Bills are payments made from your credit or checking account to a merchant for goods and services on a regular basis.
Setting up your Bills in PocketGuard allows you to carve out income every month and set it aside to make sure your bases are covered before spending on non-essential purchases.
What should I tag as a Bill?
For the most part, when setting up your recurring bills in PocketGuard, you will want to tag all of your recurring expenses with a fixed value. However, there are some notable exceptions which we will highlight below.
Here are a few examples of items you should tag as Bills:
- Cell phone bills
- Utility bills
- Loan payments
- Monthly gym membership
- Subscriptions (Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, etc.)
- Insurance payments
You make several purchases each month that fall into specific categories, and when you end up spending around the same amount each month it is common to create budgets for these categories. Doing this allows you to start to think about these items as Bills.
Grocery shopping is a prime example of this. Most families are roughly aware of what they spend on food each month, therefore it makes sense to start thinking of a “grocery bill”.
“We usually spend around $500 on food each month…so it would be wise to make sure I’ve set funds aside for groceries before I get into non-essential spending.”
In reality, we do not have a grocery bill; we have a grocery spending limit.
Tracking groceries in PocketGuard as a Bill is difficult in theory as spending does not occur all at once. It is spread throughout the month, and therefore harder to predict what the total will be.
Things you should NOT tag as Bills:
- Eating out
Your Credit Card Bill
Do NOT track your credit card payments as a recurring expense in PocketGuard as we mark those payments to your credit card company as transfers.
The reason for this is simple. Every time you swipe your credit card to make a general purchase, that amount is debited from your “In My Pocket”. In PocketGuard’s eyes, you have just paid for the item. In reality, your credit card company is floating you the money and you technically have not paid for it.
Therefore, the “payment” to your credit card company is just a transfer. You are transferring funds from an account with a positive balance to an account with a negative balance. Such transactions are marked as “TO” and “FROM”. Please note that if you hide one of the accounts that take part in a transfer, the TO-FROM chain will be broken and the transactions will no longer be tagged as transfers thus being counted twice.
How do I tag a transaction as a Bill?
While some Bills are identified as PocketGuard automatically, others have to be tagged manually. To add a Bill you will need to:
- Go to the Plan section
- Tap [Month] Bill
- Click the “+” sign in the top right corner
- Choose the transaction that should be a Bill
- Choose billing period.
Besides, you can tap a transaction in the Transactions section and tap the Bill button in the transaction details.
On the 1st of every month we post upcoming Bills amount in the Plan section. The amount is calculated basing on the Bills you paid previously.
If an upcoming Bill amount is incorrect, you can adjust it in the following way:
- Tap Bills in the Plan section;
- Swipe left a Bill and tap "Adjust amount" on iOS (or long tap on Android).