PocketGuard is one of the best rising personal finance apps with more than 8,000 ratings on Google Play and the App Store.
It gives users a detailed look into their cash flow and expenses to help them save every month.
It is a secure platform targeting young people.
- In My Pocket feature that helps you control your spending habits
- The premium version of the app is relatively inexpensive compared to most similar apps
- You can link your account with multiple bank accounts
- It lacks crucial financial management features such as investment tools
- Customer support is limited to emails and chat
Most budgeting apps come at a high price and rarely with a free version. If a free version exists, it never satisfies users.
If you are looking for a free budgeting app to meet some simple financial management, PocketGuard is an ideal option.
What Is PocketGuard?
It is a budgeting app that allows users to track their expenses and cash flow to help them cut unnecessary costs hence save more.
The PocketGuard app gives its users precise numbers indicating the amount left over after taking care of bills and other expenses.
Since its launch in 2014, the app has grown into one of the most popular finance apps for its efficiency.
It allows you to link your bank accounts to the app and manually create your budget.
The app automatically calculates how much you spend, having set aside enough for your goals, bills, and other necessities.
And the best part?
It also displays your balance after clearing all your bills.
The PocketGuard app is simple, with a focus on helping you budget and manage your funds.
The following are some of the best features it offers its users:
1. Organizing Expenses And Seeing Spending Reports
As you make transactions, PocketGuard puts them in categories to help organize your expenses.
You can manually edit them if you disagree with the categorization.
Then based on the categories, the PocketGuard app then creates an overview of how you spend your money.
It makes it easier to detect categories where you may be overspending.
You can customize your expenses further using personalized hashtags on purchases to group transactions in specific categories.
2. Budget Building And Setting Goals
One of the essential sections of a finance app is the budgeting section.
PocketGuard’s accounting feature ensures your account works with the latest data to help make accurate and realistic accounts based on your account details.
Savings goal is also crucial in budgeting, and PocketGuard makes it exemplary easy for you.
Here is why:
You simply need to name a goal and sync it to one of your linked bank accounts.
Your monthly contributions towards a savings goal can also be part of your budget in the In My Pocket calculations.
3. Knowing Your Spendings Limit In My Pocket
Another unique feature is In My Pocket, which, combined with the syncing ability, allows you to access the values of how much spending you have at any specific time.
This feature is especially advantageous to people who tend to break their budget with impulse buying.
The number displayed on PocketGuard is based on an estimate of income and expenses.
To get the values, the app looks into details such as your regular bills, recurring income, and your savings goal.
It then informs you how much you have and are likely to use in the next few weeks.
This feature may sound confusing, but it is very popular and applicable by Millenials.
An organization of any level can use hashtags since it helps categorize transactions into distinct pockets where you will see the spending for each tag.
5. Account Syncing With Thousands Of Institutions
Most of PocketGuard’s functions are automated, and it begins with synching your personal finance accounts.
The app allows you to link accounts from thousands of institutions, including:
- Credit cards
- Personal loans
- Mortgage lenders
- Checkings and savings account
When you connect all your accounts to one place, you get a better and more detailed look at your financial status.
Syncing your accounts enables PocketGuard to display your up-to-date balance and transaction records.
This makes it easier for you to update your savings target and budget to reflect your latest income and expenditure.
6. Customer Support And Learning
If you face any challenges using PocketGuard, you can contact the customer support team through the app or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PocketGuard also has a website with articles for troubleshooting and FAQs.
PocketGuard has a blog hosted through Medium covering different financial topics and providing management tips to readers.
PocketGuard Features That Need An Improvement
Most of the features that seem to demand an improvement in PocketGuard are in the Free Version.
However, the Premium version is nearly perfect depending on most people’s financial requirements.
1. Account Synching In Free Version
Compared to most free versions of similar apps, the free version of the PocketGuard app offers no manual options.
Other apps allow you to manually link credit card accounts if an institution is not supported for automation or you don’t want to give the app access to your financial details.
When using PocketGuard, you need to link a bank or credit card account before you even start using other app functions.
The only way to access more manual options is to upgrade to PocketGuard Plus.
Plus users can add up to five cash accounts for tracking cash transactions and unsupported bank accounts.
2. Customization Limits In The Free Version
Users of the free PocketGuard version are limited to setting one savings goal.
Moreover, they can’t create any custom transaction categories or add several categories within the same transaction.
PocketGuard is considerate of its users and offers some of the best security features. They include:
- A double layer of protection with security features, including the 256-bit SSL encryption commonly used in major banks.
- The app also requests users’ PIN codes and utilizes Touch and Face IDs.
It is the paid membership version of the app that costs $4.99 per month, $34.99 annually, or $99.99 for a lifetime.
The app is free to download for both Android and iOS users, and the free version has enough features to get you started monitoring your spending.
The additional features Plus users enjoy include:
- Creation of as many goals and budget categories as you wish
- Set up a debt payoff plan
- Get up to 6 months of your transaction data, unlike three months in the free version
- Splitting transactions into different categories
- Create up to 5 cash accounts
How To Maximize Your Use Of PocketGuard
If you are signing up or already using PocketGuard, the following are ways you can get the most out of the application:
Link To As Many Accounts As Possible
To get all your accurate finance, link PocketGuard to every bank account if possible.
You need to provide your usernames and passwords, but you should not worry about security since the app does not store your bank credentials.
Instead, it uses a secure encryption system on the same level as bank security to protect your data.
Track Cash Spending From The App
Use PocketGuard’s feature to manually track your transactions, especially if you create a budget with cash.
Simply open the “Accounts” tab and add a cash account to monitor each transaction you make.
Create A Goal And Automate Your Savings
Whether using the free or plus version, you can create a savings goal and automatically designate a specific amount every month.
You can set up this feature to transfer funds from your savings account into your PocketGuard account.
Set Up Alerts
The best way to maximize PocketGuard’s use is to ensure you receive notifications and alerts.
This function is not automatic, and you have to set it up on the mobile app or website.
PocketGuard Vs. Personal Capital
If you are looking for a user-friendly money management app, PocketGuard offers the most basic features required to manage your finances.
The app mainly targets millennial users who are familiar with hashtags and emojis to categorize transactions.
It has an excellent user interface, with the free version offering enough features to get started.
Not everyone will find the new generation features user-friendly.