PocketGuard Review for 2021

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In our PocketGuard review, you’ll learn all about what this app has to offer so you can determine whether it makes sense for your unique situation.

What’s the PocketGuard App?

PocketGuard is a budgeting app available for both iOS and Android devices. The free budget app syncs with checking, savings, and credit accounts to give you a complete overview of your cash flow and expenses. It also uses an algorithm to track how much you have in your bank account for everyday spending. 

PocketGuard launched in 2014 and operates out of the San Francisco Bay area. 

The app has 3.7 stars (out of 5 stars) on Google Play and 4.7 stars (out of 5 stars) on the App Store, suggesting users are pretty happy with it overall. 

PocketGuard

Overall Rating

8.6

Bottom Line

PocketGuard is a free budget app syncs with checking, savings, and credit accounts to give you a complete overview of your cash flow and expenses. It also uses an algorithm to track how much you have in your bank account for everyday spending. 

Pros

  • Automatically sync data across multiple accounts
  • Works with Android and iPhone
  • Quick access to disposable income through In My Pocket
  • Visualize transactions with pie charts
  • Build multiple budgets

Cons

  • No way to input transactions manually
  • Limited customer support
  • No bill pay
  • Free edition has limited functions

Mobile App

8.5

Security

9.5

Customer Service and Support

7.0

User Friendly

9.0

or, skip straight to the section on how to sign up for PocketGuard

PocketGuard Features

Here are a list of the top features of PocketGuard.

Automatic account syncing 

PocketGuard supports about 18,000 financial institutions across the U.S. and Canada. So if you use a major bank or credit card, you should be able to link your account without a problem. 

If you’re not comfortable connecting your bank account to PocketGuard, you won’t be able to use the app. 

In My Pocket

Struggling with overspending? If so, you’re not alone.

PocketGuard can help. Its “In My Pocket” feature provides instant visibility into how much you have in your account and what’s left over for spending after bills, savings, and investments.

For example, suppose you make $3,500 in one month and have $2,000 worth of expenses. The app would take the difference and essentially give you an allowance of $1,500 for spending.

The app doesn’t restrict or control your money in any way. So you can spend more money if you need to. But that would defeat the point of budgeting

Transaction reporting

With PocketGuard, you can easily see where your money is going daily, set spending limits, and access spending pie charts.

You can also use a handy hashtagging feature to track transactions across various spending categories. Simply choose a transaction, add a note, type a hashtag (e.g., “#dining” or “#entertainment”), and then hit “Save.” 

Moving forward, you’ll be able to check out hashtag reports in the app’s insights section to track your spending across categories.

Debt payoff 

The app lets you set up a debt payoff strategy and stick to a payment schedule. Essentially, you create a budget and make sure to allocate money to debt payments each month. You can also track your payments over time and observe your progress toward debt-free living. 

Find savings 

PocketGuard aggregates numerous financial services for customers. The app can connect you with third-party tools to lower bills, cancel unwanted subscriptions, get shopping rebates, and improve your credit score. 

To access this feature, you’ll first need to answer some questions in the profile section. Once that’s done, the app sends you custom offers designed to help you save some cash. 

PocketGuard Pricing

PocketGuard offers a free version of the app with limited features. To access the full lineup of tools, you have to upgrade to the paid version — PocketGuard Plus — which costs $7.99 per month, or $79.99 per year. You can also make a one-time purchase of $99.99 for lifetime access.

There’s no mention of PocketGuard Plus on the company’s main website. But if you venture over to PocketGuard’s help site, you can find all the details there. 

PocketGuard Plus: An overview

Here’s a breakdown of what you’ll get with PocketGuard Plus. 

  • Use multiple cash accounts: PocketGuard Plus lets you add up to ten cash accounts so you can track all of your money in one place. 
  • Form a debt payoff plan: You can build a debt payoff plan with PocketGuard based on your unique needs. The debt payoff plan offers two common debt reduction strategies, the snowball and the avalanche. (For a complete breakdown of these methods, check out this primer.)
  • Create custom categories: PocketGuard Plus gives you more granular control over budgeting by allowing you to create custom categories.
  • Adjust transaction dates: With PocketGuard Plus, you can change the transaction date for more precise monthly reporting. 
  • Export transactions: PocketGuard Plus lets you export data into charts and graphs using Excel or Sheets. And you can also download your transaction history as a CSV file.
  • Create multiple goals: One of my favorite features in PocketGuard Plus is the savings goal feature. You can track multiple goals from a single app for greater visibility. 
  • Split transactions: PocketGuard lets you split or unsplit transactions as you need to. The app treats splits like regular transactions. 

My advice is to go all-in and pay for the premium model. I like how you can add up to ten accounts and access specific debt reduction strategies. Plus, you’ll gain more control for categorizing and managing budgets. 

The price is reasonable when you consider the number of features that you can access.  

