“My Bank Sucks, How Can I Categorise My Transactions?”

One very important element when you start budgeting is to be able to compare your budget to your actuals to make sure you’re on target.

Now the banks I have either personally banked with or have had to do banking with have been pretty good in helping users to categorise their transactions. There’s generally something available, the problem though is whether you can use it.

Here’s where a great free service for Australians can help!

It’s called Pocketbook.

Pocketbook provides the flexibility of sucking your data from your bank into their app and then automatically categorising the transactions based on previous selections.

In the near 8 years I have used and had Pocketbook I would recommend it for the following positives:

  • It’s free! Yes, free!
  • It gets your data quite seamlessly from your Aussie bank.
  • You can create your own categories.
  • It has an awesome looking app for your phone making it easy to write notes at the point of sale.
  • It helps to analyse your spending and keep you on track with your targets.
  • It helps to monitor when bills are coming in the month and week ahead.
  • You can import historical data.
  • And you export your data too!
  • You can tag transactions for tax to help you better prepare for tax time.

While Pocketbook is fantastic there are a few other niggles you will experience:

  • You cannot split a transaction. So if you’ve bought a gift for someone at ALDI and you also bought some groceries, you’ll have to tag the transaction either way. (Writing good notes helps here!)
  • You may perform an oopsie and accidentally re-categorise all your historical transactions if you’re not careful when changing a single transaction to a different category - be sure to check the box “Apply only to this transaction”. (I wish that box was checked on by default!)

Apart from those quirks the platform is a great little tool in helping you keep up with your spending.

How long have you used Pocketbook and what is your favourite feature?