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Introducing Pockets: The Smarter Way to Manage Your Freelance Finances

7 Ways Pockets Can Help You Organize Your Cash Flow
Business BankingMarch 05, 2024
Found's newest feature, pockets, are an easier way to manage freelancer finances

When you’re self-employed, all of a sudden you’re responsible for running your own business. Managing your finances takes on a new level of complexity when you have to track income, handle taxes, and monitor expenses for your business. On top of that, you’re often asked to do it all without a predictable paycheck. Your cash flow can quickly become a tangled mess of receipts, invoices, and looming tax deadlines—a mountain of stress that can lead to burnout for many solopreneurs and small business owners.

But there’s a better (and smarter) way.

Our new pockets feature helps you take back control of your finances. The process is simple, but the results are profound: Divide your business finances into different pockets in your Found account so you can organize, budget, and save with complete clarity.

We’ll cover the ins and outs of our most-requested feature, six ways you can use pockets in your business, and a how-to for creating and funding pockets. 

What are Pockets?

Pockets are a new feature in your Found account, allowing you to separate and earmark your money for different needs. Save, spend, and organize your finances in the way that works best for your business—or your preferences. Plus, they’re flexible, easy to use, and help you clearly see your cash flow at a glance.

Every Found account starts with two pockets: Primary and Taxes. Your deposits go to your Primary pocket, and if you choose, a portion of your earnings can be automatically set aside in your Taxes pocket to help you save for tax time. 

The simple, “set it and forget it” nature of tax auto-saving has made it one of our most beloved features. Now, with custom pockets, you can automatically save money for any purpose you choose. When you create a custom pocket in your Found account, you can:

  • Choose a custom name, color, and icon

  • Add money to your pocket in a range of ways

  • Transfer money between pockets quickly and easily

  • Automatically allocate a percentage of your deposits to a pocket

  • Create savings goals and track your progress

  • Add a card to a pocket for simplified spending and effortless tracking

It’s seamless cash flow management, designed to make your life easier.

7 Ways Pockets Can Simplify Your Business Finances 

As a solopreneur or small business owner, your needs are unique. No two businesses are identical, so a customized approach is as helpful for growing your business as it is for managing your finances. The flexibility of pockets means you can budget, save, and organize your way. Here are just a few of the ways pockets can work for you:

Manage multiple revenue streams

Any savvy business owner knows that diversifying your income sources is critical for stability and growth. Not putting all your eggs in one basket means that you might offer various products or services, have multiple big clients, or run separate side hustles. While diversification is great, it can quickly complicate your finances—that’s where pockets can help.

Let's say you're a personal trainer ready to scale your business, but you want to make sure you're spending your time in the right place. Right now, half of your time goes to in-person training sessions, and the other half to creating customized workout plans you sell online. When you create a pocket for each revenue stream, you can get a clear view of which income source is bringing in the most money—helping you decide where you should invest next.

Use a custom budget method like Profit First

There are numerous budgeting methods out there, such as the envelope system, zero-based budgeting, and Profit First. Finding the one that’s right for you may take some trial and error, but pockets can help you test each one out.

Let’s look at Profit First as an example. The Profit First method is a cash management strategy where a business prioritizes allocating a portion of income to profit before anything else. It flips the traditional accounting formula and introduces a new way to manage your cash flow:

  • Traditional accounting: Sales - Expenses = Profit

  • Profit First: Sales - Profit = Expenses

With Profit First, income is distributed into five buckets (Income, Profit, Owner's Pay, Taxes, and Operating Expenses). Each bucket has a specific purpose and a certain allocation percentage based on your revenue. This lets you see profit as a priority, instead of what's left over after your expenses.  

Using Found, you can create five pockets to mirror the Profit First accounts and set your automated income allocations based on the real revenue range of your business. 

Ready to go deeper into the Profit First Method in your business? Our in-depth Profit First guide covers the pros and cons of Profit First, target allocation percentages, and how to set up Profit First in your Found account.

Save money for self-employed taxes

For the self-employed, saving for taxes is a year-round endeavor. You’re responsible for paying quarterly estimated taxes throughout the year, not just one annual lump sum. With unpredictable income streams, figuring out how much money to set aside can be a major challenge. But with Found, you can effortlessly build tax savings every month.

Our beloved auto-save feature takes the guesswork out of taxes. If you’re a Schedule C filer, Found’s auto-save feature will set aside money for taxes every time you get paid, and automatically allocate those funds to your Taxes pocket. Taxed as an S-Corp? You can choose the deposit allocations for your Taxes pocket to build up your tax savings all year long.

