PocketSmith: A Calendar-Based Financial Planner

PocketSmith Homepage

Tracking Your Future Cash Flow

Do you remember my Excel-based Monthly Expense Tracker? I used to use it religiously to keep track of my future spending and saving goals. This was great because it allowed me to avoid over-drafting my accounts, and helped me to stay focused on reaching my savings and debt reduction goals. Looking  towards your future spending with your goals in mind is far more valuable than simply looking back at your past spending and beating yourself up over failures.

Well, someone took that concept and designed an online software tool that does exactly the same thing. Only theirs is far more interesting to look at and comes with a few more bells and whistles. It’s called PocketSmith.

More About PocketSmith

PocketSmith is a calendar-based financial planner. It helps you maintain a focus on cash flow forecasts. It’s quick and easy to use. In short,

“it uses a calendar paradigm for a unique view on one’s finances, and bridges the gap for many who are looking for a simple and understandable solution for working with their money.”

PocketSmith also comes with modules for adding actual spending data from your bank account. This is done using manual upload. Automation coming soon. They also have a nice goal setting module which works hand in hand with the calendar to help you reach your savings and debt reduction goals.

PocketSmith Calendar

How PocketSmith Works

When you create your PocketSmith account you are taken to your calendar. Your first step is to load this calendar up with all your known future income, spending, saving, and debt reduction activities. For instance, if you get paid on the 15th, you go to that date and create an “event” called salary (or paycheck or whatever you want to call it).

You’re then able to add in how much your paycheck will be, and set up any type of recurring options (i.e. every month on the 15th). One thing that I noticed PocketSmith might improve on is the ability to add recurring items on specific dates. For instance, I get paid on the 1st and 15th. I’m not able (as far as I can tell) able to set up my salary event using those parameters.

PocketSmith

Adding future expenses and savings transfers is just as easy. Once you have it all setup you’re able to see what the projection for your cash flow is. Going forward you need only tweak the calendar events as your information changes.

Sign up with PocketSmith for free using thier free membership plan.

An excellent, robust alternative to PocketSmith is You Need a Budget. Take control of your money. Sign up with You Need a Budget and enter “ptmoney” (without the ” “) for 15% off at purchase!

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Last Edited: February 18, 2012 @ 1:26 pm
About Philip Taylor

Philip Taylor, aka "PT", is a husband and father of two. He created PT Money back in 2007 to share his thoughts on money and to meet others passionate about managing their finances. All the content on this blog is original, and created or edited by PT. Read more about Philip Taylor, and be sure to connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, or view the Philip Taylor+ Google profile.

Comments

  1. This sounds like a fantastic tool. Easy, too, and probably the most important feature of all!

  2. Looks like this is very similar to mint.com and Quicken Online (which had a pretty good “goals” feature), both of which are free. It looks pretty interesting, but what’s the advantage?

  3. The advantage is it’s calendar-based and forward-looking. You get projections, as far as a year out, on what your cash flow, savings, etc will be. Just a different way of approaching one’s understanding of their finances.

    The disadvantage right now, is that it doesn’t auto aggregate like Mint and Quicken Online.

  4. Patricia Herman says:

    I think I have found my system. I have read this site several times in the last couple of days. I struggle with organized systems but this one seems to use a calendar to keep me on track and that’s what I need. Signing up and hoping I win!!!

  5. I’d love a chance to look at this software – I have yet to find something beyond Excel that keeps my attention

  6. I’ve always used a calendar to for expenses and income. I can’t wait to try this tool. I hope it’s something I can used instead of a excel spreadsheet!

  7. Interesting, thanks for the info. I’m feeling lucky!!

  8. This looks VERY similar to CalendarBudget, only not quite as polished.

  9. I have been looking for a system to manage my money. I have considered Quicken and Mint, but this looks like a great option. I’ll check it out and see what I think. Thanks!

    Netanya
    Money Hackers Blog Ambassador

  10. I’m not really sure how much this would benefit me compared to the Quicken program I use now, which also includes a calendar. I guess it might be nice to be able to access the information online from anywhere, but then, I can’t actually think of when I would need to do that. But it could be a nice option for people who don’t already have a program like quicken.

  11. This looks like a great addition to the excel sheet I use.

  12. The randomly selected winners of the Premium Memberships are: Patricia and Barry. I’ll email you guys shortly.

    The winner from Twitter is @CindyMorus

    Congrats! I hope you enjoy Pocketsmith!

  13. GaelicWench says:

    I have to admit that after trying out numerous types of budgeting tools, the calendar type makes the most sense to me. I currently use one on paper, listing upcoming expenses, and once they’re paid, I go to the next month and relist them. This is good for credit card payments if you can’t pay off the entire balance, and use the snowball method to pay down the cards. All the amounts but the one being paid off rapidly remains the same. It’s easy to budget that way.

    I did try PocketSmith, but not long enough to decide if it will work or not. Perhaps I should give it another shot. Thanks Phil. I truly appreciate all that you do to help someone like me to stay on track. :-)

  14. @GaelicWench – Thanks for sharing your budgeting method. What makes the most sense usually ends up making the most success.

    I appreciate you reading the blog and stopping by to comment.

  15. David Wilcoxson says:

    PocketSmith looks like a great tool, thanks for the tip, I’ll check it out. :-)