The SmartyPig Blog

Back to School Cash Back

pigAugust is just around the corner, and that means – backpacks, books, clothes and school supplies. These items can really add up. SmartyPig can help! By cashing out your back to school goal to one of our Retailer Gift Card providers like Old Navy or Staples, you can gift yourself cash back. Up to 11% back and that’s no small chunk of change. Learn more on our providers here and happy shopping!

How Are You Using Your SmartyPig?

We’ve been saving for a trip to Disney World with SmartyPig. We started off by collecting change in a jar. We quickly outgrew the jar and need “safer” collection methods. SmartyPig was the way to go! Can’t wait to take our trip next year. – Elizabeth

I use SmartyPig to save for my next car downpayment. I actually just bought a new car, but they payments are $100 lower than what I was paying previously, so I easily save that extra $100 a month. Hopefully I’ll have $5,000 by the time this car is paid off :) – Sarah

I’m saving for a trip to the beach! – John

SmartyPig is helping my kids save their allowance. They get some in cash each month, but some of it goes immediately into their SmartyPig accounts. – Cindy

40 is the new Black

Man putting money into piggy bank held by woman, smiling40 is hot. It’s the new 20, the new black, and it’s the highest earning decade of your life. So claim the experts at Yahoo Finance. This article states that men peak around 48 years-old, with women just prior to the decade at 39. Popular jobs for men include those in the programming and software industry, while women tend to make more in healthcare and education. 

This is also the time in your life it’s important to be saving for your own retirement, potentially your children’s college educations, and also, some fun along the way. SmartyPig is a great place to help you get started on those bigger financial goals, and the smaller ones, too, like a spring break vacation, a new T.V. or holiday gifts. Make your 40′s your greatest decade yet but not only earning your best, but saving your best, too.

Wishing you successful saving.

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

Beware of Credit Report “Impostors”

 

Today’s guest post brought to you by Ashely Dull. Ashley graduated magna cum laude with a journalism degree from Florida Atlantic University and currently works as a finance editor for BadCredit.org and CardRates.com. Her writing has been published on major news networks such as ESPN and CBS, among numerous other sites and print materials.  

You’ve seen the ads – Get your FREE credit report here! – only to be asked for a credit card after you’ve already provided all of your personal information.

The truth is there’s only one website out there that provides a full, free credit report once annually from all three bureaus (Experian, Equifax, TransUnion) and that’s annualcreditreport.com.

But that doesn’t stop marketers from telling you it’s free, when you’re really signing up for monthly credit monitoring services after your  “free” trial ends. Many have fallen into this trap because of failing to read the fine print and don’t realize it’s happened until their card is hit with a random charge for $24.95.

When working towards a savings goal with SmartyPig, it’s important to check your credit reports and monitor for any fraud or negative marks that could be adversely affecting your credit. Bad credit not only means difficulty obtaining loans, but also higher interest rates which make it harder to save when you’re paying more than you should be. Knowing the information on your credit report and your credit score is something every individual should be conscious of.

The experts at BadCredit.org saw a need for a resource for consumers to see exactly what each credit report and score website offers and at what cost, so they created this consumer guide and wanted to share it with SmartyPig users.

This guide will ensure you’re not another victim of a “free” credit report scam, and that you’re not spending unnecessary money on a credit report that could go towards your SmartyPig goal!

 

Don’t Take My Advice

qgJb7mj__400x400Bad financial advice is everywhere. The problem is, how to know what’s good and what’s bad? Well, the experts at Business Insider give us a few “tips” to avoid in an excellent blog this month. Let’s discuss:

One we hear often: retirement or kid’s college. It’s debatable, but with the current economic conditions experts urge professionals to feed their own retirement accounts first, and their children’s college funds second. No one wants to be on their “kids payroll,” so let’s get our own retirement situated and then pay for their schooling. Bonus if you can do both at the same time! Next, retire as soon as you can? Working a little bit longer is good for many reasons; social, financial, physical. Just because you CAN, doesn’t mean you should. Give it a year, or two! Lastly, you need a financial planner no matter what. We chat here often about great online and print resources. If you do your homework, you won’t have to pay someone else to do it for you.

Wishing you successful saving,

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

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