Pocketsmith is a web-based financial planning and budgeting tool developed by a team in New Zealand whose services are provided to thousands of consumers in 190 different countries. That’s a pretty impressive number. Let’s take a look at why so many people have chosen to use this software. 

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The Good

  • Used worldwide
  • Great features
  • Educational tour

Pocketsmith is a New Zealand-based financial planning and budgeting tool provided to thousands of consumers in 190 different countries. After signing up and linking accounts, consumers have the option to set up financial goals that allows them to plan and achieve each of these goals such as a savings and debt repayments goal. While they have this feature, they suggest you set up a savings account and make regular payments to it, as it's the simplest and best way to save for the future. Once the account is set up and linked, members will be able to track it using their PocketSmith account. This enables members to use their 'cash projection' feature to know exactly what they will have in their accounts up to 30 years ahead.

Alerts can be set up in order to track minimum account balances, which are set by the individual account user. They also offer an overdraft limit alert, which is a great preventative tool because most of know what it feels like to suddenly be in the financial hole. All alerts will be displayed on the user Dashboard upon login. Other features that prove beneficial to Pocketsmith users include:

  • Calendar budgeting
  • Guided set up
  • Tour of software
  • "What-if" scenarios

The developers of this software began their creation with an idea that a calendar and event-based approach would be a powerful tool for managing finances in order to get themselves, and consumers, prepared for retirement. After all, isn't that one of the biggest reasons for a savings account?

Each plan builds off the lower one, adding more accounts, longer forecast projections, and additional features. Check out their pricing and package details here. The flexibility in plans, including a free option, is a real plus. There are three packages available through PocketSmith:

  • Free basic package
  • $9.95 premium package
  • $19.95 super package

The company website lays everything out so there isn't ever going to be a question about how to set up or view your accounts. Almost all questions can be answered directly from the web-site, and if there isn't an answer listed, it's almost guaranteed that an answer will be posted in their functional Knowledgebase Center or Road Map.

We like that they offer an educational tour of the software outlining the benefits even though it's completely free to use. They provide "what-if" scenarios that help consumers test their financial decisions like buying a home or planning a big event, without having to alter the actual budget calendar already set in place.

As an added security bonus, the company has implemented a two factor authentication in order to log into member accounts. Basically, in order to gain access to accounts, a username and password must be entered along with an expiring code that is sent to a mobile device. Without these two factors, access to user accounts may not be gained. Of course, users have complete control of their accounts and this feature may be removed at any time.

The Bad

  • No mobile apps to view your finances on-the-go
  • Minimal alerts for account balances and budget limits

There is a forum section where members are allowed to post feedback in regard to their concerns or expressions with the company and the services provided. Members may also comment on their peers posts, making it a great tool for developers to provide the best experience possible for their clients. Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence for customers experience difficulties.

PocketSmith is currently unavailable on any mobile devices, which is a major inconvenience for users who like to look at their finances on-the-go. In the same vein, there are very few alerts, lacking calendared reminders, and unusual spending notifications. One of the only notification capabilities is an overdraft limit alert which appears on the dashboard when you login.

The Bottom Line

Using this software can help spot any problem or areas of concern where you may be over-spending or under-saving. PocketSmith helps customers create and stay on a budget. Overall, if you're not using a financial budgeting tool, we'd suggest to give this one a try, after all, it is free. If you decide you love it upgrading to the Premium account may be well worth your money. Those that use Pocketsmith can expect the following from the platform:

  1. Effective budgeting tools
  2. Three packages to choose from
  3. Minimal alerts

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Patrick Wood
September 23rd, 2015 Burlington, VT

Pocketsmith is a total waste of time and money. Their concept is great, but the software does not work so the concept without sucessful implementation is useless. The way the concept is supposed to work in the software is confusing, but more importantly the system for importing data doesn't work reliably, and the accounts get confused by the software. I spent many many hours and many many emails with their support staff to try to work these issues out since I was drawn in by the concept of making future forecasts. But this was all a waste. Since the software doesn't work, one's personal data within the software is essentially useless. Without good reliable data, any financial management software is also useless.

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