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App of the month – PocketSmith

If you’ve ever watched one of the Mortgage Lab’s webinars or Facebook livestreams, you will most likely have heard us rave about this app of the month.  It’s one of our favourites – PocketSmith.com.  Their company website is here and the app is available on Apple and Android.

What does the PocketSmith app do?

PocketSmith does for budgeting what Xero did for accounting.  It makes categorising your expenses simple which means you know where the “holes in your bucket are”.  It also has a beautiful user experience.  No spreadsheet that eventually tell you the bad news.  This website generates your budget by categorising your spending and telling you what you have actually achieved.

Who is PocketSmith for?

In our opinion, absolutely everyone should at least sign up and complete one month’s budget with PocketSmith. Whether you are saving for a new home, looking for your next investment property or living paycheck-to-paycheck, you need to know what your expenses are.

How much does PocketSmith cost?

There is a free option which is still very powerful. It requires you to manually upload your bank statements but you can still produce a good budget which will help most people. An upgrade to ~$10 per month means automatic importing of your bank statements which is great for continually monitoring your expenses.

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And if that didn't make it easy enough, PocketSmith emails you every week to give you an income vs expenses tally.  At this point, you will have no excuse for not looking at your budget.

Does PocketSmith work in NZ?

One of the downsides to living in the land under the land-down-under, is that we often are excluded from things like awesome software.  Take, for example, how long it has taken for Amazon or Netflix to recognise that the dispersed and savage population of NZ are worthy of attention.

Well, with PocketSmith, most of the major New Zealand banks are included.  So the question has to be asked, how did we get so lucky that this brilliant bit of software included New Zealand?  It caters to Canada, UK, Australia as well as other global banks.  But why NZ?

Well, the answer is that this collection of beautiful code is based right here.  Well not here, for most of us.  Dunedin.  It shouldn't come as a surprise given Xero's rise to fame.

And frankly, starting an affordable budgeting app in a town represented mainly by students spending 60% of their income at the pub, is little short of genius.

Why now is so important to budget

At the time of release of this article, we are in the middle of lockdown because of Covid-19. Mortgage holidays and Interest Only periods have been offered en masse to home owners across the country without the normal hurdles that these requests would normally have had.

But the cost of a mortgage holiday is significantly higher than putting your mortgage on an Interest Only period. You can download our calculator that shows the approximate costs of each option below.

You can download our free spreadsheet that will calculate your circumstance and likely cost of each hardship option. No name or email required; direct download.

But, if you have lost some or all of your income, you need to know your exact expenses and therefore how much money you need to free up in a month to break even. You need a budget; now is the time to do it and PocketSmith.com is the easiest software we know of to get it done.

Summary:

This application is for everyone.  It doesn't matter if you're just beginning to save for a house, already own or are about to retire.  It's never too late to look at your cashflow and to date, I haven't seen a better website or application than PocketSmith.

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