A budgeting app that tracks your spending and upcoming bills but logging cash transactions will cost you extra.
The PocketGuard app is a free budgeting platform that automatically pulls your financial information to conveniently view the balances and transactions of all your accounts from one app. Its unique algorithm looks at your spending habits and helps design a budget that you can tweak until it’s perfect. But PocketGuard isn’t compatible with all financial institutions and some customers report app glitches.
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Expert reviewPocketGuard is best for college students as it’s lower cost than most budgeting apps. And the free plan allows you to analyze your income and expenses to calculate how much money you have left over for everyday spending.
But if you need to manually include cash transactions, want to split a purchase into different categories or want to customize your budget categories, you’ll need to upgrade your account to the PocketGuard Plus plan.
And make sure that your bank and credit card providers are compatible with PocketGuard, or you may find yourself constantly relinking accounts or having missing transactions that will completely throw off your budget.
How to sign up
Start using PocketGuard in five steps:
- Go to the provider’s site and follow the steps to apply.
- Download the app from the App or Google Play store.
- Open Pocketguard and select Get started.
- Choose to sign up using your Google or Apple account.
- Create a four-digit PIN.
- Connect your accounts by logging in to your bank account.
How does PocketGuard work?PocketGuard links all of your bank accounts and credit cards so you can consolidate and analyze your account balances and transactions in one place. Its money management tools help you visualize your income and spending for you to have better control of your money.
How much does PocketGuard cost?PocketGuard is free to download and use. Upgrade your account to PocketGuard Plus, which is a premium subscription with additional features.
Here’s a quick rundown of what each plan gets you:
|PocketGuard Plus||Choose from three billing plans:||Everything in the free version plus:|
How safe is PocketGuard to use?PocketGuard uses 256-bit SSL encryption to protect your information from unauthorized access. And the app utilizes a PIN code and biometrics in case you ever misplace your phone. Plus, PocketGuard doesn’t store any of your credit or debit information.
4 PocketGuard prosPocketGuard does more than track your spending, recurring bills and subscriptions. It provides personalized reports and reminders of your upcoming bills plus these perks:
- Set goals. Create savings goals and track your progress.
- Hashtags. Fine-tune your transaction by adding hashtags in the notes section, which automatically appear on your Insights report for quick reference and searches — even if they’re assigned to different spending categories.
- Calculate a debt payoff strategy. Upgrade to PocketGuard Plus to add your credit and loan accounts to see how PocketGuard‘s debt payoff plan prioritizes your loans and helps get you out of the red.
- Track cash. Manually add cash transactions that you earn and spend to include them in your net worth. This feature is only available on PocketGuard Plus.
4 PocketGuard cons
While PocketGuard has many perks, you may experience the following difficulties:
- Issues syncing with certain financial institutions. If your bank or credit card provider has issues integrating with PocketGuard, your account may not accurately sync and display your finances. According to some users, some financial institutions may require you to constantly relink your account — sometimes multiple times a day.
- Reports of glitches. Some customers report accounting blips, including missing transactions, duplicated entries and server errors.
- Some crucial features are only available on the paid plan. Managing cash transactions, creating your own budget categories and splitting transactions into multiple categories are a few critical budgeting features that’ll cost you extra.
- Limited customer service. The only way to get customer support is by emailing the developer at email@example.com. Users who have contacted the company say that it usually takes a long time to resolve issues.
If you need a budgeting platform with more responsive customer service, consider another budgeting app.
PocketGuard reviews and complaints
Although PocketGuard doesn’t have any Trustpilot or Better Business Bureau reviews, it’s well-received on Apple and Google Play app stores. Apple users give it a 4.7 out of 5-star rating based on 6,400 reviews, and 1,644 Android users rate the app a 3.8 out of 5 stars as of August 2021.
Customers are happy with how accurate PocketGuard is with categorizing transactions automatically. And there are quite a few testimonials about how it has helped them stay on budget. But a big complaint is constantly needing to resync specific bank accounts, including Citibank and American Express, because of known problems with PocketGuard‘s data aggregation provider, Finicity.
Compare PocketGuard to other budgeting apps
Use this table to see how PocketGuard compares to other popular budgeting platforms.
We update our data regularly, but information can change between updates. Confirm details with the provider you're interested in before making a decision.