The SmartyPig Blog

Ho Ho Ho and a Big ol’ Bag of Savings

We asked our users: How are you using SmartyPig to save for the holidays?

I have been using Smarty Pig for my Christmas fund for years. It is the best. Our family only buys for the young children (no adults except for our spouses). This way I can do all my shopping late for the grandkids (because they never really know what they want until the last minute or the commercials on TV start up for the holidays). It also gives me enough for surprise gifts such as a “secret Santa” at work and for parties. LOVE my Smarty Pig Christmas fund. Oh, and if there is any left over I put it back in to start next years account.- Sally

I use it for Christmas! This will be my 3rd year I think. I love giving gifts! It’s saved us a ton of strife (and overspending and probably money fights) to have that money come out all year and be totally set aside and ready to go.. It’s been the best. – Kelly

I use it to save for a gift for my husband. That way he has no idea what’s coming! – Sarah

We start saving for the year’s gifts in January. A few years of too much debt had us learning a hard lesson. It doesn’t hurt putting in $20 each month, but it certainly stung the year we didn’t. Never too early! – Martha

Does Mom Know Best?

Momma doesn’t always know best. I can’t believe I just said that…. However, it’s true. Financial lessons your parents taught you many years ago are not only outdated, but in some instances, flat out wrong. GoBankingRates.com shares many of these with their readers this week, and you and your Momma should probably take note.

Investing is too risky – this isn’t always the case, and with the help of an expert and careful planning you could find yourself on the high end of this decision. Next up? Money doesn’t buy happiness. It does buy a roof over your head, food, and clothing. Those things make me safe, secure and happy. Does working hard always guarantee the most money? Sadly, not always. Sometimes you work hard for very little money. Lastly, credit cards are bad. Here at SmartyPig we definitely don’t suggest racking up credit card debt. It is smart however, to use a credit card effectively to maintain a proper credit score.

The family that saves together, stays together. Parents and kids alike, take note!

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

How Far Does Your Dollar Go?

Stretching the dollar

 

My dollars go far, in a matter of speaking. As a resident of Iowa, our cost of living and goods is lower than the majority of the country. Yahoo Finance did a study this summer on what $100 would get you across the country. In Iowa, It’s $112. In California, it’s $88. We’ll forget for the time being that California has more sunshine than any other state, when it comes to dollars and cents, Iowa is close to tops.

Some might jump to conclusions and claim members of states like my own spend less money, and save more. Fact of the matter is, states with higher values typically pay higher wags. And in the end, it all works out. Whether your dollar is eighty cents, or a buck and then some, it’s important to keep your spending in check and your saving a priority.

Wishing you successful saving.

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

Back to School Savings

 

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Next to Christmas, no other time of year will break the bank like back to school shopping. Experts estimate shopping to again be in $650-$700 range. And it’s not just paper; it’s clothing, shoes, back packs, jackets and more. MSN Money sheds some light this month on how you can really make the most of your back to school wardrobe this year.

Everyone loves a good do it yourself project. Get creative with ways to repurpose clothing you already have or stretch those summer clothes into the winter months; dresses with leggings for girls and long sleeve T-shirts under your son’s favorite summer short sleeve T. Don’t forget to browse sample sale websites for deals and second hand stores, as well. Lastly, put technology to work for you. Many stores have mobile applications allowing for discounts that can sometimes save you half off! Two for the price of one? Don’t mind if I do.

Have fun with your back to school shopping this year, and save big while you’re at it!

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

 

How Are You Using Your SmartyPig?

Are you stuck in a savings rut? Need a new idea for a savings goal? Let these users inspire you!

  • Tropical vaca! – Krissy
  • Black Friday! – Sarah
  • I get 2 weeks off for Christmas. Last year with my Savings I went to Colorado! This year somewhere tropical been saving all year! Very excited – Karla
  • Paris! – JoAnn
  • A Mac book pro and a family vacation – Bianca
  • Dog/Cat Vet Fund, Ikea Stuff, and Big Goal Tiny House and buy land oneday. – Tiffany
  • Wedding! – Teresa
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