits of what PocketSmith offers, it is likely that you will need to subscribe to one of the paid plans. Otherwise, you’ll be limited to just 2 account imports and future projections capped at 6 months, as well as a restrictions on the number of budgets you can perform.
As such, if you’re currently in a position where you have multiple accounts with multiple providers, across multiple currencies, then it is well worth considering the premium or super plans.
Exclusive Coupon: If you would like to try a premium subscription with PocketSmith, use this link which will give you 50% off for the first 2 months.
Try it Here.