“Pockets are amazing! I've really enjoyed setting up various financial focus areas for my small business." - Joshua K., Found customer

Pay 1099 contractors

Hiring 1099 contractors offers access to specialized talents and expertise without the expense of hiring full-time workers. But paying 1099 contractors is more complex than running payroll for W-2 employees on a consistent schedule. With pockets, you can create a dedicated Payroll pocket specifically for contractor payments. 

Let's say you hire a web developer for a $5,000 website project. Their contract may stipulate payments at different milestones rather than the total amount upfront, making organizing payments tricky when your business income fluctuates.

By creating a 1099 Payroll pocket, you can set aside the entire project cost of $5,000 upfront when you sign the contract. As they hit milestones, simply (and instantly) transfer payment amounts from the Payroll pocket to your Primary pocket to pay their invoices. You'll have peace of mind knowing you've already set aside the funds to fulfill your payment obligations. 

Save for long-term goals or large expenses

As a business owner, you probably have big dreams—and expenses—on the horizon. Pockets make it easy to turn short-term income into long-term savings. In seconds, you can create a dedicated pocket for any goal, like:

  • Building an emergency fund to cover operating costs in case of a slow season or unexpected expenses.

  • Saving up for a large purchase like a new computer, a business vehicle, or updated equipment for your business. 

  • Planning for upcoming major business investments like hiring an employee, leasing a brick-and-mortar space, or a large marketing campaign.

  • Funding regular expenses like small business insurance premiums, annual software subscriptions, or continuing education.

Managing these savings is easy, too. You can automate recurring transfers to your pockets, or instantly move money when you want. Watch your savings grow over weeks, months, or years until you hit your target amount. And adjust any time, since moving money between pockets is instant and free.

If you’re a Found Plus subscriber, as an added benefit, you’ll receive 1.5% APY on balances in your Found account up to $20K.

Save for self-employment expenses

When you’re self-employed, you don’t have a traditional employer to provide benefits like health insurance or paid time off. Instead, you’re the boss and you need to be diligent about saving for these expenses. With fluctuating income, it can be challenging to set aside money on a regular basis, but pockets make it easy to earmark funds for these personal priorities. 

For example, you can create a pocket for health insurance and set up a custom allocation to build up funds to cover your premiums. While health insurance is certainly expensive for the self-employed, remember it is typically tax deductible. You could also create a Rainy day fund pocket, set a savings goal, and make transfers when extra income allows. As your pocket's balance grows, you'll gain peace of mind knowing you can handle unexpected expenses. The flexibility of pockets lets you find a rhythm to steadily build your personal savings from within your business finances. 

Spend wisely with pocket-specific cards

When you’re self-employed, keeping tabs on your business expenses can be tedious and time-consuming. Give your pockets their very own virtual cards for organized spending and effortless tracking. When you create a virtual card and link it to a specific pocket, you can make purchases with funds you’ve set aside from that pocket. Keep track of your spending and stay on budget by naming cards for your main expense categories, such as “Marketing” or “Recurring Subscriptions.” You can also set limits and share cards with your team for easy, controlled spending.

How to Set Up and Use Pockets in Your Found Account

Now that we’ve covered how pockets can streamline and organize your cash flow, here’s a quick look at how the feature works. 

Create a pocket

You can create a pocket in seconds in your Found account. Choose from a list of suggested names or get creative with your own—emojis are welcome in your pocket name! After that, you can select a color and icon for your pocket, and you’ll see those choices reflected on your Banking tab.

Set savings goals

If you’re saving towards something, add a savings goal to any of your custom pockets. This can be helpful for anything from operating costs to making payroll to saving for a trip (and some time off). Adding or changing a savings goal is easy. Simply open the pocket you’d like to set a savings goal for, go to settings, and adjust the goal amount. Your goal will display under your pocket’s balance, and we’ll show you how close you are to reaching it.

Set up custom deposit allocations

You can always move money manually between pockets. But if automation is more your style, you can fund your pocket automatically with each deposit. You can create deposit allocations for any and all of your custom pockets, and manage your deposit allocations in one place by adjusting what percentage is assigned to each pocket. Each time you get paid, you’ll see the deposit allocation distribution in your activity details. 

Move money easily and instantly

Pockets are tools to help organize your money, so they’re made to be flexible. You can move money between pockets (including your Primary and Taxes pockets) any time, instantly, and for free. You’ll see a record of each transfer in the related pocket so you can keep tabs on your cash flow.

Now that pockets are here, give them a try in your Found account. Get started today. And stay tuned for more to come—we’re always working to improve Found for you. 

Disclaimer: The information on this website is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on, for tax advice.

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