The SmartyPig Blog

How Are You Using Your SmartyPig?

To save for THE ring – Eric

I’m saving for a vacation to Disney World. We plan to take my entire extended family, and hopefully provide hotel and some meals. It will be such a treat for all of us! – Pat

SmartyPig makes saving for everything easier. I usually have one or two goals open for small things and always one for an emergency. Luckily, I’ve yet to use the emergency one! – Damian

Back to School Bargains

As Christmas is to December, August is synonymous with back-to-school shopping. Notebooks and backpacks line the aisles of your favorite superstore, while discount jeans and tennis shoes call to your children from national retailers. It’s fun, right? Getting ready for a new year. However, the not-so-fun part is the price tag, averaging more than $600 this year. So how do you keep costs down? 

Take your shopping trip solo. You’ll feel less influenced by your child’s “wants” and more apt to buy only the items on your list. Additionally, shop on the tax-free weekend. Next, go generic. Who cares if your crayons say “Crayola” on them? 50 cents here and there, really adds up. And lastly, team up with other parents. Buy items in bulk and swap them out with others. You’ll save big bucks on these purchases from retailers like Costco and Sam’s Club.

Save yourself some dollars this year, and if you’re really into stretching your dollars, check out SmartyPig’s cash back retailers, including back to school favorites:  Macy’s, Staples, Sears, Old Navy and so many more! We can net you up to an additional 11% just by starting a quick goal and cashing out before Labor Day. It’s FREE money. Why not take what you can get when you need it most?

Wishing you successful saving.

Sarah Foss, SmartyPig’s Media Mad Woman 
SFoss@SmartyPig.com

How Much You Should Spend on a Home

Buying a house or an apartment is the largest purchase most of the people would face during all their life. Sometimes it comes to the fact that this kind of purchase cannot be paid off all at once – it needs a lot of years and a lot of hard work. And the problem of spending money to cover the home payments drags you in a constant search of more money – leaving very little or even nothing for such important things like college for your kids, vacation expenses, retirement, and so on.

This is why some practical people state, that before starting a house search process – it is better to think things through and maybe rent an apartment or house – rather than buy the one. Sometimes it really makes even more sense.

If the choice was made in a favor of renting the living space – always keep in mind that:

-     The prices only go in one direction – UP!

-     Usually, the most experience people while renting their homes and apartments try to choose SUCH options that allow them to easily move out whenever they want this.

-     Renters do not have to care about the maintenance issues, home repairs or lawns.

But if you have sufficient budget and decided to BUY your own house or an apartment – this is a lifetime commitment to fix anything that breaks around (no matter how small the repair is – it happens the other day that the repair is ENORMOUS – and someone has to pay for it). In any way – owing a personal home is not only paying the bills and mortgage, no no. The larger the house you get – the more maintenance bills you are about to see (and yes, PAY them) in the future.

Let’s get back to the topic of renting. It makes a lot of sense and becomes reasonable more than ever – when you plan to live somewhere for a short period of time. This is an important part – because think about the following: when you BUY a property – the process always goes along with paying taxes, different fees here and there, closing costs, etc. Such kind of operations have more sense if you plan to stay in one place for a longer time.

And finally, if you decided to become a home owner – and you know for sure that is is your thing, it is time to decide – how much you can afford. Specialist within a market claim that the mortgage bill can eat up to 28-30% of your income. Also keep in mind the closing fees and taxes already mentioned before – 2-3%. Moving fees and other related services. Well – here it is better to call local companies and then writhe the price down.

Afterwards, you start to study the area itself, the schools nearby, crime statistics, the infrastructure itself (shops, malls, highways, communities, etc) – and so on. Anything that can affect the final price of your home. And like we always say – can’t do it yourself? Hire a professional!

This post was provided by www.ApexWindowWerks.com, a window repair company located in Chicago. Feel free to visit their website for more details about their rates, offerings and guarantees. This is an A+ BBB company, professional and reliable.

Is Social Media Costing You Big?

money-drain-300x300The average American belongs to 5 different social networks, spending nearly two hours each day on these sites. They are checking in around 17 times throughout the average 15 waking hours! Is that time costing you may? Well, the folks at MSN Money say it might be.

Are you checking in to Facebook at work? Your boss may catch on to that and then your job security may be at odds. Many employers are setting social media rules and regulations and it’s certainly not to your advantage to break those. Are you trying to keep up with the social media “Joneses”? Social media ads and pictures from your friends may having you spending more than you ought to. Lastly, you could accidentally post financial information, leaving you open for identity theft or fraudulent activity.

Be a smart social media user and keep your funds in check!

Sarah Foss, SmartyPig’s Media Mad Woman, SFoss@SmartyPig.com

How Are You Using Your SmartyPig?

A friend referred me to SmartyPig on twitter recently, after my asking about their “Disneyland” goal. I decided SmartyPig would be the perfect place to save for my next family vacation. So, Florida it is! I’ve been saving for several months and am close to reaching my goal. Thanks SmartyPig! – Heather

My “Bonnaroo/Vacation Tickets” – @Ohbobva

My one goal was for a emergency fund which has been completed and i am now saving for a new cell phone. – @shortcakes

I’m saving  towards my “Replacement Kitchen Cabinets” savings goal – @joy

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