The SmartyPig Blog

Dollars & Cents Keeping You up at Night?

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“Rather than thinking about how much you spend in your life, think about how much you should be saving first,” says Luke Vandermillen, Principal Financial Services VP. 85% of us lose sleep over finances. Does that include you? If so, Vandermillen and Yahoo.com article author, Jennifer Waters want you, me, and everyone else who worries about retirement, 529’s, and emergencies to sleep better.

Here’s how: first, pay down debt. It’s not easy, and definitely not fun, but once your debt to income ratio decreases you can follow these next helpful steps: making a financial plan and spending less money. Decide how much you’d like to save each month. Maybe you need a vacation or have decided to not use a credit card this holiday season. SmartyPig’s handy calculator function can help you decide how much you need to sock away each month. And then, spend less to save more. $5 here and there won’t hurt and when you reach your goals you’ll wonder why you didn’t start sooner!

Get some rest tonight – start a new goal today!

Wishing you successful saving.

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

 

 

 

Baby Proof Your Finances

A car seat, baby crib and diapers seem to top most “baby must have” lists. But what about other important considerations like a baby budget or heaven forbid, an emergency fund for costly medical procedures? Kids are expensive, especially new babies. The average American family is likely to spend $12,000 on child items and bills in baby’s first year of life. That’s a small car! Which you may be buying a new one to accommodate a growing family.

The experts at DailyWorth.com discuss why it’s important to baby proof your finances before that bundle of joy arrives. Along with the aforementioned tasks, also save for those big ticket items in advance. And don’t forget to pump your HR department for the rules surrounding a maternity or paternity leave. Lastly, tax time may be a brighter time of year for you than in the past.  Use those first nine months to get your ducks in a row and the only sleep you’ll be losing at night is rocking that cute new baby at 2 AM.

Wishing you successful saving.

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

Keeping College Costs in Check

iStock_000015988767XSmallIn the last five years, college costs have risen an average of two to three thousand each year. The thought of what it might cost to send my two year-old to college in 16 years is giving me a headache just thinking about it. The good news is, there are ways to save. And folks like these at Yahoo Finance are here to help.

In an article this week they discuss seven important considerations for you as a student or parent. Some tips you won’t want to miss include: Starting your schooling at a cheaper community college – you can always earn that degree from your university or private school of choice, but saving thousands from the get-go is something to consider. On that same note, graduate on time. Another year will just cost you another several thousand dollars. If you can, take A.P classes in high school to get a jump start on those college credits. And while you’re shopping, don’t forget your student I.D. Most all places of business offer some sort of college discount.

School is just around the corner! Happy saving.

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

How Are You Using Your SmartyPig?

I’ve been using SmartyPig for just two years. I’ve already saved for a short, weekend vacation, a new T.V. and graduate school books. Thanks SmartyPig – Jeane.

A trip to Italy! And Cannoli while i’m there. – Sam

I’m saving for nothing in particular. It’s always nice to know I have this money tucked away that I often times forget about! – Chase

I saved for an engagement ring with SmartyPig. I started 6 months after we’d been dating and was able to buy exactly what I wanted about a year and a half later – Tyler

Your Big Day and SmartyPig

imagesIt’s the best day of your life. The greatest party you’ll ever attend. And the cost is going up, again. In parts of the country some weddings are costing close to $75,000! And all wedding spending is up as of 2014, with 45% of those going over budget.

SmartyPig is an awesome place to save for a wedding. You can separate parts of your wedding into different goals, and share what you’d like with your social networks. When it comes time to cash out you can choose bridal retailers like Macys.com and get up to 11% cash back. Lastly, cash is top of the wedding gift wish list these days. Friends and family can contribute to your wedding or honeymoon goals, and you can be on your way to a debt free marriage.

Wishing you successful saving.

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

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