PocketGuard screenshots

Annie is a senior in Boston, Massachusetts.


Finally, an app to get my finances in check! PocketGuard promises to do just that by allowing users to organize their spending into “pockets,” which are categories such as eating out or bills. They even add hashtags to create their own grouping system. So if I spent $3 at Dunkin’, then I can label the transaction as “eating out” and #coffee.

I can also write notes on transactions—for example, “Mom owes me for this.” You can track and compare how much has been spent for a particular pocket or hashtag each month. This can work as a reminder for how much room is left in your budget for online shopping or serve as a wake-up call if you’ve spent an absurd amount eating out. I came to the not-so-surprising realization that I really need to stop drinking so much coffee, for the sake of both my health and my wallet.

Additionally, you can set a savings plan and spending limits if you want to really rein in your spending. PocketGuard also automatically detects any bills you have and labels any deposits as income. Thanks to this app, I found out that I had been paying for a subscription I didn’t even know I had. #whatisthis

The app is able to link to your bank account and other popular money apps such as Venmo and PayPal. Security is also a high priority, as you either have to enter a simple four-digit passcode or use your fingerprint every time you open the app.

One downside to PocketGuard is that my cash balance is a big question mark since tracking cash is a pay-to-unlock feature. Transactions aren’t synced right away, so the most accurate source will always be your bank’s mobile app. The rest of the issues are minor and fixable.

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