Signing Up and Getting Started  

Want to get started with PocketGuard? Follow these steps:

1. Sign up for PocketGuard

Just about anyone can sign up for PocketGuard. There are no eligibility requirements other than being at least 18 and having a bank account.

To begin, head over to PocketGuard’s website and click “Start Now.” You can sign in using either a Google or Apple ID. 

2. Connect your accounts 

To use the app, you’ll have to connect at least one credit, checking, or savings account to the platform. As PocketGuard explains, the more accounts you add, the more effective your budgeting will be. 

3. Track your monthly and daily budget 

After connecting your accounts, you’re free to start using the PocketGuard app. To get the most out of PocketGuard and reach your financial goals, you must make budgeting a daily habit. 

PocketGuard can’t perform miracles. It can help you notice trends and improve your spending habits, but budgeting requires an ongoing effort. It isn’t something you can set and forget. 

PocketGuard Review of Promotions for 2021

Here’s the promotion they’re currently running:

PocketGuard referral program

Have a friend who needs to tighten their spending habits? By recommending PocketGuard, you and your friend could both get free access for a month.

To qualify for the promotion, your contact has to install the app, sign up with your referral code, and link their accounts. Once that’s done, you and your friend will both automatically receive the promotion.

PocketGuard Features

PocketGuard Security

PocketGuard uses “read-only” access. That means the company can view your banking transaction history and data but can’t modify it.

The budgeting app can’t make any changes to your bank account or even make any payments on your behalf. 

Further, the app uses bank-grade 256-bit SSL encryption to protect your data. And you can also protect your account with a PIN code and biometrics. 

In sum, PocketGuard is safe and trustworthy, and you can feel confident about using this app.

Customer Service and Support

PocketGuard offers support only through an email address ([email protected]). If you run into a technical snag, you’ll have to resolve the issue this way. Unfortunately, there isn’t a live chat feature or phone number to call.

In addition, PocketGuard offers a help portal. 

PocketGuard Review: Pros and Cons

These are some of the advantages and disadvantages of PocketGuard.

Pros

  • Automatically sync data across multiple accounts
  • Works with Android and iPhone
  • Quick access to disposable income through In My Pocket
  • Visualize transactions with pie charts
  • Build multiple budgets
  • Track financial goals
  • Works with Apple Watch
  • User-friendly and easy to navigate

Cons

  • No way to input transactions manually 
  • Limited customer support
  • No bill pay 
  • Free edition has limited functions

Alternatives to PocketGuard

Here are some of the top PocketGuard alternatives.

Best free app: Mint

Mint is a popular budget tracker and financial planner that’s completely free to download and use, which makes it my favorite app on the market. 

In addition to budgets, you can use Mint to track your investments. 

Learn More:

Best budgeting app: You Need a Budget (YNAB) 

YNAB is purely for budgeting purposes. 

You’ll have to pay a bit for this app ($11.99 monthly or $84 annually). But it does offer a variety of useful tools — like dual budgeting, advanced reports, and insights — to help you learn how to budget effectively.

Learn More:

Best personal finance toolkit: Personal Capital

Personal Capital offers a variety of free personal finance tools like an investment checker, net worth tracker, savings planner, retirement planner, and fee analyzer. 

Personal Capital also offers a wealth management program. But you need at least $100,000 to use it. If you’ve got a ton of cash on hand, this might be a good option for you.

Learn More:

Best for tracking crypto: Spendee

Spendee is a money management app that lets you track a variety of accounts, including crypto, e-wallets, and traditional bank accounts. 

The company offers a free model and two premium plans at $2.99 per month/$22.99 per year and $1.99 per month/$14.99 per year.

Frequently Asked Questions

These are some of the most frequently asked questions about PocketGuard.

Is PocketGuard safe?

Yes, PocketGuard is completely safe to use. 

The app doesn’t have the ability to manage your bank accounts or make transactions on your behalf. It merely tracks income and expenses and gives you visibility to make smarter decisions.

Is PocketGuard a bank?

PocketGuard isn’t a bank. It’s a financial technology (fintech) solution. 

The company doesn’t hold any money. As such, PocketGuard doesn’t offer Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insurance as you would find at a bank. However, wherever you hold your cash almost certainly does.

Is PocketGuard good for budgeting?

Yes, PocketGuard is a helpful budgeting and personal finance tool. The app is easy to use, and you can choose between the free version and the paid version, which offers more functionality. 

By using this app, you’ll gain more visibility into your accounts and have an easier time reducing debt, paying bills on time, and reaching your savings goals.

The Bottom Line

Managing money is tough. But it’s a lot harder when you lack direct visibility into your everyday expenses. And this is where PocketGuard shines.

Use PocketGuard if you’re looking for more control over your various bank accounts. It’s safe and easy to use, and I think you’ll love the visualization tools like pie charts and goal tracking meters that make it easy to understand your money at a glance.

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