PocketGuard Review 2021

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  • Keep tabs on your spending
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Have you been looking for a way to put your finances under control? PocketGuard is a financial planning and budgeting platform that employs intelligent algorithms to help you organize your bills, keep tabs on your expenditure, stay in control of your money and pay off your debts easily. Lets get started with our PocketGuard review.

Why PocketGuard?

Founded in 2015 by Artem Seredyuk and Igor Kuznetsov and primarily based in California in the United States, PocketGuard’s goal is to enable Canadians and Americans to take control of their finances and increase their savings without hassle. It runs on an app and a website that allows you to monitor information about your credit cards, bank accounts, and loans in one place, enabling you to track your balance and net worth with relative ease.

Pros and Cons of PocketGuard

While PocketGuard offers a lot of things all packed up inside that small app, it is important to consider the pros and cons, to see if it is the best option for you in your journey to financial wellness.

Pros

  • Free to use: For the basic plan, all PocketGuard platforms are free to use, and they give you access to a lot of useful financial planning tools. In case you need a little more sophistication such as tracking your cash and creating a debt payoff plan, you have to switch to PocketGuard Plus. And guess what? PocketGuard’s paid subscription is relatively cheaper than several other paid budgeting platforms.
  • Ease of use: PocketGuard’s apps for Android and macOS are simple and easy to navigate, bringing you multiple features with simple taps of your fingers. The website, however, is reportedly more difficult to navigate.
  • In My Pocket: PocketGuard’s ‘In My Pocket’ feature protects you from yourself, especially if you are impulsive with money spending. ‘In My Pocket’ is calculated as the remaining funds you have when your monthly bills, savings goals and ongoing spendings are deducted from your monthly income.
  • Accounts synchronization: PocketGuard is unique for allowing you to link multiple accounts from banks and other financial institutions. This helps you see all your financial accounts information in one place.
  • Track your transactions: Subscribing to a PocketGuard Plus membership allows you to monitor your cash transactions, follow your earnings and track activities on bank accounts. You can also keep tabs on ATM withdrawals.
  • Bank-level security: The PocketGuard mobile app uses a 256-bit SSL data encryption protocol to secure your vital financial details. This protocol is embraced by several banks to protect their customers’ transactions. In addition, the app further secures your information by adding a PIN security code and capturing vital biometrics data. This is more relevant especially if you lose your device, and it provides a fail-safe method to protect your money.

Cons

Despite the numerous pros of using PocketGuard, the platform has a few drawbacks.

  • Compulsory synchronization: You must link financial institutions to your PocketGuard account before you can use it. This compulsory synchronization is prompted as early as during the signup process.
  • Limited free functionality: For the free version of the platform, available options are quite limited. The juiciest features are reserved for PocketGuard’s premium plan.
  • Difficult website: PocketGuard’s website is reportedly tough to navigate, with rudimentary functionalities.
  • Unsatisfactory customer support services: PocketGuard runs only an email support service, which does not regard customers that might require immediate attention.

How good are PokcetGuard’s services?

Despite some of its shortcomings, PocketGuard has a reputation among customers and users as a great budget design and control application. The app is embedded with simple-to-use financial tools to help you monitor your expenditure and savings. It is also optimized for several digital platforms Windows, Mac, iOS and Android platforms, making it accessible to many users.

What services does PocketGuard offer?

PocketGuard offers some of its services free, and this may be enough for some. However, the most exciting features such as a debt pay-off plan and up to six months of transaction data are reserved for the paid premium plan. The features of the PocketGuard app include:

  • In My Pocket: This feature keeps you informed about the amount of spendable money in your account. When creating a budget, you look at the difference between your income and your expenses. A positive net balance means that you are safe while one that balances in the negative zone needs more monitoring. In any of these cases, the ‘In My Pocket’ feature reveals how much funds you have to spare after considering your bills, saving goals and other expenses. While you can do the calculations on your own, the entire process could become clumsy and cumbersome. The PocketGuard app carries this burden for you and presents you with an accurate estimate of how much you can afford to spend while still reaching your financial goals.
  • Pie Chart: This pie chart feature is arguably the most distinguishing feature of the PocketGuard app. For one thing, it gives you a one-glance overview of your expenditure. This exposes what exactly is doing the damage to your finances and helps you take guided actions to salvage the situation.
  • Debt Pay-Off Plan: This is one of the exclusive features of the PocketGuard premium plan. It helps you decide which loans to pay more attention to and helps you set up a decisive strategy to pay off loans without incurring much loss. Available debt payoff strategies include the snowball approach and the avalanche approach. The snowball sorts your loans from the smallest to the largest and allows you to pay the minimum refund on all other loans except the smallest loan in which you pay the minimum refund amount plus the leftover from the payoff budget. The avalanche strategy on the other hand is useful for you if you do not wish to pay additional APR fees. This approach sorts your loans from the highest to the lowest APR. Either way, the debt payoff plan sets you up to maximize your chances of paying your loans with the minimum cost.
  • Account Synchronization: When creating a PocketGuard account, you will be prompted to link your credit cards, bank accounts, loans and investments. This gives you a one-off view of all your accounts, allowing you to see all your accounts in one place. With this feature, you can track your account balance, follow any changes to your accounts and respond promptly if need be.
  • Bills: This feature helps you track fixed monthly expenses and negotiate lower rates on utility charges. Expenses that can benefit from this feature include cell phone subscription, utility charges, mortgage, rent, online services subscriptions and insurance.
  • Savings Finder: PocketGuard has tools that pools numerous financial services together in one place. This helps you easily locate and choose the best service to help pay off loans, improve your credit score, lower bills and do much more.
  • Blog: In addition to the above features, PocketGuard maintains an up-to-date online blog site where relevant market information is dispensed to interested users. The blog also features guides, analytics and expert opinions on trending financial topics. The blog is open to both registered users and guests.

