PocketProfiles: “The Treat Detective”

How Michael uses PocketSmith to track household treats

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 Michael! As a customer support representative specialising in bank feeds, he helps our users out if they encounter any hiccups connecting their PocketSmith accounts to their banks. On occasion, Michael also connects with users on video calls to walk them through the app — so some of you may have met him!

Nige and Michael (right)

What do you primarily use PocketSmith for?

I mostly use PocketSmith for treat tracking. My husband and I share expenses, and we’ve got a solid monthly finance plan for all of our bills and mortgage, but an area of outgoings that we need to track is our treat money.

I find PocketSmith is very helpful for keeping track of our entertainment spending. We love going out for brunch and having treats. So I use specific categories like Hot Chocolates, Coffees, Ice Cream, Brunches, and Subscriptions to track our spending. Then I can use labels for each of us so I can see who is spending more in these special categories.

How has PocketSmith changed the way you do money?

Before PocketSmith, we would each manage a separate budget. Now that we have PocketSmith it makes it a lot easier for us to combine our incomes and control our expenses.

PocketSmith allows us to see actual figures and we can’t hide things! We can see where our money is going and make smarter choices. PocketSmith has allowed us to create and work towards our saving goals like the repainting of our home, and most recently we achieved a goal of renovating the bathroom!

What pages/features in PocketSmith do you use most?

Well, I don’t use anything that looks too spreadsheet-y. I usually stick to using the Transactions page to assign Mike and Nige labels, to perform searches on categories, and to see how often we’ve visited a particular cafe.

I also use the Trends page, it was wonderful for figuring out our winter heating. It turned out it was more affordable for us to use the heat pump, rather than stocking up on firewood. We do love the fire, and just grab a bag of wood for the really cold days!

I use the Budget page to make sure we’re on track with our entertainment categories. I also find the Simple Categorisation feature quite therapeutic, as it helps us catch spending which is out of the ordinary.

How often do you log in?

On the 20th of each month, or on a rainy Sunday afternoon. This is a routine I picked up from working in a shop where all the accounts and bills were paid on the 20th of each month.

Any tips?

Never be afraid to make crazy categories. Look for what you know you shouldn’t be spending money on: categorise it, budget it, understand it 
and change it.

We spotted our outrageous ice cream spending at Night ‘n Day, tracked it and then came to a good compromise — we can still have ice cream but now we just buy the smaller size instead of the large which has shaved off half our ice cream budget! All of a sudden we have extra cash to shift towards something else.

Are you looking to cut back on particular spending? Become your own spending detective with PocketSmith!