Better Way for Your Personal Finances

Why waste time struggling with Excel, or pen & paper?

Mange your personal finances with no work.

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Always up-to-date transaction data

Why fuss with manually downloading and cleaning your transaction data? Pocketbook does it safely and automatically... and keeps it up to date.

Automatically categorise your transactions

Why bother with Excel formulas? You'll find 80% of transactions already smartly categorised. McDonald's is "food", the pub is "drinks".

Perfect charts for analysing your spending

Why waste time thinking about different ways to visualise your data? Our analyse feature have figured it out for you.

Recommended by financial professionals

Financial planners and accountants recommend Pocketbook to their clients. We make everyone's life easier.

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User Quote 1

"Since using Pocketbook, I feel more in control of my money."

"I love that it reminds me if something is unusual, like a forgotten bill payment."

Rebecca, Web Designer & Founder

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What is Personal Finance

Management of individual finances is highly correlated with general happiness and wellbeing. According to the Australian Unity Wellbeing Index, Australians are increasingly happier as household income reaches $101,000 to $150,000. Individuals are also less likely to be happy where they have ongoing credit card debt. So not worrying whether there is enough money is key.

Personal Finance is the discipline to make sure you have enough to spend today and will have built enough to spend tomorrow - based on your life goals. It is the cashflow management for your personal life.

Personal Finance includes:

  • Assessment - Making sense of your individual or household financial activities, including incomes and spending. Typically your bank statements could be used as the tool to start the assess process. You may also want to include various loans, credit cards and investments.
  • Goal Setting - Having a variety of financial goals is common. These can be a $5,000 holiday later this year, a $30,000 deposit for a first home or $1,000,000 to satisfy a desired lifestyle at retirement. These financial goals need to be based on life goals and lifestyle requirements.
  • Planning - A plan ensures there are actionable things to link what you see in your assessment and what you'd want to achieve in your financial goals. Some tactics could be - refinancing, reducing expenses, changing career to increase income or diversifying investment.
  • Execution of the plan - Discipline and determination is key here. Particularly as your goals and your spending conditions are likely to change over time. A lot of professionals can assist at this stage, including lawyers, accountants, investment advisors, financial planners - friends and family are often helpful to keep you on track as well. Finally, as things change, monitoring and reviewing the financial plan over time is also critical.

Why is Personal Finance difficult to manage

Common failures to personal finance start with poor assessment or goal setting. Often not enough detail is looked at when the initial assessment is made. Incomes may have been overstated and spending understated. When setting goals, unrealistic objectives or those that weren't as well thought through in terms of lifestyle needs were used as a starting point. When these things aren't accurate for your specific situation, then it's difficult to get the rest right.

Following these initial steps, keeping on track is particularly difficult because it is fundamentally hard to focus on the future. There are sales everywhere, all the time, and our goal is big and hairy, it can be daunting to think about a five-figure sum and events like retirement. Psychologically, we aren't built to stay focused on long-term goals, our reptilian brain gets easily distracted and all we want to do is gratify our short-term needs.

So it is way to easy to use a credit card, rather than save for a $5,000 holiday. This way we can worry about it later. According to ASIC, the average credit card holder in Australia has over $4,000 of credit card debt, paying close to 20% of this in interest payments to the banks.

Tips to make Personal Finance easier

The main objective to make sure your personal finance management is successful is to plan for any extra-ordinary circumstances at the start. Some tips to do this include:

  • Look sufficiently at your spending history - By looking at 3 months or even 3 years of your spending, you're able to get a better picture of what's regular and what's irregular spending. This helps you look ahead to understand what will be regular in the future.
  • Factor in changes in your lifestyle in the future - Many people fail to consider this when making decisions for the future. Some typical ones are plans to start the kids on daycare, plans for postgraduate study or plans for a career change.
  • Setting a small weekly target - While the big and hairy future goal is hard to keep front of mind, or can be significantly daunting, it is translatable to a simpler and more easier to understand weekly goal. One example is to simply factor in future savings when creating an ?allowance? for weekly spending. Then stick to that smaller, much more relevant target instead.
  • Review your product, plan and goals annually - Again, life and requirements for today, as well as your future change over time. Reviewing your goals annually helps you keep them relevant as well as front of mind. Similarly, new products - financial like credit cards, health and car insurance, mobile subscriptions all change over time. Making sure you spending as little as you can on these staples helps you reach your goal that much sooner. So review them annually to make sure you're getting the best deals.
  • Take steps to insure against a rainy day - Common good practice is to make sure you have some money - typically 3 months salary saved for a rainy day. Making room to buy salary, health and life insurance can also help smooth out any unforeseen events.

How Pocketbook helps with your personal finances

We created Pocketbook as a tool to help make managing your personal finances ridiculously simple. We help by making assessment and ongoing tracking a breeze.

At sign-on, we take 60 seconds for you to sync your banking information, detect your regular bill payments, forecast them and categorise up to 80% of transactions. A process, which typically takes hours according to any financial planner, now takes literally minutes.

Another feature to keep you on track is our Safely Spend feature. Which automatically peels away your regular bill spending and suggests a discretionary spend which helps you focus on a weekly goal to spend to. We send you alerts to inform you as your Safely Spend limit decreases over the week. We also send you alerts to tell you when you've been charged a bank fee or are late on a bill.

Quite simply, if you want to get your personal finance in order and stick to achieving the goals you want to achieve, then Pocketbook is the personal finance tool you must have.

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