What are the costs of using PocketGuard?

PocketGuard’s services are offered on two different levels. There is a free version of the app and there is a paid premium subscription plan that offers additional features.

  • PocketGuard Free Plan: This plan comes at no cost, and it offers features such as ‘In My Pocket’ and others in a limited format. However, to enjoy the real meat of PocketGuard’s services, you have to upgrade to the premium plan.
  • PocketGuard Plus Plan: To use the advanced features such as the debt payoff plan, exporting transactions, unlimited goals and unlimited categories, you have to part with some money. You can also change the date on transactions, obtain extended transaction history and hold multiple cash accounts. While this may sound counterintuitive, paying for a budgeting app may turn out great if you are serious with the process. On PocketGuard Plus, there are three subscription options:
    • Monthly subscription at $4.99 every month.
    • Yearly subscription at $34.99 each year.
    • Lifetime subscription at $99.99.

Are PocketGuard’s services insured?

While PocketGuard in itself is not an insurance company, some of its services are covered by insurance. How the insurance on PocketGuard’s services works is not entirely clear, as it seems they are reserved for certain features only. Funds kept in PocketGuard Autosave, for instance, are saved in non-interest accounts that are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

PocketGuard also secures your funds with bank-level security. The company employs the 256-bit SSL data encryption protocol to safeguard sensitive user data. In addition, you must have a PIN code and unique biometrics data to use the PocketGuard app.

Are there discounts and promotion offers?

PocketGuard has a ‘Give Plus, Get Plus’ referral program that can guarantee up to 12 months of free premium subscription. It is an avenue for old users and new users to use advanced services for free. If you refer a friend who successfully signs up and links at least one financial account, you will get 1 free month of premium features. Promo codes are equally available on third-party websites.

How good is customer support?

PocketGuard’s customer support is not one of its greatest strengths. The company can only be contacted via emails, which many customers have repeatedly complained about. Customer support is available on the website platform and via the app. There are no direct phone calls or live chat services but there is a FAQs section that contains answers to the most common questions asked by users.

PocketGuard’s online platform

PocketGuard has a website platform that is reportedly difficult to navigate. The PC and mobile apps seem to compensate for this deficiency, and they are available for Windows, Mac and mobile platforms such as iOS and Android. The app is incorporated with useful tools to help you organize your budget and take control of your spending. There is also a FAQs section which answers many pertinent questions you might have.

PocketGuard also maintains an online blogging platform where regular market and financial information is disseminated to users. Expert tips, insightful articles and trending topics are posted to inform readers and help make the best possible financial decisions.

How to get started with PocketGuard

To get started with PocketGuard, you must sign up using either the web app or any of the digital applications.

On the website, click on the Start Now button to commence the account creation process. You will be prompted to connect your banks and other financial accounts that you deem fit. You will also be asked for information such as your full name, email address, age and other relevant information. You will also be required to provide the following documents such as government-issued ID, utility bill or bank statement and other relevant documents.

Alternatives to PocketGuard

In our world of many options, PocketGuard happens to not be the only online financial management service. Other viable alternatives include Mint, EveryDollar, Goodbudget, Personal Capital, YNAB.

Just like PocketGuard, YNAB is great for budgeting. It features a monthly budget planner and payment alerts. The platform encourages zero-based budgeting. There is a 34-day free trial period. However, subscriptions on YNAB cost $11.99 monthly and $84 yearly.

In the same vein, Mint is best at tracking expenses but rivals PocketGuard with its budget planning tool. EveryDollar, on the other hand, runs on zero-based budgeting and like nearly all financial apps, has both free and paid plans. EveryDollar Plus costs $129.99 yearly.

Even though Personal Capital is majorly an investment platform, it equally has a budgeting feature. The platform also has free and paid versions and enables tracking of investments, in addition to budget and retirement planners.

PocketGuard Review Conclusion

PocketGuard, a personal finance management platform, was founded in 2015 as a budgeting solution for Canadians and Americans. It stands out because it provides an avenue to help users prevent overspending. Several bank and financial accounts can be linked to a single PocketGuard account, with support for different operating systems. The ‘In My Pocket’ feature is an ingenious way to help you manage your finances more coherently.

Services offered by PocketGuard are protected with bank-level security and funds are secure with FDIC insurance policy. Although there is only email support for customers, you can get referral bonuses and third-party promotion coupons on services.

PocketGuard is particularly great for people who can’t seem to gain mastery over their spending habits. The number of financial accounts you have matters little, as PocketGuard allows you to link several of them and manage them all in one app. So, if you are looking for a simple user-friendly way to track your finances and manage your budget, PocketGuard may be the app for you.

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FAQs about PocketGuard

What does PocketGuard do?

PocketGuard is a platform that provides a clever algorithm to help you organize your bills, expenditures, savings and debts. PocketGuard allows for simple management of finances and provide opportunities to grow your money.

What accounts can I connect to PocketGuard?

You can connect your checking, credit and savings account. This allows you to see your spending habits, plan your savings and remind you for bills that are due.

How do I check my daily and monthly budget?

PocketGuard has a feature called ‘In My Pocket’, which makes calculations based on your bills, income, financial goals and expenses.

Is PocketGuard free?

The standard membership for PocketGuard is free. If you want to access features like personal debt plan, unlimited category budgets and other customer categories, you would have to upgrade to the Plus plan which has a membership fee.

Is PocketGuard safe?

PocketGuard’s main priority is their customer’s security. This means that PocketGuard has high quality security in place to ensure your data remains private.

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PocketGuard Review 2021

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September 16, 2021
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