A few weeks ago, I joined Pocketbook. I’d been looking for an easy way to manage my finances, and my first thought was: “is there an app for that?”. It turns out there is — quite a few — but Pocketbook is the only one recommended by Kochie, so obviously it was the one I chose to commit to (it’s also Australian, which is nice).
I was a bit apprehensive about logging into my bank account through the app, but that’s the only way you can really take advantage of what Pocketbook has to offer. They say that it’s through a secure server, and I haven’t been robbed yet, so I say it’s pretty safe. From there, you can see all the transactions you’ve made in the past four weeks, set up your bills, and set a weekly budget for yourself. One of my favourite features of Pocketbook is the ability to categorise each of your expenses, so you can see what you’re spending your money on. This works particularly well if you prefer plastic over paper for your daily expenses.*
The main thing I use (or try to use) Pocketbook for is budgeting. I can’t remember doing this, but at some point I set my weekly spend limit to $200. This was dependent on the amount of income I had that fortnight, and as it turned out, was not realistic in terms of what I actually needed to spend my money on that week. The week I signed up for Pocketbook, I coincidentally had a lot of big expenses that I had to pay off, so I was constantly going over my set budget.
Every morning, Pocketbook sends a reminder through your phone notifications and/or email telling you how much you are allowed to spend until the end of the week, dependent on the budget you set. They also tell you when you’re about to go over your limit. It turns out, this is a very annoying feature if you are constantly going over your limit because you set savings goals that are misaligned with your spending habits. And it makes you feel really, really guilty!
But probably if you’re good with money, this wouldn’t be a problem.
I have since put my spending cap on “auto”, which means that the app will set my weekly budget depending on how much I have in my account that week, and it works a little better than a hard budget.
I think more responsible people would use Pocketbook for managing their personal or household budgets, or saving money or something. I just use it for a more in-depth look at how I like to
waste spend my money every week; this way, I can chastise myself in more specific ways. But who knows, maybe in the future I’ll be using Pocketbook to reach my savings goals as well.
*I’d always thought I was more of a cash person, but recent transactions prove otherwise. See: Pocketbook is teaching me things about myself! [the machines grow stronger. they are more knowledgeable. the end is nigh].
This post serves as an entry to Pocketbook’s Valentines Day competition, to win a tiny amount of cash. That is how bad my finances are at the moment. If you’re interested, it’s still open for a few more days.