The SmartyPig Blog

Spring Has Sprung… A Few Leaks In the Roof

Meet SmartyPig user Maureen. Maureen has always struggled with saving. (Haven’t we all?) Lucky for her, a friend turned her on to SmartyPig after using it to help in her purchasing of a new home last summer. So, Maureen started saving for a new home, too. She socked away money automatically. It was easy. And after learning of SmartyPig’s partnership with Lowe’s, Maureen started a home improvement goal, as well.

Maureen’s older home, while charming, has drafty windows and sliding doors. Her energy bills are downright scary. Paying those huge bills each month is a big motivator to watch her pennies, but so is the ease at which Maureen finds saving with SmartyPig. She hopes to reach her new windows goal this fall, followed by a new doors purchase next January. And, of course, Maureen intends to cash out her goals onto Lowe’s Home Improvement Retailer Gift Cards. By doing so, she will reward herself with a window on “the house,” as SmartyPig offers deep deals when it comes time to redeem your goal.

So as the snow melts and your house needs a touchup or two, take a tip or two from Maureen by saving with SmartyPig and cashing out with Lowe’s. It can be a debt-free facelift for your home and cash back for you!

Wishing you successful saving.

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

Not Under the Rug

We’ve been talking a lot this season about giving your finances a good spring clean. Admittedly, I had been putting this task off myself when an article from the experts at MSN Money couldn’t have made this task seem any easier.

Are you ready?

  1. Start with your budget
  2. Clean up your accounts
  3. Opt for less paper
  4. Check your withholdings
  5. Create a home inventory
  6. Shop around
  7. Check up on insurance coverage
  8. Sort out paperwork.

Open those windows, dust off the rugs, and complete your own checklist with the full set of tips here.

Good luck and happy cleaning!

Sarah Foss, SmartyPig’s Media Mad Woman

Would You Pass?

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If financial literacy were a course in school, many Americans wouldn’t pass,” coin the experts at MSN Money. In an article this month, those experts note that 61% of Americans have NO budget, 34% carry month-to-month credit card debt and nearly a third of all Americans have no savings whatsoever. Scary stuff.

It’s a cycle that while not easy to break, can be done, and SmartyPig is here to help. By opening a new goal and contributing just $10 a week (that’s one lunch out, folks) you’ll find yourself with over $500 – enough money to put a dent in even the worst of emergencies. Don’t wait another day. Begin your quest to financial literacy today. You’ll thank us!

Wishing you successful saving.

Sarah Foss, SmartyPig’s Media Mad Woman

Refund Refuge

Is your tax refund padding your bank account? You’re not the only one. The average refund for 2013 was $2,700 and most expect around the same, if not higher this year. A Capital One survey states 21% of tax fund recipients are spending their dough on new clothes, vacations, and electronics. One smart shopper told us he deposited his newfound funds into a SmartyPig goal already and cashed out to a Macy’s gift card. The amount he received in cash back was obscene!

So if you’re going to spend, put that money to work for you in the short-term with SmartyPig’s high interest and long list of Retailer Gift Card providers. And if instant gratification isn’t your thing, do what most refund recipients are doing and save that chunk of change. Is a summer vacation in your future? What about back to school shopping? Take your funds right to the pig and start maximizing your dollars today. And if you don’t have an emergency fund, wouldn’t now be a great time to start one of those?

Whether you’re spending or saving, SmartyPig makes those tax dollars work for you!

Wishing you successful saving and spending.

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

Preschool Finance

kid-saving-moneyRecently my preschooler started showing interest in growing the funds that had been accumulating in his ceramic piggy bank. Generous gifts from friends and family over the last four years had him with the means do some damage in the local Target action hero aisle. As his understanding of giving money in return for items grew, I decided it was probably time to begin teaching him the importance of saving, donating and spending.

MSN Money expands upon my thoughts in a recent post on teaching your kids to be savers. As they instruct, it begins with opening a savings account. Talking about a budget and giving them an allowance are important steps to follow. For older children, discussing compound interest and investing can be taught through games and “playing” bank at home. Lastly, discuss cost lessons. On a recent grocery trip my son asked me why I was buying double the amount of yogurt we typically purchase, my reply, ‘it’s on sale’ warranted a confused look. We talked about things being ‘for sale’ and ‘on sale’ and how saving $5 on yogurt meant I could save more money or spend it on other things. His response? “Yeah! Like buying me a new Nerf Gun.”

The truth in the matter is, growing long-time savers starts young. Begin today and let SmartyPig help you. Don’t forget to share your details. We can’t wait to hear!

Wishing you successful saving.

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

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