PocketProfiles: “The Trend Setter”

How Kauia used PocketSmith to kick years of credit card debt ✨

We asked staff members how they use PocketSmith to manage their different budgeting needs. They’re short reads, and we hope they give you ideas about how you could use PocketSmith too. Feel free to ask any questions, and we’ll be sure to answer.

Meet Kauia! She’s our super-organised Support Team leader who is constantly sharpening our systems to ensure that our customers are always well cared for.

What do you primarily use PocketSmith for?

I’m all about setting up budgets and using the Trends page in PocketSmith! I mostly use PocketSmith like a reset button for my finances. I really like trying out new ways to pay off debt or save money. I’ll often log in just to shake things up and try out a new way to budget for a particular goal.

How has PocketSmith changed the way you do money?

It makes me think about my finances, but not in a stressful way — thank goodness — in a really good way. Up until about a year ago I literally lived in credit card debt for about eight years. I managed to get a hefty $4500 limit on my credit card in my very early twenties (dangerous!), then went traveling and that’s pretty much how it all started (or ended) for me 😫

I was going around in circles. On pay day I’d chuck everything back on my credit card, feeling really proud of myself; by the end of the week I’d spent it all again, and then some.

I was very much a “buy now, worry about it later” spender. But for the first time in a very long time, I have zero credit card debt, and I don’t buy things until I can actually afford them.

What’s been interesting for me to learn, is that when I’m spending my own money (and not debt money), I’m way more particular about what I buy and I’m now buying much less! The things I do spend money on, I really treasure and appreciate.

What pages/features in PocketSmith do you use most?

Trends, Trends, Trends! I love it. I’ve got a pretty particular set of five parent categories. I like keeping my overall budgeting areas really clean and tidy, with the ability to really drill down into my sub-categories.

I split my categories into the following:

• Income 
• Financial Goals (These are my various savings categories) 
• Fixed spending (Rent, childcare — costs that don’t vary from week to week) 
• Flexible spending (Includes “wants” as well as necessities like groceries) 
• Transfers (All transaction transfers across all accounts)

I love the Trends page overview, I can track my main areas of earning and spending, especially with my ‘Fixed’ and ‘Flexible’ parent categories. It’s so easy to roll out the sub-categories within the parents to see what’s happening underneath it all.

I’m always thinking and planning how I can make my money run better. If I’m consistently coming in over or under budget, I know it’s time for me to adjust my sub-category budgets. I really like having goals to focus on (goals that used to be debt focused that are now savings focused… whoop!). With each goal, comes a new way to tweak my sub-categories so that I can achieve what I want.

I’m starting to think differently about my money. It’s no longer just “money in, money out”. I’m getting creative with planning new projects. My most recent goal was to be able to start a side hustle: Coco Balms, which is a healing balm for babies and adults. I mixed things up, tweaked some spending categories and before I knew it, I had enough money to get my first batch of Coco Balms made!

How often do you log in?

I’ll swing in between from very often (like every other day) when I’m really focusing on a goal, to maybe once a month to keep on top of things.

Any tips?

Totally! I’ve got three tips:

1. Don’t be afraid to wipe your categories and start again! It took me about five complete resets of my categories before I found the combination that worked for me. I’m also not too concerned with having a huge backlog of history, so each time I reset my categories I only kept about three months of historical transactions and wiped out the rest.

2. Consider whether you want your bank feed’s Automatic categorization turned on. I was a bit freaked out to turn mine off at first because the bank feed was doing an excellent job of categorizing some of my transactions. But other categories kept appearing that I just didn’t want. I now have total control of how my categories are assigned with the use of category rules and filters!

3. Spend some time setting up Category rules and Filters. Use ’em! Edit ‘em! Totally worth your while.

Do you have debt to pay down? PocketSmith can help!

Like what you read? Give PocketSmith a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.